Strictly Business – 25 Years And Still Counting

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Happy Silver Anniversary to Strictly Business Magazine!

After recently celebrating 10 years in the Omaha market, our team was extremely excited and humbled to take part in commemorating 25 rewarding years in Lincoln where the magazine got its start. In light of this milestone, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the journey. It’s fun to point out all the ways the magazine has developed and grown—going from a small coupon book in Lincoln to a prominent monthly news source in Nebraska’s two largest markets—but the only thing more noteworthy than how much Strictly Business has changed is how much it hasn’t.

Throughout the years, Strictly Business has remained committed to providing the community with positive, reliable local news. There have been many people involved in the effort to uphold and contribute to the integrity of the magazine, but the two who have been present for it all are Shayne and Paige Zutavern. Shayne was raised in Dunning, Nebraska and Paige grew up just 30 minutes down the road in Thedford. The two of them met in 1979 and got married in 1987 after moving to Lincoln to attend college at the University. Shayne, along with friend and colleague Mike Branigan, poured his entrepreneurial spirit into Z.A.A. Inc., a direct marketing communications company. They were printing and distributing a monthly coupon book in Lincoln until they saw the need for a business publication in the local marketplace. After overwhelming support and positive feedback from the community, Shayne decided to shift the focus towards creating “Lincoln’s Business News & Marketing Magazine,” and in July of 1993, the first issue of Strictly Business was introduced. In many ways, Shayne built the magazine, but Paige gave it wings. She took on an official role as sales manager soon after the magazine got up and running. This position allowed her to fulfill her natural ability to form connections and build relationships while promoting something she felt passionately about. It was her dream job.

Together, Paige and Shayne have taken Strictly Business to great heights, including launching a second edition in Omaha in the fall of 2007, with the help of fellow entrepreneur Angela Lee Diaz. Today, she’s widely recognized as the founder and president of SHOLDIT, the #1 brand for solution-based accessories. Thank you Angela!

To celebrate the magazine’s 25th anniversary, we commemorated the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by officials of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce at the Strictly Business office on Friday, June 15. As we gathered together with friends, family, clients, past and present staff members, and lifelong supporters, we couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly thankful. Today, our fantastic staff is made up of our editor, Amanda Wilson; art director, Holly Ryan; executive assistant, Hannah Hundley; part-time sales associate, Schyler Zutavern; and intern, Lizzy Werner. Amanda has been with Strictly Business for over 5 years, creating and overseeing all editorial that’s published in the magazine. Holly has been on staff for 2 years, enhancing the magazine with her graphic design skills. Hannah joined the team earlier this year and has taken on many responsibilities, from event planning to collaborating with clients on monthly press submissions. Paige and Schyler make up the sales team. Paige is mainly in Lincoln while Schyler focuses on the Omaha market. Lizzy is a student at UNL and comes in to assist with website posting and other day-to-day office functions. Shayne oversees the billing department, offering his expertise on marketing and advertising from time to time. The magazine is and always has been a team effort.

Strictly Business has been blessed with amazing staff members throughout the years—dedicated, enthusiastic, and driven—many of whom have gone on to start businesses of their own!

There are far too many people to thank individually, but we’d like to give a big “Thank you!” to all of our loyal clients and readers. We have clients who have been entrusting us with their advertising ventures for many years, some even for the full 25! We have over 50 clients who have been with us for over 10 years. It’s a pleasure working with some of the most successful and ambitious businessmen and women to help them promote their goods and services. We’d also like to acknowledge our readers. It’s no secret that technology has advanced over the past 25 years and print media has had to navigate the impending “takeover” of digital media, but we’ve remained an industry leader by being one of the first and largest local publications with a consistent online presence. By sharing our content in print, online, and on social media, we’ve built a lasting reputation in the Lincoln and Omaha Metro communities as a trusted source of relevant business news. Our loyal readers are a blend of businesspeople and consumers. They look to Strictly Business when making purchasing decisions for their households, and some who are also making purchasing decisions on behalf of their businesses, because they know our advertisers are the best experts in their respective fields.

Just like the business communities in the Lincoln and Omaha metropolitan areas, our distribution list has grown and changed. We started out direct-mailing to 6,600 businesses in Lincoln, now our magazines go out to over 10,000 businesses in Lincoln and 15,000 in Omaha respectively. We also generate a large online reach with more than 350,000 page views a year between our Lincoln and Omaha websites. We’d like to thank our audience for their continued support, not only of Strictly Business itself but for the businesses we feature. There is nothing that brings us more joy than when we hear about a connection or partnership forming because of our magazine. We invite all our readers to take the time to reach out to the businesses and individuals we feature to simply tell them, “Hey! I enjoyed reading about you in Strictly Business!”

After 25 years, our magazine still operates by the timeless statement, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” We’re grateful for the opportunity to not only promote local businesses, but to give a deeper look into those businesses and the people who run them.

On the front cover of our first Lincoln issue, the headline reads: “New Business to Business Publication Fills Niche”—a statement that still rings true today in both Lincoln and Omaha. As long as there are businesses in the area, that means there is business news; and Strictly Business is dedicated to being the source for that news. Thank you to the Omaha community for embracing Strictly Business Magazine over 10 years ago and for helping us celebrate our 25-year-old roots.

Contact us today, at 402.466.3330, to see what Strictly Business can do for you and your business!