“What’s special about celebrating a milestone anniversary is how overwhelmed I get when I think about every year that got us here. The highs and lows along the way all feel worth it when I’m able to look around at everything we’ve accomplished and how much we’ve grown since we launched Strictly Business in Omaha 15 years ago. September is our official anniversary month, but this is truly a great time to be celebrating, not only because of the milestone, but also because there are many exciting things in the works right now and strides being taken to remain a top-notch local news source and strong advertising tool.
Our history dates back to 1993 when my husband Shayne and his associate Mike Branigan were printing and distributing a monthly coupon book in Lincoln and saw the need for a business publication in the local marketplace. After positive feedback from the community, Shayne decided to shift the focus towards creating “Lincoln’s Business News & Marketing Magazine,” and the first issue of Strictly Business was introduced. I got behind the magazine not long after, taking on the role of sales manager. It was a perfect fit for me, and remains an ideal position for me today, as I love making connections and building relationships.
Taking the leap into Omaha was a big deal for us. We had been wanting to for a couple years, especially after seeing the meaningful impact we were making in the Lincoln business community—it made us eager to do it on an even bigger scale. Along with a lot of faith and prayers, the launch of Strictly Business Omaha would not have been possible at the time without the leadership and passion of Angela Lee (now Diaz). She really blazed the path for Strictly Business in Omaha, making a variety of important connections that gave the magazine the foothold it needed for long-term success. Another key member of our team at the time was Angela Woltman (now Chaney). When Angela Lee was out in the community introducing the magazine to new people, Angela Woltman was slaving away in the office, crafting articles and arranging the magazine. I’m grateful for all the amazing staff members Shayne and I have had throughout the years—way too many to name—and many of them have gone on to start businesses of their own, which makes me very proud! Angela Lee went on to launch SHOLDIT, a top brand for solution-based accessories. Angela Woltman is co-founder of eSpark Media — Pixel Fire Marketing, a highly reputable digital marketing company in Omaha. Check them both out!
Our current staff consists of Hannah Hundley, who has been with Strictly Business for over three years now. Hannah acts as editor and director of operations, which encompass as many different responsibilities as the titles suggest. Our current art director is Dillon Crawford. Dillon came on board within the past year and has been a lot of fun to have around. He’s been a great mentor to our graphic design intern, Emma Tuzicka. We’re all so proud of how much she’s developed her skills as a designer since she started working here! Diane Gumaer is our extraordinary writer. With 30 years of writing experience under her belt, we sure feel lucky to have her on our team and clients love her. In addition, Tegan Colton is on board as an assistant writer and social media strategist. Tegan initially came on to do sales for the magazine, and she still contributes to those efforts, but now she is doing more writing—which is where her passion really lies—and overseeing social media posts for our clients. Also on the social media front is our most recent addition, Meg Stice, who has already helped us established a brand guide and will be carrying engaging team posts and giveaways on our social media accounts.
Both Tegan’s and Meg’s positions are a testament to the importance Strictly Business is putting on the digital presence of the magazine. We are also currently redoing our website, which is very exciting for us. We want the content we create and publish for our clients to be easily accessible online—on both desktop and mobile view. So stay tuned—in the next month or so strictlybusinessomaha.com will have a whole new look and feel!
Aside from thanking all the amazing employees we’ve had, we’d like to thank our audience for their continued support, not only of Strictly Business but the businesses and organizations we feature. There is nothing that brings us more joy than when we hear about a relationship or partnership forming because of the magazine. It’s great to get feedback from our advertisers when this happens as well.
Another wave of thanks goes to Aradius Group! We are very proud to print locally, and they do an amazing job. Joe, Eileen, and the rest of the Aradius production team—you are the best!
Finally, a big “THANK YOU!” to our awesome clients for trusting Strictly Business with their stories and their advertising dollars. What is incredibly humbling is the clients that have been with us for 5–10 years and even longer. Two clients that are still with us today that advertised in our very first issue—September 2007—are Cox and Aqua Systems (formally Hague Quality Water). It’s really fun to look at their ads then and now. It tells me that we are doing good by them and continuing to earn their trust year after year. It’s our pleasure to promote local businesses in Omaha, and we’re always thrilled when we bring new businesses into the fold.
Looking back over the past 15 years, you can see how the magazine has changed and adapted. It’s fun to flip through old issues and see features such as “Omaha Area’s Best Dressed” or to look at all the faces that have been showcased as River City Sixes. It’s like jumping in a time machine! We’re looking forward to many more years ahead.”
– Paige Zutavern