There are a lot of talented and reputable professionals in Omaha—so how do you stand out? The answer is getting involved. Find an organization that matches your interests and passions. Your commitment to your industry and/or community will shine through and set you apart.
With a busy career and social life, we can’t get involved with all the organizations we might be interested in. You have to think about your objectives in terms of how your service helps fulfill your own personal and professional development goals, your own or your employer’s desire to bring in and keep business, and the kind of impact you want to make.
Twice a year, in March and September, Strictly Business puts together a Joining Organizations feature. This “glorified index” is a way to highlight many of the amazing professional organizations available to individuals who are striving to stay active within the business community and/or their industry network. We want to make sure that these organizations have a chance to get their name out there and share their current efforts, membership benefits, partnership opportunities, etc. Strictly Business is directly mailed to over 15,000 businesses in Omaha every month and we share all our content online, so we feel that we have a responsibility to provide our readers with relevant information about what’s happening in and around Omaha.
Community organizations contribute to the fabric of our economy by bringing industry leaders together, offering education and resources to their members, and partnering with other local entities to implement positive change in our area. There are so many dedicated, passionate groups of like-minded individuals who are all committed to making a difference in their professional, cultural, and social communities. Joining these groups often results in forming new relationships that, in turn, lead to personal and professional growth and success. In terms of making connections in the community, professional organizations and local trade associations provide an environment rich with potential. By tapping into a network like this, in your industry or otherwise, you have access to a wealth of knowledge, referrals, helpful tips, potential job opportunities, a built-in support system, and so much more.
Here at Strictly Business, we stand behind the hard-working organizations that continuously better Omaha and its occupants. We do this by offering discounted rates to these organizations so they can highlight their upcoming events and meetings, accomplishments, awards, members, staff, and opportunities for involvement. There are organizations and associations representative of nearly every profession, industry, or special interest group, and many have national, regional, state, and/or local chapters who would love to have you as a member.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the following organizations if you are looking for ways to grow your business or professional network, make a difference in the community, and gain valuable experience outside of the work place. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get involved!
Heartland Women’s Network (HWN, www.heartlandwomensnetwork.com) connects women from all walks of life—including business professionals, business owners, primary caregivers, and college students—with each other. It provides the structure women in the Heartland need to grow professionally and personally. Monthly lunch meetings feature engaging speakers on topics of interest to members, along with networking opportunities.
While members may have different professional and personal goals, we all share certain challenges that are best addressed together. This makes each of us more powerful, resilient and self-sufficient. Benefits of being a Heartland Women’s Network member include:
• Networking opportunities
• The opportunity to be featured as the Member Spotlight at a monthly meeting, on HWN’s website and on social media
• Member-only profiles on Heartland Women’s Network’s Facebook group
• Opportunities to support HWN’s local charity, which this year is the Ronald McDonald House Omaha
For more information, visit www.heartlandwomensnetwork.com, find us on social media, or email email@example.com.
Better Business Bureau (BBB, BBB.org/nebraska) has been assisting U.S. consumers and businesses since 1912. It is a private, nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Nearly 400,000 BBB Accredited Businesses support BBB’s mission of advancing marketplace trust, and their dues and contributions allow BBB to offer its information and services to consumers at no charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, over 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting the marketplace.
People today are overwhelmed with choices—and often unsure about where to find verified, unbiased information. There are more than 32 million businesses in North America alone, and hundreds of thousands of sites around the world where people shop online. Also, thousands of free and subscription websites offer a range of information, including: reviews, reports, directories, listings, and gripe sites. BBB is the resource where you can find trusted, verified information. Go to BBB.org/nebraska, call (800) 649-6814 and follow us on social media at @TodayWithBBB.
The Empowerment Network (empoweromaha.com) works together with residents and leaders to TRANSFORM the ECONOMIC condition and QUALITY OF LIFE of African Americans, North Omaha residents, and citizens of all races and cultures living in poverty within the Greater Omaha area.
The Empowerment Network is recognized as a backbone organization supporting the key functions of its collective impact partners. The Network excels in the capturing of data; capacity-building; leadership development; advocacy; civic engagement; and fundraising to support specific initiatives identified by the community. The Network model, recognized regionally and nationally, relies on each person and organization doing their part. Visit empoweromaha.com or call (402) 502-5153 to learn more.
The Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA, www.nebankers.org) is the voice of Nebraska’s $72 billion banking industry. Nebraska banks employ more than 15,600 people and safeguard over $67 billion in deposits. Banks support Nebraska’s economy with consumer, business, and other loans.
Through the association, bankers explore issues that affect the banking industry’s day-to-day and long-range outlook. Membership in the NBA signifies a bank’s commitment to the principles of banking and the belief that much can be accomplished by working together.
The NBA welcomes associate members who provide a service or product to Nebraska financial institutions. Associate members are eligible to attend NBA events; receive the NBA newsletter and magazine; advertise in and produce articles for the Nebraska Banker magazine; and have the opportunity to exhibit, display and co-sponsor functions at the NBA’s conferences and annual convention.
To learn more about the NBA, visit www.nebankers.org.
“Let’s succeed together.”
For Omaha to prosper, we need to build a connected community that supports business growth, employment, and quality of life. As a Chamber member, you aren’t just building your business, you’re investing in the future of our city.
To connect with other professionals; to grow your presence in the community; to develop your skills and experience; to ignite change and serve as a catalyst for economic growth. These are just some of the reasons to invest yourself and your business into the Greater Omaha Chamber (OmahaChamber.org/Belong).
“We won’t let up. We won’t let you down—because your work is too important to go it alone.”
Join 3,000 other businesses and be part of the movement toward greater: OmahaChamber.org/Belong | memberservices@OmahaChamber.org | (402) 346-5000.
The Millard Business Association (MBA, www.MillardBusinessAssociation.org) was established in 2003 and comprises more than 350 area businesses members. The MBA provides the catalyst for our members to grow and prosper through a variety of events, opportunities, services, and programs.
Joining this thriving organization is a great way to GROW Your Business. Members do not need to reside in Millard. The basic requirement is doing business or wanting to do business in the Millard area. Membership is only $130 per year; there is a $65 associate’s rate for member businesses that want to add a representative. Benefits include:
Networking and Exposure—“It’s not what you know but who you know.” Make all those important contacts through Networking Lunches, “Bagels & Business” Meetings, Business After Hours, Ribbon Cuttings, and referral groups.
Referral Program—We are eager to continue growing our membership and referral groups at an exponential rate. This is why we have added a referral program where you get a free membership for three referrals in a year.
Community Connections—Get involved and learn more about the nonprofits in the community.
Educational Opportunities—Stay competitive, be productive! MBA’s monthly “Lunch and Learns” offer expert advice for today’s economy.
Apply for membership at www.MillardBusinessAssociation.org. For more information, contact the MBA Admin at (402) 707-2827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Metro Omaha Women’s Business Center (MOWBC, www.mowbcf.org) was formed in 2008. Their mission is to empower women to become economically self-sufficient by providing targeted education, workshops, job training, strong relationships, and resources that provide business, professional, and personal growth. The endeavors of the organization are designed to accelerate the success of women in all aspects and at all levels. They create economic opportunities through their signature MOWBC programs. Members of MOWBC are able to find mentorship, share their dreams, and embrace a unique kind of sisterhood.
There is a multitude of benefits to becoming a member of the Metro Omaha Women’s Business Center, including: Entrepreneur Annual Award Grants of $500-$1,000; business-to-business discounts; access to referral resources, educational programs, and business opportunities; featured in monthly communications on the MOWBC website; discounts/advance notices to MOWBC events (seminars and conferences); business listing in MOWBC directory; company logo and story listed in the MOWBC Newsletter; business after hours networking; personal log-in and password to the MOWBC membership site; promotional code for discounted member events; and monthly commercial opportunities. To learn more, visit www.mowbcf.org or call (402) 763-0540.
The Metro Omaha Builders Association (MOBA, www.moba.com) was chartered in 1946 and is a not-for-profit organization that was established to promote and protect various aspects of the home building industry. MOBA is an organization of individuals and firms involved in residential and light commercial building and development and related industries. The organization is also known for the Omaha Home Show, Remodel Omaha & Outdoor Living Tour, Spring and Fall Parade of Homes, and Street of Dreams. Experience the benefits of MOBA, join now! For more information, visit www.moba.com.
The Omaha Empowerment Breakfast (OmahaEmpowermentBreakfast.org) is a down-to-earth, convenient way for small business owners and operators to network with each other and connect with larger businesses and agencies in the community. The Omaha Empowerment Breakfast is a non-membership monthly networking event. We offer great speakers, great food, and endless connections! Held the first Friday of every month from 7 to 8:30 a.m.; come early and stay late for the best networking. This is a well-attended event. Register ahead of time to reserve your spot. People attending can showcase their business by being a three-minute speaker or being an event sponsor. We have a great lineup of nationally recognized speakers and local business professionals to educate and entertain. The event is held in the Aksarben area of Omaha.
To learn more about the Omaha Empowerment Breakfast, visit OmahaEmpowermentBreakfast.org or contact Michael McKee at (402) 201-3518.
The National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC, www.nawicomaha.com) is a resource for women in the construction industry and offers its members education, support, and networking to help advance their careers in construction, build their technical skills, and become leaders. NAWIC Chapter #116 includes Omaha, Lincoln, Council Bluffs, and the surrounding areas. Events are on the second Thursday of each month in various locations in the Omaha area. Guests are welcome.
NAWIC hosts a variety of events that serve the community, provides scholarships to men and women pursuing careers in the construction industry via a college education or trade-apprenticeship program, hosts educational Lunch-and-Learns for members, and more. NAWIC Chapter #116 was first chartered in 1966 and has 60+ members working in businesses whose primary focus is construction. For more information, visit www.nawicomaha.com or email email@example.com to request information.
The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Cornhusker Chapter (www.abcnebraska.org) supports the commercial construction industry through apprenticeship and safety training, advocacy, and workforce development. In addition, they offer opportunities for networking, and their Excellence in Construction Awards allow them to showcase members’ project successes. The organization helps their members and their members’ employees with the opportunity to succeed, by winning work, and delivering that work safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. ABC strives to be the leading voice for free enterprise and the merit shop philosophy of construction in Nebraska. They offer apprenticeship training through the NCCER Curriculum, continuing education, and leadership courses, not only to members, but also to anyone wishing to enter the construction industry for a bountiful career. For information about ABC Cornhusker Chapter, contact Anne Klute at (402) 477-4451 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit the website at www.abcnebraska.org to learn more.
Launching a small or micro business takes courage. It also takes capital and the insights that come from expert training and mentoring. That’s where the Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF, nebbiz.org) comes in. We are an ally dedicated to supporting you and your vision of success. As a statewide microenterprise intermediary and Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), NEF provides business development services and financing to micro and small businesses across Nebraska.
Vision—NEF envisions a vibrant small business eco-system where every small and micro business has the opportunity to start, grow, and prosper.
Mission—NEF supports underserved communities by providing micro and small businesses with access to training, technical assistance, and capital.
Who We Serve—NEF serves a target market of traditionally disadvantaged small businesses, including those owned by people of color, low-income people, women, and veterans.
Among our services, we partner with professionals in the community to offer assistance for tax preparation/literacy documents to help businesses enter the formal economy by paying taxes. In addition, we have loan products to fill the gaps where businesses may not have access to capital. To learn how you or your business can become a part of this mission, visit nebbiz.org or call (402) 260-8355.