Joining Organizations

This year has been tough on local businesses and the people who run them. COVID-19 has kept many business professionals cooped up inside and socially distanced from both their customers and professional network, two quintessential ingredients for success. This forced separation has made it difficult for these people to invest in the strong local connections that keep their ideas fresh, their skills sharpened, and their businesses thriving. Fortunately, there is still a viable way to keep in touch with your community: many local professional organizations and associations have remained true to their mission to help local businesses reach their fullest potential during this time.

Whether it’s meeting over Zoom or in person, joining a professional organization is vital to keeping your business healthy. After joining one of these esteemed groups, you’ll be intimately connected with other professionals in your industry and beyond. You’ll have a platform to enrich your understanding of your chosen career and the community you serve, and to join others in learning new and innovative techniques, ideas, and practices. There’s also networking opportunities, advocacy events, scholarship programs, and career development workshops to take advantage of. Not only that, but joining one of these groups will grant you visibility in the business community and offer you a chance to grow your reputation among other professionals and consumers. Even if you’re choosing to socially distance, being a part of one of these organizations in any capacity will keep you accountable to your peers and on the path toward success.

Now the question is, how do you find the right organization for you? That will depend on your values and the goals you have for yourself and your career. Each organization has a set of values that they’re more inclined to support, and so doing your research so that you’re in a group around other like-minded professionals is essential. Take the time to consider which one you want to be most associated with based on how much personal and professional development opportunities are offered. This way, you can decide what organization you feel most confident dedicating a portion of your time and/or money to supporting.

Despite the disruptive way the pandemic is keeping us all apart, the following local organizations and associations work twice as hard to keep us all together and to keep the opportunities flowing. Take the time to look through these organizations to find out how they’re keeping the Lincoln business community thriving. If you find one that happens to grab your attention, don’t hesitate to reach out to them and ask how you can join or benefit from their programming and resources! You won’t regret it.

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!

(Click on a thumbnail below to jump to an organization or continue scrolling to read about each)







The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Cornhusker Chapter 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 success. The organization helps their members and their members’ employees with the opportunity to succeed, 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 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 Please visit the website at to learn more.

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If you are looking for a way to give back to your community and make it a better place to live, the Breakfast Optimists Club of Omaha is a good place to start. They are one of the oldest Optimists Clubs in the state. They participate in a host of causes/activities on a regular basis annually locally. This makes it easy to find something especially meaningful to you. When you put more into supporting others, you enrich your own life.

Some of their activities include: Project Elf, Hope Center, support the Summer Bash for Childhood Cancer, Oratorical and Essay contests, Academic Decathlon, Wheel Chair Camp, Family Golf Outing, Youth Scholarships, Salvation Army Bell Ringers, and many others.
Breakfast Optimists Club of Omaha invites you to their next meeting on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at Stories Coffee Co. at 11426 Davenport St., STE 1, Omaha, NE 68154.
If you have any questions, please call Bob Karcher at (402) 657-2417 or Michael McGee at (402) 201-3518. More information about Optimist Club can be found online at or follow the Facebook page (@OmahaBreakfastOptimistClub).

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The Empowerment Network works together with the residents and leaders to TRANSFORM the ECONOMIC condition and QUALITY OF LIFE of African Americans, North Omaha residents, and citizens in the Greater Omaha region. The goal is to close long-standing gaps in employment, entrepreneurship, education, housing and other quality of life factors to transform Omaha into a thriving and prosperous city, in every zip code and neighborhood.

The Empowerment Network (EN) is recognized as a backbone organization supporting the key functions of its collective impact partners. The EN 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 or call (402) 502-5153 to learn more.

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The Business Ethics Alliance provides solutions to companies of all sizes and for employees across all levels, from C-suite to entry-level, to conduct their businesses and professional lives with accountability, integrity, and moral courage.

Your actions and decisions impact your employees, your coworkers, your community, your customers, your vendors…and more. So much to balance, so much at stake. Ethics matter because reputation counts. What you do each day impacts you and your organization’s reputation for years to come. You have a lot to consider. Ethicspace Conference will lay it all on the table for you.

Join Business Ethics Alliance on October 13, 2020 for the virtual Ethicspace Conference. This year’s theme is Ethics Under Pressure: Moral Courage in the Face of Ethical Adversity. Ethicspace is inspirational and educational, it’s positive and practical. To learn more about the Ethicspace Conference, visit To learn more about the Business Ethics Alliance, go to

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The Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA) 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 issue 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

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“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.

“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: | | (402) 346-5000

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The National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC) is a resource for women in the construction industry for leadership opportunities, community outreach, networking, education and more! NAWIC Chapter #116 based in Omaha, encompasses Omaha, Lincoln, Council Bluffs and the surrounding areas. First chartered in 1966, the chapter has members working in businesses whose primary focus is the construction industry.

NAWIC Core Purpose: To strengthen and amplify the success of women in the construction industry. Core Values: Women-focused, Courageous Leadership, Commitment to Inclusion and Growth, Anticipate Change.
They welcome you to join them! The Greater Omaha Chapter meets on the second Thursday of each month at various locations in the Omaha area. Visitors are welcome to attend. Current information about upcoming meeting locations, topics, and times is available on our website at or email to request information.

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Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Englewood, CO, the organization’s membership exceeds 358,000 in more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit and follow on Twitter (@Toastmasters).

Omaha, Lincoln, and surrounding areas are served by Toastmasters District 24. District 24 is a grouping of 70 Toastmasters clubs and over 1,000 members from Kearney, NE to Council Bluffs, IA. Learn more about District 24 and upcoming meetings and events by visiting, or Come visit the group—they believe that Toastmasters can help you build the confidence and skills to be a better you.

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The Apartment Association of Nebraska (AAN) is the local affiliate of the National Apartment Association (NAA). The NAA currently has over 170 affiliates and boasts over 8.7 million apartment homes globally. Founded in 2002, the Apartment Association of Greater Omaha and Lincoln was created by a group of property managers and owners with a vision to help create and maintain a high level of professionalism in the multifamily rental housing industry in the greater Nebraska area. On October 5, 2002, the AAGOL received its charter from the NAA. In 2014, the name was changed to the Apartment Association of Nebraska to better represent their membership. Their members include multifamily owners and management companies, apartment communities, and the supplier members who service this industry.

In January of 2019, the AAN launched the Nebraska Maintenance Academy (NMA), a hands-on training academy for those wishing to secure a career in the multifamily industry as a maintenance technician. The first of its kind in Nebraska, NMA will offer vocational training to those most in need, including but not limited to non-college bound high school students, veterans, and any individual who desires a meaningful career change. The goal is to train 45 people per year at NO cost to the students and then to immediately place the students into careers.

The mission of the Apartment Association of Nebraska is to support, inform, and connect the multifamily community through education, legislation advocacy, and professional networking. For more information, be sure to visit

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The Millard Business Association (MBA) 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 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. Some of the 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, and Ribbon Cuttings. Join one of the many active referral groups.

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
For more information, contact the MBA Admin at (402) 707-2827 or email

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BNI members enjoy unparalleled business growth. As the world’s largest referral network, with over 9,500 chapters worldwide, BNI passed over 12 million referrals last year, resulting in more than $16 billion in business, and they are on pace to exceed that total in 2020. More importantly, their area members throughout NE, IA, SD, and WY closed over $40 million in tracked business—creating a return of 700 times their investment—most of that supporting other local businesses. BNI celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, and has proudly been helping Nebraska businesses grow for over 20 years.

Members increase their exposure to like-minded professionals, gain referrals from a local, national, and international network, and sharpen their networking skills with exclusive member resources. Belonging to BNI is like having sales people working for you everywhere.

BNI’s proven structured system of giving and receiving business cultivates deep relationships with other professionals. Members have the opportunity to substantially increase their business through BNI’s core values of Givers Gain, Building Relationships, Life-Long Learning, Traditions + Innovation, Positive Attitude, Accountability, and Recognition.

For more information about BNI Heartland, please contact the regional office at (402) 880-6311, email, or visit

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Don’t Miss Out! This is an excellent opportunity for your professional organization to gain exposure among our readers, as well as for our readers to familiarize themselves with the local resources available that could make an impact on their personal and professional growth.

If you are a local professional organization that is interested in participating in the next JOINING ORGANIZATIONS feature in Strictly Business, please call (402) 466-3330 or email today!