Josh Nichol-Caddy – River City Six
Meet Josh Nichol-Caddy, technology commercialization director a the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC; www.unomaha.edu/nebraska-business-development-center).
Tell us a little about your business.
The Nebraska Business Development Center provides technical assistance to small businesses across Nebraska. NBDC’s services are completely confidential and most services are available at no charge. Consultants help small businesses develop business plans and financial projections as well as identify and navigate opportunities for government contracting. I help individuals and companies commercialize innovative ideas. For these clients, NBDC provides market research as well as guidance identifying and navigating relevant funding opportunities, such as grants through the federal Small Business Innovation Research program.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Over the past 20 years, I have given tours at the zoo, edited surgical footage, taught college classes, sold insulation at county fairs, freelanced, arranged and struck furniture at an event center, and reported on health, business, and entertainment for a couple of metropolitan newspapers. I have worked a lot, and I have learned a lot because all of these experiences involved challenges. Some challenges are more significant than others but that doesn’t mean my 20-year-old self was wrong to think removing 50 round tables and 400 chairs from a banquet hall in a few hours was challenging. The common thread throughout these experiences has been to learn everything I can, recognize when there remains little more to gain, and apply those lessons to the next challenge.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Another common thread throughout my various work experiences has been process improvement. At each of the jobs above, I have examples of changes I implemented that increased quality or efficiency. I’m proud that when I have left roles or organizations, things operated more smoothly than they did when I started.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
When I was agonizing over a decision to stay in one job or move for another one, I kept returning to the short-term financial implications. My parents said something along the lines of “money results from a good decision, but the reverse is rarely true.” I had never known them to speak like that, so I assumed they were quoting someone wise. I have searched for the source, but apparently they came up with this advice themselves. There certainly are limitations to this statement, but it was the advice I needed at the time. I made my decision, and I think it turned out like they said, though I guess I’ll never know for sure.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
I draw pretty well. At work this means I tend to doodle, though I probably shouldn’t.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
I love Benson Plant Rescue. There is a real sense of community among its members, and I always get great advice about my yard from its volunteers.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
I recently visited Willa Cather’s hometown of Red Cloud, NE because Death Comes for the Archbishop is one of my favorite books. The trip inspired me to read other novels by Willa Cather, so O Pioneers! is probably the last good book I read.
What is your favorite movie?
Jurassic Park. Always and forever.
What is your favorite local restaurant?