As business professionals, we are on a constant quest to improve ourselves in order to be successful at what we do – to meet our goals, to grow our personal spheres of influence, to sharpen our skills, to develop our talents, to expand upon our expertise, to build a strong network within the business community, to contribute to our chosen career field, and to play a part in making our businesses more successful as a result of those efforts.
If you think that there’s no single way to accomplish all of those goals, the good news is you’re mistaken (not usually two things that go together, that’s for sure). By simply joining a professional organization, you now have the support of an industry-focused ally, which in turn, affords you access to specialized training, targeted networking opportunities and the chance to make valuable connections within your industry locally and nationwide, relevant continuing education events, and so much more. Essentially you’ll be at the pulse of what’s going on in your industry. Many of these organizations are also very involved in the communities in which they have an established presence, so you’ll also be contributing to the greater good of the place you live and work. You may then opt to dedicate as much time as you have available to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves, that’s all there is to it.
Above all, what you can expect from any organization is a relationship that’s symbiotic in nature. Even for those who don’t have free time to devote to participation in an organization’s offerings, many welcome members who are only interested in contributing monetarily as a gesture of their ongoing support. Altogether it’s a way we can actively back organizations that align with our values or that are critical to the advancement of our respective industries, in order to ensure they are able to exist and carry on with the enrichment of our community.
It’s also well worth mentioning that besides the support, camaraderie, and visibility, belonging to business organizations can increase your business’s credibility in your respective marketplace. Many potential clients or customers view membership in relevant business groups as a sign that you’re representing an established business that’s accepted by your industry peers and places importance on continuous learning and community involvement.
Now that we’ve convinced you that joining organizations is a great way to grow both professionally and personally, while also making you more of an asset to your employer and an ally who is interested in the success of the business you represent, the next step is to find those that would be a good fit. The Strictly Business team has compiled a list of suggestions that while not exhaustive, are widely considered to be the very best in the area. We encourage you to take a look through these wonderful local organizations that would love to have you as a member!
The Junior League of Lincoln (www.jll.org) is a women’s leadership and volunteer organization that has served the Lincoln community for 95 years. Our membership of 125 current and 200 sustaining members volunteer and provide financial support to a range of projects like providing clothing to kids in need and teaching classes to help youth become independent. Each member attends regular meetings, volunteers, and participates in both social and educational activities. We accept new members every summer.
BNI Heartland (Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Western Iowa; www.bniheartland.com) offers members the opportunity to build a firm networking foundation, to nurture referral partner(s). Last year alone BNI, with over 211,000 members, in more than 7,500 chapters throughout every populated continent of the world – 73 countries, generated more than 8.8 million referrals which resulted in over $11.17 billion dollars of tracked business for our members. Cumulatively, since 1985, BNI has generated over $70 Billion dollars in tracked business for our membership!
Belonging to BNI is like having dozens of sales people working for you that carry your information with them, and when they meet someone who could use your products or services, they recommend you.
BNI provides a structured, supportive system of giving and receiving business. It does so by providing an environment during breakfast, lunch and happy hour meetings in which you develop personal relationships with other qualified business professionals. By establishing this “formal” relationship with other people, you will have the opportunity to substantially increase your business.
The Home Builders Association of Lincoln (HBAL; www.hbal.org) is a visible, effective and respected trade association which promotes home building through professional education, member communication and civic participation, and which represents builders and associated professionals in community, governmental and industry forums.
With more than 700 members, HBAL proudly promotes the Nebraska Builders Home & Garden Show, Spring & Fall Parade of Homes and Tour of Remodeled Homes. These events not only benefit our members, but also the public. Whether it is to earn an industry designation or to be better prepared for an OSHA or EPA inspection, HBAL offers education and training to its members.
To learn more about joining the Home Builders Association of Lincoln (HBAL), go to www.hbal.org for a membership application and to see the many services of this 66-year-old builders association.
Launched in 2010, East Lincoln Business Association (ELBA; elbalincoln.com) is a collective group of business professionals dedicated to enhancing the business climate of East Lincoln. We discuss the current impacts on our business and how, using the collective experience and voice of the group, we can affect those opportunities. Local businesses make an impact in the lives of all of Lincoln’s citizens, and we give you an opportunity to help determine what that impact will be. ELBA hosts a quarterly ELBA U! learning seminar focused on providing valuable resources and education for the membership. ELBA U! is open to the public as well.
Each luncheon includes presentation from a representative from various organizations and elected individuals who impact our businesses and provide information on upcoming issues in our growing community. Lunch meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at Firethorn Resort from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please join us any month for lunch!
International Association of Business Communicators (IABC; lincoln.iabc.com) is a vibrant global network of over 12,000 communication professionals in more than 80 countries who are committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Lincoln’s local IABC chapter is comprised of members who work as consultants, independent business owners, and corporate staff in diverse fields such as marketing, corporate communications, government relations, and human resource communications. The chapter’s career-enhancing monthly meetings, workshops, and networking opportunities are designed to improve each attendee’s professional abilities and keep them abreast of the latest industry trends and best practices. In addition, IABC Lincoln’s leadership opportunities allow members to develop deeper relationships with peers, stay in the game while in transition, and gain experience outside of their career specialty.
For more information, or to learn more about the chapter’s upcoming professional development events, please contact Allisa Lovitt, IABC Lincoln VP of Membership at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit lincoln.iabc.com.
The Midwest International Trade Association (MITA; www.mitaonline.org) is an organization that was established to encourage the expansion of trade between the Midwest and foreign markets by sponsoring: meetings and networking events, international trade conferences, and educational seminars. These events are designed to offer ideas and present current information to help businesses succeed in importing and exporting.
Both newcomers as well as seasoned veterans of international trade benefit from the diverse membership and combined experience of MITA members that helps you address your international trade concerns and create new ideas for business development.
MITA also hosts the annual World Trade Conference scheduled for Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Omaha. The 2017 Monthly Calendar of Events can be found on MITA’s website. Information on these events, as well as membership information or how to become a sponsor of the World Trade Conference, can be found at www.mitaonline.org, office at (402) 596-1210, email email@example.com.
LIBA (www.liba.org) offers numerous opportunities to network with other Lincoln business leaders. LIBA’s monthly Bizco Biz-Net events are free to attend with complimentary food and beverages. This provides a great place to meet other local business people and City Council members. The people who attend Biz-Net are eager to have a discussion about your business. Because it is a free event, you can invite customers or vendors to attend and give them a chance to grow their businesses too. While the Biz-Net is an after-hours event, we also have a morning “Capriotti’s Coffee & Contacts” every month. Also free to attend, this event is tailor-made for exchanging business cards.
Yes there is more, including the monthly LIBA luncheon where you have the chance to have lunch with hundreds of business and community leaders every month. We would like to add your voice to our organization.
Call (402) 466-3419 and talk with Val Bartunek or Laurie Fraser about joining LIBA. They would be happy to visit your office and answer all your questions. You can also visit www.liba.org for more information.
To be a Lincoln Chamber of Commerce (www.LCOC.com) member is to be our partner. We honor that partnership by creating opportunities for growth and development, providing commitment from our team and ensuring every business thrives. We aim for the best environment for your business and our 1,700 members. We understand each member has unique ideas and ambitions in mind, and we’re here to provide the best opportunities for you to get the most out of your membership.
For more information on how to get your business engaged call Jaime Henning, Membership Director at (402) 436-2366 or e-mail at jaimehenning@LCOC.com. For more information please visit the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce website at www.LCOC.com.
Lincoln Human Resource Management Association (LHRMA; www.lincolnhr.org) is the go-to resource on people management for the community. LHRMA connects professionals to solve every day workforce problems, provides quality education, collaborates with community leaders, and leads change for our industry. The organization is comprised of 400 Human Resources professionals from the greater Lincoln area and welcomes new members.
Benefits of membership include: • Monthly meetings with learning events and professional speakers • Professional networking • Career development • Sharing of HR information • Monthly newsletter access • Membership directory • Professional certification study groups • Committee work with peers • Legislative updates • Scholarship programs • Community and diversity programs
Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 14th, at Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, 333 S. 13th St. Luncheon 11:30 – 1:00 “Workplace Law Under President-Elect Donald Trump: What to Expect”. presented Sarah J. Millsap, Principal and Jessica Kallstrom-Schreckengost, Associate both of Omaha, NE office, Jackson, Lewis P.C.
Annual membership is $50. Become a member of LHRMA in March and mention this ad to receive FREE Monthly Luncheon valued at $15. For more information or to register for a meeting visit www.lincolnhr.org.
The Lancaster Prevention Coalition (LPC) is a grassroots organization with a vision for safe families, safe schools and safe communities. LPC works together to reduce substance abuse related risk factors as well as promotion of mental health among youth and young adults ages 12-20.
To achieve its mission, LPC has launched TalkAboutAlcohol.org, a comprehensive and engaging website aimed to help parents understand how parenting style can impact binge drinking and other risky behaviors in adolescents. The website offers a number of valuable resources to help families, schools and community to have more meaningful and healthy relationships with teens and is in cooperation with NE DHHS and Region 5 Systems Prevention.
Discover how your business can partner with the LPC to help reduce binge drinking among all Lancaster County youth and young adults. Contact Teri Vosicky at (402) 441-3807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nebraska Restaurant Association (www.nebraska-dining.org) acts as the principal advocate for Nebraska’s hospitality industry and promotes the qualities of strength, unity, and excellence in and of its membership. The association is dedicated to serving Nebraska’s restaurant and retail beverage industries by providing comprehensive industry education, proactive representation, aggressive industry promotion and the highest quality member benefits.
Membership is a small investment with big rewards in the health of your business and the entire food service industry. It’s a big world out there and we will do all we can to make it a bit smaller! For membership information and the Nebraska Restaurant Association contact Brandy Nielson at email@example.com or (402) 488-3999.
The Cornhusker Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (www.abcnebraska.org) continually strives to be the leading voice promoting free enterprise within the construction industry in Nebraska. The organization’s main goal is to provide member companies and their employees with an opportunity to succeed winning work and delivering that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work.
Whether a large or small company, joining ABC provides value. ABC offers training, continuing education courses and opportunities for networking and showcasing project successes. Our mission affords us the opportunity to share the industry through student event to help build workforce for Nebraska.
The roles of training and development professionals today are much broader and deeper than ever before, and they have become a critical business partner in organizations across all industries. The Association for Talent Development (ATD – the Lincoln chapter is ATD Lincoln; www.atdlincoln.org) – formerly known as the American Society for Training and Development or ASTD – is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. ATD Lincoln chapter members make valuable local connections, gain knowledge at learning events and workshops, and enjoy access to nationally recognized certificate programs. Members have full access to a website packed with resources, job postings, and more. In addition, through ATD Lincoln you can connect with ATD’s 125+ U.S. chapters as well as professionals from over 120 countries via an ATD national membership.
For more information about the Lincoln chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), to become a member, to learn about and attend learning events and workshops where you can network with others for knowledge, skills and attitudes about talent development, or to find resources including the job bank, visit us at www.atdlincoln.org.
The Lincoln Young Professionals Group (www.lincolnypg.com) is dedicated to empowering young professionals with educational, leadership and networking opportunities. Serving 1,400+ members, the Lincoln YPG is one of the largest in the country. Lincoln keeps its young professionals here by fostering a collaborative community enriched with a bolstering economy, connectivity and endless opportunities. Lincoln Young Professionals group believes members can make the difference they want to see, develop a career that is pleasing to them and grow into the professional that they want to be.
The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC; www.nawicomaha.com) is an organization of women that are employed in the construction industry. Our core purpose is to enhance the success of women in the construction industry. Our goal is to be the association that empowers women to influence the direction of the construction industry.
\We provide educational opportunities at the local, regional, and national levels. We have multiple leadership opportunities and work within the community to promote the construction trades. We offer many personal and professional networking opportunities. We have been chosen to work with the City Planning Department to assist in the rollout of a new inspection system.
The Greater Omaha Chapter meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at varied locations in the Omaha, Nebraska area. We welcome visitors to join us. Find current information about our upcoming meeting locations, topics, and times on our website at www.nawicomaha.com.
The Apartment Association of Nebraska (www.aaneb.org) is the local affiliate of the National Apartment Association (NAA). The NAA currently has over 170 affiliate, and boasts over 8.7 million apartment homes globally.
Founded in 2002, Apartment Association of Nebraska (AAN) was created by a group of property manager and owners with a vision to help create and maintain a high level of professionalism in the multi-family rental housing industry in the greater Nebraska area. On October 5, 2002 the AAGOL received it’s charter from the National Apartment Association (NAA). In 2014, the name was changed to the Apartment Association of Nebraska to better represent our membership. Our members include multifamily owners and management companies, apartment communities, and the supplier members who service this industry.
The Mission of the Apartment Association of Nebraska is to support, inform, and connect the multi-family community through education, legislation, and professional networking.
For more information about the Apartment Association of Nebraska and our upcoming events, be sure to visit www.aaneb.org.
We have much to celebrate, and we’d love to have you join us. Leadership Lincoln’s (www.leadershiplincoln.org) 3,000 alumni (well some of them anyway) will gather on Friday, April 7 for a noon celebration of the incredible civic involvement we enjoy here in Lincoln. We’ll send out a cheer to our current classes that are among the largest we’ve ever had. We’ll applaud the work graduates from our programs are doing. We’ll stand and cheer as we recognize the Servant Leader and the Melvin Jones Mentoring award winners. Then, we’ll walk away challenged by the thoughtful words shared by Ben Hecht, President and CEO of the Living Cities Organization. Register today at www.leadershiplincoln.org.
Lincoln’s event networking group, EventLNK (www.eventlnk.org), is dedicated to bringing together Lincoln’s event professionals by providing education and resources to enhance and support professional growth.
Membership is open to event/meeting planners, coordinators and managers, along with industry professionals in catering, design, entertainment, and hospitality.
Monthly meetings include site visits to various venues in the Lincoln area and presentations from vendors, suppliers, hospitality professionals and other related industry experts. Meetings also include topic-driven discussion time giving our members time to share ideas, experiences and resources.
In 2012, EventLNK was founded by five local event coordinators. The group was eager to find local educational opportunities for event professionals. After months of searching they discovered there was a need for such an organization. With the financial support of Union Bank & Trust, EventLNK held its first meeting in March 2013. EventLNK has grown from 30 members to 200+, simply by word-of-mouth. We continue to look for relevant venues, educational topics and networking opportunities to help our members grow professionally. For more information visit our website www.eventlnk.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women in Sales & Business (WISB; www.wisblincoln.org) has been empowering professional women to grow their businesses and the community since 1987. Networking is a powerful and cost-effective advertising tool. If you want to build relationships with friendly, determined, professional women, we’ve got a seat at the table for you. Each month we feature speakers who will help you grow your business and your professional network, as well as offer the opportunity to meet other businesswomen in the community. WISB meets the second Wednesday of the month at the Venue (4111 Pioneer Woods Drive) in their NE/Lancaster Room with lunch and networking from 11:30-11:55 a.m. followed by our meeting and speaker. We complete each meeting by 1 p.m. We welcome you to join our group of passionate and supportive women.