Lincoln’s Young Professionals Group hosted their fourth annual lunch and awards program today.  Stacy Brass, 2011 YPG Chair, provided an overview of the success and current initiatives of the group that has now grown to over 800 members.

Members of the Young Professionals Group supported the 2010 Special Olympics National Games with over 300 – eight hour volunteer shifts. Philanthropic efforts of the group have matched 45 young professionals with nonprofit boards across Lincoln through a board-matching.  Lincoln’s YPG was the first group to come out and officially endorse the Lincoln Haymarket Arena project and has worked independently and alongside the campaign and other business groups to educate and encourage others to vote YES.

“It’s been an incredible journey to see our organization grow and evolve.  You have all been part of our collective success,” said Stacy Brass, 2011 YPG Chair. Brass reminded the audience to always: be inspired, be influential, be connected and most importantly, be a leader.

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler were on hand with Chamber president, Wendy Birdsall to present the following awards:

The Statement Award:

Connecting Young Nebraskans
This award honors a young leader or group within the state of Nebraska that is making a difference for the betterment of the state through leadership, professional involvement, community service, vitality and ensuring that Nebraska is a better place to live for future generations.

The Corporate Ovation Award:

Cline, Williams, Wright, Johnson & Oldfather, LLP
This award recognizes an organization that excels in its efforts to attract, retain, and develop young professionals.

2010 Four Under Forty:

Olivia Heidinger, Eakes Office
Sam Eckhardt, Union Bank and Trust Associates
Jessica Kennedy, National Research Corporation
Rebecca Morrow, Waddell & Reed
This award recognizes four individuals for their leadership, professional involvement, and selfless service to the community to foster its growth, vitality and ensuring that it’s a better place to live for future generations.

The Young Professional of the Year:

Tom Beckius, Apples Way Development
This award is the top honor and is selected based on community involvement, business accomplishments, involvement in YPG, awards, and special recognitions.

Chamber Monitoring Arena Project Progress

Hopefully, spring will overcome winter and Lincoln will really green up. As spring is a sign for growth, it is also a time when construction projects begin to show signs of true progress.

Since our members were so instrumental in passing the Lincoln Haymarket Arena project, the Chamber believes our members should continue to be involved in the process. The Chamber has also installed a webcam on top of the Lincoln Train Station to watch the progress of the arena.

Bob Caldwell of Hampton Enterprises gave an informative update on the Arena project at our Transportation and Public Works Forum last week. If you were unable to attend, please

May’s Face the Chamber will be an Arena Update covering progress, design and marketing of the project.

The Chamber’s mission is to improve the lives of Lincoln residents by providing increased economic opportunity and can only be accomplished together.  Networking opportunities, business advocacy, and creating economic viability are critical to our success.  We encourage you to become a member and help us achieve these goals for Lincoln.  For more information, please contact either Paul at 402-436-2350 or visit us online at