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.
(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 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 email@example.com. Please visit the website at www.abcnebraska.org to learn more.
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 www.nebankers.org.
The Home Builders Association of Lincoln (HBAL) 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 the 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, go to www.hbal.org for a membership application and to see the many services of this 69-year old association.
The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) offers numerous opportunities to network with other Lincoln business leaders. LIBA’s monthly Biz-Net events are free to attend with complimentary snacks and beverages. This provides a great place to meet other local business people and City Council members. Many of the people who attend Biz-Net are eager businessmen and women who are ready to learn more 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 as well. While the Biz-Net is an after-hours event, LIBA also has a morning “Coffee & Contacts” every month that is sponsored by Custom Blinds & Design. Also free to attend, this event has breakfast snacks and coffee. With this event being early in the morning it is a wonderful way to start off your day by networking and exchanging business cards. Lastly, the monthly LIBA luncheon is where you have the chance to have lunch with hundreds of business and community leaders every month. While this event isn’t free it is only $14 which includes admission, the chance to listen to our monthly speaker, and a delicious lunch.
Call (402) 466-3419 and ask about joining LIBA. A membership staff would be happy to visit your office and answer all of your questions. You can also visit www.liba.org for more information.
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, Nebraska, 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, and Anticipate Change.
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,
Women in Sales & Business (WISB) 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, WISB has a seat at the table for you. Each month, they 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 Venue Restaurant & Lounge (4111 Pioneer Woods Dr.) in their NE/Lancaster Room with lunch and networking from 11:30 to 11:55 a.m. followed by a meeting and speaker. Each meeting is completed by 1 p.m. WISB welcome you to join this group of passionate and supportive women.
BNI members enjoy unparalleled business growth. As the world’s largest referral network, with over 9500 chapters worldwide, BNI passed over 12 million referrals last year, resulting in more than $16 billion in business, and we are on pace to exceed that total in 2020. More importantly, our 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. Their 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.
Lincoln Human Resource Management Association (LHRMA) strives to be a first-class 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 a large network of human resources professionals ranging from senior level executives to those just entering the profession and welcomes new members monthly.
Benefits to membership include: • Monthly meetings with learning events and professional speakers • Professional networking events • Career development • Collaboration of HR information • Monthly newsletter resources • Membership directory • Professional certification study groups • Legislative updates • Scholarship programs • Community and diversity program…just to name a few.
For more information or to register for a meeting, visit www.lincolnhr.org.
To be a Lincoln Chamber of Commerce member is to be a partner. The Chamber honors that partnership by creating opportunities for growth and development, providing commitment from their team and ensuring every business thrives. They aim for the best environment for your business and the rest of their 1,700 members. They understand each member has unique ideas and ambitions in mind, and they’re here to provide the best opportunities for you to get the most out of your membership.
To find our more about how to get your business engaged, contact Derek Feyerherm at (402) 434-5344 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, visit the website at www.LCOC.com.
The Lincoln Young Professionals Group is dedicated to empowering young professionals with educational, leadership, and networking opportunities. Serving 2,000+ members, the Lincoln YPG is the largest in the state.
Lincoln keeps its young professionals here by fostering a collaborative community enriched with a bolstering economy, connectivity, and endless opportunities. The 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 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 offers 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 www.aaneb.org.
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 www.toastmasters.org and follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.
Lincoln, Omaha, 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 d24tm.org or www.meetup.com/District-24-Toastmasters-Meetup. You can also find them on Facebook (@D24TM). “Come visit us, because we believe that Toastmasters helps you build the confidence and skills to be a better you!”
At Professional Networking Group (PNG), they are all about relationships. It’s the bread and butter to making a business successful. Through PNG’s five Lincoln locations, bi-weekly meetings, quarterly socials, and donations back to the community of Lincoln, they’re constantly working to network and build relationships with the best and the brightest around town.
Join this networking community and watch how you can impact the bottom line on your business like never before. If the thought of creating a new network makes you a little nervous, take a look at why you should take the plunge.
- Each group averages over one referral per person per meeting. That equates out to over 1,600 referrals per year.
- Every year each group refers over SIX FIGURES worth of business.
- Automatically add 18–25 sales people to your team.
- PNG donates both time and goods back to the Lincoln community each year including over $1,600 to the Food Bank this past holiday season.
- The membership cost of $250 is less than half of competitors’ costs.
- The group culture actually allows you to laugh and have fun as you are doing business, all without the use of a stopwatch.
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 Editor@StrictlyBusinessOmaha.com today!