The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce held its 17th Annual Celebrate Business Awards Luncheon Wednesday, September 5, 2012, at the Cornhusker Hotel. The event was held to honor eight Lincoln businesses and individuals for their success and service to the community. Over 700 people attended the event which highlighted the accomplishments of the 2012 award winners.

For more than a century, the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce has proudly been Lincoln’s principal business advocate and catalyst in promoting the retention and expansion of business. Chamber members are as diverse as the city itself. The Lincoln Chamber is shaping Lincoln’s dynamic business environment and making Lincoln a great place to live and work.

Burnham Yates Citizenship Award -Nick Cusick Owner IMSCORP

The community as a whole has greatly benefitted from Nick Cusick’s continual civic efforts. His leadership on the Pinnacle Bank Arena project has moved Lincoln forward. Nick personifies community leadership. Nick founded Industrial Machine Specialties in 1974 with former high school friend Elmer Wessel. IMSCORP and its various subsidiaries and affiliated companies have served a diverse client base for almost 40 years. Due to the creativity of its staff and the entrepreneurial spirit of its owners, the company has grown to over 175 employees. Nick served as the Chair for the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce in 2011 and gives his time as the Board Chair for the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools as well as the Boards for BryanLGH, the Lincoln Airport Authority, Junior Achievement of Lincoln, United Way and Community Health Charities of Nebraska.

The Roger T. Larson Community Builder Award –Dr. Jayne Snyder

Dr. Jayne Leigh Snyder was a lifetime Lincoln resident, business owner, community advocate, and city council woman. Jayne lost an arduous battle with pancreatic cancer in 2011, but she always amazed family and friends with her tenacity and engagement in life. Her first love was the city of Lincoln. Jayne graduated from the University of Nebraska with a physical education degree and taught at a local junior high. She opened Snyder Physical Therapy in 1986 where she practiced until last year. Jayne was an impassioned physical therapist and gave tirelessly to her patients. Dr. Snyder served her professional associations at both the state and national levels and was awarded Fellowship in the American Physical Therapy Association. She won a seat on the city council and worked in that capacity for two years. Her final project for the city was the West Haymarket Arena. She leaves behind a glimmering example of how to fully engage in life and citizenship.

The Cornerstone Award –Duncan Aviation

Duncan Aviation is known worldwide for its business aircraft services and support. It has a long and rich history in Lincoln. Founded in Omaha in 1956 by Donald Duncan, Duncan Aviation moved to Lincoln in 1963 and has since grown to include more than 25 locations across the United States. Duncan Aviation’s services include airframe and engine maintenance, paint and interior completions, avionics installations and parts for the most popular business aircraft in use today. Countless awards have been bestowed upon Duncan Aviation. Greatness in any organization is defined by its people. Duncan Aviation has more than 2,000 team members located around the world. Over half call Lincoln home. Duncan Aviation is known as a company with heart. Employees volunteer their time for a variety of philanthropic causes and participate in activities that support the community.

Manufacturer of the Year –Molex Incorporated

Providing more than connectors, Molex Incorporated delivers complete interconnect solutions for a number of markets, including data communications, telecommunications, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, medical, military, lighting, and solar. Established in 1938, the company operates 40 manufacturing locations in 16 countries. Molex celebrated its 35th anniversary in Lincoln this year. The company began in a 30,000 square foot facility in northwest Lincoln with 30 employees. Molex now operates in 750,000 square feet and employs over 1,100 area residents.

Green Business of the Year –Assurity Life Insurance Company

Assurity Life Insurance Company has a 122-year heritage in the Lincoln community. With a mission of “helping people through difficult times,” Assurity serves customers across the nation, offering disability income, critical illness and life insurance, annuities and ancillary health insurance to individuals and businesses. In keeping with its strong commitment to leadership in corporate sustainability, Assurity’s new home office was designed to receive a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Small Business of the Year –Guardian Angels Homecare Incorporated

Guardian Angels Homecare’s business model is based on the inherent dignity of each person. The company applies this to its clients and staff. Keeping elders in their home contributes to the fabric of the community. Aging in place allows them to continue to interact with neighbors and friends, maintain home ownership and demonstrate that they still have value to contribute to those around them. Guardian Angels Homecare caregivers share this vision and live it out as they form both professional and personal bonds with clients. Owner & CEO Tony Fulton says it best, “We are literally serving the generation which first served us.”

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award –Eric Dinger & Thought District

Eric Dinger is founder and CEO of Thought District – a company best described as “a creative engine.” He’s assembled a team of experienced professionals from a cross-section of industries – advertising agencies, manufacturers, franchise organizations – and mixed them with a gaggle of young, aggressive creative technologists to build brand ideas and develop strategic plans that grow businesses and drive sales. Eric sets the tone and culture at Thought District, pushing his vision of “what’s next?” throughout the organization. An enthusiastic supporter of Lincoln, Eric has been an integral part of the development of the new Lincoln brand, and works to support it through his company and his actions every day.
Tourism Development –USA Roller Sports
USA Roller Sports (USARS) is recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for all Roller Sports in the U.S. USARS registers members, sanctions competitions, certifies coaches and officials, and conducts national championships. USARS also holds qualifying events for world championships, the World Games, as well as the Pan American Games. Individual sports within the organization include figure skating, speed skating, hockey, and roller derby. Since 1962, Lincoln has hosted 26 national USARS roller skating championships. These events have created millions in economic impact for the community. Over the nearly half century since the first championships were held in Lincoln, the sport has seen many changes. But through these many years, Lincoln has remained the capital of roller skating with the national governing body and the National Museum of Roller Skating located in the city.

For more information, please call Kate Ellingson at (402) 525-0178 or visit