In late 1979, a few Lincoln business leaders met at Alice’s restaurant to begin an organization that would focus on citywide business-related issues. Their philosophy was based on the idea that the prosperity of small businesses was essential to the free enterprise system. They passionately believed that the way to achieve prosperity and preserve it was to actively use the rules and rights of our democratic system to promote business interests. The outgrowth of their efforts was forming the Lincoln Independent Business Association, an association now consisting of 950 member businesses, with a history that provides inspiration for all new enterprises in Lincoln. LIBA continues to focus on advocacy throughout the community, with a special focus on the needs of small businesses. Their early motto to generate membership was, “Why Join LIBA? Because It’s YOUR Business.”
These visionary leaders forged a path for an organization willing to stand up for business and taxpayers. A group of courageous business owners were willing to stand tall and fight for the betterment of Lincoln.
In the early stages of LIBA, the Lincoln Journal Star stated, “…despite the lack of pressure, local elected officials did a fair job this year of holding the line on spending. Some credit for that is due the Lincoln Independent Business Association. The organization paid attention. Its members studied the budgets. They showed up at meetings. They offered comment and suggestions. They performed a valuable public service, especially considering the absence of participation from other citizen organizations and individuals.”
Thanks to a group of community leaders standing up to create an organization focused on small and large businesses alike, LIBA holds true to those founding principles, and continues to be the voice of the business community in Lincoln.
We believe in creating a thriving community by empowering business leaders and working with elected officials.
To provide leadership and educational opportunities to the business community. To educate the public concerning the vital role of business in creation of meaningful jobs, and in meeting the payrolls that allow our citizens to enjoy quality of life.
To communicate the concerns of the business community to elected and appointed officials at all levels of local government; and to support political candidates who understand and promote the free enterprise system.
President & CEO
Bud Synhorst, a LIBA member for the past several years, was honored to be selected as LIBA’s next president and CEO in 2019. Bud’s twenty-plus year background in association and nonprofit management and contacts within the Lincoln community will assist LIBA to provide leadership and education to members and business community. Bud looks forward to working with LIBA members and the business community to build relationships and develop plans on making Lincoln a great place to do business and raise a family.
Bud is a graduate of Pius X High School in Lincoln. He holds an undergraduate degree in Business Education from University of
Nebraska-Kearney and a master’s degree in Education Administration from University of Nebraska Lincoln.
Policy & Research Coordinator
Katie brings to LIBA a passion for policy and has spent the last two sessions as Committee Clerk for the Natural Resources Committee at the Legislature. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska in Psychology and Sociology in 2020.
Katie grew up showing swine and cattle. Her junior year of high school, she helped start her school's chapter for the Future Business Leaders of America. Her parents instilled a passion for giving back to the community from an early age. She was an active volunteer for her hometown church, and in college, she was the Vice President of Community Service for her Sorority. She also volunteered all four years as an Outreach Troop Leader for the Girl Scouts, two of those years were dedicated to refugee and immigrant girls here in Lincoln. She is currently a volunteer with CASA of Gage County, where she was appointed by a judge to help advocate for the well-being of abused and neglected children.
Meet The Staff
Office Number: (402) 466-3419
Membership Engagement & Recruitment Specialist
Shannon is a longtime resident of Lincoln, a business owner, and LIBA member. Shannon joined the LIBA staff after seven years of communication consulting and lobbying at the Nebraska Legislature. Previously, she served as the Director of Communication for the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and Nebraska Cattlemen. Kingery has a B.S. in Organizational Communication from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She and her husband Malachi have three children and live in Lincoln.
Call her with any member benefit questions, to help host or sponsor an event, or to be added to the Membership Committee mailing list.
Triumph Home Health Supplies
Board Vice Chair
Wurdeman Appraisal Services
Home Real Estate
Midwest Choice Financial
Rembolt Ludtke LLP
Wheelie Good Bike Shop
Denny Van Horn
Van Horn Custom Homes
John Hoppe Jr.
A Collaborative Approach
At the core of LIBA is our committees. Many decisions are made at the committee level that impact public policy priorities, event planning, issue awareness, and community service. This offers direct input from the LIBA members that is unique to our organization.
Each committee meets on a structured, monthly basis and elects a chair who is in charge of committee activities.
Are you a LIBA member interested in learning more about a committee? Reach out to a committee chair below.
Our Committee Chairs
We partner with affiliate organizations to maximize our impact on the community. Focused on public policy and giving back, LIBA touches many parts of our community.
The LIBA PAC works to elect business-minded candidates to local office. Without regard to party affiliation, the LIBA PAC supports candidates who actively supports the free enterprise system.
LIBA PAC Trustees Chair:
The LIBA Foundation was established in 1996 to provide a means by which funds could be collected to support LIBA and the Lincoln business community, while providing tax advantages to donors. The LIBA Foundation works to promote its mission through a number of projects.