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Our History


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.


Our Mission

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.

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Bob Sawdon

President, CEO

Sales Associate

Travis takes over as LIBA's President, CEO with a background in business, politics, and community service. Alongside his wife, Shannon, Travis owns Transformation Marketing, a marketing and real estate business and two other small businesses within Lancaster County. His entrepreneurial spirit is a testament to his commitment to the local  business community. Travis also features experience in the political area, having served as the village chairman and mayor of Panama, NE. Travis's roles as a public servant and business owner, along with his personal ties to the community, illustrate his deep investment to Lincoln. He looks to grow the organization with a service-oriented approach by discovering the needs of local business owners and delivering them results.

Bob is experienced salesman with a background in strategic development. He has a demonstrated history of working in the for profit and non-profit sector. He is a professional, skilled business developer, specializing in sales, integrated marketing advertising, event planning, and fundraising.

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Anne Dorsheimer

Office Manager/Event Coordinator

Anne brings knowledge and experience with coordinating events at the Nebraska State Historical Society and 10 years in planning and policy from the Nebraska State Legislature. She has worked at two top-tier law firms in the State of Nebraska handling clients and billing information, as well as managing venues in Lincoln.  Anne graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a BA in French and has a professional background in planning, development, coordinating, and time management.

Carter Thiele
Brit Kurtzer

Policy & Research Coordinator

Billing Rep

Meet The Staff

Office Number: (402) 466-3419


Our Board

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Robert Panzer

Board Chair

Exchange Bank

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Dave Chapin

Board Vice Chair

Willmar Electric

Phil Young

Board Secretary


Lincoln Zehr

Board Treasurer


Bruce Bailey

Design Associates

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Debby Brehm

Brehm Enterprises

Robert Bryant

Cada, Cada, & Jewson

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Wanda Caffrey

InSource Financial Advisors

Exchange Bank

Carla Erickson

Beyond Vision LNK

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Wade Johnson
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Ron Geary

Geary Engineering, Inc.

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Scott Lockard
Connie Hilligoss

Sign Pro

Nancy Loftis
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Cory Hoagstrom

Midwest Choice Financial

Brayden McLaughlin

Hampton Enterprises

Nancy L. Loftis Law Office

Bridgewater Consulting

Richard Meginnis

NAI FMA Realty

David Pauley

Heartland Urgent Care

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Rembolt Ludtke LLP

Ann Post
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Ryan Theil

Kidwell, Inc.

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Denny Van Horn

Van Horn Custom Homes

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Whitehead Oil

Mark Whitehead
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John Wurdeman

Wurdeman Appraisal Services

Past Chairs

Larry Anderson
Bruce Bailey
Jim Ballard
Russ Bayer
Joe Bolubasz
Steve Bowen

Debby Brehm
Bob Bryant
Hank Buis
Wanda Caffrey
Doug Carey
Tim Cox

Fred Duven
Ron Ecklund
Darlene Fletcher
Joe Frey

Hub Hall
Joe Hampton
Randy Harre
Connie Hilligoss
Dean Hoag
John Hoppe Jr.
Steve Hughes
Mark Hunzeker
Connie Jensen
Pat Kahm
Peter Katt
Tom Klein
Bill Lien
Ron Lockard
Jack Lorenzen
Richard Meginnis
Marty Miller
David Pauley
Dan Roth
Bob Sikyta
Arlene Sorensen
Scott Stewart
Ken Svoboda
Todd Watson
Ken Wentz
Jeff White
Mark Whitehead
Lincoln Zehr
Business Meeting

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


Our Partners

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.

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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:


Wayne Boesiger

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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.

LIBA Foundation

Board President:


Bruce Bailey

Join LIBA Today!

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