On March 7, 2013, the Lincoln Independent Business Association announced its award winners at the 21st Annual Free Enterprise Celebration in front of a crowd of 530 business and community leaders.
LIBA’s most prestigious award, Business Owner of the Year, went to Paul Zoz of Bizco Technologies. Paul founded Bizco Technologies nineteen years ago and has since grown it into an international operation. The core of the Bizco philosophy has been to help other local businesses grow by implementing the right technology solutions. Bizco and its exceptional team of thirty employees have achieved key milestones this year including founding GovDirect, a branch focused on selling IT and AV solutions to public customers and acquiring Business Media Inc., allowing Bizco to expand its offerings to include visual solutions. Throughout this change Paul and Bizco have maintained a reputation for exceptional client service. Paul’s handwork and determination as well as his local support in the community have made him a top local business owner and LIBA member.
Other award winners included:
The 2013 Enterprising Gambler award was bestowed upon two companies as co-winners. The Marcus Corporation and Mutual of Omaha Bank earned this award for bold steps taken to expand local business.
Already a force in the hotel industry, in 2012 the Marcus Company purchased the Cornhusker hotel. Marcus is planning a multimillion-dollar renovation of the hotel lobby, all guest rooms and suites, meeting space, restaurants and bars. They also intend to introduce Marcus’s second Miller Time Pub & Grill.
Mutual of Omaha Bank has been a proud member of the Lincoln business community since its acquisition of Security Federal Bank in 2007 and in just over five years Mutual of Omaha has doubled its Lincoln employee base to 70 employees and centralized its national mortgage underwriting and service center in Lincoln. In 2012 Mutual of Omaha Bank made a bold move and a significant investment in downtown Lincoln with the opening of a brand new downtown location on the first level of the Larson Building. Both companies are proud members of the Lincoln community and are active in many community organizations including LIBA.
This year’s Community Impact Award winner is Ken Siemek, 10/11’s Chief Meteorologist. Instead of resting on his laurels as a local celebrity Ken has chosen to serve his community through countless hours of volunteer work, mentoring and coaching. Ken has dedicated his time to community organizations including the People’s City Mission, Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Lincoln Public Schools, the Salvation Army, Teammates, Goodwill, City Impact… and the list truly goes on and on. We at LIBA and the City of Lincoln truly owe a debt of gratitude to Ken for his service in our community.
The LIBA Free Enterprise Award goes to The Platte Institute for Economic Research. The Platte Institute is a research and educational organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Nebraska. Scholars at the Platte Institute study public policy problems and propose solutions. The Platte Institute is founded on the belief that freedom and a high quality of life is achieved by promoting free-enterprise, limited government and personal responsibility and proposing policy alternatives which respect the rights of individuals and encourage hard work and perseverance.
The LIBA Young Professional Award goes to John S. Berry of the Berry Law Firm. John is the managing partner of Berry Law Firm, a major in the Nebraska National Guard and currently serves as the Officer Candidate School Company Commander. In 2012 the Berry Law Firm opened a second office in Omaha and has represented veterans seeking benefits from the VA in all 50 states. Berry was recently named to the National trial Lawyers top 40 under 40 and is the Vice-president of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association.
The LIBA Champion Award winner for 2013 is John Baylor owner of Baylor Test Prep. John has been a LIBA member since 2002 and has served as the LIBA Budget Monitoring Committee Chair since 2005. As chair, John facilitates lively and productive meetings where school, city and county officials come to test new ideas, provide information and hear candid LIBA member opinions. In the Lincoln community John has served on the Lincoln Library Board, as a Star Tran Advisory Board Member, and helped officials choose an optimal location and design for the new jail which saved the local government nearly $31 million in construction costs.