The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and its member organizations are excited to recognize seven award winners from the 2023 Celebrate Business Awards held at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.
Special recognition was also given to Derek Feyerherm from the Lincoln Chamber and Visit Lincoln and Bob McNally from the Lincoln Airport Authority for their contributions to the record-breaking 2023 Guardians of Freedom Airshow (the largest in the Midwest) and for their work on previous airshows in Lincoln. Feyerherm and McNally received the Commander’s Award for Public Service from the Department of the Air Force as presented by Col. John D. Williams, Commander of the 155th Air Refueling Wing.
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Wax Buffalo is a beloved woman-owned home goods brand, nestled in the heart of the Midwest. Its mission is simple yet profound: to create beautifully imperfect, small batch, handmade products for the modern home. The company uses 100% domestically sourced soy wax, featuring small batch production and hand poured in Lincoln. Wax Buffalo is dedicated to creating products that are not only clean but also safe and sustainable, which means vegan, cruelty-free, phthalate-free and petroleum-free.
The Small Business of the Year Award is intended to honor a business that best exemplifies the spirit of free enterprise in Lincoln.
TOM LORENZ TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AWARD
JOEL GREEN – ROBBER’S CAVE
As an avid Husker fan, husband and father of two daughters, Joel Green has helped bring the legend of Robber’s Cave back into not only Lincoln’s mind, but to those outside of the community. A landmark cave full of history, intrigue and plenty of entertaining stories, Robber’s Cave is open to tours year-round and has become a go-to spot for locals and visitors to Lincoln alike.
The Tourism Development Award recognizes the business that has exemplified creativity in the development of the tourism industry.
MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR:
Since 1952, Speedway Motors has been a family-owned company that delivers quality automotive parts, shipping them fast, all over the world. Pure and simple — Speedway Motors loves cars. It is more than a speed shop or parts supplier, as its team shares its passion with its customers and fellow enthusiasts, racers and gearheads. Its employees help customers get the job done, no matter how big or small, helping car lovers make the most of their time under the hood and behind the wheel.
The Manufacturer of the Year Award serves to bring attention to Lincoln’s manufacturing community and the contributions made to Lincoln both economically and socially.
MADONNA REHABILITATION HOSPITALS
Leading the nation in providing medical and physical rehabilitation for adults and children, its hospitals in Lincoln and Omaha specialize in rehabilitating patients who have suffered a stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, complex medical issues and a variety of other conditions or traumatic events. Patients and families nationwide seek out Madonna for its ability to handle cases of varying complexity. Hospitality remains a core value, as it strives to make patients feel at home throughout their rehabilitation.
The Cornerstone Award is presented to the entity whose entrepreneurship and skillful endeavor have added to the economic base of our community and provided opportunity for others to live and work in Lincoln.
GREEN BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
LI-COR technology enables scientists around the world to improve lives by advancing discovery. Impacting lives since 1971, its culture of innovation firmly solidifies it as a leading innovator in systems for plant research, gas analysis, drug discovery, protein research and small animal imaging. LI-COR strives to provide innovative solutions for researchers.
The Green Business of the Year Award is designed to honor a business that has gone beyond local, state and federal environmental regulations to create an environmentally responsible business.
ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AWARD
86 BAR STAFFING
86 Bar Staffing aims to solve the workforce shortage the service industry has suffered post-pandemic. It provides local establishments industry-knowledgeable and reliable staff to cover bartending or serving shifts. It also staffs private events, tailgates, caterings, weddings and everything in between. Its staff is recruited and vetted, maintains all required local service permits and is committed to excellent customer service.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award recognizes a person or company that has exemplified creativity in the development of enterprise in Lincoln.
ROGER T. LARSON
COMMUNITY BUILDER AWARD
As Executive Director Emeritus of the Nebraska Innovation Campus Development Corporation, Dan Duncan helped the public/private research campus develop from inception to approximately 700,000 square feet of occupied space, bringing innovation and big ideas together. Beginning his tenure at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1987, he worked through various leadership roles in agricultural research until his appointment as founding executive director at NIC in October 2011. Currently, Duncan owns and manages Dan Duncan Consulting LLC, which focuses on helping communities of innovation understand their unique assets and how to leverage them.
The Roger T. Larson Community Builder Award is given each year to an exceptional candidate whose proven leadership and influence through public service has shaped the Lincoln community.