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Green for Good Conference: Profitability through Sustainability

Green for Good Conference: Profitability through Sustainability
Being “GREEN” for Good Conference: Profitability through Sustainability
Thursday, May 21, 2009 9:30 AM- 12:30PM
UNL Kimmel Education and Research Center5985 G Road, Nebraska City, NE 68410

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Kimmel Education and Research Center will host the “Being GREEN For Good” Conference on Thursday, May 21, 2009. The conference is designed to help small business owners, community leaders, and entrepreneurs “grow profitability through sustainability” by learning more about how environmental and social responsibility impacts the bottom line.

Speakers:
9:30 AM: Sustainability through Profitability: The Triple Bottom Line By: Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D.

9:40 AM: Defining Green: What is it and how does it Impact Businesses? By: Robin DiPietro,Ph.D.

10:40 AM: Energy/Water Efficiency at Work By: Shirley Niemeyer, Ph.D.

11:40 AM – Panel and Round Table Discussion with Local Businesses and Leaders Implementing Green Practices

Panelists:
Karen Houser, General Manager, Lied Lodge & Conference Center

Shawnna Silvius, Marketing and Program Coordinator, River Country Economic Development Corporation in Otoe County

Jeanna Stavas, Inn Keeper and Owner, Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast in Nebraska City, NE

12:30 PM: “Free” light networking lunch featuring Nebraska products and video interviews. During lunch, participants will have the opportunity to record video interviews focused on gathering information regarding their “best practices” and future goals of implementing additional green practices into their businesses.

Space is limited, so register today!!!

RSVP by Monday, May 18, 2009- Email- dheidzig5@unl.edu or Phone 402.873.3166
For additional information log on to http://
http://www.kimmel.unl.edu/

April’s I2E Meeting: Totally ENERGIZING!

I feel completely ENERGIZED after last night’s I2E meeting!! Our guest speaker, Lora Damme, President and CEO of Tri-Valley Bank in Talmage, NE, brought another speaker. Her husband, Jay Longinaker who is the President of Tri-Valley Bank’s Randolph Banking Center! They gave a great interview before the meeting (the video will be available soon!) and a totally informative talk during the meeting. Their talk focused on “How to Talk to Your Banker.” Everyone learned a lot, and the group asked a ton of questions. In fact, we finally had to end the question and answer period so we could move on with the rest of the activities.

A BIG I2E Thank You to Lora and Jay! We really appreciate them taking the time to share their expertise and insights with us. What a wonderful opportunity for all of us!

I did forget to give them their speaker gifts. So, I will make sure they get a jar of Dano’s Sweet Salsa from Hickory Road BBQ (http://www.hickoryroadbbq.com/) in Auburn, NE and Two Bridges BBQ Sauce from the Avenue Grill (http://theavenuegrillrestaurant.com/) in Nebraska City, NE (two awesome Nebraska products)!

Remember to join us on Tuesday, May 12, 2009!

5:30 PM: Networking social sponsored by the UNL Kimmel Education and Research Center featuring Nebraska foods

6:00 PM: Program begins! Our guest speaker will be Mark Patterson, Vice President of Operations for Store Kraft Manufacturing in Beatrice, NE. Mark will talk about his personal entrepreneurship story as well as provide some insights on working in a global economy!

After Mark’s presentation, Bill Hawkins (aka “Farmer Bill”), a wild crafter and entrepreneur will present information about the effectiveness of using images and technology to market businesses. Each business has a unique story to tell, and Farmer Bill will present information on how he does this for his enterprise. Farmer Bill will also provide some inspiration and motivation for the evening.

Anyone interested in exploring the idea of developing a product, starting their own business or expanding on current business skills, is invited to attend.

The Club is a collaborative effort by a regional group in Southeast Nebraska and has been made possible by funding from a Building Entrepreneurial Communities Act (BECA) grant. There is a $10 per session fee or participants may choose to join the club and pay a small annual membership fee (only $45.00 for businesses with 2 or fewer employees…and, you get great food each time!)

We hope to see you at the Kimmel Education & Research Center, located at 5985 G Road in Nebraska City, NE (www.kimmel.unl.edu) for a truly inspiring evening!

If you are new to I2E…Contact me to RSVP!

Cheers,
Dr. Connie
e-mail: creimers2@unl.edu
Phone: 402-873-3166

I2E Tonight!

Deb (our office manager at Kimmel) and I are getting ready for another great Inventors, Investors & Entrepreneurs (I2E) meeting.

The meeting will begin with a networking social at 5:30 PM. It is being sponsored by Auburn Development Council and Tri-Valley Bank in Talmage, NE.

The meeting will feature a guest speaker at 6 PM: Lora Damme is the President and CEO of Tri-Valley Bank of Talmage, NE. She is also an entrepreneur. Ms. Damme will share down-to-earth, common sense tips for developing and maintaining positive relationship with bankers.

Immediately following, Bill Hawkins (aka “Farmer Bill”), a wild crafter and entrepreneur will present information about the effectiveness of using images and technology to market businesses. Each business has a unique story to tell, and Farmer Bill will present information on how he does this for his enterprise. Farmer Bill will also provide some inspiration and motivation for the evening.

Anyone interested in exploring the idea of developing a product, starting their own business or expanding on current business skills, is invited to attend.
The Club is a collaborative effort by a regional group in Southeast Nebraska and has been made possible by funding from a Building Entrepreneurial Communities Act (BECA) grant. There is a $10 per session fee or participants may choose to join the club and pay a small annual membership fee.

We hope to see you at the Kimmel Education & Research Center in Nebraska City, NE (www.kimmel.unl.edu) for a truly inspiring evening. E-mail me at Kimmel if you have any questions (creimers2@unl.edu).

Being Entrepreneurial in Rural Nebraska: The Freedom to Create Our Destiny

We all know the economy is shaky, and issues regarding bailout money seem to be more and more complicated and controversial everyday. Some of us have lost jobs and those of us who are still employed wonder how long our jobs will last. Some businesses are barely hanging on while others are thriving. It is hard to turn on the radio or the TV without getting depressed. What can a person do?

We can get some perspective and guidance from a quote by Dr. Alan Kay, an inventor and pioneer in the computer industry, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” It is time for us to stop focusing on the negatives and start looking for opportunities. Entrepreneurs invent their futures every day. We can all learn a bit from this approach to life. After all, many fortunes have been made in economic downturns.

Entrepreneurial activities, including small business activities, are recognized as vital components of the U.S. economy. Statistics reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2007 demonstrate the significant impact of small business: Small businesses generated 60 to 80 percent of the (net) new jobs in the last decade and produced 13 times more patents per individual employee when compared to large patenting firms. Further, small businesses produce approximately 55 percent of all new innovations. In the twentieth century, small businesses invented many of the things people use every day, including the airplane, the soft contact lens and the zipper.

We all benefit from developing and supporting entrepreneurial capacity and the innovations that come from these activities. Part of developing this capacity includes opportunity recognition and the ability to take risks, which is a wonderful freedom we sometimes take for granted as citizens of the United States.

We have a unique gift in the United States, and that gift is freedom. The Declaration of Independence guarantees all of us “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This means we are free to pursue our lives and our vocations in any way that makes sense to us. Freedom is what makes our country great. What we do with our freedom is up to us. It is our choice. Freedom is our grandest opportunity and should be protected, especially in challenging times. The importance of the freedom to choose is demonstrated by the story of Ewing Marion Kauffman.

After serving in World War II, Ewing Marion Kauffman started working as a salesman for a pharmaceutical company and was extremely successful. When he started making more money than his boss, he found that his sales territory was suddenly limited. Mr. Kauffman’s boss limited the sales territory on purpose. After all, an employee couldn’t make more money than the boss!

Mr. Kauffman made a decision after his sales territory and income were limited. He quit his job and vowed never to work for anyone else again. He started his business in 1950 in the basement of his home. He generated $36,000 in sales and $1,000 of net profit in his first year. By 1989, Mr. Kauffman’s business made over $1,000,000,000 in sales and employed over 3,4000 people.

Mr. Kauffman wanted to give back to the world and used his knowledge and wealth to form the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a foundation designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation. The foundation now holds approximately $2 billion in assets.

Dr. Carl Schramm, the current President of the Kauffman Foundation, wrote a book called The Entrepreneurial Imperative. In this book, he notes three things all Americans should remember in the face of gloomy times:

First, “never bet against the American system”
Second, know that being an American is your very best asset
Third, “never count on anyone but you to create your own destiny”

The American system is designed so that we can pursue our passions and dreams, especially in challenging times. Our ability to pursue our dreams and create our own destiny is what makes our country so great.

We all have the freedom to choose what to do with our lives, and we have the freedom to help one another. We have the freedom to pursue our ideas, our dreams and our passions. We have the freedom to create our own destiny.

Entrepreneurial individuals invent their futures. We can all be entrepreneurial, whether or not we start or grow our own business. Entrepreneurial individuals are innovative people who are open to change and recognize and pursue opportunities irrespective of existing resources, such as time, money, personal support, and/or technology.

We all have to be more entrepreneurial because we cannot and should not rely on any one else to create our future. The future is up to us. No amount of bailout money is going to create and entrepreneurial atmosphere in Southeast Nebraska. We have to work together and do it ourselves.

Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial individuals are vital components of 21st century communities and organizations because they have the ability to advance themselves, other people, their businesses or places of employment and even the economies and societies in which they live. We all need to be more entrepreneurial, and we need to support one another in this effort if we are going to restore our economy and our confidence in America.

Special Note: This article was published in the Nebraska City News Press on March 17, 2009

Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation: The How!

Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation are supported by:

  1. Creating and communicating a relevant vision
  2. Motivating and empowering individuals
  3. Investing in and leveraging human (the what we know) and social capital (who we know)
  4. Developing a global mindset in organizations that embraces change and values diversity
  5. Cultivating continuous innovation.

Entrepreneurial individuals and leaders are needed to address the complex global issues associated with the evolving knowledge economy, which is now often referred to as an innovation economy.

So, how do leaders accomplish #1? How do they create and communicate a relevant vision?

Many leaders admit that developing and communicating a vision, which is relevant to others as well as the organization itself, is one their biggest challenges (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). Vision should be a component of a community and/or organization’s trategic planning model and is an essential element of leadership. Entrepreneurial Leaders must develop and communicate a vision is such a way that it becomes a powerful tool used to achieve common goals (Peck, 1991).

Creating a vision involves going through a vision process or session (Note: Wild Innovation does this for both communities and organizations!). Leaders must work with individuals in communities and/or organizations to develop a vision that provides a credible and attainable futuristic picture of where the organization is headed. Leaders must also talk about the vision often and coach others to help them see how their dreams and aspirations fit into the vision of the organization (Hall, Barrett & Burkhart-Kriesel, 2005). Physical and cultural reminders should also be used to effectively and continuously communicate the vision (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).

In order to effectively communicate vision, a leader must communicate and share their vision in a variety of ways. Environmental and cultural reminders repeatedly convey a vision. Vision statements should be physically present in buildings and on web sites. Individuals should be provided with materials that convey the vision of a community and/or organization in an effort to create a sense of belonging and personal fulfillment, which intrinsically inspires and motivates individuals.

March 10 I2E Meeting in Nebraska City!

I attended another great Inventors, Investors and Entrepreneurs (I2E) Club meeting last night at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Kimmel Education and Research Center in Nebraska City, NE.

It was so much fun learning more about all of my fellow-members. The information everyone shared will also help us promote each other more in an effort to grow our businesses and our incomes!

Deb Heidzig and I are already thinking of ways we can get an international entrepreneurship trip together…that would be so awesome!!

We showed a video last night featuring Joe Runyan the President of Hangers Cleaner. Everyone seemed to enjoy and relate to it! For those of you who missed the meeting or are interested in some entrepreneurial insight, you can watch it on-line:

http://video.kauffman.org/services/link/bcpid1811456713/bclid1612710415/bctid13591888001
Thanks again to Harold and Edi Bickford of HB Aeromotive and Paula Gray of PJ’s Cobblers and Pies for sponsoring the networking social!

Have a great day everyone!!
-Connie

What does it mean to be Entrepreneurial?

When people think about and study leadership, they typically think of a CEO in a corner office on top of a large building. This is certainly one way to think about leadership. However, this blog is about all of us serving as entrepreneurial leaders in an effort to create innovations that can help make the world a better place.

In order to keep up with the rapid rate of change in our increasingly globalized society, we must become more entrepreneurial as individuals and leaders.

Entrepreneurial Individuals are innovative people who are open to change and recognize and pursue opportunities irrespective of existing resources, such as time, money, personal support, and/or technology. There are many similarities between entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial individuals; however, there is a difference between entrepreneurial behavior and being an entrepreneur:

“Thus a politician, a physician, a university professor or a ditch-digger may show all the components of entrepreneurial role behavior, even though his status is primarily not that of an entrepreneur.” (McClelland, 1961).

Entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. They sometimes employ others and are the backbone of our economy.

Entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial individuals and entrepreneurial leaders are vital components of 21st century communities and organizations because they have the ability to advance themselves, other people, their businesses or places of employment and even the economies and societies in which they live. This advancement comes through the process of innovation. We all benefit from developing the entrepreneurial behaviors and leadership capabilities of individuals and the positive innovations that come from these activities!

How do We Turn the Economy Around? With Entrepreneurial People and Innovation of Course!

How do we lift ourselves out of the current economic situation? We become more entrepreneurial and focus on innovation (notice I did not mention getting in line for a check). Entrepreneurial individuals and continuous innovation are vital components of successful organizations. Therefore, the public and private sectors must develop the entrepreneurial characteristics and actions of individuals with a focus on innovation. Institutions of higher education have an especially important role in the development of entrepreneurial individuals because innovation is and will become an even more essential component of success to employers, employees and business founders in the emerging entrepreneurial economy. Further, educational institutions must become more entrepreneurial themselves in order to complete in an increasingly competitive industry. This requires entrepreneurial leadership.

Research has shown that entrepreneurial individuals, learners, educational institutions and leaders are needed to address the complex global issues associated with the continuously evolving knowledge economy. Entrepreneurs are needed to establish new ventures and to employ others while developing new products, services and solutions. Entrepreneurial individuals, who may or may not start a business, are needed because they are innovators who behave or act in a proactive manner and move organizations forward. In general, entrepreneurial individuals have the ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities, innovate, take calculated risks, adapt to rapid changes and marshal resources to achieve their goals. Entrepreneurial leaders are the individuals who have the ability to create dynamic, competitive organizations where innovation and change are as common as employee, clientele and stakeholder support.

Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial individuals are vital components of 21st century communities and organizations because they have the ability to advance themselves, other people, their businesses or places of employment and even the economies and societies in which they live. Therefore, countries, communities and individual organizations as well as educational institutions benefit by developing the entrepreneurial learner and leadership capabilities of individuals.

Inventors, Investors and Entrepreneurs Club (I2E Club)

We had another great meeting Inventors, Investors and Entrepreneurs (I2E) Club meeting last night…..Doug Damme, founder and owner of Eco-Green Enterprises, told us about his business and gave us some great entrepreneurial insight!

Deb Heidzig, Office Manager for the Kimmel Education and Research Center, Farmer and former cooperative founder, totally made us think with her awesome “Under Your Nose Trends” session.

It was an amazing meeting! Two familiar faces were back in the crowd and joined as members! We also had 3 new faces. Everyone added some positivity to the meeting.

And, we have our first corporate sponsor!! Thank you to Lora Damme, President & CEO, of Tri Valley Bank. Your generosity keeps I2E moving forward!!

The video recaps will be available for our members soon.

Mark your calendars for our next meeting….March 11!

Thanks for the great night….I am feeling truly inspired today!!
-Dr. Connie

Admired Risk Taker: Colleen Cleek

I recently read an article in the Omaha World Herald about a woman who I greatly admire. Her name is Colleen Cleek, and she is the owner of the Classy Gourmet Culinary Arts Center in Omaha, NE. I have never met her, but she really seems like she lives life to the fullest! She embodies the entrepreneurial personality…someone who controls her own destiny, takes risks and has a high need for achievement. She also gives back through charity work.

Ms. Cleek has done and continues to do it all-she teaches, she cooks, she is growing a business and a brand! Colleen has had some great past experiences, and is really building a great life for herself. She is a former 4-Her and Girl Scout who landed a spot on “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Learn more about the full life of this awesome woman by reading the article in the Omaha World Herald: http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=3945&u_sid=10546755

Or, visit the Classy Gourmet’s web site at: http://www.theclassygourmet.com/