Success Stories

International Propeller Service, owned by Bob Finke, was recently named SBA's Region VII Exporter of the Year for 2017

Since beginning operations in 2012, Lincoln-based International Propeller Service (IPS) has rapidly developed a global presence.  Bob Finke, managing member of IPS, says the company has sold parts and overhauled airplane propellers for clients in 50 countries since April 2012.  In addition to expanding its global reach, IPS increased their total sales by $800,000 from 2013 to 2015, ending that year with sales of $2.3 million.

Finke has a substantial background in the industry.  He began working at Duncan Aviation’s propeller shop in Lincoln, NE in 1987, where he learned virtually all aspects of the propeller overhaul process from repair and maintenance, cleaning and inspecting to ordering parts and testing. Finke is also certified in propeller repair by the FAA. In 1993, Finke transitioned to Advanced Air in Council Bluffs, IA where he helped the owners start a new propeller shop.  He managed this operation until 1999, upon which time he moved back to Lincoln and resumed... Read More

Cody and Chrystal Brooks, owners of White River Feed, pose in front of their business in Chadron, Nebraska

Cody Brooks and his business partner at the time needed a written business plan in order to purchase White River Feed & Trailer Sales, LLC, so a banker referred him to Tim Donahue, director of the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) office in Chadron.

“We wound up with a good, solid business plan,” Brooks says. “It got us the loan.”

In 2012, when Brooks and his business partner, Craig Hoffman, sought to buy White River Feed & Trailer Sales, Hoffman was working for the company. Brooks had worked for the company for 12 years but had left the previous fall on good terms with the owners.

Donahue helped the two men obtain a loan and a line of credit at Security First Bank in Chadron. “We tell all our clients that if they sign a waiver that allows us to contact directly with their bank, we can then expedite the process between the bank, the client, the Nebraska Northwest Development Corporation, if used; and the NBDC,” Donahue says.

Donahue... Read More

Amy Johnson of Life Loop

Amy Johnson was visiting a retirement community in Iowa looking to market her web-based software product where she met a resident she'll never forget. He wanted to communicate with his family, but a stroke had robbed him of the ability to speak. To introduce himself to Amy, he had to take her over to his mailbox on his door and point to his name.

She had a solution. In no time at all, she had him happily in front of a computer using her software's instant message function to chat up his brother in New York.

Johnson's company, Omaha-based Life Loop, offers a lifestyle management and resident engagement platform for senior living communities. They provide a platform that connects residents with their busy families and both with the staff in charge of the residents’ care. 

In November, Amy won the 2015 InnovateHer: Innovating for Women Business Challenge put on by the Rural Enterprise Assistance Program at the downtown Lincoln Community Foundation Building.

... Read More
Fred Roskens, owner of Blue Line Security

They’re able to offer a lookout to make sure everything goes without a hitch during the best day of your life, because they’ve had a helping, gentle hand for so many on the worst days of their lives.

Fred Roskens has taken his 23 years of experience with the Norfolk Police Department to create the area’s lone locally-owned private security company, BlueLine Security Services, using an SBA Express loan to build a growing and reliable service covering northeast Nebraska.

Roskens said the security company has handled both armed security and an unarmed presence, on-site jobs ranging from a large wind turbine storage facility suffering a string of break-ins, to late nights at an area diner frequented by oft-rowdy customers.  When it comes to diffusing a difficult situation, it’s a competitive advantage to use experience from being a founding and commanding member of the city’s SWAT team to train his employees.

“All that goes into this business,” Roskens said. “It’s... Read More