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Success Stories

Norfolk-based Petersen Ag Systems Named Nebraska's Small Business of the Year for 2013

Henry Aschoff and Keith Wiehn, president and vice-president, respectively, of Petersen Ag Systems, Inc., have been named the Nebraska Small Business of the Year for 2013. The Norfolk-based firm is an agricultural equipment supplier of irrigation and grain handling products with outlets in Osmond, Hartington and Fremont, and Onawa, Iowa. 

The company was nominated for the honor by Loren Kucera, Director, Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC), Wayne.  They have been invited to attend the culmination of National Small Business Week June 21 in Washington, D.C., and will compete against candidates from all 50 states and territories for selection as the SBA’s National Small Business Person of the Year.

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration will take the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and these firms... Read More

That landfill on the outskirts of your town stuffed with trash may now be playing a part to light and heat your home.  Helping communities turn noxious odors into green energy is one of the jobs of an Omaha-based engineering firm.

But to Gary Kuhn, it’s not just a job to protect the environment, it’s a passion.

“It’s all about being responsible for the environment,” Kuhn said.  “The same principles and values I try to instill in my kids, I hope are consistent with the values that I try to provide with my professional services.”

Starting out with an Express loan

He took that passion, and nearly 25 years of experience in environmental and civil engineering, to found his own consulting firm in 2012: G.N. Kuhn Engineering, LLC.  Kuhn used a quick approval for an SBA Express loan through First National Bank for start-up costs, including a new desktop computer, engineering software, field equipment and working capital.  Thanks to networking and referrals across the... Read More

The young girl watched in alarm as the screen in her fourth-grade class flashed images of landfills, dumps and mounds of garbage, pictures of a trash-choked environment which would haunt her to this day.

“That’s where it all started,” said Angela Paolini.  “The waste we create, and where we’re going to put it, the projection of what we’ll create in the future.  That’s what drove me to what we do now.”

Paolini, along with her husband, Jon, bought ServiceMaster Professional Building Maintenance (PBM) in 2009, a 170-employee, Lincoln-based franchise dedicated to sustainable cleaning services not just to contribute to healthier environment, but because it makes sense on the balance sheet.  Workers don’t use featherdusters for those hard to reach corners; instead, they wear lightweight vacuums with high-filtration bags on their hips to capture dust, using long pole attachments to help reduce back pain and injuries.  Even the vacuuming patterns on the carpets they make are... Read More

Sherri Stock remembers the first time she saw it, back when she was in high school and sitting on the front porch. “This beautiful blue 1971 Chevy Nova, this muscle car, driving by every day.  I told my dad if it ever came up for sale, I was going to be driving it.”

She admits she was a little naïve when it came to the car she would call her “high school crush”; first, she had to learn to drive a clutch with a four-speed transmission.  Then there were wiring problems. “I ended up pushing it a few times,” she remembered, “and my dad said, ‘If you’re going to be driving a car like that, you’d better learn how to fix it.’”

She was fascinated with how the car worked, and tinkering with her ride back then sparked a lifelong love affair with auto repair, which led to opening inMOTION Auto Care, a brand-new, airy and sparkling clean repair shop just off Lincoln’s busy O Street.

With a staff of five highly-trained full-time technicians and 2 knowledgeable advisors, who... Read More