2016 Past Signature Programs


The Thrill of Free Enterprise
Our first Executive Breakfast of 2016 was unique and interesting; leaders from the Omaha business community discussed cross-cultural ethics and the impact of refugees on Greater Omaha's economy. 

The program was well received thanks to Lacey Studnicka, Program Development Officer at Lutheran Family Services, and Shapur Rahmanzai, who shared his story with our attentive audience. Shapur’s story reminded all of us that immigrants value hard work and the desire for opportunity, which are both important to the economic development of Omaha.


March Networking LUNCHEON

Best Practices in Ethics and Compliance
The Spring Networking Luncheon tackled the topic of best practices in ethics and compliance in small, medium, and large for and not-for-profit organizations. Panelists included Michael Becker, owner of Estate Gardners, John Jeanetta, President and CEO of Heartland Family Service, and Ralph Kellogg, Vice President of Centris Federal Credit Union. Thanks to our panelists, the audience walked away with practical tools to take back to their organizations, and we were reminded to look for positive role models as we strive to do business with integrity


april dialogue

The Ethics of Pricing 
Our Mind Candy Dialogue made a venue change this year in response to your suggestions for a new location in West Omaha. We appreciate Temple Israel’s willingness to invite the Alliance and the Greater Omaha Business Community into thier beautiful facility.

The discussion on the ethics of pricing was dynamic, thanks to our panelists. Tim Burke, CEO of OPPD, gave us an inside view into the executive conversations about energy rate adjustments; Nate Dodge, President of NP Dodge, responded to questions about the impact on communities when property prices don't align with the income levels of residents; and Sam Hohman, owner of Liv Lounge, talked about the markup when pricing a bottle of beer vs. a bottle of Cristal.


april ethics on trial

Political Ethics in the Workplace
Suppose that your organization has a policy that restricts political activity and one of your best, high-ranking employees breaks it. Suppose that your organization is legally within its right to fire the employee. But is it ethical to do so? This was the central question of this year's Ethics on Trial. In this fourth year, we debated with thoughtful reflection about the relationship between business, political activity, and ethics. Thanks to the Scottish Rite, Armel MacDonald, Chris Carter, Laurie Smith-Camp, Susan Koenig, Hal Daub, Pegi Georgeson, MJ McBride, and Paul McGreal for a fabulous trial and discussion.


June NETWORKING Luncheon

Courageous Conversations
At our Summer Networking Luncheon, we learned how to have courageous ethical conversations from some of the best seats in downtown Omaha - the top of the TD Ameritrade Stadium. Susan Koenig, Of Counsel at Koenig  |  Dunne Divorce Law, gave us seven tips to make the scary space of ethical conversations safer. For example, Susan reminded us that it usually takes 10 seconds to speak the words we worried about saying. When we think of it this way and practice saying these difficult words before the meeting, we are better prepared for the conversation.



September Executive Breakfast

A Conversation on Ethics with the Yanneys
Mike Yanney and Lisa Yanney Roskens had a thought-provoking business ethics discussion with us. Mike shared ethics stories about doing business in Russia and serving on the WorldCom board. At the end of the event, Trustee Gary Gates presented the Alliance with a check for $40,000—the result of a call to the Omaha business community to raise funds to match Mike’s commitment to the Alliance and honor his legacy through a donation. 

Trustee Bob Bates also presented Mike with a "Mike the Moral Superhero" bobble head and announced that Mike will be a character in our third Moral Superhero coloring book to be released in 2017!


September Networking Luncheon

Living Your Values in Business: Hiring Refugees
The Fall Networking Lunch featured Lacey Studnicka of Lutheran Family Services to discuss hiring refugees in Omaha and educate employees about working with refugees. Moderated by Dale Gubbels of Firstar Fiber, we heard stories from Roland Temme, owner of Total Manufacturing Co., and Anwar Rida, a refugee and President of Total Manufacturing Co. Their stories illustrate the success of refugees in local business and how Lutheran Family Services can support businesses that hire refugees. 


october Annual Meeting

A giant in the communications industry, David J. Barrett, former Chairman and CEO of Hearst Television, Inc. and now a Director of Hearst Corporation, honored us at our Annual Trustee Meeting with an inspiring conversation about ethical leadership and the role of media in local communities. His stories about how Hearst handled Hurricane Katrina and the Boston Marathon bombing reminded us that focusing on doing the right thing sustains a business’s reputation and profitability. 


November mind candy dialogue

The Ethics of Incentives
Psychological BlindSpots, like Gaming and Conformity Bias, can explain why employees with strong values can sometimes do the wrong thing. These BlindSpots can explain the recently reported unethical behavior at Wells Fargo. On the other hand, when psychological dispositions such as Conformity Bias are reinforced with positive group intentions and moral ingenuity, they can also contribute to ethical behavior.

Our outstanding panel, Sherrye Hutcherson with Union Pacific, Rodrigo Lopez with NorthMarq Capital, and Angie Quinn with Baxter Auto, helped us identify the guardrails that employers should build to create incentives programs that are ethically successful and combat BlindSpots. Good behavior in business requires two things: strong individual character and strong organizational systems to reinforce good character. Without one or the other, we end up in a heck of a mess.