Tag Archives: editor letter

Honoring Veterans

September 18, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Two years ago, my husband and I met a group of friends from Iowa City at Elk Rock State Park near Knoxville, Iowa, for a “meet in the middle” excursion. I made the mistake of booking sites for the six of us at the equestrian campground, which featured well-maintained trails that nearly every other camper, all horse owners, made use of that weekend.

Knoxville happens to be my hometown, so while in the area, we paid a visit to my parents. Upon explaining to them where we camped, my father said, “I think that was some of my guys who originally created those horse trails.”

‘My guys’ refers to veterans. My father was a psychologist for the VA Medical Center in Knoxville for 40 years.

These veterans came together to create trails at a state-run park that could be used by anyone, just as they came together during conflicts to fight for the U.S. They felt a sense of purpose and honor in coming together for the common good. This sense of honor, especially, is a trait that many veterans carry into the working world.

Veterans Day falls on Nov. 11, and as a way of saying, “thank you,” we have created features in this edition of B2B that are dedicated to honoring veterans. We spotlight two former servicemen who became entrepreneurs, we explain some legal considerations with employing National Guard members, and we help employers translate some of the great qualifications a soldier has from “government speak” to the business world.

Also, we at Omaha Magazine are creating a special event that will be perfect for networking. Learn more about the Best of Omaha Soirée (Nov. 8) in our “After Hours” department. I hope to see you there.


This letter was printed in the October/November 2018 edition of B2B. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Daisy Hutzell-Rodman is the managing editor of B2B, a publication of Omaha Magazine LTD. She can be reached at daisy@omahamagazine.com.

OmahaHome Entryway

August 20, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

For me, fall is the embodiment of comfort. I love the warm and cozy feeling of autumn snuggled in between the harsh Midwestern summer and winter. 

The first sign of dropping temperature starts to turn my mood. But—like all lifelong Midwesterners—I know how fleeting fall can be. Some years you blink and it’s gone, almost like we skipped the season altogether.

How lucky are we in Omaha to have the astonishing beauty of the leaves changing in every color under the sun, not to mention the football, tailgating, bonfires, and—of course—food!

Fall also brings its own unique home-decorating opportunities. For an example, take a peek at Tim Dymek’s cozy home in this issue. His quaint and perfectly manicured residence captures the pure essence of this season. Seeing photos of his patio just makes me want to grab a fuzzy throw and a good book, and make myself at home.

Whether you have a historical mansion, a downtown apartment, or a custom-glass house (we cover them in this issue, too), the beauty of fall has something for everyone—just like every issue of OmahaHome. So, grab a cozy throw and cuddle up by your fire pit and enjoy.

And, as always, thank you for reading! If you have any comments or story ideas, please contact me at sandy@omahapublications.com.

P.S. On a personal note, Sept. 6 is my father’s 80th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad! Growing up on a farm in Iowa was a gift that taught me to be humble, hard-working, and resourceful. Thank you! 


This letter was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Legacy Means Many Things

July 25, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Omaha can proudly boast many companies that have been in existence since the early 1900s, and some that have even been in existence since the late 1800s. 

This is the second-annual legacy issue, and, although many of the stories do not scream “this is legacy,” the idea is spread throughout the magazine in a variety of ways.

Of course, the first article, Biz + Giving, is about Woodmen of the World, which celebrates its 128th year in business in 2018. 

Two companies in the magazine, Owen Industries and JetLinx, can celebrate the legacy of having a son working in the same business as the father. Tyler Owen, president and general manager of Owen Industries, works for his father, CEO Robert Owen; while JetLinx President and CEO Jamie Walker has taken over the company from his father, founder Denny Walker. Also of note, these two articles both involve the luxury transportation industry.

Then there is the legacy of the Huskers. Most people realize that Nebraska’s beloved football team has won five national championships. When I moved to Omaha in 1998 (from Iowa City), I had no idea that football legacy is so important to this state. Leo Adam Biga reports on the “Scott Frost Effect.” You may have heard the news: Scott Frost is returning to coach Nebraska football. My husband, Wade, recently traveled to Kearney and stayed at the home of Tim and Hilary Christo, parents of former Nebraska quarterback Monte Christo, who played with Frost in the 1990s. Wade enjoyed spending time with the Christos, as they personfied “Nebraska Nice.” Monte’s former teammate is now helping to translate Big Red memorabilia into big green, as in dollar bills.


This letter was printed in the August/September 2018 edition of B2B.

Daisy Hutzell-Rodman is the managing editor of B2B, a publication of Omaha Magazine LTD. She can be reached at daisy@omahamagazine.com.

Entryway

June 20, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

July is always a busy time of year—full of activities, family reunions, picnics, baseball games, etc. And don’t forget barbecues! 

This issue, I’m passing the DIY baton to another do-it-yourself guru. Gary Dunteman is a competitive barbecue champ who really knows how to smoke the competition. He shares advice on making a  homemade barrel smoker.

With the current food-themed edition of OmahaHome, I’d also like to share a favorite family recipe—Catalina Chicken—named after the dressing. This dish is simple, healthy, and looks as delicious as it tastes.

Ingredients: 

• 4-6 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (thawed if frozen)

• 1 large can of “whole berry” cranberry sauce
(I use Ocean Spray)

• 1 large bottle of Catalina salad dressing

• 1 packet of dry Lipton Onion Soup Mix

• White rice (serving size enough for each person)

Directions:

  1. In a large 8-by-13-inch pan, mix the whole berry cranberry mixture, 3/4 of the large bottle of Catalina dressing, and the whole packet of Lipton soup mix (this will make a thick sauce).
  2. Place all of the chicken down in the mixture, making sure you cover all the pieces.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.
  4. Place one chicken breast with extra sauce over bed of white rice.

Tip: A Greek salad with an Italian vinaigrette makes a great side for this dish!

Here’s to a safe and wonderful holiday, and don’t forget the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who have ensured the gift of freedom that we enjoy every day.

Also, on a very special personal note, I had the honor of seeing my second grandchild, Stella Rose, come into the world this May. Big brother River, not yet 1 year old, was right there for her debut. These two are so adorable, I could just eat them up. 

Cheers! 


Sandy Matson is the contributing editor for OmahaHome.

60Plus Opener

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Since this is our food issue, I wanted to share a recipe that has been passed down through
generations of my family.

I remember Grandmother Johnson (my mother’s mother) coming for long summer and Christmastime visits. Her parents, Grandfather Johnson, and his parents were all born in Sweden. But Grandmother Johnson was born in Clay County, Nebraska.

She was an exceptional seamstress. Grandmother Johnson would sew beautiful dresses for my two sisters and me. It was from her that I learned to love fashion and style. She was also a great cook. Although she had some recipes I wasn’t fond of—such as lutefisk (made from aged stockfish or dried/salted whitefish soaked in lye)—she always made Swedish pancakes for breakfast during her visits. They were easy to prepare, and she taught us how to make them as children.

Swedish pancakes

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1 pinch salt                   

Instructions:
1. Preheat skillet to medium heat.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs with wire whisk.
3. Mix in milk, flour, sugar, salt, and melted butter.
4. Pour thin layer on skillet and spread to edges.
5. Cook until top appears dry.
6. Cut into two or four sections and flip with spatula.
7. Cook for another two minutes (or until golden brown).
8. Roll up each pancake and serve with fresh fruit or butter and syrup.

At Christmas, she made pretty and delicious decorated sugar cookies, gingerbread men, snowballs (a Swedish heirloom cookie), Swedish meatballs, and lutefisk. But pancakes are the sort of dish that goes well with any breakfast occasion.

Maybe I’ll make some pancakes for the Fourth of July. Happy Independence Day! 


Gwen Lemke, Contributing Editor for 60Plus In Omaha

A Decade of Maha, Munch Madness, and Best of Omaha

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Oh, Maha, you make this city a better place. Maha Music Festival turns 10 years old this summer. In honor of the milestone, Omaha Magazine has partnered with the festival to produce a special (sponsored) cover of our full city edition with the title “Maha” Magazine.

Maha is expanding to two days this year (Aug. 17-18) and has absorbed the Omaha-based tech/entrepreneurship conference Big Omaha. Music festival headliners include national acts Weezer, Father John Misty, and TV on the Radio. Meanwhile, local Nebraska acts include up-and-coming musicians Mesonjixx and David Nance.

But this July/August issue of Omaha Magazine is also our food issue. Every story in the issue incorporates some sort of food angle. So it’s worth noting that Dante Pizzeria will be featured in Maha’s VIP area along with offerings from Kitchen Table, while Dandelion Pop-Up will curate lunch offerings from local chefs at Big Omaha.

Food Issue Launch Party

The Florence Mill Farmer’s Market will once again host the launch party for our annual food issue. This is the second year we have gone all-in with food-related editorial content, and it is the second year we are hosting a watermelon-eating contest.

The watermelon-eating contest is open to the public. RSVP on our Facebook event page (http://bit.ly/2K1sc1d) for the July/August launch party to ensure your spot. We are hosting adult (age 18 and up) and youth categories. Watermelons are once again sponsored by the Florence neighborhood’s Hy-Vee. Top-three finishers in each age category will win a choice of gift certificates from restaurants advertising in Omaha Magazine. Prizes range in value from $20-$50, offered by Upstream, DJ’s Dugout, Tired Texan BBQ, FirstWatch, and Jazz.

There will be musicians, artists, calves, and chickens at the launch party, along with all the organic produce, baked goods, and craft vendors who are regular fixtures of the Florence Mill Farmers Market (which recurs every Sunday throughout the summer).

Munch Madness Bracket

Omaha Magazine’s latest city edition takes a deep dive into the zip codes of the metro area. Writer Sara Locke worked with six local Instagrammers to compile a list of favorite dishes in every zip code. There are 49 metro-area zip codes in total, according to our tally, and we narrowed selections down to one dish for every zip code.

Our foodie consultants are narrowing the pool down to 32 for Munch Madness (a bracket styled after March Madness), which we will share on Omaha Magazine’s social media channels. Zip codes will be randomly selected for dishes to compete one-on-one in polls. Winners will advance to the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4, and Championship. We will announce the bracket at our launch party. 

Best Of Omaha

We hope this zip code story and our Munch Madness bracket will prompt readers to think about the best restaurants—in addition to the best of other services and products—in the Omaha area. Voting in our annual Best of Omaha contest begins July 1 and continues through Aug. 20.

And speaking of “the best,” Omaha Magazine is not just the best magazine in the city, we were named Magazine of the Year on May 4 at the 2018 Great Plains Journalism Awards in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We received 20 awards for design, photography, multimedia, and writing produced in 2017. 

Thank you, subscribers, for supporting our dedication to community journalism. If you are not yet a subscriber, visit omahamagazine.com/subscribe to learn more. 

Food Issue Launch Party

Date & Time: Sunday, July 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (watermelon-eating contest begins at noon)

Location: Florence Mill Farmers Market, 9102 N. 30th St. (by the intersection of North 30th Street and I-680)

Admission: Free

RSVP: localstubs.com

Doug Meigs is the executive editor of Omaha Publications.


This article was printed in the July/August 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Polka & Other Highlights

February 23, 2018 by
Photography by contributed

As always, 60Plus includes many good reads.

A personal favorite of mine in this edition is the story on polka in Omaha. Many in Omaha will remember “Big Joe” Siedlik and his Big Joe Polka Show, which started on the radio and transitioned to TV.

Music like polka never goes out of style. My husband and I used to love to polka dance; in fact, we met because I took dance classes from him. He held large ballroom classes in Bell’s Hall in Papillion. I paid for the first three classes out of 12. Eventually, I taught dance with him—we taught a giant class at Offutt Air Force Base and smaller classes in private homes. We taught polka, rock and swing, foxtrot, waltz, tango, and cha-cha. We spent many evenings with friends dancing at The Peony Park Ballroom and The Music Box. I still run into people who were in our classes. It was great exercise—I should get back to dancing.

Also in this issue, we feature artist Alicia Sancho Scherich, who lives in Bellevue and was once a pen pal of Mother Teresa. She created a mural titled “World Peace,” which was on display at Creighton Lied Art Gallery in 2017.

Then there’s geologist Allan Jeanneret and his wife, artist Tammy, who have turned their hobby into a business.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nancy Waltman and Dr. Laura Bilek share their ongoing research of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Bone health is more important than many realize.

Finally, in this edition’s Active Living article, we have the story of a group fighting Parkinson’s with rock music and boxing at Life Care Center in Elkhorn. Rock Steady Boxing is a national program utilizing the kind of fitness regimen boxers go through—helping their balance and walking.

Gwen and Ray Lemke, Peony Park 1955

This letter was printed in the March/April 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Year of the Dog

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Bow. Wow. Holy cow.

2018 is a major milestone for Omaha Magazine. The current issue marks the first edition in our 36th volume—the completion of 35 years of local magazine publishing. 

Publisher Todd Lemke started in local magazine publishing with City Slicker in March 1983. After City Slicker, he merged with Our City Magazine. When he realized the copyright for Omaha Magazine had become available, he snapped up the brand. Omaha Magazine has been his flagship publication ever since. However, that doesn’t mean it’s his only title. Omaha Magazine staff (and the website
omahamagazine.com) produce a host of titles that include Encounter, B2B Magazine, Family Guide, OmahaHome, and many more that have come and gone over the years.

2018 is also Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac. The lunar zodiac features a 12-year cycle with 12 corresponding animals. Legend has it that the animals are ordered according to their finish in a mythological race across a river. Rat finished first because he rode on top of Ox’s head and jumped onto the opposite shore (followed by Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig). 

The Lunar New year officially began on Friday, Feb. 16. Traditionally, the holiday is the year’s most important occasion for Chinese families all over the world. It’s like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter all rolled together. After celebrating the occasion with loved ones, many Chinese families residing in the Omaha metro will celebrate again on March 3 with the Nebraska Chinese Association’s Lunar New Year Gala at Burke High School. More than 30 percent of the attendance, organizers say, comes from local folks who are not Chinese.

Everyone is welcome. But tickets must be purchased in advance. Find out more details in this issue’s Calendar of Events. The occasion is the 10th consecutive Lunar New Year gala hosted by the Nebraska Chinese Association (formerly the Omaha Chinese Culture Association).

But of course, the local Chinese community dates back much longer than 10 years. There has been a Chinese demographic segment of Omaha’s population since the mid-1800s. The March/April issue of Omaha Magazine explores that history with a series of connected stories that probe the forgotten history of Omaha’s Chinatown, a Chinese community timeline leading up to today, and the story of two buildings that provide a tangible link to the past: King Fong Cafe (currently under renovation) and the last site of the local branch of the On Leong Tong (recognized in late 2017 on the National Register of Historic Places).

This in-depth package of stories on Omaha’s Chinese community is also special for me on a personal level. I lived in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong for five years, and my wife is Chinese from the former British colony. Our daughter was born in Omaha in 2017 (the Year of the Chicken), and her biracial heritage means that the ongoing story of Omaha’s Chinese-American narrative is our story, too. 

I was born in Omaha (in the Year of the Ox) and I can trace my American lineage back through generations of immigrants to North America since before the American Revolutionary War. Although my wife is a more recent immigrant, our daughter is nothing but American. She has the exact same birthright that I enjoy, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution. 

It is my hope that she—and anyone else with ties to Omaha’s Chinese community, or anyone simply interested in the history of our city—finds this issue to be a keepsake addition to the family library.

Of course, this edition also offers all the great arts and culture stories, dining features, profiles, and so much more that our readers have come to expect. Every issue of Omaha Magazine is a unique record of a point in time for our shared city. In recent years, the company has embraced the motto, “It’s about all of us.” This is truly our mission. Follow us on social media (@omahamagazine on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) for updates, and subscribe to the magazine at omahamagazine.com/subscribe.

Thanks for reading!

Doug Meigs is the executive editor of Omaha Publications.

This letter was printed in the March/April 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.

From the Editor

December 26, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

I recently told a colleague the story of how Carmen Clark, former administrative assistant at Make-A-Wish Foundation, told me several times that she was always surprised when she saw me, because she thought of me as a tall woman. (At 5’0”, I certainly am not tall.) Usually we conducted business via the phone, and apparently I emit a tall presence.

My last name is also frequently mispronounced. Admittedly, Hutzell-Rodman is a mouthful. Yet a surprising number of people think my last name is Rodham, as in Hillary Rodham Clinton. Politics aside, one cannot deny that she has been a career-minded woman.

Perhaps part of the reason why people mispronounce my name is because my normal attitude towards life is “I can,” as in “Yes, I can find sponsors for an annual car show.” “Yes, I can write another 800-word article and turn it in today.” While I cannot do everything, this attitude has helped many women in their careers.

That’s one common theme with the women in this issue. They can. Our second annual Women in Business edition highlights some incredible businesswomen. They can collaborate, code websites, manage banks, move boxes in high heels, run a bar, head a school, even own a
mobile business.

I loved reading about the strengths of the incredible women in this magazine.

Along with being the Women in Business special edition, this magazine includes the Best of B2B ballot, which can be found on pages 55 and 56. Now is the business community’s chance to vote on everything from best commercial cleaning service to best place to eat a business lunch.  We’ll reveal the results of the contest in April.

Daisy Hutzell-Rodman is the managing editor of B2B, a publication of Omaha Magazine LTD. She can be reached at daisy@omahamagazine.com.

This letter was printed in the Winter 2018 edition of B2B.