Tag Archives: Jeff Toma

Omaha Magazine Wins 2015 Great Plains Journalism Award

April 14, 2015 by

Photo above: Director of Photography Bill Sitzmann, Creative Director John Gawley, Managing Editor Robert Nelson, and Senior Graphic Designer Kristen Hoffman with our award-winning cover at the 2015 Great Plains Journalism Awards ceremony in Tulsa, Okla.

Omaha Magazine won best magazine cover at the prestigious 2015 Great Plains Journalism Awards, one of five categories in which the magazine was named among three finalists.

The Great Plains Journalism Awards annually recognize the best newspaper and magazine journalism in an eight-state region comprising of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. The awards were presented during a luncheon April 13 at The Mayo Hotel in Tulsa, Okla.

Omaha Magazine won the top award in the Magazine Cover category for the January/February 2014 Best of Omaha issue, executed by Creative Director John Gawley, then-Junior Graphic Designer Paul Lukes, and Ben Lueders of Fruitful Design.

We received two of the three finalist slots in the Magazine Cover category. Gawley and Director of Photography Bill Sitzmann were nominated for our November/December 2014 cover featuring local radio legend Otis XII in a story written by Managing Editor Robert Nelson.

Nelson himself was a finalist in the Magazine Profile Writing category for his July/August 2014 cover story on then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and again in the Magazine Column Writing category for his September/October 2014 “The Closer” column, titled “Slogan Explosion.”

Sitzmann was recognized for his portrait of Jeff Toma accompanying the story “The Handyman Diaries” in the January/February 2014 issue of Omaha Home. That story was written by Executive Editor David Williams.

Mike Lang and Corey Hart of Spectral Chemist were recognized for their video supporting our September/October 2014 story “Cricket: The Grandfather of Baseball is Making a Comeback in Omaha,” written by Robyn Murray.

“I am proud of our talented staff and we are honored to tell the stories of the people of Omaha,” Omaha Magazine Publisher Todd Lemke says. “It’s great to be recognized by our peers as being right up there with the best of the best in an eight-state regional competition where Omaha Magazine was the only Nebraska magazine recognized as a finalist—let alone a winner. We also congratulate the Omaha World-Herald for their strong showing at the awards.”

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The Handyman Diaries

February 11, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In this increasingly corporate world of ours, it is somehow comforting to know that the age-old tradition of the neighborly, “one man and a truck” model of handyman services has not yet completely gone the way of rotary dial phones, 8-track tapes, and Polaroid cameras. Jeff Toma of Accountable Construction is one such lone wolf, something of a folksy jack-of-all-trades when it comes to everything from quick fixes to remodels.

Being a Hero

“It’s not unusual to troubleshoot a problem over the phone,” Toma says. “I might get a ‘Hey, my microwave is dead’ call, and that can often be nothing more than an opportunity to explain to a homeowner how the reset button on an electrical outlet works. I’m happy to help whenever and however I can.”

 Digging Deeper

“Identifying and diagnosing more complicated problems takes time. I’ll charge a fee for that in some cases, but I just lump it in with the job total when the homeowner gives me the green light to proceed.”

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 Scheduling

“Being your own boss doesn’t mean that I have a calendar that is a wide-open, drop-everything thing in terms of availability. Thursday mornings, for example, are out. That’s when I have a standing appointment at Pat’s. She’s in her 70s. We drink coffee. We chat. She’s like family. Eventually I’ll get to work on her to-do list.”

Tipping

“The general rule about tipping is that you don’t tip the business owner himself; you tip his people. But I don’t have ‘people.’ I have bills. I’ll rarely turn down such a genuine offer of gratitude. It makes me feel kind of proud, especially after a tough or messy job.”

 The Power of Dreams

“This is going to sound crazy, but I sometimes come up with fixes in my dreams. I might go to bed bothered by some difficult or tricky problem that I just can’t quite work through, and the answer will come in a dream. Weird.”

Self-Awareness

“I don’t suffer from MAS (Male Answer Syndrome). I know what I know, and I know what I don’t know. I don’t try to be somebody I’m not when it comes to my abilities.”

Appropriate Topics of Conversation

“Fishing. Any and all kinds of fishing. I got it bad. You don’t want to get me started.”