Tag Archives: 2013

Jodi Saso’s 
Heart for Running

February 18, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

For many avid runners, qualifying for the Boston Marathon is considered the pinnacle of their running career. For 35-year-old Jodi Saso, completing the Boston Marathon was that and so much more.

Not only did it mark a major feat in her running career, but Saso crossed the finish line just 10 weeks after undergoing major heart surgery. Completing the marathon was a personal confirmation that she had risen above her heart condition and could continue “life as usual,” despite this unexpected setback.

“I didn’t want to be a victim of my circumstances and lay around feeling sorry for myself,” says Saso. “It was all about determination and not wanting to live that life. I figured I had one shot to do this, and I wasn’t going to let my surgery get in the way.”


This is all even more amazing when you consider the fact that Saso had taken up running just several years ago when she decided she need to do something to get herself and her dog into shape. The pounds began to fall off, running became easier, and it wasn’t long before Saso had developed a new passion.

Saso found running to be a natural fit, and before long, she had started training for marathons. By 2012, she had run eight marathons in one year in addition to several half marathons and a 50-mile run. She was hooked and breaking her own records with each race. Saso felt wonderful physically and emotionally.

But an annual check-up with her doctor told her otherwise.

When Saso was very young, her pediatrician suspected that she might have Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue. The most serious complications of Marfan are defects of the heart valve and aorta. However, Saso never received a firm diagnosis. When she began seeing a new family practitioner in her late 20s, he too suspected Marfan syndrome and recommended they monitor her heart on a regular basis. A heart echo performed at her 2012 visit revealed an aortic aneurysm—a stretched and bulging section in the wall of the aorta.

“When the aorta becomes stretched, there is a big risk of the aorta dissecting or tearing or, even worse, rupturing and causing death,” says Traci Jurrens, MD, cardiologist at Nebraska Methodist Hospital, who performed the echocardiogram. “Jodi’s aorta had reached the threshold for repair.”

Because of the difficulty of the procedure, most cardiac surgeons replace both the valve and aorta during surgery, which requires lifelong anticoagulation with the blood-thinning drug called Coumadin, explains Dr. Jurrens. Coumadin can have a host of side effects, including easy bruising and bleeding.


“Since she was so young, we determined that it would be worthwhile for Saso to go to the Mayo Clinic, where cardiac surgeons were able to perform the surgery without removing her own valve,” notes Dr. Jurrens.

Saso’s surgery was scheduled for Jan. 31, 2013. The timing could not have been worse. She had qualified for the Boston Marathon the spring before. The run was scheduled for April 15, just 10 weeks after her surgery. It was a dream she was not willing to let go so easily. “I asked my doctors if there was any way that I could still run the race,” she says. “They were doubtful, but they said it was contingent upon how the surgery and recovery went.”

Following surgery, Saso says she was in so much pain that she thought she would never leave the hospital. “Before I left the hospital, they told me that I had to walk the entire floor six times a day,” she says. “That first day, I could barely walk 10 feet.”

But that’s when Saso’s determination kicked in. “My goal was to run the Boston, and I was going to do everything I could to make that happen.” By day three, she was off pain medications. By day five, she was doing two laps instead of one six times a day and was released from the hospital to go home.

Encouraged by her quick recovery, Saso was on a fast track from then on, she says. By two weeks, Dr. Jurrens had released Saso to return to work. Four weeks after surgery, Saso finished an entire stress test—Dr. Jurrens’ first patient to do that. Jurrens cleared her to run the Boston as long as she promised to run it over four hours.


Donning a T-shirt that read, “I had open heart surgery 10 weeks ago. Let’s do this!” Saso proudly crossed the finish line in 4:08:15.

“I felt amazing,” she says. Luck continued to be on Saso’s side. Having mistakenly booked her return flight extremely close to the race finish time, she had no time to hang out and celebrate. Instead, she left the race immediately to catch her flight. A short time later, she heard about the 2013 Boston bombings. “Someone was looking over me,” she says.

“Jodi has done remarkably,” says Dr. Jurrens. “It is quite a difficult procedure, but Jodi had excellent results. Because Jodi was in such great shape, she was able to get through surgery very well. In general, great functional capacity prior to surgery predicts better recovery from cardiac surgery. That being said, we really do not know what is safe for Jodi in regard to running, and we do discourage excessive exercise. But running is Jodi’s life, and she is going to make her own decision in regard to running.”

Saso completed five marathons in 2013 but says she is planning to slow down the pace for her own health benefits. “I’m going to do just two marathons a year in the future,” she says. “I want to be smart about this, and I really don’t want to have surgery again.”

The pace may be slower, but her determination to live life as usual is stronger than ever, says Saso. She recites one of her favorite quotes, which she says she applies both to running and life: “The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop, but the mind must be strong. You can always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…it is not age. It is not diet. It is the will to succeed. Let’s do this!”

Powering Across the Finish Line

January 6, 2014 by

It was man versus machine. An epic competition of tug-o-war. A true test of physical and mental strength. An all-out battle to the finish line where everyone who competed was a winner.

On May 18, Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Bellevue hosted a truck pull for charity. Six local teams pulled heavyweight Ram trucks, competing to raise money for their favorite charities. The dealership gave away more than $4,000 in cash prizes at its first annual Performance Community Truck Pull. The grand prize of $1,500 went to the wrestling team from Bellevue East High School. The team raised money to support the costly medical treatments for their fellow East graduating senior, Jake Pannell, who was diagnosed with lymphoma last year.

Tyrone Williams, president and general manager of Performance, says the concept for the truck pull was devised by his managers and Carroll Communications. “We are having discussions about this being an annual event. I was looking for an event to introduce the dealership to the Bellevue community as well support the community,” he says. In a family-friendly atmosphere that boasted food, fun, and face painting, the dealership encouraged the community to not only support their favorite competing team but also to simply take a look around the new facility.

The team from Bellevue East High School pulls a 2500 Ram truck at the Performance Bellevue dealership to raise money for graduating senior Jake Pannell, who was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma last year. East Principal Brad Stueve runs alongside the team cheering them on.

The team from Bellevue East High School pulls a 2500 Ram truck at the Performance Bellevue dealership to raise money for graduating senior Jake Pannell, who was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma last year. East Principal Brad Stueve runs alongside the team cheering them on.

Performance ensured that none of the six competing teams walked away empty handed. Teams included Bellevue University, Bellevue East High School, Bellevue West High School, Bellevue Community Foundation, Offutt Police, and Bellevue Fire and Police. “The turnout was excellent, and the store donated over $4,200 to the charities. Carroll Communications, the Bellevue Chamber, and Mayor Rita Sanders were very instrumental in helping us pull the event off,” Williams says.

Matt Briggs, head coach of men’s soccer at Bellevue University, says he was grateful that his team competed in such a charitable cause. “We raised money for the Wounded Warrior Family Support group and raised $750,” he shares.

The Bellevue Community Foundation also competed, winning $250 to support the city of Bellevue. Mayor Sanders says she was thrilled with the funds raised and equally excited that they would be going toward the newly created Bellevue Community Foundation. “It came about through the City of Bellevue strategic plan,” she says. “I was tasked to start a community foundation so we can help the community raise money individually or privately. The Community Foundation can help aid with some of the support systems through the city.”

NE/IA Chapter of ASID 
Project Awards 2013

December 9, 2013 by

Environments, spaces, rooms—it doesn’t matter what they’re called, but integral to their existence are interior designers. Professional designers conceptualize, coordinate, and execute their visions to create projects that are stunning, exciting, and functional. The ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Nebraska/Iowa Chapter recently submitted design projects to be judged by the South Florida ASID Chapter. The following pages illustrate a sampling of the award-winning designs for business projects produced by the NE/IA Chapter ASID professional designers this year.

Ballantyne Strong Corporate Offices
Lori M. Krejci, AIA, Allied ASID

 This open office plan reflects the future direction of the organization, a transition from traditional thinking toward a more modern method of working with increased employee interaction.

Riverfront Place Tower II Lobby
Lisa B. McCoid, AIA, ASID
Brianne Wilhelm, Allied ASID

Contemporary, bold, and modern, a foundation of neutral gray and taupe features pops of red. Rectilinear forms blend with organic, flowing shapes, and a commissioned wall sculpture, inspired by the changing levels of water, reflects the building’s proximity to the river.

Holiday Inn, Mercy Campus
Marilyn S Hansen, FASID
Nikki Skomal, Allied ASID

Dramatic colors reflect the city lights of red, green, blue, violet, and saffron. Art was selected for scale, contemporary design, and colors that unified the complete project. A local artist created a night scene of the city’s skyline for the project.

Feltz WealthPLAN

November 23, 2013 by

Whether you’re close to retirement or looking to start a college savings plan, Feltz WealthPLAN is able to assist with all of your financial needs.

Financial Planning:
We offer access to investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, variable annuities and alternative investments.

We can also refer you to outside professionals through our Feltz WealthPLAN network for CPA & Accounting Services, Asset Protection, Insurance, Estate Planning, Business Succession, and Mortgage Services. Feltz WealthPLAN has an in-house specialist to help you explore Long-Term Care and Insurance options.  Financial Planning offered through Feltz WeathPLAN, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial. Outside providers of professional services are neither affiliated with nor endorsed by Feltz WealthPLAN or LPL Financial.

Investment Planning:
Through the use of LPL Financial’s Strategic Wealth Management accounts, we can offer full discretionary asset management. Feltz WealthPLAN provides our clients with individually- tailored portfolios that are specifically designed to address their investment goals. Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.  No strategy assures success or guarantees against loss.

Retirement Plans:
Tax-qualified plans offered through employers have grown greatly over the years. Feltz WealthPLAN assists both employers and plan participants in sorting through the myriad of investment choices and identifying an allocation mix that is appropriate for each situation.

College Planning:
When, and how, to use 529 Plans can be a major key to having the required finances when tuition time comes.

What is your philosophy on what it means to be a financial advisory practice?
Financial Planning, or Return-on-Life, is the heart and soul of Feltz WealthPLAN.  The opportunity to guide our clients throughout each phase of their life, helping them prepare for the future provides our greatest satisfaction.

What is your practice’s customer service model?
Feltz WealthPLAN’s customer service model consists of three distinct teams:  Financial Planning,  Investment, and Support.  Each team specializes in a particular area to ensure clients receive the attention to detail they deserve.

Our Financial Planning team is the forefront of customer service, meeting with clients to define their goals and implementing a comprehensive financial plan for their future.  The Investment team handles the research, implements the investment models, and monitors the market and economy.  Our Support team assists clients through coordination of Vision1* data entry, ongoing transaction coordination, and is a daily resource for clients who have questions or concerns.

What is the process your practice takes each client through?
Our Vison1 program provides the framework for the Financial Planning process.  As we work with clients to gather and enter their current financial information, Vision1 prepares clear, concise reports:

  • Balance Sheet – Summary of all assets and liabilities
  • Cash Flow – High level view of cash inflow and outflow
  • Stress Test – Evaluation of how your plan will fare during a period of financial crisis
  • Withdrawals & Planned Distributions – Gives an indication of portfolio longevity
  • Education Planning – Provides options for meeting educational expenses
  • Estate Planning – Asset distribution and possible tax consequences

As each report is reviewed, it becomes clear as to which areas need attention and which areas are already on track with the client’s goals.  Focusing on specific action items makes the financial planning process less daunting and clients are encouraged as appropriate changes are put in place.

During appointments, the advisor will review current models and their importance to the client’s overall investment strategy.  Our advisors also update their clients on the market outlook and discuss the implications this may have on their financial planning.

*Vision1 is a comprehensive system that combines our client’s entire financial information (investments, loans, mortgage, insurance, etc.) into one secure location to enhance their financial planning experience. Vision1 also contains an online vault that stores and protects valuable documents such as wills, trusts, deeds, and passports in a secure electronic format.

Feltz WealthPLAN
A Registered Investment Advisor
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC

Feltz WealthPLAN
101 S. 108th Ave, 2nd Floor
Omaha, NE 68154

NE/IA Chapter of ASID Project Awards 2013

November 2, 2013 by

Environments, spaces, rooms…It doesn’t matter how you refer to them, interior designers are an integral part of the very best examples. Professional designers conceptualize, coordinate, and execute their visions to create projects that are stunning, exciting, and functional. The NE/IA Chapter of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) recently submitted design projects to be judged by the ASID Florida South Chapter. These amazing projects are a sampling of the award-winning work produced in the past year by designers of the NE/IA Chapter of ASID.

Residential over 4,000 sq. ft.
Lori M Krejci, AIA, Allied ASID
Avant Architects
3337 N. 107th St., Omaha

Family, friends, and food are at the core of this progressive home of a young family that enjoys modern art and entertaining.


Photo by Joseph Vavak

Residential over 4,000 sq. ft.
Lori M Krejci, AIA, Allied ASID
Avant Architects
3337 N. 107th St., Omaha

Mid-Century Modern provided inspiration. Ample built-in storage  allows the owners to easily maintain a clean and uncluttered home.


Photo by Lisa Louise Photography

Residential under 2,500 sg. ft.
Marian Holden, ASID
Erin Svoboda, ASID
Designer’s Touch
2085 N. 120th St., Omaha

The goal of this project was to turn this unfinished basement into a space for entertaining, fitness and children’s activities.  The color palette remained neutral and sophisticated with rich shades of gray accompanied by cream trim, dark alder doors, and a variety of textures. All of the client’s wish list was achieved in this project, and they were elated with the outcome.


Photo by Jeffrey Bebee

Residential over 4,000 sq. ft.
Michele Hybner, Allied ASID
Shawn Falcone, Allied ASID
D3 Interiors
3918 N. 138th St., Omaha

Falcone Homes

Spaces of this home evoke a comfortable and approachable feeling while still looking stylish, sophisticated, and classically modern.


Photo by Tom Kessler

Residential over 4,000 sq. ft.
Nancy Pesavento, ASID
Lisa Cooper, Allied ASID
Interiors Joan & Associates
13130 W. Dodge Rd., Omaha

Love of French architecture and a sophisticated European look is the core inspiration of this home, reflecting the clients’ appreciation for the balance of refined elements with accents of a rustic nature.


Photo by Tom Kessler

Residential Singular Space
Diane Luxford, ASID
D-Lux Interiors

This outdoor area becomes very cozy and semiprivate with the ability to close off the space with outdoor draperies and motorized screen shades. All furniture and fabrics are rated for outdoor use. Heaters tucked under the eaves and a gas fireplace warm the space on cool fall nights.


Photo by Tom Kessler

Residential under 2,500 sq. ft.
Lisa B. McCoid, AIA, ASID
D3 Interiors
3918 N. 138th St,. Omaha

The objective of this project was to create a functioning man-cave for watching football games and entertaining.  A glass transom creates a light and airy feeling in two spaces. No man-cave would be complete without a bar, so cabinetry was added to match the TV projection canopy.


Photo by Tom Kessler

Residence over 4,000 sq. ft.
Beth Settles, Allied ASID
Interiors Joan & Associates
13130 W. Dodge Rd., Omaha

The design concept for this project stemmed from the 
client’s desire to transform their home with traditional elements into a more modern 
transitional design.


Photo by Long-Shots Video Creations

Residential Singular Space
Victoria Pierce, ASID
Paul Daniels Interiors
4333 S 70th St., Lincoln

Aesthetically pleasing in a timeless and sophisticated style. Sufficient storage and display from custom- designed furniture of clean lines and smooth surfaces, a combination of color, textures, and patterns provide a rich and elegant feeling to a room that is now functional 
and beautiful.


Photo by Tom Kessler

Residential Singular Space
Julie Odermatt, ASID
Kayla McClure, Allied ASID
D3 Interiors
3918 N. 138th St,. Omaha

Designed to make the ranch home appealing to all ages. The juxtaposition of the creamy white and rich chocolate cabinetry inspired the use of neutral warm colors with pops of bright white.  The layout of the space creates a room that could be used for entertaining and also day-to-day living.


Photo by Tom Kessler

Residential under 4,000 sq. ft.
Stacie Muhle, Allied ASID

Contemporary spaces that are warm and inviting. Custom-made items were used to achieve a unique style.

Calendar of Events: November/December 2013

October 24, 2013 by


Featured Artists Akers, Fetters, and Gaines
Through November 24 at Artists Cooperative Gallery Ltd, 405 S. 11th St.
New works by mixed media artist Sean Akers, painter Joan Fetter, and weaver Agneta Gaines. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – 

Through January 5 at Strategic Air & Space Museum, 28210 W. Park Hwy.
Exhibit showing the real math behind what kids love most—video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more. Daily/10am-5pm. $12 adults, $11 seniors & military, $6 ages 4-12. 402-944-3100 – sasmuseum.com

Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear
Through January 5 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
Test yourself against four common fears. Observe how fear changes and learn simple ways to combat stress. Tu/10am-8pm; W-Sat/10am-5pm; Sun/1-5pm. $9 adults, $7 seniors (62+), $6 ages 3-12, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-444-5071 – durhammuseum.org

Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection
Through January 5 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.
A selection of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from a historic gift pledged to the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2010 by Emily Fisher Landau. Her collection features some of the most influential artists of the 20th century, including Andy Warhol, Glenn Ligon, Sherrie Levine, Agnes Martin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, John Baldessari, Kiki Smith, and Ed Ruscha. Tu-W/10am-4pm; Th/10am-8pm; F-Sat/10am-4pm; Sun/12-4pm. Free admission. 402-342-3300 – joslyn.org

American Royalty: The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Scholarship and Coronation Ball
November 2 – January 19 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
Over 200 years after declaring independence from the British monarchy, Americans continue to be entranced by royalty, and this exhibit aims to examine this fascination by looking at the fictional coronation of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben through a historical lens. Tu/10am-8pm; W-Sat/10am-5pm; Sun/1-5pm. $9 adults, $7 seniors 62+, $6 ages 3-12, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-444-5071 – durhammuseum.org

First Thursday Art Talk
November 7 & December 5 at Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St.
Current artists-in-residence give presentations or performances of their work and discuss their creative processes. Always insightful, these discussions provide a rare opportunity to meet artists and learn first-hand about their inspirations, approaches and techniques. 7pm. Free admission. 402-341-7130 – bemiscenter.org

Travel Journaling & Sketching with Nancy Lepo
November 9 at Omaha Creative Institute, 1516 Cuming St.
Learn how to document your trips via journal with this workshop, which focuses on the ins and outs of travel sketching—quickly capturing scenes and jotting down the ‘feel’ of a place, even if you don’t consider yourself an artist. 10am-12pm. $35. 785-218-3061 – omahacreativeinstitute.org

Closing Reception: Nate Burbeck & Joel Starkey
November 14 at UNO Art Gallery, Weber Fine Arts Building, 6001 Dodge St.
Through panoramic paintings of landscapes depicting isolated moments of the surreal, Burbeck challenges his audience to question reality within the context of contemporary culture. He is accompanied by fellow Minnesotan and contemporary artist Starkey. 4:30-6:30pm. Free admission. 402-554-2796 – unoartgallery.org

Open Studios
November 16 at Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St.
Open Studios represents a chance for the public to come meet artists-in-residence and experience the Bemis Center’s core mission firsthand. The artists will be available to show you their studio, talk about their process, and give you a look at what they’ve been working on. This event is free and open to the public. 1-4pm. Free admission. 402-341-7130 – bemiscenter.org


Cold War Kids
November 4 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.
Los Angeles indie rock band Cold War Kids return to Slowdown in support of their new album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9. $17 day of, $15 in advance. 402-345-7569 – theslowdown.com

Cameron Carpenter
November 7 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
The first organist to be nominated for a Grammy Award® for a solo album, Cameron Carpenter acts more like a rockstar than a traditional organist, creating live performances with the glitz and glamour not typically associated with organ music. 7:30pm. Tickets from $25-70. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.com

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
November 13 at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs
This orchestra’s performance is unlike anything other holiday show out there, combining classical, orchestral, symphonic and progressive music into hard rock and heavy metal, complete with a light show and other special effects. 7:30pm. Tickets from $33-60.50. 712-323-0536 – midamericacenter.com

Brad Paisley: “Beat This Summer Tour”
November 14 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Country superstar Brad Paisley returns again to Omaha, armed with new hits, serious guitar chops, and a down-home sound to keep country fans happy. Opening is Danielle Bradbury, winner of this season of The Voice. 7pm. $30.50-63. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

A Night in Treme
November 14 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Capitalizing on the popularity of the HBO series Treme, New Orleans group Soul Rebels will be joined by “The King of Nouveau Swing” Donald Harrison, Jr., trumpeter James Andrews, and others as they bring a little bit of Bourbon Street to the Holland Center. 7:30pm. Tickets from $30-70. 402-731-3140 – omahaperformingarts.org

Hunter Hayes
November 16 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
Grammy®-nominated artist, Hunter Hayes is a multi-talented performer, musician, producer, and writer, who won New Artist of the Year at the 2012 Country Music Association Awards. 7:30pm. $32.50-184.50. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.com

Handel’s Messiah
November 24 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
The Holland Center’s 45th annual ensemble presentation of Handel’s Messiah is a feast for classical music lovers, featuring a 150-voice chorus, soloists, and orchestra. ASL interpretation and audio descriptions are available for those who are deaf or blind. Free admission. 402-312-8210 – voicesofomaha.org

Toby Mac
November 22 at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs
Toby Mac, an American Music Award winner for Favorite Christian Artist, comes to Council Bluffs for his Hits Deep Tour, featuring Mandisa Colton Dixon, Brandon Heath, Chris August, Jamie Grace, and Capital Kings. 7pm. Tickets from $25-35. 712-323-0536 – caesers.com/casinos/mid-america-center

Brahms’ Requiem
November 22-23 at Omaha Symphony, 1200 Douglas St.
Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Creighton University Chamber Choir, and University of 
Nebraska-Omaha Concert Choir and Chamber Choirs perform Brahms’ first great symphonic work under the direction of Thomas Wilkins, a transcendent monument to the darkness of grief and light of hope. F-Sat/8pm. $27-80. 402-345-0606 –  omahasymphony.org

The Sounds of Christmas starring Elisabeth von Trapp with the Carolian Brass
November 29 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Elisabeth Von Trapp, granddaughter of the famous Maria & Baron Von Trapp, along with the Carolian Brass will perform some celebratory holiday songs, including a medley from The Sound of Music. 8pm. Tickets from $20-65. 402-345-0202 – omahaperformingarts.org

Creighton’s Classical Christmas
December 3 at Creighton University Lied Education Center for the Arts, 2500 California Plz.
This performance by the Creighton Chamber Choir and University Chorus features a newer holiday tradition for audience-goers, showcasing the work of Benjamin Britten, in honor of the upcoming centennial of his birth. 7:30pm. Free admission. 402-280-2509 – creighton.edu

Christmas at the Cathedral
December 6-8 at St. Cecilia Cathedral, 701 N 40th St.
This 18th annual event, presented by the Omaha Symphonic Chorus offers both inspiring classics and beloved traditional carols. F/8pm; Sun/2pm. $30 preferred seating, $18 general seating. 402-398-1766 – omahasymphonicchorus.org

An Evening with the Priests
December 7 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Three Roman Catholic priests from Northern Ireland come together to blend sacred music and traditional Irish music in this performance by this pop stars-meet-holy men group. 8pm. Tickets from $20-55. 402-345-0202 –

Wynonna & The Big Noise
December 15 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St, Ralston
Five time Grammy®-winning country star Wynonna Judd will perform “A Simpler Christmas,” mixing classic Christmas favorites with her own holiday songs and backed by her band The Big Noise. 7pm. Tickets from $39-99. 800-440-3741 – ralstonarena.com


Christmas Stamps
November 1 – December 31 at Boys Town, 137th & W. Dodge Rd.
View Christmas-themed stamps and covers from around the world on display at the Leon Myers Stamp Center, located in the Boys Town Visitors Center. M-F/8am-5pm; Sat/9am-4pm; Sun/11am-4pm. Free admission. 402-498-1141 – boystown.org

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom 
with Peter Gros
November 8 at Holland Preforming Arts Center, 1200 Douglas Street.
As a host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, Peter Gros has captivated audiences, introducing them to exotic animals and breathtaking wildlife. Now, he shares his experiences with Omaha through video clips, bloopers, and travel tales. F/8pm; Tickets from $15-35. 402-345-0606 — omahapreformingarts.com

Big Nate
November 8-24 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.
Lincoln Peirce’s book series, Big Nate, comes to life onstage, as Nate Wright, the kid with the highest detention record at P.S. 38, fights to win the Battle of the Bands and the girl of his dreams. F/7pm; Sat/2&5pm; Sun/2pm. $18 general admission, or free for members. 402-345-4849 – rosetheater.org

Disney Live! Three Classic Fairytales
November 23 at Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave.
Disney staple characters Mickey, Minnie, and Donald are at the heart of this family-friendly performance, featuring three classic fairytales that are woven together to create a heart-warming story that has no shortage of Disney magic. 1pm & 4pm. Tickets from $16.50-47. 402-341-1500 – omahacivic.com

Tree Lighting & Santa’s Arrival at Shadow Lake
November 27 at Shadow Lake Towne Center, 7775 Olson Dr.
Celebrate by welcoming Santa, helping him light the tree, and enjoying a fireworks display. Free admission. 402-537-0046 – 

Santa’s Magic
November 29 – December 22 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
This interactive holiday show begins with the entrance of the Snow Queen to lead children in song and ends with Saint Nicholas coming down the chimney to greet each kid himself in this unforgettable holiday experience. Tu-F/10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, & 2:30pm; Sat-Sun/3:30pm. $1 in addition to general admission. 402-342-6164 – ocm.org

Christmas at Boys Town: Tree Lighting
December 1 at Boys Town, 137th & W Dodge Rd.
Visitors can experience a true family-friendly holiday tradition at Boys Town to kick off the Christmas season, complete with lights, carols, and Santa Claus riding in on a fire truck. 7:45pm. Free admission. 402-498-1141 – boystown.org

Holiday Happenings
December 7-21 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Even the animals are getting into the holiday spirit at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, as special holiday characters will be diving into the shark tank in the Scott Aquarium. Sat/10:45am. Free with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

Supper with Santa
December 19-22 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 St. 10th St.
Come join Mr. and Mrs. Claus without having to trek all the way to the North Pole. There will be supper, crafts, pictures with Santa, and more. Daily/6-8pm. $20 non-members, $15 members, free for children 2 & under. 402-738-2038 – omahazoo.com

Penguins and Pancakes
December 27-29 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Enjoy pancakes, crafts, and animal visits from the African penguins. Daily/8:30-10 am. Free with regular paid zoo admission. 402-738-2038 – omahazoo.com

First Night of Play
December 31 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
This New Year’s celebration is perfect for the whole family, and leaves time for parents to celebrate afterwards too. Enjoy face painting, balloon artists, a dance party, food, goodie bags, and more. 6-8:30pm. $14 non-members, $10 members. 402-342-6164 – ocm.org

Noon Year’s Eve
December 31 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
An earlier New Year’s Eve celebration that everyone can stay up for, Noon Year’s Eve is complete with activities for the whole family, a beach ball drop, and celebrations with your favorite zoo animals. 10am-1pm. Free with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com


Raise the Roof Gala
November 1 at Creighton University, Harper Center, 2500 California Plz.
Habitat for Humanity’s annual gala chaired by Jessica Duce. 402-884-5957 – habitatomaha.org

Angels Among Us Fall Gala
November 1 at Embassy Suites Old Market, 555 S. 10th St.
Enjoy cocktails, a silent auction, dinner, and music by Chris Saub at Angels Among Us’ annual Fall Gala. $100 per person, $1,000 per table. 402-885-4840 – myangelsamongus.org

TeamMates Tailgate
November 1 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Tom Osborne, Larry the Cable Guy, and Warren Buffett sit down with a special guest at TeamMates Mentoring Program’s annual tailgate event. 6pm. 402-598-3163 – teammates.org

Wicker & Wine Basket Auction
November 7 at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs
Lutheran Family Services hosts a fundraising event for the Pottawattamie County Center for Healthy Families. 5:30pm. 402-978-5646 – lfsneb.org

Purses for Paws
November 8 at Regency Court, 120 Regency Pkwy.
Shop for purses, enjoy silent auctions and raffles, and more at Nebraska Humane Society’s Purses for Paws event. 5:30pm. 402-444-7800 ext. 260 – 

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Gala
November 9 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
The theme for this year’s Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Gala is “Believe in Happy Endings.” 6pm. 402-955-6851 – 

Salute to Families – Iowa
November 14 at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs
Heartland Family Service honors four southwest Iowa families. 6pm. 402-552-7426 – heartlandfamilyservice.org

Merrymakers Annual Roast
November 14 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Help Merrymakers continue to provide entertainment for seniors by supporting their annual event. This year, Merrymakers will roast Father Tom Fangman. 6pm. Tickets are $200.  402-697-0205.— merrymakers.org

Salute to Families – Nebraska
November 21 at Happy Hollow Club, 1701 S. 105th St.
Heartland Family Service honors four Nebraska families. 6pm. 402-552-7426 – 

Night of a Thousand Stars
December 1 at Magnolia Hotel, 1615 Howard St.
Join Honorary Chairs Dianne and Allan Lozier as Nebraska AIDS Project celebrates its 20th Annual Night of a Thousand Stars. Online ticket sales end Nov. 30th. 9pm. $60 general, $175 VIP, $475 platinum package. 402-552-9260 – nap.org


Anime NebrasKon 3-Day Anime & Pop Culture Convention
November 1-3 at Ramada Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 3321 S. 72nd St.
Over 200 scheduled activities are featured this year at Nebraska’s premier Japanese animation and pop-culture convention, including Taiko drumming, a costume contest, martial arts demonstrations, gaming areas, and much more. Doors open 2pm on Friday and close 3pm on Sunday. 402-658-6960 – animenebraskon.com

Autumn Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair
November 7-10 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St.
This four-day fair, rated one of the top 100 shows according to Sunshine Artist Magazine, will feature hundreds of handicraft works from artists around the country and includes stage entertainment and hourly gift-certificate drawings. Th-F/11am-9pm; Sat/9am-7pm; Sun/10am-5pm. $8 adults, $7 seniors, free for children 10 & under. 402-331-2889 – hpifestivals.com

Veteran’s Recognition Day
November 11 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Free admission for active or retired veterans and their immediate families. 10am-4pm. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

Lewis and Clark Dog Show
November 16-17 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Furry friends abound at this show featuring participants from the Afghan Hound Club of Omaha, Borzoi Club of Greater Omaha, and Omaha-Council Bluffs Cocker Spaniel Club. There will be events for owners, dog-lovers, and pets alike, including a costume contest and fun match. 402-341-1500 – 

Holiday Lights Festival
November 21 – December 31 at Gene Leahy Mall, 14th & Farnam sts.
Join the Omaha community at the Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 21, which kicks off the six-week Holiday Lights Festival events. Then, ring in the New year with a fireworks display concluding the festival on Dec. 31. 402-345-5401 – holidaylightsfestival.org

Miracle on Farnam
Novermber 23 – January 1 at Midtown Crossing, 31st-33rd at Farnam & Dodge sts.
A season-long celebration of creativity, good cheer, and authentic holiday pleasures. Free admission. 402- 351-9546 – miracleonfarnam.com

Holiday Poinsettia Show
November 29 – January 5 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.
This spectacular exhibit features a 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree, ornate holiday trees, antique sleighs, and a 300-foot long track that includes several passenger and model freight trains swerving through displays of miniature Omaha landmarks. Daily/9am-5pm. $7 adults, $3 ages 6-12, free for members and children 5 & under. 402-346-4002 – lauritzengardens.org

Bellevue World Fest
November 30 at Lied Activity Center, 2700 Arboretum Dr.
This festival features a special Medieval/Renaissance where visitors can learn about, weaving, woodworking, metal working, and jewelry making along with other holiday entertainment from around the world. 12-4 pm. Free admission. 402-517-1446 – bellevueworldfest.com

Christmas at Boys Town: Historic Creche Display
December 1 – January 11 at Boys Town, 137th & W Dodge Rd.
This historic display features three nativity scenes, including the main crèche, created by a Holocaust survivor, which adorns the historic Music Hall near the main entrance. Other nativities are at Dowd Memorial Catholic Chapel and by the Village Christmas tree. Daily/8am-5pm. Free admission. 402-498-1141 – boystown.org

The Madrigal Christmasse Feaste
December 3 at Regency Marriott Ballroom, 10220 Regency Cir.
Step back in time with this Renaissance-style holiday celebration hosted by the Lord and Lady of the Manor, complete with a multi-course feast, and a special appearance by the court jester. 6pm. $52 individual, $48 groups of 10 or more. 402-556-1400 – ibsencostumes.com

Irish Christmas at Father Flanagan’s Historic Home
December 9-16 at Boys Town, 137th & W Dodge Rd.
The Christmas spirit lives on at the former residence of Father Edward J. Flanagan with traditional Irish Christmas décor including Christmas quilts, antique toys, and ornaments from the 1920s to the 1940s. Daily/10am-4pm. Free admission. 402-498-1141 – boystown.org


The Ugly Sweater Run
December 15 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Now grandma’s reindeer sweater can be used for more than just the annual office Christmas party in this fun 5K race that’s anything but pretty. Participants are also asked to bring one new toy to donate to Toys for Tots. Tickets from $34-50. 402-341-1500 – theuglysweaterrun.com


Brian Regan
November 7 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Comedian Brian Regan has distinguished himself as one of the premier comedians in the country, visiting more than 80 cities each year with material that relates to a wide audience. 7:30pm. Tickets start at $38.75. 402-345-0606 – 

Theresa Caputo
November 13 at Orpheum Theater, 409 N. 16th St.
Theresa Caputo, psychic medium and star of the hit TLC show Long Island Medium, will give interactive readings to audience members throughout the show and will also share personal stories about her life and her unique gifts. 7:30pm. Tickets from $39.75-69.75. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.org

Larry the Cable Guy
November 15 at Orpheum Theater, 409 N. 16th St.
Born in Pawnee City, Neb., Larry the Cable Guy observes and celebrates the workingman and the redneck lifestyle. 7pm & 9:30pm. Tickets start at $35. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.org

The Met: Live in HD – Puccini’s Tosca
November 9 & 13 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
Puccini’s timeless verismo score is well served by an exceptional cast, led by Patricia Racette in the title role of the jealous diva, opposite Roberto Alagna as her lover, Cavaradossi. George Gagnidze is the villainous Scarpia. Nov. 9/11:55am; Nov. 13/6pm. $24 general admission. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Dickens Returns
November 15-16 at Field Club of Omaha & General Crook House, 3615 Woolworth Avenue. and 5730 N. 30th Street.
Come join Mr. Dickens—Gerald Dickens, that is—in his energetic readings of some of Charles Dickens’ classic novels. F/2&6pm; 402-555-9990 —  douglascountyhistory.org

Elf the Musical
November 19-24 at Orpheum Theater, 409 N. 16th St.
Follow the hilarious tale of Buddy the Elf as he ventures to New York City to meet his birth father and help him discover the true meaning of Christmas. Tu-Th/7:30pm; F/8pm; Sat/2&8pm; Sun/1:30&7pm. Tickets from $30-75. 402-345-0606 – 

The Nutcracker
November 20-23 at Creighton University Lied Education Center for the Arts, 2500 California Plz.
Enjoy this holiday classic ballet performed by the Creighton Dance Company and Department of Fine and Performing Arts. W-F/7:30pm; Sat/2pm. $18 general admission. 402-280-1448 – creighton.edu

November 22 – December 15 at SNAP! Productions, 3225 California St.
The story of a deaf boy who comes from a Jewish family and is raised without the knowledge of sign language until he meets Sylvia, a hearing woman born to deaf parents who is now slowly going deaf herself. Th-Sun/8pm. $12-15 on Friday and Saturday shows, $10 on Thursday shows. 402-341-2757 – snapproductions.com

A Christmas Carol
November 22 – December 22 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
Experience Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition as Ebenezer Scrooge goes on a life-changing journey through his past, present, and future. W-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. $35 adults, $24 students. 402-553-0800–omahaplayhouse.com

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol
November 29 – December 22 at Blue Barn Theatre, 614 S. 11th St.
This twist on Dicken’s original story picks up with the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner, Jacob Marley, who must redeem Scrooge in order to discover his own heart. F-Sat/7:30 pm; Sun 6pm; No show December 5. $25 adults, $20 students and seniors 65+. 402-345-1576 – bluebarn.org

December 6-29 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam Street.
This musical version of C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s novel transports audience members to the enchanted world of Narnia without having to go through a magical wardrobe themselves. Narnia has a run-time of two hours with an intermission and is recommended for children ages 6-13. Sat-Sun/2pm; Dec.26/7pm. $25 main floor, $20 balcony. Members save $7 per ticket. 402-345-4849 — rosetheater.org

Yesterday and Today
December 6-29 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
This all-request Beatles tribute show gives audience members a chance to share stories and relieve memories with their favorite Beatles songs. Tickets are $38. Th-Sat/7:30pm: Sun/2pm. 402-553-800 – omahaplayhouse.com

The Met: Live in HD – Verdi’s Falstaff
December 14 & 18 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
Verdi’s masterpiece returns to The Met for the first time since 2005, in a production by Robert Carson featuring Ambrogio Maestri singing the title role of the brilliant and blustery Sir John Falstaff. Dec.14/11:55am; Dec.18/6pm. $20 Film Stream members and Opera Omaha subscribers. $24 general admission. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

The Welsh Group at Morgan Stanley

October 21, 2013 by

What is your philosophy on what it means to be a financial advisory practice?
We believe: Clear and consistent communication is paramount; our word is our bond; in transparency; investments should not be driven by emotion; CNBC will not change our plan; process and procedure are cornerstone; in managing debt as well as equity; diversification is a key to reducing risk.

What is the process you take each customer through?
We take each client through the 13 Wealth Management Issues. 1. Investment Issues 2. Insurance Issues 3. Liability Issues 4. Qualified Retirement Plan Issues 5. Stock Option Issues 6. Business Succession Issues 7. Durable Power of Attorney/Will 8. Gifting to Children/Descendant Issues 9. Charitable Gifting Before and After Death 10. Title of Assets Issues 11. Executor Trustee Issues 12. Distribution of Wealth 13. Charitable Inclinations at Death.

In your own words, describe your practice’s financial planning process.
The Welsh Group has a defined financial planning process.  We start with the 13 Wealth Management Issues.  After discovering clients’ current and long term needs and positions, we drill down on areas that need work and then provide solutions for those issues.  After implementation, we continually monitor plans to make sure we are on track to achieve goals and expectations.

How is your team different?
We design, implement, and maintain comprehensive financial solutions for clients with complex financial needs. These clients are business owners, executives, and retirees with those backgrounds. Our unique service model monitors every aspect of the tailored financial plan for each client, including investing, insurance, lending services, and estate planning strategies. We ensure adjustments are made in order to maintain the course of action agreed upon to accomplish every goal set forth in that plan.

What are the responsibilities of each individual on the team?
Kevin’s focus is in the capital markets. He buys and sells all of the fixed income for the client portfolios. Along with Patrick, he designs and develops individual strategies for client portfolios. Patrick is a CFP®. He and Kevin collaborate on plan design and strategy for each client. Patrick is in charge of implementation and maintenance of the investments and financial plan. Dawn is in charge of all aspects of administration in our practice. Morgan Stanley invests hundreds of millions in capital every day and provides access to the markets, research, private placements, alternative investments, insurance, and lending services. This access helps us implement our clients’ plans and achieve their definition of success.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC offers insurance products in conjunction with its licensed insurance agency affiliates. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice.

The Welsh Group at Morgan Stanley
13625 California St., Ste. 400

Omaha, NE 68154

Vintage Financial Group

What is your philosophy on what it means to be a financial advisory practice?
To serve in an advisory capacity is a great responsibility and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We work each day to ensure we are adding more value to the clients we serve through greater education, professional designations, and relationships with other key advisors. We believe in the practice of empowering our clients to achieve their hopes and dreams. It is our great privilege to be their partner in their financial planning. By promoting economic and financial literacy as a part of our process, we empower our clients to further define their personal financial goals to help achieve those goals.

What is your practice’s customer service model?
The service model is based on our client’s goals and objectives for their particular plan.  Our communication model touches each client at a minimum of nine times a year.  We are a very accessible practice. When we ask our clients about our relationship with them, the most common theme we hear is how they feel they have a true partner in their finances. True to this theme, we receive client communication anytime a client has a change in their life, good or bad. It is truly a privilege to serve in this way.

Securities and advisory products offered through Princor Financial Services Corporation, (800) 247-1737, member SIPC, Des Moines, IA 50392. Insurance products from the Principal Financial Group® are issued by Principal National Life Insurance Company (except in New York), Principal Life Insurance Company and the companies available through the Preferred Product Network, Inc. Securities and advisory products offered through Princor Financial Services Corporation, 800/247-1737, member SIPC. Principal National, Principal Life, the Preferred Product Network, and Princor® are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392. Mindy S. Helfrich, Bradford R. Burwell, Kirstin J. Ricketts, Patrick M. Ricketts Principal National and Principal Life Financial Representative, Princor Registered Representative and Financial Advisor.  Vintage Financial Group, LLC. is not an affiliate of any company of the Principal Financial Group.

Vintage Financial Group
14217 Dayton Circle, Ste 3

Omaha, NE 68137

Slattery/Hruby Group of Merrill Lynch

What is your philosophy on what It means to be a financial advisory practice?
The Slattery/Hruby Group provides wealth management services to affluent families and trusts.  We help clients articulate their goals, then guide them with appropriate strategies for investments, lending, wealth transfer, and philanthropy with particular emphasis on tax minimization and wealth preservation. By formally reviewing and understanding a client’s total assets and liabilities, we are able to develop customized solutions to address their unique needs and challenges. For clients, we seek to have a profound impact on both their financial and personal lives. Our ultimate responsibility is to help clients achieve their aspirations for themselves, future generations and their communities. Within that effort, we provide the personal attention and high level of service that significant wealth warrants.

Describe your practices’ investment philosophy.
We apply a comprehensive wealth allocation framework to a client’s balance sheet.  In the simplest form you could state it as Risk Allocation precedes Asset Allocation. The framework process enables clients to construct appropriate portfolios allocating all their assets, featuring the home, mortgage, and market investments. The resulting frameworks are designed to meet client needs and preferences. The framework brings together Portfolio theory with aspects of Behavioral Finance to overlay a client’s risk exposures on to their balance sheet.  The application of our investment philosophy is typically executed within an Advisory relationship.

Slattery/Hruby Group of Merrill Lynch
1044 N. 115th Street

Omaha, NE 68154

The Militti Group at Morgan Stanley

What is your client mission and how do you provide added value?
On a proactive basis we deliver the finest financial thinking, solutions, education and client services to help our clientele achieve their retirement and wealth management needs. We are focused:  our practice is high net-wealth investors seeking solutions to complex wealth scenarios. Typically, this means corporate executives, highly compensated professionals, business owners (and their business), as well as those who come into inheritance. Because we work with high net-wealth people we are experienced in arenas such as trust set-up and management, estate planning and tax-advantaged gifting strategies. We are also well-versed in setting up and administering foundations and endowments designed to fulfill our clientele’s passionate philanthropic dreams. Our clients truly want to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. So to help them, we take a deep dive with each client and immerse ourselves in what is meaningful in their life.  The outcome:  each client is delivered an ownable, unique plan. Importantly, we believe an air-tight wealth management plan includes a great deal of time spent on risk-management strategies—so we manage both sides of a client’s balance sheet. This means we assist our clientele with customized insurances, as well as retail and commercial banking and lending solutions through our access to Morgan Stanley Private Bank.

How does your team differentiate itself from other wealth advisory groups?
Our team is unique in that we are a true family practice: father, daughter and son. That’s not common in this business.  In addition, because we focus our efforts on high net-wealth clientele we often accomplish our mission by introducing a client (or referral) to our firm’s Wealth Planning Center. Together, the Militti Group and the Wealth Planning Center bring tremendous experience and perspective to help develop and execute highly sophisticated retirement and multigenerational wealth strategies. It is great to see our clientele wowed with the breadth and depth of services we and our firm can offer them. The truest satisfaction we see is our clientele worry less, so they spend more time enjoying their life and family.

Morgan Stanley and its Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Individuals should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC offers insurance products in conjunction with its licensed insurance agency affiliates. Private Bankers are employees of Morgan Stanley Private Bank, National Association, Member FDIC. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

The Militti Group at Morgan Stanley
13625 California Street, Ste. 400

Omaha, NE 68154