The 2011 University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration Advisory Board Annual Awards Luncheon was held this spring. Kirk Kellner, President of the College of Business Administration Advisory Board and Regional President of Wells Fargo Bank, was the emcee for the event and Dean of the College of Business Administration, Dr. Donde Plowman, presented the awards.
“The three business leaders and the corporation we honored during the awards luncheon are true pillars in the state of Nebraska and the world,” said Plowman.
Those honored included Duane Acklie of Lincoln, JoAnn Martin of Lincoln, Joe Petsick of Omaha and Tenaska of Omaha.
Duane Acklie and Dean Plowman
Duane Acklie, founder and chairman of Crete Carrier Corporation received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding leadership and time, energy and guidance provided throughout his career. Acklie graduated from UNL with a bachelor of science and law degree. He served in the U.S. Army as a counter intelligence officer in Europe and later returned to Lincoln to practice law before purchasing a small, struggling motor carrier company. Today Crete Carrier is one of the top three largest privately owned trucking companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico and the Acklie Companies employ more than 6,000 people. A recipient of the U.S. Department of Defense Service Medal – the highest civilian award for public service given by the Department of Defense, Acklie generously contributed to a new addition at the UNL College of Law in 2009. The new addition was named the Duane W. Acklie Classroom Wing.
The recipient of the Business Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals who are outstanding examples of successful leaders in their respective fields, including business ethics, community service and overall business ethics, is JoAnn Martin, president and CEO of Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. She became manager of the audit division at Bankers Life Insurance Company of Nebraska in 1984 and it later became Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. In 2005, Martin was elected president and CEO of the company. Four years later, she also became president and CEO of UNIFI Companies, which offer a wide range of insurance and financial products and services. JoAnn earned her degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting at UNL. She is very active in the Lincoln community and was inducted into the UNL School of Accountancy Hall of Fame in 2004 and won the Alumni Achievement Award from the Nebraska Alumni Association in 2002. Martin has served on the CBA Advisory Board and currently serves the university and Lincoln community in numerous ways that are mentioned in your program.
The recipient of the Business Excellence Award was Joe Petsick,the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Proxibid. This award recognizes those with an entrepreneurial spirit and growing business acumen, who maintain the high values of ethics and community service. These emerging business leaders provide inspiration and insight to the students at the College of Business Administration. As the first company to bring live auctions online, Proxibid has seen more than $2 billion in sales over the last eight years. A UNL graduate with a degree in economics and finance, Petsick oversees Proxibid’s finances and builds better cash flow management practices. He has also been devoted to helping experienced companies expand and building new ideas into successful businesses.
Tenaskareceived the Corporate Leadership Award, which recognizes excellence in Nebraska-based companies that are successful, dynamic and have a high level of commitment to their communities, customers and employees. Beginning as a start-up company in 1987 in Omaha with the goal of developing and constructing a power plant to generate and sell electricity as an independent generator, today the privately held company is one of the largest independent energy companies in the U.S. Ranked as high as 16th
by Forbes magazine among the largest privately held U.S. companies, Tenaska-affiliated companies manage 37,000 megawatts of generating assets, including 17 power plants in 11 states. Tenaska’s natural gas marketing affiliate ranks among the top 10 largest marketers of natural gas in North America. Known for its innovation in several areas, Tenaska is committed to ethical principles and practices and its owners and employees are consistently recognized for their commitment to community service. Respected in the independent power industry, the company chairman, Howard Hawks, was selected to be the first independent power representative on the Board of the North American Electric Reliability Council. Tenaska has also awarded more than 500 scholarships to college-bound students.
Nine sponsors helped make the award luncheon possible. They included Ameritas, BKD LLP, Deloitte, Pinnacle Bank, State Farm Insurance, Union Bank, University of Nebraska Foundation, US Bank and Wells Fargo.
“We thank all the sponsors who contributed to this luncheon. It would not be possible to have this event without their generosity. Thanks also to the College of Business Administration Advisory Board for their work and especially to the officers: the Chair and Emcee Kirk; Vice Chair Angie Muhleisen, who is president & CEO of Union Bank & Trust Company; Treasurer Dean Van Loon, who is vice president of operations at State Farm Insurance and Secretary Gary Warren, who is president of Services Corporation at Hamilton Telecommunications,” Plowman said.
The College of Business Administration Advisory Board Awards were first presented in 1984. The long list of past recipients includes Howard Hawks, Cliff Hillegas and Warren Buffet.
The UNL College of Business Administration serves nearly 3,500 students with nine undergraduate majors, six master's programs with eight specializations and three joint programs, and is the only Ph.D. granting business college in Nebraska. With 79 full-time faculty and more than 30,000 alumni, the College of Business awards $500,000 in scholarships annually. Established in 1913, the college was founding member of and accredited by the AACSB.