The University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration held its Advisory Board Annual Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 10, at the Nebraska Champions Club. The awards honor the outstanding accomplishments of business leaders and corporations in the state of Nebraska and the world.
Paul Mendlik, president of the College of Business Administration Dean’s Advisory Board and chief financial officer and treasurer of West Corporation, and Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business Administration, presented the awards to the recipients.
“The CBA Advisory Board, which is made up of CEOs and top executives who are propelling our college forward, nominated the excellent business leaders we honor today,” said Plowman. “The four business leaders and the corporation selected are inspiring to all of us.”
The 2015 honorees included BKD, LLP, of Lincoln, Nebraska; Wendy Birdsall of Lincoln; Richard Callahan of Denver, Colorado; Angie Klein of New York, New York; and Tonn Ostergard of Lincoln. Klein and Ostergard were not able to attend and will receive their awards at the CBA Partnership Summit on October 9.
Seventeen sponsors helped make the award luncheon possible. They included Ameritas; BKD, LLP; CDBykerk Consulting, LLC; ConAgra Foods; Cornerstone Bank; Cornhusker Bank; Deloitte; Lincoln Industries; Lozier; Midwest Steel Works, Inc.; Nelnet; Pinnacle Bank; Talent Plus; Union Bank & Trust; US Bank; Wells Fargo; and West Corporation.
Corporate Leadership Award – BKD, LLP, Lincoln, Nebraska
BKD given Corporate Leadership Award
Timothy Wilson, managing partner, accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of BKD, LLP, in Lincoln, Nebraska. The award recognizes excellence in Nebraska-based companies that are successful, dynamic and have a high level of commitment to their communities, customers and employees.
BKD, LLP, a national CPA and advisory firm, provides accounting and consulting services to businesses and individuals in all 50 states and internationally. The firm’s dedicated team of over 2,200 professionals offer clients a variety of services in accounting, audit, assurance, tax, risk management, technology, corporate finance, forensic services and wealth management.
With offices in Lincoln and Omaha, BKD’s Nebraska practice is made up of nearly 100 employees. Throughout the years, the Nebraska practice has made significant contributions to the University of Nebraska by both chairing or serving as members on the CBA Dean’s Advisory Board and the School of Accountancy Advisory and Junior Advisory Boards, as well as active, ongoing campus recruiting. In addition, BKD recently funded a professorship in accountancy through an endowed gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation and supports programs within CBA on an ongoing basis.
Business Excellence Award – Wendy Birdsall, President, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau and Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, Lincoln, Nebraska
Wendy Birdsall presented Business Excellence Award
Wendy Birdsall was honored with the Business Excellence Award, which recognizes individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit and growing business acumen who maintain high values of ethics and community service.
As the president of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, Birdsall leads the combined growth and development efforts for Lincoln. She had helped advocate for key projects including the Pinnacle Bank Arena and has promoted a new atmosphere that embraces talent and entrepreneurship including the creation of Lincoln’s Young Professionals Group and innovative programs like Health Care Connect and Jump Start Challenge.
She leads the efforts of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln’s leading business organization with over 1,600 businesses advocating for business and growth. Birdsall also serves on many local boards including the advisory board for the Bureau of Business Research at the College of Business Administration and was co-chair of the West Haymarket Development project and 2015 Community Development Initiative.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Richard Callahan, Founder, Callahan Advisory, LLC, of Denver, Colorado
Richard Callahan receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Richard Callahan was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes those individuals for their outstanding leadership and time, energy and guidance provided throughout their career.
Callahan is the founder of Callahan Advisory, LLC, in Denver, Colorado. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 1964. He became a world pioneer of digital wireless and cable-based services including video, broadband and voice. His U.S.-based partnership has engaged in the development of global telecommunication investments and technology applications. Callahan’s impressive career began as a telephone linesman before working up through the ranks in telephone companies where he held positions in operations, marketing, commercial and regulatory affairs. He held several senior management positions including president of U.S. WEST International where he oversaw 24 companies providing services in 18 countries from his London-based office. In 2001 Callahan was also honored with the Andersen Lifetime Achievement in Communication award, which recognizes pioneers in the communications industry.
Young Alumni Award - Angie Klein, Vice President of Northeast Marketing and Sales for Verizon, New York, New York
Angie Klein was recognized and will formally receive the Young Alumni Award at the CBA Partnership Summit on October 9. The Young Alumni Award recognizes individuals who are outstanding examples of successful leaders, and provide inspiration and insight to CBA students and members of the business community.
Klein is the vice president of marketing for Verizon’s Northeast Area, where she leads an organization accountable for regional/local marketing strategy and execution, as well as revenue and unit management for more than 25 percent of the Verizon Telecom business. She also is responsible for the strategic acquisition sales channels for consumer and small business in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Business Leadership Award – Tonn Ostergard, president and CEO of Crete Carrier Corporation, Lincoln, Nebraska
Tonn Ostergard will also receive his award at the CBA Partnership Summit. He was recognized with the Business Leadership Award, which honors individuals who are outstanding examples of successful leaders in their respective fields, including business ethics, community service and overall business excellence.
Tonn Ostergard is president and chief executive officer of Crete Carrier Corporation, a privately owned Lincoln-based transportation and logistics company. Crete Carrier, along with temperature controlled division Shaffer Trucking and flat-bed subsidiary Hunt Transportation, employ over 6,000 associates with 19 terminal locations across the U.S. operating 5,600 power units and 13,000 trailers. He was chairman for the Nebraska Trucking Association for 1995-96, and currently serves as a member and director of the American Trucking Associations and Truckload Carriers Association.
Awards winners from left to right: Don Ham, BKD, LLP; Timothy Wilson, BKD, LLP; Richard Callahan, founder Callahan Advisory, LLC; Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the UNL College of Business Administration; Wendy Birdsall, president, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau and Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development; and Paul Mendlik, CFO and treasurer, West Corporation.