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Distinguished Alumni and Friends Receive Nebraska Business Awards

Four Recognized For Outstanding Contributions to Business Community
Distinguished Alumni and Friends Receive Nebraska Business Awards
Sid Dinsdale, ’75, Anthony Goins, Blake Lawrence, ’09 &’11, and Carson Group received the 2023 Nebraska Business Advisory Board Awards.

Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean and professor of finance, and Lisa Smith, ’90, senior vice president with D.A. Davidson and Company and chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board, hosted the 38th annual College of Business Advisory Board Awards Luncheon on April 21. Those recognized at the event included Sid Dinsdale, ’75; Anthony Goins; Blake Lawrence, ’09 & ’11; and Carson Group.

"Today we celebrate our Nebraska Business community who work with us to meet the needs of employers now and in the future. We believe in business as a force to drive positive societal change in the world," Farrell said. "These award recipients show the world the high caliber business leaders we have in Nebraska and as part of our alumni."

She recognized the event's 18 corporate sponsors at an award luncheon, sharing they are an example of the college's strong partnerships in the community. They included: Ameritas, Assurity, Bryan Health, Carson Group, CDBykerk, Conagra Brands, Cornerstone Bank, Cornhusker Bank, D.A. Davidson & Co., Deloitte, FORVIS, Gallup, Lincoln Industries, Lutz, Nelnet, Pinnacle Bank, Speedway Properties and Union Bank & Trust.

Sid Dinsdale, chairman and president of Pinnacle Bancorp Inc., received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sid Dinsdale, '75, chairman and president of Pinnacle Bancorp Inc., received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Sid Dinsdale, ‘75
Sid Dinsdale received the Nebraska Business Lifetime Achievement Award for providing outstanding leadership, time, energy and guidance provided throughout his career. He is chairman and president of Pinnacle Bancorp Inc., a family-owned business that owns Pinnacle Bank in Lincoln, Nebraska; Fort Worth, Texas; and Cody, Wyoming; and Bank of Colorado in Fort Collins.

"There are many people who have been impacted by Sid's leadership and dedication to helping others," Smith said. "We are honored to have your story as part of our Nebraska Business community. Your integrity, humility and leadership are examples for us."

Growing up in Palmer, Nebraska, Dinsdale worked in the family feedlot, hay fields and irrigation operation. After a short time at Hastings College, he made his way to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1975. His education continued at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado, and he completed the Presidents Program at Harvard University.

He joined the family banking company in 1978 and became a president of Bank of Papillion in 1985. Dinsdale began working alongside his father, Roy, in the company in the early 1990s.

Now a member of the Omaha Business Hall of Fame, Sid remains involved in the community, serving on many nonprofit boards and charities. He and his wife, Dawn, were named “Aksarben’s Most Honored Citizens” by the philanthropic Aksarben Foundation in Omaha last year. He also serves on boards for Methodist Health System and Ameritas Life Insurance and previously for Midlands Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Humane Society, STRATCOM Consultation Committee and the University of Nebraska Foundation.

"As anyone who has received an award like this knows, recognition is usually a combination of age, timing, support and luck," Sid Dinsdale said at the awards luncheon. "It has been my greatest privilege to have a family who supports me and supports the family business. To me, a family business has the best ownership possible if the family and the business are capable, and the reason is simple: No one cares as much. We are fortunate to have partners and staff who become like family. I accept this Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of my family and Pinnacle Bank's 2,300 associates."

Anthony Goins, former director of economic development for the State of Nebraska, received the Business Leadership Award.
Anthony Goins, former director of economic development for the State of Nebraska, received the Business Leadership Award.

Business Leadership Award – Anthony Goins
Honored with the Business Leadership Award for an outstanding example of a successful leader in his field, including community service, business ethics and overall business excellence, was Anthony Goins. While serving as director of economic development in the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, he oversaw $8 billion in capital investments and millions of dollars in economic development for the state.

"Anthony directed the Nebraska Department of Economic Development under Governor Jim Pillen as well as former Governor Pete Ricketts. A strategic, result-driven executive, he leveraged his background in global financial services to negotiate trade and business deals for the state with a variety of foreign countries," Smith said. "Additionally, he traveled across the state listening to issues and supporting economic fixes for farmers, ranchers and start-up businesses. He spearheaded the department's pursuit of economic opportunities for all Nebraskans, including navigating the pandemic."

Goins gained experience building and managing successful teams and organizations in many industries and previously served in executive roles at Cabela’s World’s Foremost Bank and JPMorgan Chase and senior-level positions at USAA, Ford Motor Credit Co., Key Bank, QVC and American Express. His involvements in the community include serving on the boards for Bryan Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, and serving as advisor to the board for I3 Bank, board director and risk committee chair for Nelnet Bank, and as a board director for Inceptia, a division of the National Student Loan Program.

"It was an honor to serve the State of Nebraska, and I will continue to do so. I want to thank the team at DED for the results we achieved, but there's still work to be done. To stay competitive and win economically in the state, we need to help local businesses expand, attract new businesses, and acquire and retain the talented students and veterans here in the state. We also need to share why this is a place they want to be. We need to use diversity, equity and inclusion as an economic tool, not just a social one. I believe that leadership matters, that kindness matters, that relationships matter. Here in Nebraska, that's what we do, and the state will continue to grow and be great," Goins said when accepting the award.

Blake Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of Opendorse, received the Young Alumni Award.
Blake Lawrence, '09 & '11, co-founder and CEO of Opendorse, received the Young Alumni Award.

Young Alumni Award – Blake Lawrence, ’09 & ‘11
Blake Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of Opendorse, received the Young Alumni Award for being an outstanding example of a successful leader who provides inspiration and insight to College of Business students and members of the Nebraska Business community. A leading expert on athlete marketing, Lawrence helped more than 100,000 athletes build and monetize their Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) value for the past decade while leading Opendorse.

Prior to his journey as an entrepreneur, Lawrence said his playing career as a University of Nebraska–Lincoln Husker football player was cut short due to multiple concussions in the same year. A few weeks after he found out, he was sitting in class with Samuel Nelson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and associate professor of practice in management, when he suddenly felt compelled to share.

"I stood up in the middle of class and said 'I have an idea.' Sam Nelson was upfront teaching, and he could have told me to sit down and listen, but instead, he sat down and said, 'Let's hear your idea.' That day I became an entrepreneur. The College of Business and the people in it helped me figure out who I am and the next step in my life," Lawrence recalled at the awards luncheon.

He finished his bachelor's degree in marketing in 2009 and earned his MBA from Nebraska in 2011. He and co-founder Adi Kunalic, ’11, launched Opendorse and started the digital marketing company Hurrdat.

"We are proud to have Blake as a member of the Nebraska Business community. We admire your constant connection to Nebraska as you refined your business and work to help fellow Huskers and beyond," Smith said.

Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Group, accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of the Carson Group.
Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Group, accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of the Carson Group.

Corporate Leadership Award – Carson Group
Ron Carson, founder and CEO, accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Carson Group. The award recognizes excellence in successful, dynamic Nebraska-based companies with a high level of commitment to their communities, customers and employees.

Founder Ron Carson began honing his core principles while working from his residence hall at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1982. Now headquartered in Omaha, Carson Group serves financial advisors and investors through its three businesses – Carson Wealth, Carson Coaching and Carson Partners.

"In the College of Business, Carson Group collaborates with the Inclusive Business Leaders program, funds the Investing in Education program that provides free access to Barron’s and MarketWatch for students and faculty and offers student opportunities with industry experts and internships. We also appreciate their willingness to speak with student organizations like the Big Red Investment Club," Smith said.

Carson Group has grown to be one of the largest financial advisor coaching networks in the country, serving more than 44,700 families through 135 advisory partner offices and 35 Carson Wealth locations.

"We appreciate being a good corporate citizen of Nebraska. We enjoy bringing people here where they see it's the best place on the planet to live, raise families and do business," Carson said when receiving the award.

The four honorees join an impressive list of past Nebraska Business award recipients, including JoAnn Martin, Jane Miller, Allan Noddle, Jim Seacrest, Alice Dittman and Warren Buffett. A complete list of all award recipients since 1984 can be found at:

Published: April 25, 2023