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 37th annual College of Business Advisory Board Awards on April 22. Those recognized at the event included JoAnn Martin, ’75; Jane Miller, '84, president and chief operating officer at Gallup; Luke Hansen, '10, CEO and founder of CompanyCam; and Bryan Health, a Nebraska governed, nonprofit health system.
“The annual Advisory Board Awards provide us with an opportunity to gather and celebrate incredible individuals and organizations for their outstanding accomplishments in Nebraska and beyond. They help make our Nebraska Business community strong and vibrant,” said Smith.
Farrell recognized the 19 corporate sponsors of the award luncheon. They included Ameritas, Assurity, BKD, CDBykerk Consulting, Conagra Brands, Cornerstone Bank, D.A. Davidson & Company, Deloitte, Five Points Bank, Gallup, Lincoln Industries, Lutz, Nelnet, Pinnacle Bank, RSM, Spreetail, Talent+, Union Bank & Trust, and U.S. Bank.
“You set high standards of achievement, and we continue to work every day to be bold and create a better future for business. Your generous support is a great example of the strong partnerships and support we are proud to have,” Farrell said.
Lifetime Achievement Award – JoAnn Martin, ’75
Martin posthumously received the Nebraska Business Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding leadership, time, energy and guidance provided throughout her career. Her daughters Jennifer Bartholomew, '03 & '07, of Omaha, Nebraska, and Kim Neuwirth, '05, of San Francisco accepted the award. A lifelong Nebraskan, Martin earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1975.
"JoAnn was a great leader – in business and in the community. Her time as a student at Nebraska served as a preview of a life lived with intention and focus on community building. For example, she was a charter member and the first president of the university's chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a honorary society for accounting students. She also passed the CPA exam by 20, a feat seldom achieved by others that young," said Farrell. "It is our honor to recognize JoAnn today as she was truly a pillar in our Nebraska Business community."
Martin served as a leader with Ameritas for more than 35 years, most recently as CEO. Her leadership set the pace and was essential to the growth of Ameritas. Under her leadership, the company saw 61% growth in assets and customer numbers increased by 75%. Prior to joining Ameritas in 1984, then known as Bankers Life Nebraska, she began her professional career at Touche Ross & Company.
Throughout her career, Martin engaged in many community and industry organizations, both locally and nationally. She served as a board member for publicly traded companies NRC Health and Nelnet. She also participated in numerous other business and community roles. Among these were chairwoman American Council of Life Insurers (second woman ever), chairwoman of the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Directors, member of the board of directors for the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, chairwoman of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, and board member of the Million Dollar Roundtable Foundation to name a few. She is also a fellow in the National Association of Corporate Directors. She served on the Lincoln Vision and Prosper Lincoln steering committees and was vice chair for the Lincoln Community Foundation.
Among her numerous community accolades are the 2015 induction into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame, 2018 Woman of the Year at the Lincoln Journal Star’s Inspire Awards, Burnham Yates Citizenship Award and Nebraskan of the Year by Lincoln Rotary Club No. 14. In 2004, she was inducted into the School of Accountancy Hall of Fame at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Additionally, the University of Nebraska Foundation honored her with the 2021 Perry W. Branch Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service. She was recognized as the initial recipient of the JoAnn Martin Civic Leadership Award.
Business Leadership Award – Jane Miller, '84
Honored as an outstanding example of a successful leader in her field, including business ethics, community service and overall business excellence, Miller serves as president and chief operating officer at Gallup. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1984.
Overseeing worldwide operations, Miller is responsible for all operational and client service aspects of the forward-thinking research, consulting and education organization. She is passionate about maximizing the potential of employees and celebrating and developing talent for the future. Over her career, Miller helped revolutionize the workplace through a unique and groundbreaking philosophy that emphasizes strengths as the lens through which organizations can select, manage, motivate, develop and ultimately engage employees. Her leadership team represents the best practices of The Gallup Path, an innovative framework for driving business performance.
Miller is steadfast in her focus to create a sustainable future for Gallup as a socially responsible, community-focused organization that maximizes human potential. Her global leadership team is proof of Gallup's innovative management framework that drives business performance.
She is particularly committed to creating strong communities that begin with strong businesses and workplaces. Her community leadership currently includes the following director and trustee roles: Peter Kiewit Foundation, board of directors for TeamMates Mentoring, board of directors for Kiewit Luminarium, Omaha Zoological Society and University of Nebraska Foundation. Miller is a recipient of the 2022 Distinguished NEBRASKAlander Award, Greater Omaha Chamber's Women in Leadership Award and was inducted into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame.
"Jane's impact on the community extends to the College of Business and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln through Gallup's and the Clifton Foundation's support of the Clifton Strengths Institute. Nearly 5,000 students have received one-on-one CliftonStrengths coaching, which is transforming their educational experience," Smith said.
Young Alumni Award – Luke Hansen, '10
Hansen 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. Hansen earned his bachelor's degree in international business from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2010.
Hansen is the CEO and founder of CompanyCam, an innovative photo documentation and communication app that has revolutionized how contractors work. In 2016, CompanyCam got its start when Hansen developed the app after struggling to coordinate job site communication while working at his family's business, White Castle Roofing. His leadership has made CompanyCam what it is today, with over 150 employees, more than 100,000 users and a brand new office in Lincoln’s Haymarket district.
"Luke invested in Lincoln by headquartering CompanyCam in the Railyard and hiring fellow Nebraska alums to grow his business. It's exciting to see their growth, but also their commitment to their company culture based on three values – show up, grow up and do good," said Farrell.
Corporate Leadership Award – Bryan Health
Russ Gronewold, president and chief executive officer, accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Bryan Health. The award recognizes excellence in successful, dynamic Nebraska-based companies with a high level of commitment to their communities, customers and employees.
Smith said, "Over the past two years we witnessed health care professionals selflessly serve our communities and demonstrate their devotion to helping grow and elevate the quality of life through better health. It is our honor to recognize Bryan Health with the Corporate Leadership Award."
Bryan Health is a Nebraska governed, nonprofit health system that cares for patients and educates tomorrow’s health care providers. Accomplished through a singular focus on collaboration with providers and communities across the state, they bring care and treatment directly to rural communities through sophisticated mobile diagnostic and treatment services, telemedicine services, specialized heart care clinics and more. The organization maintains an unrivaled commitment to hospital-based inpatient and outpatient behavioral health care and continues to treat the most vulnerable who have no or little ability to pay for their care.
Bryan Health works to help communities grow, prosper and elevate quality of life through better health. In 2022, nearly 6,500 team members will serve 175,000 unique patients, perform more than 17,000 surgeries and deliver 3,200 babies. This care generates significant annual economic impact through means of payroll, capital expenditures and property taxes.
The four honorees join an impressive and long list of past Nebraska Business award recipients, including Bruce Lauritzen, Skip Hove, Allan Noddle, Jim Seacrest, Alice Dittman, Dick Chapin and Warren Buffett. A complete list of all award recipients honored since 1984 can be found at: https://business.unl.edu/abawards.