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Top Business Leaders Honored at Dean's Advisory Board Luncheon

Top Business Leaders Honored at Dean's Advisory Board Luncheon
left to right: Dean Kathy Farrell, Dick Chapin, Marc LeBaron, Rhonda Seacrest and Jeff Noordhoek
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business hosted the 33rd annual Advisory Board Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 14, at the Nebraska Champions Club. The awards honor the outstanding accomplishments of business leaders and corporations in the state of Nebraska and beyond.
Dr. Kathy Farrell, interim dean and State Farm Professor of Finance, opened by sharing her experience transitioning to her new position and the insight she gained through meeting with the College of Business community. She highlighted the recent leadership changes for key programs at the college.
“I have the utmost confidence she will deliver on her plans to continue the unprecedented momentum going on in the college,” said Jeff Noordhoek, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board and CEO of Nelnet. “Fortunately, we all have a front row seat to watch this remarkable evolution of a world-class college, both inside and out.”
Farrell and Noordhoek presented the awards to the recipients.
“We proudly recognize three outstanding individuals and one dynamic corporation in our community,” Farrell said. “These are leaders who set high standards of achievement not only for students, but for the entire College of Business community.”
The 2017 honorees included Tom Heacock ’00 ’01 of Kearney, Nebraska; Dick Chapin ’47 of Lincoln, Nebraska; James C. Seacrest ’63 of Lincoln (awarded posthumously); and Lincoln Industries, headquartered in Lincoln.
Fifteen sponsors helped make the award luncheon possible. They included Ameritas; BKD, LLP; CD Bykerk Consulting, LLC; Chief Industries; ConAgra Brands; Cornerstone Bank; Cornhusker Bank; Deloitte; Lincoln Industries; Mutual of Omaha Bank; Nelnet; Pinnacle Bank; Union Bank and Trust; US Bank; and Wells Fargo.
Tom Heacock
Tom Heacock
Young Alumni Award – Tom Heacock ’00 ’01, Vice President, Treasurer and Corporate Controller, The Buckle, Inc., Kearney, Nebraska
Tom Heacock received the Young Alumni Award, which recognizes individuals who are outstanding examples of successful leaders, and provide inspiration and insight to the college’s students and members of the business community.
Heacock is vice president of finance, treasurer and corporate controller of The Buckle, Inc., a specialty retailer operating more than 460 stores in 44 states with its corporate headquarters located in Kearney. A recently appointed member of the company’s executive committee, Heacock joined The Buckle in October 2003. He serves on the board of directors for the United Way of the Kearney Area and the Kearney Soccer Club. He also serves on the college’s Young Alumni Board.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Nebraska in 2000 as well as his master in professional accountancy degree in 2001. Unable to attend the luncheon, Heacock will receive his award at the annual College of Business Partnership Summit in October.
Dean Kathy Farrell and Dick Chapin
Dean Kathy Farrell and Dick Chapin
Business Leadership Award – Dick Chapin ’47, CEO and Owner, Chapin Enterprises, Lincoln, Nebraska
Dick Chapin 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.
Chapin manages Chapin Enterprises, a radio brokerage firm, and owns five radio stations in eastern Nebraska and northwest Iowa. His career in broadcasting began at KFOR radio in 1953 as an account executive and was soon promoted to general sales manager. He later became vice president of Stuart Investment Company, the parent company of Stuart Broadcasting. Under his management, the company added stations throughout Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri to the two Lincoln stations KFOR and KFRX. The company also acquired Imperial Outdoor Advertising with plants and newspapers throughout the Midwest. In 1970, he became president of Stuart Enterprises.
Throughout his career, he received many broadcasting and community awards including the Distinguished Nebraskan in Broadcasting, Lincoln’s Advertising Man of the Year, Lincoln Foundation Award and American Broadcast Pioneer Award. In 1974, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters, the nation’s highest broadcasting award.
After high school, Chapin served three years in the U.S. Air Force, where he was commissioned as a lieutenant bombardier. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Nebraska in 1947.
Lifetime Achievement Award – James C. Seacrest ’63 (awarded posthumously), Lincoln, Nebraska
Dean Kathy Farrell, Rhonda Seacrest and Jeff Noordhoek
Dean Kathy Farrell, Rhonda Seacrest and Jeff Noordhoek
The Dean’s Advisory Board honored the legacy of James C. Seacrest with the Lifetime Achievement Award. On behalf of his family, his wife, Rhonda, accepted the award, which recognizes those individuals for their outstanding leadership, time, energy and guidance provided throughout their career.
A revered publisher and philanthropist, James C. Seacrest started his 40-year career at Western Publishing Co., which then owned the North Platte Telegraph and other newspapers in western Nebraska. Later, Seacrest served as president and chairman of the company’s board and was a driving force in expanding public television and radio to the western edges of Nebraska.  
His community impact continued when he moved to Lincoln. He served the University of Nebraska Foundation, Nebraska Alumni Association, Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, Heartland Center for Leadership Development, National Trust for Historic Preservation and Nebraskans for Public Television, among several others. His many awards include Outstanding Service to Public Television, Nebraska Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award, Lincoln Mayor’s Arts Award, Nebraska Press Association President’s Award, Governor’s Arts Award and Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropist of the Year. Seacrest was inducted into the Nebraska Press Hall of Fame and North Platte Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame. He and Rhonda received the Lincoln Community Foundation’s Charity Award for their commitment to and impact on numerous nonprofit organizations.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Nebraska in 1963 and then served as captain in the U.S. Army Reserve Quartermaster Corps from 1964 to 1966.
Dean Kathy Farrell and Marc LeBaron
Dean Kathy Farrell and Marc LeBaron
Corporate Leadership Award – Lincoln Industries
Marc LeBaron, chairman and CEO, accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Lincoln Industries. 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.
Lincoln Industries is the largest privately-held metal finishing company in North America and leads the industry in metal finishing, supply chain management, customer service and innovation. The company, located in Lincoln employs more than 500 employees and operates 24 hours a day. Lincoln Industries, formerly known as Lincoln Plating, was founded in 1952 by Dale LeBaron. Over the next two decades, what began as a small custom shop specializing in made-to-order solutions for consumers shifted to an organization focused on serving the needs of regional businesses. In 2007, plating had become only a part of the solutions they provided, as the company stepped into a new role as a manufacturer. The growth was reflected in the name change to Lincoln Industries.
Named one of the 25 Best Medium-Sized Companies to Work for in America seven times by Fortune magazine, their performance-driven workplace culture inspires a close-knit atmosphere, hard-working mentality and innovative spirit. The company also receives much recognition for its unique wellness program that serves as a benchmark for companies across the nation. Employees also prioritize giving back to the community and log approximately 2,000 volunteer hours each year with local organizations.
Published: April 14, 2017