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News and Events

Happy New Year from the Omaha Post SAME Student Mentoring Program (SMP)

January 4, 2018

We are currently in the middle of our 24th year. While the program is designed to stimulate secondary school students' interest and excitement in engineering, architecture and related sciences; we are also helping to increase STEM education in our schools. SMP is a critical thinking program that challenges students to solve real world problems in the community.

SAME provide teachers and students in this program with mentors from engineering/architectural fields, guidelines, teacher/student workshops and an authentic audience for the demonstration of student solutions. Engineering skills, team work, sustainable design, presentation techniques, utilization of graphic materials, model building, cost estimating, and creative, persuasive and technical writing are all supported within the SMP experience.

The program continues to carry out SAME's vision of advancing the engineering and architectural professions by focusing on the youth of America. The SMP originated as a proactive effort by the Omaha Post to increase students' and educators' awareness of opportunities available in the engineering and architectural professions and of the education and training necessary to enter these fields, while involving as many Post members and sustaining members as possible. The program matches volunteer mentors with teams of students and teachers from area schools to study and develop engineering-related projects for competition.

SMP is certainly growing. This year we are in 24 schools, we have 42 teams, and are working with 286 students. We are doing this with the same number of mentors as we’ve had in the last few years, but we are doing a better job of finding Subject Matter Experts (SME) for our teams. As we continue to grow, we will need more mentors and will possibly have to look into a larger venue for our competition day.

The year ends with a day-long competition including an awards ceremony with an educational keynote speaker. The SMP competition day this year will be held on April 16, 2018. This is where all 42 teams will present their ideas to panels of judges made up of engineers and architects from firms in the community. Everyone is invited to attend the competition and the award ceremony. The two overall best teams each win a Post President's Award of $1,000. Each participating team may win up to six Merit Achievement Medals. The five teams with the highest overall merit scores in their Division each win a $500 Award of Distinction. It should be noted that these monetary prizes are sponsored by our generous Post Sustaining Members.

The overall winning high school team also receives a $1,000 scholarship to be given to graduating students pursuing an architectural, engineering or science-related degree. As always, the teams have come up with some very exciting projects. For example

  • Gross Catholic High School is proposing a Nebraska Amusement Park at Interstate 80 and Highway 66 in Ashland, Nebraska.
  • Papillion LaVista High School is working on a Green Development Project.
  • Papillion LaVista South High School is creating a Sizable CO2 Collector as one of their projects.
  • Bennington Middle School and Papillion Middle School are both working on Pedestrian Bridge designs.
  • Gretna Middle School is proposing a Bio-Dome Classroom for Gretna Middle School.
  • Marrs Middle School is redesigning student desks to make them more innovative.

For more information about the program, the award ceremony or any of the team projects, please visit our website at www.same.org/Get-Connected/Find-a-Post/Omaha/SMP. If you are interested in mentoring, being a SME or wish to know how else you can participate in this great program, please contact Nicole Hunter at SAMEsmp@gmail.com.

Meet the Buyers Conference

October 23, 2017

Conference Date: November 3, 2017

The Small Business Committee is partnering with the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) on their upcoming Meet the Buyers Conference on November 3rd. The goal of this partnership is to expand networking and teaming opportunities for SAME members interested in attending. We have two opportunities:

  1. Small Business Members, the Omaha Post is offering scholarships so you can attend the Meet the Buyers program free of charge. "Meet the Buyers" is a full-day program with a variety of speakers and sessions throughout the day. Additional information about the program can be found here: https://www.unomaha.edu/nebraska-business-development-center/government-contracting/meetbuyersconference.php
  2. Large Business Members are invited to participate in the 2:30 p.m. Teaming Groups Sessions. During this one-hour speed networking session, you will have the opportunity to meet potential small business partners and showcase your own company as a teaming partner to the many firms in attendance.

If you are interested in taking advantage of one of these opportunities, please email Post Small Business Liaison Officer Dan Taylor at dantaylor@amienvironmental.com.

Student Mentoring Program

October 13, 2017

We Need You!

We are in need for mentors at Marrs Middle School, and Westside Middle School.
Please click here for more information.

Lamp Rynearson Elevates Pridal. Atkins, Wawers to Executive Positions

September 1, 2017

Four members of Lamp Rynearson’s senior leadership team have taken on new roles. Nancy Pridal, P.E. has been named President of the firm. She has been with Lamp Rynearson for 20 years. Pridal manages large projects for key clients and leads the firm’s strategic planning and organizational development initiatives. As President, Pridal will guide overall company strategy.

Chief Operating Officer Terry Atkins, P.E. will assess and lead corporate operational processes in all office locations. Atkins will lead IT and geomatics while maintaining involvement in Omaha projects. Brett Wawers, P.E. is the firm’s new Chief Financial Officer. Responsible for overall financial management of the firm, Wawer’s role will include increased responsibilities for all Lamp Rynearson offices and continued involvement in Omaha projects. Mike McMeekin, P.E., former President, will become Chairman of the Board of Directors and remain an influential member of the executive team.

Group 3

Nancy Pridal, P.E., President

Event Sinage

Terry Atkins, P.E., Chief Operating Officer

Group 2

Brett Wawers, P.E., Chief Financial Officer

Group 2

Mike McMeekin, P.E., Chairman of the Board of Directors

Lamp Rynearson is a professional engineering and surveying services firm with headquarters in the greater Omaha area since 1959. The firm has 165 employees, with office locations in Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Lakewood Colorado.

Mentor-Protégé and Joint Venture Retreat

Friday, February 10, 2017

These partnerships always sound like a good idea, but they're hard for small businesses to achieve. The goal of this retreat is to empower small businesses with the tools they need to actually make these partnerships happen.

Large business mentors will share their experience with Large-Small Business Partnerships, including:

  • Is a Mentor-Protégé or Joint Venture partnership better?
  • How do you find business partners?
  • What are the first steps? 
  • What rules do you need to follow?
  • And many more Lessons Learned.

Hear from firms with been there, done that experience. Our panel members firms from all major fields, including engineering, architecture and general contracting firms. The Small Business Administration will also present and be available to answer questions.

Location: UNO Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center

Questions? Please contact:
Dan Taylor
Omaha Post Small Business Liaison Officer

Large-Small Business Mentorship Roundtable Discussion

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Small Business Council held a Large-Small Business Mentorship Roundtable Discussion on Oct. 20th, 2016.

Three large business members shared feedback to help small business members increase partnership opportunities and offered feedback on how to make their business a more appealing small business partner. The roundtables featured a break out session with small groups so attendees could discuss and connect with large business representatives regarding their concerns.

The event took place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Mammel Hall, Room 302 on UNO's Campus at 6708 Pine Street, Omaha, NE 68182 (Google Maps http://bit.ly/2ceGwqd).

Following the event at 5 p.m., was a social hour at DJ's Dugout in Aksarben Village.

Group 1

From left to right:
Tim Dayhuff, Warren Digman, Veronica Doga, Jay Kline, & Brandon Sire

Group 2

From left to right:
Tom Svoboda, David Holtzclaw, Harold Sargus, & Steve Cox

Event Sinage

From left to right:
Jay Kline and Time Dayhuff

Group 3

From left to right:
Ryan Bentley, Joe Popelka, Babara Tozser, Hubert Carter, Sara Mechtenberg, & Randy Petersen