Aug 20, 2015 10:03AM
By David Williams
Erika Overturff was 27 when she realized that the ballet company of which she was a member was doomed. She was an artist, a professionally trained dancer. Business savvy? Management skills? An understanding of how to fund a new performance company? Not so much.
Overturff had a list of limitations a mile long, but today she is a founding member and artistic director of Ballet Nebraska, the region’s only professional dance company, as it enters its sixth season. She discovered the powerful person that she was and, with a lot of help in mentoring and connecting along the way, she’s learned to play big in elevating the cultural landscape of a city.
Our cover story is not about a dance company so much as it is about a community’s ability to get things done when its people and its businesses share a common vision. Omaha has always been a special place, one with a “can do” spirit. While other cities struggle, we survive, even thrive.
Omaha knows how to play big.
That theme is reflected throughout the stories on the pages that follow, stories of creativity, passion, talent—even faith.
The same motif, that of playing big, is mirrored in The Firm Deal Review, the magazine-within-a-magazine found beginning on page 35. No one setting out to purchase a business thinks small, and the stories told by The Firm represent microcosms of the very definition of what it means to think, dream, and play big.
Anderson’s book pays particular attention to smaller cultures, which is fitting because most of the entities profiled in this magazine dwell in the arena of small business. It’s a strata where core values are perhaps most critical, but how is it that, even in the smallest of businesses, the simple maxim of “staying true” can remain so very elusive?
Read on to uncover what has worked for some of the most compelling entrepreneurs in Omaha.
And don’t forget to play big.