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Omaha Magazine

Greater Omaha Chamber: The Legacy of Business

Jul 23, 2020 11:36AM ● By David Brown
David Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber

In my position leading the Greater Omaha Chamber, I talk frequently with businesspeople who own or lead businesses that have been operating in Omaha for a long time. So much so, that every year as part of our Business Excellence Awards celebration, we recognize companies that have significant anniversaries representing decades (and, in some cases, more than a century) of operation. Imagine having the longevity to be able to recount 100 years of continuous business.  

But, also imagine what all of these companies have had to do to not only survive, but to thrive. One could probably make the case that right now, this moment in time, may be among the most challenging eras businesses have ever faced. Dual pandemics of virus and racism are front-of-mind every day. Incessant political bickering, international trade disagreements, financial market meltdowns, talent shortages, and higher-than-ever unemployment are issues legacy business leaders solve for their companies daily. This is all in an effort to keep their colleagues employed, their customers happy; and, in some cases, their investors willing to stick with them through the tougher times, as well as the good times.

These companies that stand the test of time, are no doubt “Omaha Legacy Companies.” A recent count indicated more than 19 of these firms who started operations here are now organizations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. What an impact those companies have had on this community over the years. The men and women who have led these companies deserve our recognition as well. It is from this inspired leadership that companies last. It is from the commitment of the employees of these companies that they remain at the top of their respective industries.  And, it is to the benefit of our community that so many firms have set up shop here in Omaha and have stayed here to grow and prosper—right along with the community.

This column was printed in the August/September 2020 issue of B2B Magazine.