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Winners of the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Annual Awards, presented Oct. 8 at Embassy Suites La Vista. First row, from left: Ron Hernandez (Moving Veterans Forward); Ashley O’Neal (SignIt); Angie Velardi (Fairfield Inn & Suites Papillion); Jeanne Horseman (Midwest Medical Billing). Second row, from left: Karen Gibler (Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce); Travis Castle (American Family Insurance Castle & Associates); Tonee Gay (Midlands Community Foundation); Steve Wallace (PayPal); Pat Sullivan (Adams & Sullivan, P.C., LLO).

The Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce recognized outstanding members of the Sarpy County business community and celebrated another year of significant growth at its annual awards celebration Oct. 8 at Embassy Suites La Vista.

Awards were given in six categories and to a special honoree for Chamber Excellence.

Midwest Medical Billing was named New or Emerging Business of the Year. Founder Jeanne Horseman took a home business and built it to three offices with 12 account mangers serving more than 80 medical providers nationwide. They cover medical practices such as mental health, physical therapy, audiology, occupational speech therapy, pain management and physical medicine.

Moving Veterans Forward and Midlands Community Foundation tied for Nonprofit of the Year. Moving Veterans Forward is an organization that moves not only homeless veterans but their families as well. The organization gives them an apartment courtesy of Victory Apartments, kitchen appliances, electronics, sofas, beds, desks, games, food for a month and more.

The Midlands Community Foundation has given more than $8.5 million in grants to local organizations since 1994. It also gives out scholarships to students to help with the many expenses that come with higher education.

Adams & Sullivan P.C., LLO took the title of Business of the Year 1–24 employees. The law firm prides itself on delivering effective and cost-efficient options for buying real estate or even starting a business. Since 1951 it has been helping people in Douglas and Sarpy counties with their legal expertise. They practice in areas such as family law, insurance defense, criminal defense and workers’ compensation.

PayPal was recognized as Business of the Year 25–plus employees. In 2018, its employees completed more than 20,000 volunteer hours supporting 475 causes. Its team awarded nine Omaha nonprofits $65,000 in grant funds, with 20% of funds supporting financial inclusion programs. Its contributions also support young people in the community through grants to Youth Emergency Services and local schools.

The award for Elected Official of the Year was shared between Papillion Mayor David Black, Bellevue Mayor Rusty Hike, La Vista Mayor Doug Kindig, Springfield Mayor Robert Roseland and Gretna Mayor Jim Timmerman. The shared win reflected their collaborative spirit for the county’s growth in organizations like the United Cities of Sarpy County and the Sarpy County and Cities Wastewater Agency.

The votes for Business Leader of the Year also resulted in a tie, honoring Ron Hernandez of Moving Veterans Forward and Travis Castle with American Family Insurance Castle & Associates.

Additionally, nine Chamber Excellence honorees were recognized for their support of the chamber: Lacey & Associates, Laura VanderWal, Geraud Gandemey, PenFed Credit Union, Angie Velardi, Ashley O’Neal, Soaring Wings Vineyard, Lucky Bucket Brewing Company and Midlands Community Foundation.

Midlands Community Foundation was further honored with the Chamber Excellence Award.

Karen Gibler, Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce president, detailed chamber accomplishments such as the robust growth of TIPS groups and a record number of business partners. She also spoke about the chamber’s unique position to look towards the future.

“We had set a three-year goal and accomplished all that was on our list early,” Gibler said. “I look forward to finalizing the next five-year goals and spending more time in each of the communities of Sarpy County.”

Information courtesy of Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce.

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