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For Immediate Release: October 23, 2020

Local Businesses Recognized for Their Generosity at United Way of the Midlands’ Annual Meeting

During its virtual Annual Meeting today, United Way of the Midlands (UWM) was proud to present its third annual “Campaign Recognition Awards:” “Volunteer Organization of the Year,” “New Business Partner of the Year” and “Corporate Partner of the Year.” UWM created the “Campaign Recognition Awards” to honor the organizations that invest in our community through the UWM campaign.

UWM also celebrated its 2020 “Citizens of the Year” – Mary and Rodrigo Lopez. The 2019 “Citizens of the Year,” Barbara and Wally Weitz, presented the award to the Lopez’s. Special guest Bill Moos, Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, also delivered remarks.

Additionally, UWM reported back to the community and shared goals for future impact. In the 19-20 fiscal year, UWM raised $19.4 million for local nonprofit programs and helped provide 5.1 million basic needs, education and financial stability services to people in need. To learn more, visit www.unitedwaymidlands.org/2020-annual-report.

The winners of the “Campaign Recognition Awards” were as follows:

Volunteer Organization of the Year: OPPD

OPPD has generously supported UWM through volunteerism for many years. During the 2019 campaign year, more than 100 of their employees participated in UWM volunteer events. They also conducted an internal book drive through UWM, assisted with an event held for flood victims at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium and coordinated a charity volleyball tournament to benefit the UWM Emerging Leaders’ literacy initiative. OPPD’s commitment to volunteerism also shows in their leadership-level involvement with UWM on the Emerging Leaders Committee, CIRT committee and Board of Directors.

OPPD is a public electric utility headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, serving more than 855,000 people in Omaha and 13 surrounding counties in southeast Nebraska. OPPD was formed in 1946 as a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, taking over the operations of Nebraska Power Company.

New Business Partner of the Year: OrthoNebraska

In 2019, OrthoNebraska ran an engaging employee fundraising campaign that raised an impressive sum for UWM.

OrthoNebraska is Nebraska’s first hospital dedicated to the complete care and treatment of orthopedic patients. They combine state-of-the-art facilities with the nation’s top orthopedic surgeons. OrthoNebraska provides high quality, cost effective orthopedic care for your muscle, bone, or joint pain or injury.

Corporate Partner of the Year – Under 100 Employees: Union Bank and Trust

Union Bank and Trust has been a dedicated UWM partner for more than 15 years. During the 2019 campaign year, they exceeded the amount raised through their 2018 campaign by an impressive 17%.

Today’s Union Bank and Trust was founded as Farmer’s State Bank and is currently headquartered in Lincoln, NE. They are a locally-owned bank that takes a personal approach to providing a breadth of services with a warm, helpful personality both in Lincoln and in our community.

Corporate Partner of the Year – 100 to 199 Employees: Koley Jessen

Koley Jessen has been a proud partner of UWM for more than 25 years. During the 2019 campaign year, they exceeded the amount raised through their 2018 campaign by more than 9%. In fact, they have increased their campaign total for the past three years in a row.

Koley Jessen is a local law firm serving the needs of business owners, executives and professionals around the country. For businesses of all types, they are active partners who provide multi-discipline counsel to help their clients achieve personal and business success.

Corporate Partner of the Year – 200 to 799 Employees: Tenaska and Kellogg Company (tie)

Tenaska has generously donated to our community through UWM for more than 30 years. During the 2019 campaign year, they increased the amount they raised for UWM over the previous year by 40%, with over a 93% participation rate within their organization.

Tenaska is a private, independent energy company founded in 1987 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, with regional offices in Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, and Calgary and Vancouver in Canada. The company is employee-owned and employs approximately 700 people.

The Kellogg Company has generously donated to our community through UWM for more than 25 years. They increased their giving from 2018 to 2019 by over 47%. They also co-sponsored an event held at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium designed to provide a day of joy for those who were affected by the floods earlier in the year.

The Kellogg Company is a multi-national food manufacturing company headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan. The company was started by the Kellogg brothers in the early 1900’s. They have had a presence in Omaha since the 1940’s and built their current, local facility in 1965.

2019 Corporate Partner of the Year – 800+ Employees: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska generously supported UWM for more than 25 years. During the 2019 campaign year, they maintained the same level of giving as in their 2018 campaign, and they were one of UWM’s top partners for leadership giving.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska has provided health care coverage and peace of mind for 80 years. As part of a nationwide association, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand represents the nation’s largest and most experienced health care benefit companies. As a Nebraska-based company, they focus on the employee health benefit needs of our fellow Nebraskans.

About United Way of the Midlands

United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro for more than 95 years. Guided by best practices and community input, it approaches poverty in a specific way – a “united” way. With the support of volunteers, community partners and donors, UWM invests donor dollars efficiently and effectively in our local community. These dollars fund basic needs, education and financial stability programs at local nonprofits, creating a circle of support for people in need. Please visit unitedwaymidlands.org for more information.

View the full press release here.