If You Missed It … UBT’s Rebranding

Why Would Any Sane Person Ever Want to Change a Logo (and Rebrand)?

What do they always say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”? Then why would any company want to change an already strong logo and rebrand?

Kevin Keller answered that great question as he shared the ins and outs and ups and downs of Union Bank and Trust’s (UBT) recent rebranding journey with IABC Lincoln members and guests at the chapter’s September 17, 2015, breakfast meeting.

Kevin spoke about the best practices for laying out a rebranding and marketing plan, as his thirty-seven years of marketing and managerial experience include directing all marketing functions from research through delivery system analysis for one of Lincoln and Nebraska’s best-known financial institutions.

His complete presentation is available on YouTube.

Pastor Tom Barber is 2015 Leader in Communication

Leader in Communications

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Lincoln chapter is pleased to announce this year’s recipient of its Leader in Communication Award is Pastor Tom Barber, CEO of People’s City Mission.

Pastor Tom Barber
Pastor Tom Barber, Chief Executive Officer, People’s City Mission

This award is given annually since 1999 to a non-IABC member who exhibits leadership in fostering excellent communication. Winners consistently demonstrate vision and leadership in their commitment to effective business communication. Previous recipients include Tom Casady, Joe Starita, Dr. Steve Joel, Bob Kerrey, Chuck Hagel, Ted Kooser, Scott Young and Christy Hinrichs.

Through his communication and business-skill driven leadership, Pastor Tom has made people realize how easy it is to give to the Mission, whether it’s financially, through donating goods or volunteering time.

Please register to join us as we thank and honor Pastor Tom at our Leader in Communication Award Luncheon on Thursday, October 15, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., at the Country Club of Lincoln, 3200 South 24th Street. For those attending, we’ll have a receptacle available for donations of twin size bedding, bath towels, and/or personal hygiene products to the People’s City Mission.

The registration deadline is 5 p.m. on Monday, October 12. If you cannot pre-pay and must pay at the door instead, and/or you have special dietary needs, please email Glenna Parks at glenna.parks@nelnet.net by the deadline. [Note: Due to catering expenses, all registrants MUST cancel 48 hours or more before the luncheon or the pre-pay will not be refunded or a bill will be sent to pay-at-door registrants.]

Online Registration at EventBrite.

IABC Lincoln Seeks Board Members

IABC Lincoln is recruiting members to serve on its Board of Directors starting this July. If you aren’t already a seasoned leader who’s performed a key volunteer role for our chapter, please consider joining our Board. Some of the benefits include:

  • Build your leadership and meeting management skills
  • Build your professional network in Lincoln, Omaha and beyond
  • Gain an international perspective of our association and profession
  • Take advantage of travel opportunities to represent chapter while networking and gaining professional development, such as Leadership Institute, World Conference and Pacific Plains Region meetings

To learn what roles are available or have your questions answered, contact one of IABC Lincoln’s co-coordinators:

Thanks for considering this valuable leadership and professional development opportunity.

Member Profile: Ryan Teller

by Cassie Martching

Teller, Ryan 015149Ryan Teller is the director of public relations for Union College.

From time to time we track down a member of the Lincoln IABC chapter and ask a few questions so you can get to know them better. This month we talked with Ryan Teller, the communication coordinator for the Lincoln chapter.

IABC: Who is your current employer? 

Teller: I work at Union College, a small private college located in southeast Lincoln. Union College offers a variety of baccalaureate degrees in 27 fields of studies including the oldest four-year nursing program in Nebraska and one of only two physician assistant studies programs in the state. Union’s unique International Rescue and Relief program is a four-year degree that teaches students wilderness survival, rescue, emergency management and emergency medical care to prepare students for careers in the medical field, public safety and project development.

IABC: What is your job title and what do you do?

Teller: My business cards says I’m the director of public relations and I’m part of a staff of four in the Marketing Communications department. My role involves managing major publications, media relations, advertising, creating marketing materials and managing video production.

IABC: Why did you join IABC? 

Teller: Some colleagues encouraged me to join some 12 years ago. I moved away from Lincoln and let my membership lapse, but then rejoined when I moved back about four years ago. I really value the connections I have made with fellow communicators in the Lincoln community through IABC.

IABC: What area of communication are you most passionate about and why?

Teller: I love to tell stories using digital tools, especially video. I have been producing videos since high school, and that has been my passion even though it has not been my primary focus through much of my career.

I believe video is the most powerful communication tool other than face-to-face conversation. The combination of audio and moving images has the ability to connect on a deeper emotional level than most other media. Plus, I get to play with lots of cool toys.

IABC: In what areas of communication do you have experience? 

Teller: Most of my career has been spent working in public relations and publication production and editing, which includes a lot of news and feature writing, media relations, photography, etc. But as I mentioned before, video and digital media are my passion, so I have found a way to stay current in those fields, too.

IABC: What do you like to do for fun?

Teller: I enjoy playing and watching sports—especially football—with my kids. I am also a licensed amateur radio operator and volunteer as a weather spotter for Lancaster County Emergency Management during severe weather season.

Right now my passion is singing with the Mighty Magic Pants, a vocal band created by Mike Mennard. We perform kid friendly music and poetry for events and organizations all over Nebraska including the Lincoln Children’s Museum, Nebraska State Fair, Arbor Days, Homestead Days and many more. You can find out more about the band at www.mightymagicpants.com.

IABC: Tell us about your family.

Teller: I have been married to Tawnya, my high school sweetheart, for more than 17 years. She home schools our four children, ages 7-13, and works as the booking manager for the Mighty Magic Pants.

IABC: How long have you lived in the Lincoln area?

Although I was born just across the river in Council Bluffs, I didn’t move to Lincoln until 1994 to study communication at Union College. After graduation I worked in Lincoln for eight years and then spent some time in Fort Worth, Texas, before returning to Lincoln in 2009.

Member Profile: Margo Young

by Cassie Martching

Margo-YoungMargo Young is a special projects coordinator for the senior associate dean in the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

From time to time we track down a member of the Lincoln IABC chapter and ask a few questions so you can get to know them better. This month we talked with Margo Young, IABC member who supports the Lincoln board’s finance and professional development teams.

IABC: Who is your current employer? 

Young: I am a proud employee of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, a land grant institution formed under the Morrill Act in 1869. This legislation gives us a tripartite mission of education, research and service.

IABC: What is your job title? What does your job entail?

Young: I am a special projects coordinator for the senior associate dean in the College of Business Administration. I gather assessment data for graduating seniors and collect and analyze them for ranking surveys (such as Businessweek), for assessment reports for PEARL (within the University of Nebraska–Lincoln) and for AACSB, the accrediting agency for schools and colleges of business.

IABC: Why did you join IABC?

Young: I am a stand-alone communicator in a large college, so I joined IABC for professional fellowship and for the thought-provoking programming that our chapter provides.

IABC: What area of communication are you most passionate about and why?

Young: My idea of communications perfection is to craft a message using emotive and evocative language. Whether it is for a greeting card, for a report or for a letter, I like to use words and images to inspire or inflame or provoke. My aim is an engaged or emotional response. I honed my skills from a childhood filled with too many books and countless hours of TV. When we played outdoors, our pickup football games were accompanied by TV-inspired commentary: “Yes, everything is on the line here today. It is a battle of the titans, a duel to the finish for the perennially powerful Team Young versus the dastardly Clan Rolfsmeier…watch now; it’s a long bomb to the end zone…and listen to that crowd roar!”

IABC: In what areas of communication do you have experience?

Young: I have worked in newspaper, for an academic journal and for a scholarly newsletter. I now collect and analyze data for curriculum assessment in a collegiate setting.

IABC: What do you like to do for fun?

Young: I am on a USTA senior women’s tennis team. I have played weekly matches with my Tuesday night foursome longer than I have been married.

My goal is to improve from gardener to master gardener next year. The pride of my flowerbeds comes from those plants originally harvested from my mother’s garden in Seward or from her great-great grandmother’s orchard near Bennet.

I completed the 40-story Trek the Tower in February.

IABC: Tell us about your family.

Young: Richard DeFusco and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary this May. He is a professor of finance at UNL and cycles more than 3000 miles every year. Our oldest daughter, Rachel, is a former Lincoln Southeast cheerleader and a junior at UNL majoring in civil engineering. (And for our Olsson and Associates members, she is available for internships!) She is a member of SWE (Society of Women Engineers), belongs to Delta Delta Delta and is a club mentor at Culler and Goodrich Middle Schools. Our youngest child, Rebekah, is a senior in high school, a Regents scholar, the vice president of the Asian Caucus and an avid dancer. After being a dance parent for both children for a decade, I became an adult ballet student in 2012.

IABC: How long have you lived in the Lincoln area?

Young: I have lived in Lincoln long enough to see my children’s elementary school change from being the big, new school to a school where students are slated to be bused next year because of scheduled renovations.

IABC: Is there anything else you would like the IABC membership to know about you?

Young: This is a tough era for communicators. We are seen as partisan hacks or mere shills for greater sales. Good grammar, accurate reporting and balanced presentation are not valued in today’s business or political climate. These trends make it more important than ever to maintain our professional skills and standards.

Sedivy Appointed to IABC Pacific Plains Region Board


Lisa Sedivy 2013_square
Lisa Sedivy was recently appointed to the IABC Pacific Plains Region board of directors.

For Lisa Sedivy, ABC, a corporate communication area leader for Olsson Associates and a Lincoln IABC member since 2007, the best part of being an IABC member is the involvement.

“I joined because my boss suggested IABC would provide some good content to help me in my job,” she said. “I stayed because of the relationships I made with other members and because of the opportunities and information I’ve gained from my membership, volunteer service, and overall participation.”

In January, the IABC Pacific Plains Region board of directors gave her another opportunity to get involved when they asked Sedivy to join their board, replacing the director of professional development who had to resign for health reasons.

“I’m diving into the middle of a board year, so I’m trying to get up to speed quickly,” she said. “I want to help find interesting and meaningful professional development opportunities for the 2,000 professional communicators in our region.”

Sedivy is no stranger to IABC leadership. She served on the IABC Lincoln board from 2008 – 2012, including a stint as president. She also represented the chapter at several national IABC meetings where she made contacts that lead to her board appointment.

The IABC Pacific Plains Region encompasses 19 chapters and 2,000 members in the northern and western one-third of the United States, from California to Illinois and northward. The 12-member board works to support local chapter leadership through education and resources while representing the region at the international level.

Even with a demanding job where she manages the communications needs of a client with 25 offices spread over eight states, Sedivy embraces this new responsibility and wants to share her enthusiasm for involvement with fellow members. “The more you do with IABC, the more you gain,” she said. “So, volunteer to help—start small or dive right in.”

Member Profile:
Susan Hartmann

Susan Hartmann

From time to time we track down a member of the Lincoln IABC chapter and ask a few questions so you can get to know them better. This month we talked with Susan Hartmann, IABC Lincoln board member who works with the membership recruitment team.

IABC: Who is your current employer? What is the principal business of your company?

Susan: I work at Vision Maker Media, part of a national minority consortia that receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. We’re located in the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) building on North 33rd Street. Our mission is to empower and engage Native People to tell stories. We envision a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.

Vision Maker Media exists to serve Native producers and Indian country in partnership with public television and radio. We work with Native producers to develop, produce and distribute educational telecommunications programs for all media including public television and public radio. We also support training to increase the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives producing quality public broadcasting programs, which includes advocacy efforts promoting increased control and use of information technologies and the policies to support this control by American Indians and Alaska Natives.

IABC: What is your job title?

Susan: My title is director of communications.

IABC: Why did you join IABC? 

I first joined IABC early in my career after my supervisor (Diana King) at Tabitha Health Care invited me as her guest to a monthly meeting. Afterwards, she encouraged me to join a professional organization in order to gain more confidence and to further my professional career. She spoke highly of IABC and encouraged me to join. I did, and was a member for 13 years until I switched careers to go back to teaching high school journalism and English. But I came back after I became disillusioned with the changes in the teaching profession.

IABC: What area of communication are you most passionate about and why? 

Susan: In graduate school I focused on several areas, including public relations and marketing. I am a strong believer in the ideas presented by James Grunig in his book Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management. In fact, the IABC Research Foundation supported his work. I’ve used Grunig’s ideas as part of my communication strategies at work.

When I first read Grunig’s book I wanted to shout his praises to the world, because his ideas make sense not only for communicators but for organizations as a whole. His views on what makes an organization effective and how communication managers can apply the theories of excellence and effectiveness still ring true. I believe he hits the mark.

IABC: In what area of communication do you have the most experience and skill?

Susan: In every position I have honed different skills – writing, editing, graphic design, social media, public relations, marketing. I have the most experience in writing and editing, since I taught writing and editing for eight years and served as a writer/editor for a variety of internal publications. I also have experience in graphic design and desktop publishing. In several positions I served as a photographer, and I taught photojournalism to high school students for three years. I worked in four state agencies, serving as a Public Information Officer II in two of those agencies. In my current position I do more with social media strategy, e-mail marketing and website maintenance.

IABC: What do you like to do for fun?

Susan: I enjoy reading, gardening and photography. I like making my yard bloom in the spring and summer months and growing vegetables we can eat.

IABC: Tell us about your family.

Susan: Tom is my husband. I have two grown children. Michael lives in Hemingford, Neb., with his wife and three kids. Sara is working on her master’s degree in early childhood education and working full time at Fingerprints Child Care in Lincoln.

IABC: How long have you lived in the Lincoln area?

Susan: I moved to Lincoln four years ago from Firth, just 20 miles south of Lincoln. My children attended Norris Schools. I commuted to Lincoln for more than 20 years. After my children graduated I decided to move to Lincoln and save gas.

IABC: Is there anything else you’d like the IABC membership to know about you?

When I left my communications career to go back to teaching, I missed my IABC connections. Teaching was all-consuming and left little time to make connections outside of school. After I left teaching, one of the first things I did was to begin reconnecting with IABC members. It is one of the best ways to learn and network, no matter where you are in your career.

Vision Exhibits wins IABC Pacific Plains Silver Quill Awards

Janet Denison of Vision Exhibits in Lincoln was recently awarded a Silver Quill Award by IABC Pacific Plains Region.

The IABC Pacific Plains Region has announced the winners of the 2013 Silver Quill Awards. Janet Denison of Vision Exhibits was among the elite group of business communicators who earned two awards in the competition, which invites participation from more than 6,000 business communicators throughout the Pacific Plains Region comprised of 19 states. Janet earned Awards of Merit for her entry, “LI-COR Biosciences 10×30 Exhibit,” in the Marketing, Advertising and Sales Vehicles, and Other Graphic Design categories. The exhibit design resulted in more than tripling the number of leads for LI-COR at its trade shows in 2013, and increased awareness of its brand. Vision Exhibits was also the recent recipient of the 2013 MarCom International Gold Award for the LI-COR exhibit.

“We are proud to recognize a select group of our colleagues – communication superheroes – who have risen to elite status by setting and meeting communications objectives that delivered significant, measurable results to their organizations,” said Jennifer Peters, IABC Silver Quill Awards chair. “Janet Denison, Vision Exhibits, has shown that she used strategic thinking, creativity and ingenuity to get the job done.”

Linger and Learn Bonus Sessions new in 2014

NEW IN 2014! Linger a little longer and learn a whole lot more! Beginning in 2014, new IABC LINCOLN bonus sessions will super-size your skill sets. For only $10 added to your regular meeting charge, we’re providing an additional 60 minutes of hands-on learning and in-depth Q&A. Get even more value from your IABC LINCOLN professional development meetings. Be watching for Linger & Learn Bonus Sessions.

Get ready to use new tools!

L&L Download inst Be ready to access your online tools. Download the guest request and follow these simple instructions 24 hours in advance of the meeting.




From the September meeting: Omaha Steaks on Celebrity Apprentice

by Cassie Milnes Martsching 

September’s IABC luncheon featured Beth Weiss from Omaha Steaks sharing what happened when Omaha Steaks was featured on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. Beth talked about how Omaha Steaks prepared to be on the show and different ways they took advantage of the PR opportunities it provided. She showed samples from their corresponding advertising campaign and social media accounts.

I was particularly impressed with Beth’s description of her background work on behalf of Omaha Steaks before their appearance on the show. Omaha Steaks’ preparation saved the company from any unfortunate surprises and as a result, the company was portrayed in a positive light.

If your business is ever presented with an unimaginable opportunity like this, Beth recommends going for it. Do your background work and carry the PR opportunity as far as you can.

September 20 luncheon: “Omaha Steaks and The Celebrity Apprentice…Can’t Trump This Merger of Branding and Sales”

September’s IABC luncheon will serve up Elizabeth (Beth) Weiss, APR, Omaha, sharing what happened when Donald Trump challenged celebrities with marketing the appeal of Omaha Steaks, a Nebraska-based company that has earned an international reputation for quality products.
The September 20 luncheon will get underway at NET, 1800 N. 33rd St., with registration and networking beginning at 11:45 a.m. Beth’s presentation will go from Noon to 1 p.m., with time for questions and answers.

Beth has served as corporate communications director for Omaha Steaks since 2005, and public relations manager there since 2001. A former member of the Board of Directors of Public Relations Society of America-Nebraska chapter, Beth also served on the national public affairs committee of the American Meat Institute, and is a member of the Integrity Awards committee of the Heartland Better Business Bureau.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she has worked in advertising, marketing communications and public relations for more than 25 years with companies, including Mutual of Omaha, the Scoular Company, and UnitedHealthcare of the Midlands.