August Small Business of the Month: Nebraska Tour Company

*Written for the Daily Record – http://www.omahadailyrecord.com/index.cfm?show=10&mid=165&pid=58

With just a little more than a year under its belt, Nebraska Tour Company has been singled out for the Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Month Award in August.

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Nebraska Tour Company and Discover Omaha recently merged to combine their expertise, offering culinary and historical tours across the Omaha metro area.
Opting for the moniker Nebraska Tour Company, their mission is to provide guests with a true taste of the town’s culinary delights and historical buildings as if they were a local. Featuring customizable themes such as Prohibition, Sushi and Sake or walking tours of downtown, Nebraska Tour Company allows natives and visitors alike to discover the city of Omaha in a whole new way.

It all started with Alan Rust, president and co-owner, moving several times for his career in retail. “Every time I move to a new place,” he said, “I always try to find the best bars, restaurants and places to go. So, I moved here to work for Gordmans … and then I decided I was done with retail. I wanted to do my own thing, sharing my passion for finding the cool places.”

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Rust connected with Dakotah Smith, joining forces to form their concierge tour company.
With a staff of two culinary experts and four locals with in-depth knowledge of local history, Nebraska Tour Company offers comprehensive, new and unique ways of exploring the Omaha metro area. Rust says his tour guides “are passionate about the city of Omaha and want to share that. That’s what we do differently.”Another great feature of this innovative tour company is their customized tours. “A lot of groups have pre-scheduled tours,” Rust said, “and if they don’t meet a minimum, they cancel them completely. We have the ability to tour any day of the week and it is a private experience.”

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Adopting the saying from P.T. Barnum – “the noblest art is that of making others happy,” Rust seeks to please and entertain his clientele by living this philosophy every day. At Nebraska Tour Company, they take care of everything, he said.

“The service is that you don’t have to worry about anything,” he said. “So, if you were elected to take care of a group, we can take care of absolutely all of it for you.”
Unlike other tour companies that have pre-planned tours and destinations, the most exciting part of booking with Nebraska Tour Company is that the client has no idea where they are going until they arrive at their destination. Just like a magical mystery tour, Rust stresses secrecy until the very last moment, and according to him, “Everybody has loved that.”

While there are classic culinary tours, district tours and many other options, Rust and his team provide an authentic, yet luxurious experience for diners at each destination. To guarantee this experience, Rust himself visits restaurants undercover to see if they may be a possible fit for their tour groups, stressing ambiance and service as well as the food quality.

“The places we choose need to provide that same high-level experience that we’re providing, or they won’t be part of our tours,” he said. “Our brand is providing that high level of VIP experience in every tour that we do, so we need our partners to do the same.”

Perfect for team-building events or newbies to Omaha, Nebraska Tour Company offers a tour for every taste. Try the Old Market Walking Tour, a Blackstone food tour, Benson food tour or perhaps customize a search for the best pizza in town. If those aren’t for you, try a Taco Tuesday tour, a mob tour, a baseball history tour or a haunted tour. Nebraska Tour Company caters to any theme imaginable.

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The most popular tour at Nebraska Tour Company is the basic culinary tour, which may include a theme depending on the day of the week. If brunch is your way of celebrating a Sunday Funday, they also offer a brunch tour, which “involves a bit of day drinking,” Rust said, but also feasts on Omaha’s best breakfast bites. The venues vary and are all locally owned, because Rust believes in helping his fellow small businesses. “We support local,” he said. “We want the community to be a better place.”

Rust’s personal favorite is the Spirits and Snacks tour. “I’m a cocktail guy,” he said. “It’s just more of a cocktail tour with a little bit of food.” If beer is your preference, there are brewery tours to choose from as well.

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After a year in business, Rust and Smith are extremely honored to be named the Small Business of the Month from the Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
“I think it is a great honor because we’ve worked really, really hard for our business to support other small businesses,” he said. “It’s a big honor because we are able to help others, so that businesses can work together to make a community better.”
Nebraska Tour Company offers concierge tours unlike any other. To book your tour, contact Nebraska Tour Company at 866-996-6242.

Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine: Meet Dr. Elizabeth Constance!

*Written for Women’s Edition – https://www.womensedition.com/omahahealthyliving

This month, Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine welcomes Dr. Elizabeth Constance to the practice! Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Dr. Constance completed her training and OB-GYN residency at the University of Kansas before relocating to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Focusing on reproductive endocrinology and infertility, she completed a three-year fellowship program, consisting of half clinical medicine and half research. During her fellowship, she researched new methods for fertility preservation for women and girls going through cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, which can severely impact fertility. “Infertility is a very difficult situation for individuals and families to walk through,” she says. “When you add a cancer diagnosis on top of that, it can add extra stress and uncertainty. Anything we can do to take the worry off future fertility, so the woman can just focus on the immediate treatment and healing, is a huge weight off of her shoulders.”

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 For adult women going through chemotherapy or radiation, doctors can harvest healthy eggs from the ovaries and freeze them before the patient begins treatment. This helps preserve the woman’s chances for fertility in the future, after cancer treatment. However, for young girls who haven’t gone through puberty, there is currently no way to preserve eggs that have not matured enough for fertilization.

During her fellowship, Dr. Constance dedicated her research to extracting those premature eggs from young women and preserving them outside of the body. That way, in their own time, young patients might still be able to have their own biological children after undergoing cancer treatments. Her trials on mice were successful, she notes. “Our contribution was one small step toward having that technology available in the future.”

Dr. Constance brings her own empathetic experience to patient care because she herself went through the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive her second child. “I have walked that journey and come out the other side of it,” she says. Her personal experience, however, still comes second to her passion for patient care. Her philosophy is to consistently provide individualized plans for each patient who walks through her door.

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While IVF comprises a large portion of her daily routine, there is no cookie cutter answer for every infertility patient. This is where today’s expanse of medical technology comes into play. As IVF is a costly and time-intensive procedure, Dr. Constance is constantly working to find new ways to treat fertility issues. “One-size-fits-all is not my approach,” she asserts. “I work with patients to look at personal medical history, needs, and beliefs. I learn each patient’s individual goals for building her family, and then I tailor the plan and the treatment for each person.” Her one and only goal is to help individuals and couples create the families they’ve always dreamed of having.

Dr. Constance is a constant reminder to her patients that they are never alone during difficult times, and she consistently seeks to be a support system for them throughout their treatment process. Sometimes, the most frustrating thing is when all test results come back normal…yet the patient is still unable to conceive. “Sometimes, you don’t have a hard and fast thing you can point to and say, ‘This is the reason this is happening.’ In those cases, we go on from there with the most reasonable treatment plan.”

While she was interviewing for jobs, Dr. Constance knew she wanted to be close to her Kansas roots. Omaha was “the perfect balance.” During her interview process, Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine stood out to Dr. Constance as soon as she came into the office. “The compassion and care for patients was palpable when I walked in,” she recalls. “From the front desk staff to the physicians and nurse practitioners, it’s just obvious that everybody is completely focused on getting the best outcome for each individual person that walks through the door. I was looking for that balance. I want to be able to provide cutting edge medical therapy for patients, but I also want to really walk that emotional journey with them, to be there for them in the joyful moments as well as the heartbreak.”

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Beginning this month, Dr. Elizabeth Constance joins the dedicated team at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine at 7308 South 142nd Street, in Omaha. Consisting of three physicians and two nurse practitioners, the team is dedicated to helping families plan for the future, and they’re delighted to have Dr. Constance join their practice. If you are having difficulty conceiving, have suffered a miscarriage, or are looking to preserve your future fertility, reach out to Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine at 402-717-4220 or heartlandfertility.com.