HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE: Right to Vote Does Not Mean Level Playing Field for Women on Ballots

A woman has yet to hold America’s highest elected office.

Voters rejected Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy in 2016, a campaign that followed the nation’s historic decision in 2008 to elect its first black president – an echo of women earning the right to vote only after black men successfully fought for franchise.

Some countries still don’t let women vote. The World Bank found last year that women in half the countries in the world lack equal property rights.

This year, the United States is celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which established that women have the right to vote, as activists continue to call for the addition of the Equal Rights Amendment into the Constitution and electing more women into public office.

A hundred years after women secured the right to vote, they still face an uneven playing field in politics, particularly women of color.

This year, Nebraska Democrats have three women seeking to challenge incumbent Rep. Don Bacon in the 2nd Congressional district. Each of the candidates – Kara Eastman, Ann Ashford and Gladys Harrison – spoke to The Daily Record about their experience as candidates.

Eastman says she feels the need to be more prepared than anyone in the room, especially her male counterparts.

“We’re competing at a different level,” she said. “We need to understand all of the nuances it takes to run for office.”

Ashford says women are expected to work twice as hard, but voters shouldn’t base support for a candidate on gender.

“I look forward to at some point being this post-sexist, post-racist, post all-the-‘ists’ society where we don’t have to think about this anymore,” she said.

Harrison says previous generations have helped pave the way, but she’s found her gender isn’t the obstacle she has to overcome.

“I haven’t felt push back because I’m a woman,” Harrison said. “My greatest challenge in running for office in 2020 in Nebraska has been that I’m not a wealthy person and that I’m a person of color.”

There’s still plenty of work to be done, Harrison said, but women are continuing to fight for equality and to achieve a better way of life.

“When you hold back women, you lose 50% of how good a society can be,” she said. “If you look across the world at countries where men and women have the opportunities to be in leadership. Those are the countries that thrive economically, socially and mentally.”

“Any woman who does anything in a leadership role is a role model for all other women, including other countries,” Ashford said. “We have to ensure that every woman across the globe is valued and given her equal due.”

America’s political legacy has been dominated by men, which has resulted in the current significant underrepresentation of women in Congress, Eastman said.

“It demonstrates the importance of women in leadership roles everywhere and how, left to their own devices, men will tend to leave women out or even go to extremes to keep women from being in leadership positions,” Eastman said.

Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson was one of 100 women who accompanied the women’s suffrage float in period dress in the 131st Rose Parade.

“Generations that came after and generations to come will forever be indebted to the courageous women who fought for each one of us,” said Borgeson, a Republican who is serving as president of the National Association of Counties.

Some people wanted women to remain in the background, not on an equal footing, Borgeson said. Even today, she said male candidates for office aren’t asked the same questions – inquiries about their clothes or hair, for example, or how they care for their children.

“I believe we have come a long way, but I still see women being treated differently than our male counterparts,” Borgeson said.

The idea of women voting was controversial, if not subversive, when activists first called the Women’s Right Convention in 1848.

The National Woman Suffrage Association began to grow a movement, but it wasn’t until after the Civil War and the ratification of the 15th Amendment in 1870 that the suffragist movement amped up its efforts.

In 1887, the first women’s suffrage bill was introduced, but it failed on the Senate floor. The battle moved to the states, where by 1910, many states were allowing women to vote. But the movement marginalized and excluded women of color, who were pushed away in an effort to appeal to legislators who were more conformable with the idea of white women voting.

Alisha Shelton, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and only the second black woman to run for the office in Nebraska, said that many African American women were injured in a women’s suffrage parade in 1913 on the eve of President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration.

“We were only allowed to walk in the back of the parade,” Shelton said, adding that her and others’ ancestors united and worked together to secure their rights. “We owe them, and we owe our future generation, to continue to stay the course and to work on that path, because many made this their life’s mission.”

Wilson eventually backed women’s suffrage as a war measure, after women played a vital role in World War I. The 19th Amendment, as written by Susan B. Anthony, was adopted on Aug. 26, 1920. But Shelton said it wasn’t until after Jim Crow laws began to be struck down in the 1960s that many women of color really could exercise their constitutional rights.

“It’s a little bittersweet,” Shelton said. “Although we had this 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote in 1920, and we had men that got the vote with the 15th Amendment, it really took until 1965 and the Voting Rights Act for us to be able to vote.”

Written for the Daily Record: https://omahadailyrecord.com/content/holding-public-office-right-vote-does-not-mean-level-playing-field-women-ballots

CWP Architects Design Future Through Client Cooperation

Carlson West Povondra Architects began in 1987 with a philosophy of client-centered design – an approach it has carried forward in the intervening decades.

The full-service architectural firm’s design expertise is vast. It spans education, commercial office, justice, police, fire, senior and supportive housing and spiritual design. CWP projects have included repurposing buildings and interior renovation in addition to building from the ground up.

“We have a lot of land available here in the Midwest,” said Mike West, senior principal and architect. “But we also work toward slowing urban sprawl. We’re always looking at what exists and can sometimes repurpose buildings that may seem otherwise disposable. Sometimes, it’s a matter of helping a client to fully envision their space.”

The firm’s staff of 25, based out of 5060 Dodge St. is made up of architects, interior designers, construction administrators, urban designers and support staff.

Jamie Eckmann, head of business development and a partner, said the firm’s architecture, interior design, graphics and construction departments “evolved towards a more collaborative environment” in recent years.

“We encourage younger professionals to question and learn from the experiences of those with years of experience,” Eckmann said.

The firm completed a rebranding process and full interior renovation of their building about two years ago. That project promoted flexible and collaborative work, while allowing individuals to maintain productivity.

Reference books and product publications, once prevalent in an architect’s space, all but disappeared, replaced by digital resources, and physical product samples of exterior materials as well as carpeting, floor and wall tiles were shifted into a product library outfitted with a specialized lighting system that shows how a color scheme looks in a range of natural and artificial lighting.

Clients “can experience how they will function in their yet to be built building,” Eckmann said.

West said clients can also see how light changes within a space over the course of a day and with the seasons, as a summer afternoon and winter morning often will create different lighting.

Darin Blair, senior associate and architect, said virtual reality offers another opportunity to experience what a building will be like before it’s constructed.

VR allows for clients to evaluate plan layout, experience lines of sight for improved observation and security, view multiple variations of finishes and walk their space as it is changed in real time, Blair said.

“We could always discuss how a space looks, but now we can show clients how the space feels,” he said.

The firm’s evolution has earned it the honor of the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month Award for March.

For more information on CWP Architects, visit the firm’s website at cwparchitects.com.


Written for the Omaha Daily Record: https://www.omahadailyrecord.com/content/cwp-architects-design-future-through-client-cooperation

Verdant Focuses on Clients to Help Them Grow Their

Although founded as a traditional accounting agency in the 1950s, Verdant Accounting and Business Strategies began offering an expanded range of complementary services in recent years to handle all marketing and financial needs for small to medium-sized businesses.

The firm’s philosophy is to provide dynamic accounting and business strategy, including offering wealth, human capital, insurance and creative services.

“We’re not just the place you’re going to drop off your tax returns,” said Angela Schroeder, business development director.

Verdant is a client-oriented business and its 30 employees seek to better serve clients’ needs through a mindful approach and attention to detail.

Its founders “set a real intention on culture, process as well as executing client experiences and having vulnerable and impactful conversations,” Schroeder said.

The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce awarded Verdant its Small Business of the Month Award for its superior customer service. Schroeder said it was exciting to be recognized.

Caitlin Manley, digital specialist and photographer for Verdant, said the firm’s logo shows how details are important to the firm.

The logo combines four flowers into one.

“When it was created, there were four different divisions, so each flower represents each division,” Manley said.

As a designer, Manley finds it rewarding when clients enjoy a new website or logo. She said they “get really excited about it and are motivated to move onto the next part.”

Verdant’s president, Brian Goracke, enjoys watching clients’ businesses progress over time.

“What I really love is that every day is different,” Goracke said. “I get to help my clients grow through all of the diverse services that we offer. Whether it’s the accounting or the creative side, wealth management and human capital or insurance, there’s so many things that we get to wrap around that business owner and help them with the things that they ultimately don’t want to do and are not the experts to do.”

Schroeder said Verdant’s marketing strategy is primarily referral-based, so they treat every client experience as an opportunity to earn new business.

Verdant also offers complimentary consultations to assess the needs of any company. To book a consultation or find more information, visit myverdant.com.

Written for the Omaha Daily Record: https://omahadailyrecord.com/content/verdant-focuses-clients-help-them-grow-their-businesses


Written for Cubby’s Blog: http://cubbys.com/2020/04/01/local-nonprofit-partners-with-cubbys-convenience-store-to-feed-families/

When a community is faced with a pandemic like COVID-19, closing schools and after school programs can lead to a ripple effect of negative consequences that might not even occur to some. Believe it or not, one in six children struggles with hunger in Nebraska*, meaning these daily programs are essential for the survival of struggling families trying to put food on the table.

Luckily, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha has partnered with Cubby’s Convenience Stores to provide 1,000 sack lunches per day to families that might otherwise go without.

According to Tom Kunkel, CPO of BGCO, “the school districts and the Food Bank had done a really good job helping to cover the breakfast and lunch for kids and families, but there were still some gaps in the evening meal, which was where we would normally fit in. That is when we decided to see if we could provide an evening meal distribution to our members,” who had been unable to access clubs since March 13th. Kunkel had some difficulty finding a local source of produce and supplies at his initial inquiry, so when Cubby’s stepped in to provide meals for the organization at cost, they began distributing meals to hundreds of families from eight of their fourteen locations. In their first three nights, according to Kunkel, the clubs served 2,242 meals and continue to do so daily from 5-7pm.

De Lone Wilson, President of Cubby’s, has been participating daily in the organization and distribution process. He said,  “We have worked on past projects with the The Boys and Girls Clubs and when they reached out looking for a partner we didn’t hesitate to help. At our Old Market store all sandwiches are made fresh so we didn’t need to contact any vendor.  We’re able to provide the food at cost. I visited with our Executive Chef, Sherri Summers and Store Director, Zach Hennings to be sure we were capable of this daily effort with no determined end date – both were eager to get started and staffed up with employees and rounded up some volunteers.  Within a couple of days we’re up to speed and making and delivering 750 to 1,000 meals a day, five days a week. We are happy to have the resources to help”.

Having these pickup locations available has also helped the BGCO stay in touch with the community they love to serve. Kunkel said, “just having some sort of contact is important. We’re practicing social distancing and wearing gloves and masks and minimizing contact,” while providing a quick drive-thru service where families can take home 5-6 meals that will get them through the night. As we adapt to our new normal amidst COVID-19, Kunkel said, “having just one way that we can try to help some of the most vulnerable families in our community is really important, and Cubby’s is right there next to us helping to do that.”

For information on how to donate or to partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Omaha and join the fight against hunger in Nebraska, visit www.donate.bgca.org.

Cubby’s Convenience Store, a staple of Downtown Omaha, is open to help serve the tightly knit area and its residents for groceries, including meat and fresh produce.

KreativElement’s Core Values Bring Clients Success

In high school, James Duran brokered lockers for his classmates. Now he uses his business savvy running KreativElement, a digital media agency located in the heart of downtown Omaha.

“I had always had a bug of being an entrepreneur,” said Duran, the firm’s managing partner, who added that he has a knack for problem-solving and thinking outside the box.

For their outstanding service to the Omaha metro, KreativElement has been selected by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce as the first Small Business of the Month Award Recipient of 2020.

In September 2012, KreativElement was formed out of a small digital agency of a different name to serve as a comprehensive digital media agency. The firm focuses primarily on social media management using video to communicate client marketing strategies, but it also offers services of all kinds while maintaining a role laying the foundation of a business’ marketing strategy.

“We are fairly siloed, which means that we have specialties in things like social media, web design and development, and digital ads – that’s SEO, SEM and display ads,” Duran said, using acronyms for search-engine optimization and search-engine marketing.

To maintain a loyal clientele base, KreativElement strives to create long-term relationships with every organization it represents.

“Those businesses that started with us in 2012 are still doing business with us today,” Durnan said, adding that his team has been able to bear witness to their partners’ successes.

Having acquired a business recently that won the award in 2016, Duran said he and his team are excited for the positive feedback from their community. Going into the new decade, the business is focusing on health care; nonprofits, professional and home services; improving processes; and on continuing to do bigger and better things.

“It’s a new decade, a new year, a new time, it’s a fresh start for everybody,” he said. “We have plans for big growth in 2020.”

One aspect of KreativElement that has made the business so successful are its core values, summed up as “TRIBE.” That means the firm’s team operates with Transparency, is Results-oriented, comes up with Innovative ideas, hires and serves the Best people and clients and Engages with its community.

Courtney McGann, director of operations, said she enjoys her role at KreativElement because they’re not “helicopter bosses.”

“People don’t have the fear to fail, which means they’re more open to trying new things and taking risks,” McGann said.

Logan Aurelia, a staff member of KreativElement, said his favorite part of his job is the team.

“We all get along really well,” Aurelia said. “We work together creatively and cooperatively, and like the variety of the clients. I have about 20, and they’re all completely different.”

Duran said the firm strives to be transparent with its clients.

“We don’t hide behind what we call ‘digital magic,’” he said.

The team explains every element in the creative process of fabricating their media to prove exactly why their time and services are so valuable – which makes the firm a better partner.

“I treat every business we work with as if it were my own,” Duran said. “We say that we’re essentially your marketing department; we just don’t drink your coffee.”

To find more information about KreativElement and its services, visit kreativelement.com.

See the full story here: https://www.omahadailyrecord.com/content/kreativelement%E2%80%99s-core-values-bring-clients-success

Bozell Continues Legacy of Thinking Outside the Box

Bozell doesn’t look the same as when it was founded in 1921, but its underlying philosophy is still infused into its approach.

Established by an all-male team, Bozell, a well-known marketing firm in Omaha, is now completely owned by three women – Kim Mickelsen, Robin Donovan and Jackie Miller – and offers fully integrated marketing services to serve their clientele.

The firm has also recently relocated its headquarters from its Old Market roots to 2215 Harney St. across from the Federal Reserve Bank building. Mickelsen said they will miss their old office, but the company’s leaders are looking forward to growing their team of talented marketers.

When the firm was founded, many marketing and advertising agencies were on the coasts, and most advertising agencies were being founded by advertising executives. But Bozell’s founders – Morris Jacobs and Leo Bozell – “decided they’d rather make news than report it,” Mickelsen said. “They wanted to change things.”

They started with the way their office was run. In lieu of a traditional hierarchy, the founders of Bozell created their own model with a collaborative dynamic between management and staff.

Each member of Bozell’s staff was carefully curated to fully serve their clients. The firm remains cognizant of their consultative nature and therefore hire individuals who are, “innately curious, insatiably curious, because those people tend to get to the bottom of things, as opposed to just making an ad,” Mickelsen said. “They’re the ones who tend to be more strategic thinkers in terms of offering advice that is in the best interest of achieving the objective.”

A company may come to Bozell seeking flyers for an ad campaign, but they could be more likely to benefit from an online approach. Mickelsen said that the firm is candid with its clients – earning its reputation by doing the right thing, not simply what’s asked of them.

“That’s what may make us a bit more expensive than the other studios, but that’s because instead of just being production-oriented, we are thought-oriented,” Mickelsen said.

Whether it is sustainability, community development, or advocacy, Bozell knows that consumers are more knowledgeable than ever about where they shop. Businesses are pressed to “take a stand,” on these issues, she said. Nike, for example, supported the “take a knee” initiative with with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“Some say they went too far, but look at their stock,” Mickelsen said. (Yahoo Sports recently reported that Nike’s stock value is up 18%, worth $26.2 billion, since its endorsement deal with Kaepernick.)

A further benefit of Bozell’s flat culture is having so many deep thinkers at the ready to assist a client’s campaign. Because of their attention to detail and innate curiosity, Bozell’s professionals go into every meeting having done their research to make appropriate decisions and offer suggestions to their clients. The firm’s philosophy is to ask what people want but establish and deliver what they truly need.

Because of their dedication to comprehensive marketing strategies, Bozell is the recipient of December’s Small Business of the Month Award from the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

“We love the chamber,” Mickelsen said. “We do work for them. We’re big supporters of We Don’t Coast and the initiatives they’re doing, so it’s very cool to be recognized by them.”

The team at Bozell serves a vast clientele both inside and outside the Omaha metro, from the family businesses to legacy corporations. However, due to their dedication to ethical practices, Bozell is selective about the clientele with whom they choose to collaborate.

Mickelsen said the firm seeks clients who are passionate about their mission.

“We seek to empower those who want to make change,” Mickelsen said. “That is our vision and our mission.”

For more information on Bozell and its services, visit bozell.com.


Written for the Daily Record: https://omahadailyrecord.com/content/bozell-continues-legacy-thinking-outside-box

Clean Water Guys Tackle Hard Water, Keep Taps Pure

NASA astronauts on Apollo 17 took a photo of clouds whirling over Earth’s oceans in 1972 that looked like a “Big Blue Marble.”

While water covers about 71% of the planet’s surface, only about 1/200th of Earth’s water is fresh water that’s accessible and suitable for drinking.

Rory Sherman, owner of Clean Water Guys, wants the Omaha metro community to know his business is here to treat any water issue, helping to connect people with fresh, clean drinking water.

Working with household names such as Tyson, Scooter’s and even Google, the Clean Water Guys collaborate with manufacturers that have proven themselves to be staples in their industry and creates custom systems to retrofit any building in need of water treatment. The company, incorporated as United Distributors Inc., also offers home and office solutions for water softening and water treatment systems.

Sherman grew up in a small town in South Dakota and went to trade school to become a mechanic before changing his focus to water treatment. He has been serving his customers for more than four decades.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in Omaha, the first Clean Water Guys was founded in 1979 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where it grew to cover over seven states.

Eventually, Sherman said his brother suggested opening a branch in Omaha, and the company’s new headquarters was established in 1984.

“It was a lot larger city for development and growth,” Sherman said, noting that a central location was helpful for shipping in parts from across the country.

Clean Water Guys has experienced consistent growth because of the dedication to treating its customers like family.

“The key thing for us is having very strong core values,” Sherman said. “If you take care of the customer, the customer will take care of you. If you don’t take care of the customer, the customer will take care of you. We think it’s better to do it right the first time.”

Family is at the heart of the company, with Sherman’s daughter, Elizabeth, recently marking her fifth anniversary with the company. She said her favorite part of the company is working with a “tight knit team” – and working at a family business.

“Everybody who comes in here feels the family vibe,” she said.

Hard water is a top issue across the United States, and Nebraska has high concentrations of minerals in the water supply. Those can calcify over time and accumulate in water heaters and pipes.

In fact, Sherman said his team has taken piece of sediment from water heaters in Omaha that measured nearly a foot in length.

That’s why Sherman stresses the value of a water treatment system to clients for both commercial and residential properties.

“There’s an old saying in plumbing: ‘It takes one plumber to bring in a water heater and three men and two boys to carry one out.’ Well, the reason for this is because of hardwater scale,” Sherman said.

When water is untreated and mineral scale is left behind, it calcifies and hardens to form a barrier that the water heater must then heat through to function.

“That’s what drives cost up,” Sherman said.

Besides prolonging the life of plumbing and appliances, softer water is healthier on people’s skin and it eliminates the issue of soap and hard water forming scum on shower walls – making bathrooms easier to clean. Even laundry is more efficient, requiring less soap to wash and causing less damage by removing harsh irritants that damage clothing over time.

Pollution is also filtered out, which can provide safety when the water has contamination – whether that’s from floods, like in those across Nebraska this year, or lead or other elements leaking into the water supply from decaying pipes, like in Flint, Michigan.

“People don’t realize that the water we have today is the same water we’ve always had. You can’t make water,” Sherman said.

While water is filtered before it goes into the water supply to be safe, another layer of filtration can bring some peace of mind.

Because of their diligence and care for customers, Clean Water Guys was selected as November’s Small Business of the Month by the Greater Omaha Chamber.

Sherman said success is measured by the company’s longevity and “feeling like you’re a part of something bigger” – through serving the community further, such as by repurposing and donating used water softeners to those in need who can’t afford them.

“I’m more excited about the business today than I was 25-30 years ago,” Sherman said. “Thank you to our customers, because without them, none of this would have happened.”

Find more on Clean Water Guys at cleanwaterguys.com.

Written for the Omaha Daily Record: https://www.omahadailyrecord.com/content/clean-water-guys-tackle-hard-water-keep-taps-pure

Creighton Forum Highlights Immigrants’ Struggles

*Written for The Daily Record: https://www.omahadailyrecord.com/content/creighton-forum-highlights-immigrants’-struggles

The uncertainty regarding the status of immigrants and asylum seekers at the federal level has resulted in accusations of confusion and indecision by state officials charged with renewing driver’s licenses.

A recent conversation hosted by the Creighton University School of Law sought to explore the impact of shifting federal policy for persons with Temporary Protected Status, a federal program that grants temporary legal status to certain foreign nationals from countries where it would be unsafe to return.

The office of U.S. Rep. Don Bacon hosted a conversation on driver’s license and identification renewals for individuals with TPS with several Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles employees on Sept. 20 at the law school. The forum sought to answer questions about the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program, or SAVE, which seeks to prevent people from losing their identification.

Rick McFayden, associate dean for student affairs and administration at Creighton Law, introduced the discussion along with first-year law student César Magaña Linares, who served as an interpreter.

“We appreciate being able to be of assistance and be a platform for this conversation,” McFadden said.

Luis Guzman, a constituent liaison from Bacon’s office, gave an overview of SAVE, which uses a three-step verification process to determine a person’s immigration status, including their eligibility for TPS benefits.

SAVE is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, part of the federal Department of Homeland Security. USCIS handles the administration of immigration and naturalization for DHS, while Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) handles investigations and deportations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) protects the nation’s borders and oversees ports of entry.

At the forum, DMV employees and community members with TPS discussed how the multiple steps of the verification process at a federal level that can result in months of waiting – often up to a year.

The system also has resulted in some people with TPS saying they can’t access their benefits.

Several attendees of the forum, for example, said they brought all their required documents to renew, but they were not granted their licenses. One person said they were denied a license despite documentation from her attorney showing it should have been approved.

Another person with TPS said that a police officer won’t care if they have sought a driver’s license and have a right to obtain a driver’s license. If they’re found without one while operating a motor vehicle, even if it’s to work or school, they will face a citation.

“The person that’s affected by that ticket – that impacts their ability to seek other immigration benefits in the future,” the attendee said.

Matt Giesler, a DMV examiner who handles TPS cases, apologized to the immigrant for his negative experience. “We are training our examiners as quickly as possible,” Giesler said.

Giesler said the SAVE program is relatively simple, despite the problems some have encountered. The noncitizen has to present an employment authorization document, valid foreign passport or other immigration document. However, Giesler said he would pass on the concerns brought up during the Creighton forum to appropriate supervisors at the state agency.

Adam Eakin, a project and information manager at the DMV, encouraged applicants who do encounter a problem to ask for a supervisor to review such cases so that all TPS recipients and other protected groups receive their documents in a timely manner.

“Please do not hesitate to bring this to our attention,” Eakin said.

Eakin said the DMV will continue to follow current federal regulations while legislation is crafted at the federal level regarding which countries continue to qualify for TPS.

From El Salvador alone, 3,000 TPS recipients in Nebraska are currently in jeopardy of losing their benefits. Other countries currently qualifying for TPS include Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, according to USCIS.

McFayden said he hopes the strong turnout and enthusiasm at the forum indicates that the discussion will make a difference.

“Creighton looks forward to being a conduit for information from state organizations to the constituents that they are serving,” McFayden said.

Doctor Putting the ‘Vision’ in Visionary

*Written for The Omaha Daily Record, 10/17/2019

Using top of the line technology and cutting-edge methodologies, Dr. Lance Kugler is changing the face of vision correction in the Omaha metro area by focusing not only on delivering life-changing vision results, but also on world-class customer service.

Most people know about laser eye surgery, known as LASIK, but there are seven different types of vision correction and restoration procedures. Kugler Vision is the only practice in Nebraska to offer all of them.

As a result of their dedication to patient care and stellar success in their field, Kugler Vision was named the recipient of the Small Business of the Month Award by the Greater Omaha Chamber.

Kugler Vision’s specialization in a variety of procedures allows each patient to be matched to the best procedure for their unique needs at any stage of life, so that they may live their lives to the fullest without the need of glasses or contact lenses.

Because the eyes can be affected so drastically by lifestyle, Kugler said it’s a “really critical time” in history for eyesight. With so many new cases of nearsightedness being diagnosed, humankind is near the verge of an epidemic. This is caused, according to Dr. Kugler, “due to screens and kids spending a good part of their time indoors,” which he says tends to worsen near-sightedness.

Proper contact lens care is another important issue.

“The No. 1 reason an adolescent is in the emergency room is because of a contact-related eye injury,” Kugler said.

With teens and young adults neglecting to replace or thoroughly clean their lenses, a multitude of health issues can arise, causing severe long-term damage.

Once the eyes have fully finished developing between the ages of 18 and 21, Kugler Vision can assess and treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism with techniques such as the Modern LASIK treatment. Those who are not LASIK candidates generally qualify for another procedure- like the ICL permanent contact lens procedure, PRK or SMILE vision correction. For those dealing with age-related near vision loss or blended vision, Corneal Inlay or Refractive Lens Exchange can reduce or eliminate the need for readers or bifocals.

As the price of glasses and contact lenses continues to increase, the cost-effectiveness of vision correction improves. Vision correction “pays for itself” after about five years, given the cycle of purchasing glasses and contacts coming to about $1,000 per year.

Due to new developments and the continued advancement of technology, worries about vision loss are now becoming a thing of the past. For those individuals who have been told they are not a candidate for LASIK or other vision correction, Kugler urges patients to visit their office near 180th and Burke streets.

“Over 80% of the patients that come to see us have been told at some point that they aren’t a candidate for a procedure,” he said.

While some might not be a candidate for LASIK specifically, there are other options for astigmatism, myopia and hyperopia.

Many patients are surprised by how quickly and easily their corrective eye procedures are performed. Kugler said LASIK can be finished on both eyes within nine minutes and allow patients to go back to work the next day.

A testimonial from a patient shared by Kugler Vision said they were nervous, but the clinic staff is reassuring and supportive.

Self-described as, “the outsiders in medicine,” Kugler’s drive for ethical practices in such a specialized field led him to start the clinic.

One clinic employee, Kori Walker, said she was a patient before she was an employee.

“I actually came in for an appointment, and I thought, ‘This looks like a fun place to work,’ and asked to fill out an application,” Walker said, adding after almost one year of work: “I couldn’t be happier to work here.”

With a team of passionate individuals and expert physicians in their field, Kugler Vision meets the gold standard in vision correction. They have the ability to diagnose and fix a specific problem which, in most fields of medicine, “is pretty rare,” Kugler said.

Using this technology to fix vision permanently and with predictable results, Kugler said, “that is very satisfying. We believe in how we do things … it’s a really engaged process.”

To take a self-test, find out more about vision correction procedures or schedule a consultation with Kugler Vision, call 402-558-2211 or visit lasikomaha.com.

Unique Ways to Tune Into Your Own Wavelength

No question, everyday life can deplete the vital forces that keep us energized. Thanks to a multitude of unique ways to get in touch with your inner yogi and practice meditation throughout the Omaha metro, mind-body-spirit refueling is just a breath away.

The Nebraska Zen Center

Offering meditation and mindfulness classes for over forty years, The Nebraska Zen Center is a refuge for practitioners at the Heartland Temple. Dosho Port, who teaches guided meditation, says the practice sets the mind up for a great day by creating a clear headspace. The Center also offers silent meditation sessions which fosters inner peace, focus and calm.


Read the full story here: https://www.omahachamber.org/wedontcoast/unique-ways-to-tune-into-your-own-wavelength/