Meet the 2021 Award Winners

The Bloc would like to thank all the nominees, nominators, and all of the community partners and supporters. There were over 1,500 nominations across Nebraska. Only the nominees who stood out in their categories received the award but all the nominees are leading the way in our community and deserved the nomination. Lastly but not least, thank you to the Judges Committee for going above and beyond to strengthen the awards processes.

The Lifetime Award Recipient

Carmen Tapio

Carmen Tapio Company & Title: North End Teleservices CEO

2021 Award Recipients

Lazaro Spindola

Lazaro Spindola Company & Title: Executive Director at Nebraska Latino American Commission Category: Community

Honorable Tanya Cook

Honorable Tanya Cook Company & Title: Policy Lead at NATIONAL BLACK CAUCUS OF STATE LEGISLATORS Category: Community

Walter "Ted" Carter

Walter "Ted" Carter Company & Title: University of Nebraska Systems President/CEO Category: Community

Jona Van Deun

Jona Van Deun Company & Title: President at Nebraska Tech Collaborative Category: Business

Sen. John McCollister

Sen. John McCollister Company & Title: Nebraska State Senator Category: Community

James Freeman

James Freeman Company & Title: Retired Senior Director of Inclusion and Director of Multicultural Affairs | the University of Nebraska at Omaha Category: Community

Renee Franklin

Renee Franklin Company & Title: Executive Director of Elementary Learning Centers Category: Nonprofit

James Reiff

Jim Reiff Company & Title: Executive Director of The Nebraska Enterprise Fund Category: Business

Paul Strawhecker

Paul Strawhecker Company & Title: President, Paul J. Strawhecker, Inc. Category: Business

Rosey Higgs

Rosey Higgs Company & Title: Nonprofit Association of the Midlands | Director of Programs Category: Nonprofit

Chris Hove

Chris Hove Company & Title: Chief Executive Officer at Nebraska Bank of Commerce Category: Business

Mick Mines

Mick Mines Company & Title: Nebraska Lobbyist | Bromm Nielsen & Mines Category: Business

Carolina Padilla

Carolina Padilla Company & Title: Intercultural Senior Center | Executive Director Category: Nonprofit

Carole Patrick, PhD

Carole Patrick, PhD Company & Title: VP of Development at Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Category: Healthcare

Eric Ewing

Eric Ewing Company & Title: Executive Director for the Great Plains Black History Museum, Native of Omaha, NE Category: Community

Good, Darrin

Good, Darrin Company & Title: President, Nebraska Wesleyan University Category: Community

Aileen Warren

Aileen Warren Company & Title: University of Nebraska Medical Center | Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Human Resources Category: Community

BC Clark

BC Clark Company & Title: METRO OMAHA WOMENS BUSINESS CENTER-MOWBC | Founder & President NEBRASKA ENTERPRISE FUND-NEF | Director of Training & Client Development Category: Business

Diva Mejias

Diva Mejias Company & Title: The Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | President Category: Community

Paula Steenson

Paula Steenson Company & Title: Paula Presents! | Founder and owner Category: Business

Carol Cleaver

Carol Cleaver Company & Title: Attorney Category: Business

Honorable Vernon Daniels

Honorable Vernon Daniels Company & Title: State of Nebraska | Hon. Judge Category: Community

Doug Durham

Doug Durham Company & Title: Don’t Panic Labs | CEO & Co-Founder Category: Business

Eli Rigatuso

ELI RIGATUSO Company & Title: SpeakingOfHappy.com | Founder Category: Community

Sandy Spady

Sandy Spady Company & Title: Greater Omaha Chamber | Member Services Representative Category: Business

Marcy Browning

Marcy Browning Company & Title: Duet | Development Director Category: Nonprofit

Jeff Huber

Jeff Huber Company & Title: Home Instead, Inc. | Chief Executive Officer Category: Innovation

Tamara Morris

Tamara Morris Company & Title: Hamilton Community Foundation | Executive Director Category: Nonprofit

Dr. Chelsea Chesen

Dr. Chelsea Chesen Company & Title: Private Practice | Owner Category: Healthcare

Janice Marie Jansky

In Memoriam of Janice Marie Jansky Company & Title: Nebraska Methodist Health System | Director of Investments Category: Business

Welton Juilfs

Welton Juilfs Company & Title: Changing Spaces Category: Community

Nicole Edmundson

Nicole Edmundson Company & Title: SilverStone Group, a HUB International Company | Account Specialist Category: Business

Meg Damme

Meg Damme Company & Title: Fresh Start Home | Program Coordinator Category: Nonprofit

Jim Warren

Jim Warren Company & Title: Sarpy County Commissioner, District 5 Category: Community

Annabelle Keene

Annabelle Keene Company & Title: Eastern Nebraska Medical Reserve Corps | Volunteer Category: Nonprofit

Harold Sargus

Harold Sargus Company & Title: Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) | Procurement Consultant/Director of Continuing Education Category: Business

Judy Martin

Judy Martin Company & Title: Midlands African Chamber | Advisory Board Member Category: Community

Carmen Tapio

Carmen Tapio Company & Title: North End Teleservices | CEO Category: Business

Phyllis Erickson

Phyllis Ericson Company & Title: Retired CEO Category: Nonprofit

Ian Vickers

Ian Vickers Company & Title: Global Partners in Hope | CEO Category: Nonprofit

Scott Hazelrigg

Scott Hazelrigg Company & Title: NorthStar Foundation | President Category: Nonprofit

Dr. Ali Khan

Dr. Ali Khan Company & Title: the University of NE at Omaha | Dean of the College of Public Health Category: Healthcare

Candace Gregory

Candace Gregory Company & Title: Open Door Mission | President/CEO Category: Nonprofit

Erica Mascarello

Erica Mascarello Company & Title: Walk Your Paws, While You Work | Owner Category: Community

Kirk Anderson

Kirk Anderson Company & Title: Marksman Indoor Range | Co-Owners Category: Business

Christine Anderson

Christine Anderson Company & Title: Marksman Indoor Range | Co-Owners Category: Business

Tony Boldt

Tony Boldt Company & Title: Nebraska Furniture Mart | President/CEO Category: Business

Yesenia Peck

Yesenia Peck Company & Title: Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD)| Diversity manager Category: Community

Honorable Wadie Thomas

Honorable Wadie Thomas Company & Title: State of Nebraska | Hon. Judge Category: Community

Karen Gibler

Karen Gibler Company & Title: Sarpy Chamber of Commerce | President Category: Community

2021 Up & Coming Trailblazers

This year, due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have granted 10 additional Awards to "Up & Coming Trailblazers" in the community.

Brian Hastings

Brian Hastings Company & Title: President and CEO at University of Nebraska Foundation Category: Nonprofit

Rob Wegner

Rob Wegner Company & Title: Palmer Public School | Teacher/Activities Director/Coach Category: Community

Travis Sturgill

Travis Sturgill Company & Title: Hall County Sheriff's Office | Investigator Category: Community

Alexander Dunn

Alexander Dunn Company & Title: Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill | Managing Partner & Owner Category: Business

Jeremiah Dane Larsen

Jeremiah Dane Larsen Company & Title: Jeremiah Dane Coaching | Founder Category: Healthcare

Jacqueline Miller

Jacqueline Miller Company & Title: Creighton University | Assistant Professor Category: Healthcare

Brian Craig

Brian Craig Company & Title: Charge Knowledge | Vice President Category: Innovation

Marjorie Maas

Marjorie Maas Company & Title: SHARE Omaha | Executive Director Category: Community

Washington Garcia

Washington Garcia Company & Title: the University of Nebraska at Omaha | Director, School of Music Category: Community

Dr. LaShaune Johnson

Dr. LaShaune Johnson Company & Title: Creighton University | Associate Professor Category: Community

Dr. Vidhya Selvaraj

Dr. Vidhya Selvaraj Company & Title: Omaha Insomnia and Psychiatric Services | Chief Medical Officer Category: Healthcare