LINCOLN, Nebraska — January 12, 2023 — The NE Chamber and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) College of Business today announced the 2023 inductees into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame, including:
• Mildred “Millie” Brown, Omaha Star (posthumous);
• Jim Clifton & Jane Miller, Gallup of Omaha;
• Ralph & Beverly Holzfaster Family, Agribusiness / Community Development of Paxton;
• Anthony “Tony” Messineo, Jr., Valentino’s of Lincoln; and
• Wilfred “Dick” Tegtmeier, Encore Mfg. Co. of Beatrice (posthumous).
These leaders will officially be inducted at the NE Chamber Annual Meeting and Nebraska Business Hall of Fame Banquet Thursday, February 2, at a 5:30 p.m. reception and 6:30 p.m. banquet held at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel. To join in honoring these individuals and their families, register at web.nechamber.com/events or contact the NE Chamber at 402-474-4422. To sponsor, contact James Berringer at 402-474-4717 or email@example.com.
“This year’s honorees embody the vision, grit and community loyalty often ingrained in our boldest-thinking Nebraskans,” said NE Chamber President Bryan Slone. “The impact each of them has had on our communities, quality of life, and state reputation and identity is awe-inspiring.”
These individuals join a distinguished group of more than 130 business leaders whose work to grow their businesses in Nebraska have made a significant impact on the free enterprise system, Nebraska’s economy, overall job opportunities and quality of life in their communities. Candidates are nominated by individuals from the business community, business associations and academia. The program was established in 1992 by the NE Chamber and UNL College of Business.
“We are excited to recognize and salute the accomplishments of the 2023 Nebraska Business Hall of Fame honorees whose contributions to Nebraska’s economy and business environment are broad and far reaching. This group includes entrepreneurs, exceptional business leaders and highly engaged citizens who made a tremendous impact on the state,” said Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the UNL College of Business.
The NE Chamber is the largest, statewide business association, proudly serving as the voice of Nebraska’s business community since 1912. The organization promotes and protects Nebraska’s free enterprise system by ensuring a competitive business climate, economic growth and greater prosperity for all Nebraskans. Learn more at nechamber.com.
MILDRED “MILLIE” BROWN, Omaha Star, Omaha (awarded posthumously)
Mildred Brown was the owner, publisher and editor of the Omaha Star, the nation’s longest-operating, Black-owned newspaper run by a woman. Launched in 1938, the newspaper helped steer Omahans through racial segregation, the 1960s civil rights movement and additional racial unrest through the early 1970s. Her coverage of civil rights and riots earned her commendations from President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Star featured positive news about the Black community, celebrating family stories, role models and accomplishments. Readers were encouraged to vote and run for office. Brown died in 1989, but her legacy lives on. Today, the Omaha Star is the only remaining African American newspaper in Omaha and the only one still printed in Nebraska. The biweekly publication is available by print or digital subscription with a circulation of about 30,000 in 48 states.
JIM CLIFTON, Gallup, Omaha
Jim Clifton is chairman of Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm. Under his leadership as CEO from 1988 to 2022, Gallup expanded to a worldwide organization with 30 offices in 20 countries and regions. He created The Gallup Path, a metric-based economic model that establishes the linkages among human nature in the workplace, customer engagement and business outcomes. It is used in performance management systems in more than 500 companies worldwide. The Gallup World Poll, another of his innovations, gives the world’s 7 billion citizens a voice on virtually all key global issues. In addition to authoring four bestselling books and several articles on global leadership, he serves on many national boards. The Clifton Foundation and Gallup were essential in establishing the Don Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska, which supports early identification and accelerated development of thousands of gifted entrepreneurs and future business builders in Nebraska.
JANE MILLER, Gallup, Omaha
Jane Miller is retired president and chief operating officer of Gallup. In that role, she oversaw worldwide operations, ensuring all systems, resources and – and most importantly – people were in place and aligned to achieve organizational goals across all client servicing and market direct functions. She is committed to creating strong communities that begin with strong workplaces, as evidenced by her leadership as a director or trustee for Peter Kiewit Foundation, TeamMates Mentoring, Kiewit Luminarium, Omaha Zoological Society, Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Foundation, in addition to serving on several boards in the past. Miller was the recipient of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Women in Leadership Award and was inducted into the organization’s Business Hall of Fame in 2017.
RALPH AND BEVERLY HOLZFASTER FAMILY, Agribusiness / Community Development, Paxton
Ralph and Beverly Holzfaster began their early agricultural careers in custom harvesting and proving new stubble mulch practices on dry land wheat, which led to a stint farming in British Columbia. Embracing pivot irrigation technology in 1969, Ralph opened a Lindsay Manufacturing dealership in Ogallala. His ongoing commitment to advancing agriculture, economic development and ethanol opportunities is evident in his service on several boards over the years, including Nebraska Ethanol Authority & Development Board, Nebraska Public Power District, Keith County Economic Development Board and Foundation and Mid-Plains Community College Foundation, as well serving on boards for private ethanol and bioenergy companies. The Holzfaster family co-hosted the Cattleman’s Ball in 2013, and remain active locally, statewide and nationally in agriculture, economic development, housing and tourism initiatives, including managing Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge.
ANTHONY “TONY” MESSINEO, JR., Valentino’s, Lincoln
In 1972, Anthony Messineo and his brother, Ron, purchased Valentino’s, a pizza business started in the Campus Fruit Market near University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s East Campus. The 60-seat restaurant was small, but the takeout pizza business quickly boomed. Today, Valentino’s employs more than 500 Nebraskans at 40 locations and ships frozen pizza nationally and internationally, in addition to offering its popular sauces and frozen pizza in Nebraska grocery stores. As the official pizza of the Huskers, Valentino’s sells over 22,000 slices per home football game. An active philanthropist, Messineo contributes time and talent to Cedar’s Home for Children, Catholic Social Services, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lincoln Public Schools’ High Five program, and TeamMates, among others. He has received several honors, including Restauranteur of the Year twice and Rotarian of the Year, and was inducted into the Omaha Hospitality Hall of Fame.
WILFRED “DICK” TEGTMEIER, Encore Mfg. Co., Beatrice (awarded posthumously)
A pioneer in the lawn mower industry, Wilfred Tegtmeier turned sketches drawn in his basement into two successful businesses, eventually employing more than 600 Nebraskans and giving Beatrice the unofficial title of “Lawn Mower Capital of the World”. He designed his first line of lawn mowers at Kees Manufacturing in the 1970s before starting Exmark Manufacturing with partners in 1983 and launching a new line. In 1988, he formed a new mower company, Encore Manufacturing, which grew quickly. Both companies remain major drivers of Beatrice’s economy. Exmark is now a division of Toro Company. Encore was sold to China-based World Lawn Power Equipment on the condition that the facility continue operating in Beatrice. Tegtmeier was active in St. Paul Lutheran Church, Beatrice Optimists, Gage County Economic Development and Nebraska Diplomats, in addition to representing Nebraska on several trade missions. He died in 2013.
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