Biggs’, Hawks and Henning to be inducted at May 17 NE Chamber Annual Meeting
LINCOLN – The NE Chamber and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business today announced the 2021 inductees into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame, including:
• Bill and Elaine Biggs, LI-COR Biosciences in Lincoln;
• Howard L. Hawks, Tenaska in Omaha; and
• Tom Henning, Cash-Wa Distributing Co. in Kearney.
The three will officially be inducted at the NE Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Hall of Fame Ceremony Monday, May 17, 2021, a virtual gathering at 11:30 a.m. CDT. To join in honoring these individuals and their families, register at web.nechamber.com/events or contact the Nebraska Chamber at 402-474-4422. To sponsor, contact James Berringer at 402-474-4422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“At every turn, our honorees have been committed to creating, problem-solving, delivering quality products and services and making our communities better. It’s inspiring,” said Bryan Slone, NE Chamber president. “We’re so fortunate they chose Nebraska to share and grow their talents.”
The Biggs’, Hawks and Henning join a distinguished group of more than 120 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 Nebraska Chamber and College of Business.
“After a long, tough year, it’s more important than ever to reflect on the significant mark Nebraska-owned businesses leave, not only in their sectors or on our state economy, but as employers, mentors, volunteers and philanthropists. We can’t wait to celebrate with our honorees and their families.”
The Nebraska Business Hall of Fame is one of our more important projects,” Slone said. “We are fortunate to have such a strong representation of civic-minded business leaders in Nebraska. Celebrating their successes means celebrating strong communities and decades of good jobs.”
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.
2021 Nebraska Business Hall of Fame Biographies
BILL AND ELAINE BIGGS, LI-COR Biosciences, Lincoln
Bill and Elaine Biggs, along with colleagues from UNL, launched a company in 1971 that would become LI-COR Biosciences. LI-COR is the leading provider of technology for measuring global climate change and an innovator in the areas of genetic and cancer research. The majority of LI-COR’s 300 employees work on the 24-acre campus in Lincoln, with representatives worldwide and offices in Germany and the United Kingdom. LI-COR products are used on every continent and on the International Space Station. Under the Biggs’ leadership, LI-COR was named Manufacturer of the Year by the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and was a recipient of the Governor’s Bioscience Award. Mr. Biggs was also named an Outstanding Alumnus by the University of Nebraska.
HOWARD L. HAWKS, Tenaska, Omaha
Howard L. Hawks is founder and chairman of the board at Tenaska, one of the largest private independent energy companies in the U.S. Established in 1987, Tenaska has expertise in natural gas and electric power marketing, energy management, development and acquisition of energy assets, and operation of generating facilities. Forbes magazine consistently ranks Tenaska among the 50 largest private U.S. companies. Tenaska was recently selected by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal as a 2021 U.S. Best Managed Company. Mr. Hawks is the founder of The Hawks Foundation, a key vehicle for family charitable giving. He served on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, as well as the boards of Creighton University and many other community organizations. He is a cofounder of Lasting Hope Recovery Center, a community psychiatric hospital in Omaha, and is an active board member of Heritage Services. He has endowed chairs in business ethics and leadership at UNL and cancer prevention and population science at UNMC.
TOM HENNING, Cash-Wa Distributing Co., Kearney
Tom Henning is president and CEO of Cash-Wa Distributing Co., a family-owned company started in 1934. Cash-Wa distributes high-quality food products, top-of-the-line equipment and exceptional customer service to restaurants, hotels, healthcare facilities and schools in the Midwest. Cash-Wa has three distribution centers in Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota; a modern fleet of trucks and trailers; several sales offices and Cash & Carry stores. The company is the 18th largest Broadline Foodservice Distributor in the nation. Mr. Henning is an active community leader, serving on many local boards and charities, as well as serving in leadership roles on statewide and University boards. Mr. Henning currently serves on the State of Nebraska Revenue Forecasting Board, Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City, University of Nebraska President’s Advisory Board, Dean’s Advisory Board at University of Nebraska at Kearney School of Business and Technology, and Board of Counselors at University of Nebraska Medical Center.
LINCOLN – The NE Chamber is teaming up with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Erickson Sederstrom, P.C., L.L.O. in an online townhall for business owners and leaders statewide.
When: Wednesday, April 21
Noon – 1 p.m. CDT / 11 a.m. – Noon MDT
Who: Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer & Director of Public Health, DHHS
Dannette Smith, CEO, DHHS
Mark Schorr, Attorney at Law, Erickson Sederstrom P.C., L.L.O.
What: DHHS leaders will provide an overview and update on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine plan, the evolution of the pandemic and virus variants in Nebraska, and how the private sector can be engaged.
Employment law attorney Mark Schorr will help participants navigate their options for encouraging employee vaccinations.
Employer questions encouraged.
Where: Zoom webinar
Register at NEChamber.com
Webinar ID: 979 0794 0579
Through the pandemic, the NE Chamber has focused on delivering critical information to help all Nebraska business owners respond and adjust to evolving conditions, guidance, regulations and recovery and relief programs. A steadfast advocate for free enterprise, a competitive business climate and statewide economic growth, the NE Chamber is the state's only broad-based business and industry association.
DHHS is holding numerous townhall information sessions with various populations in multiple languages across the state to encourage vaccinations as a critical step to personal and economic recovery.
LINCOLN – NE Chamber leaders today welcomed seven new members to its Board of Directors, including:
Sheri Andrews, President and CEO, Lozier Corporation, representing District 1, Omaha
Tom Champoux, President, Unico Group, Inc., representing District 2, Lincoln
Jonathan Jank, President and CEO, Seward County Chamber & Development Partnership, serving as the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Executives Representative
John McCoy, President/Owner, Orthman Manufacturing, representing District 6, Lexington
Andy Ruback, CEO, Flood Communications, LLC, representing District 6, Sidney
Derek Rusher, President and CEO, Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce, serving as Small Business Council Chair
Mark Schorr, Managing Partner, Erickson Sederstrom, P.C. L.L.O, Lincoln, serving as Labor Relations Council Chair
Jill Slupe, President, Exit Playbook, Omaha, serving as a representative of Leadership Nebraska
Joni Sundquist, President and Executive Director, Nebraska Society of CPAs, Lincoln, serving as Public Affairs Council Chair
Randy Wood, President and CEO, Lindsay Corporation, representing District 3, Omaha
“The NE Chamber works to ensure Nebraska businesses of all sizes across the state stay competitive and continue to grow, said NE Chamber President Bryan Slone. “We are fortunate to benefit from the expertise of such a dynamic group of business leaders, familiar with all aspects of owning and growing a business.”
Directors are nominated by existing board members and elected by the broader NE Chamber membership to serve three-year terms. In addition to working to expand economic opportunities across the state, the NE Chamber Board of Directors establishes the association’s policies with input from members, including ten policy councils.
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
View the full NE Chamber's Board of Directors