The Nebraska Diplomats Banquet took place on the evening of July 11. At least 250 people attended the celebration at The Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln.

Governor Pete Ricketts presented the following annual award during the event:

The Ambassador Plenipotentiary Award – Jack Schreiner – Bruckman Rubber Co., Hastings

Mr. Schreiner has worked for Bruckman Rubber Co. for 40 years. He has also spent the last 40 years promoting his community and the state, and understands the importance of growing the economy. Jack has served in a variety of roles, and is currently the company CEO, while serving on the Board of Directors for several other organizations. Bruckman Rubber Co. has been in business since 1961. The company specializes in custom rubber molding, including rubber to metal bonding.

In 2017-2018, the Nebraska Diplomats held five regional events, presenting awards at each event:

Northeast Regional Event (Norfolk) – June 1, 2017

  • Business of the Year – Cargill (Columbus)
  • Community of the Year – Wayne
  • Diplomat of the Year – John F. Lohr (Columbus)

Kearney Regional Event – July 27, 2017

  • Businesses of the Year – Chief Industries, Inc. (Grand Island)

Mac’s Creek Vineyards & Winery (Lexington)

  • Community of the Year – Broken Bow
  • Diplomat of the Year – Mayor Stan Clouse (Kearney)

Scottsbluff Regional Event – October 5, 2017

  • Recognized Area Diplomats – Dan Koch & Joel Weins
    Power-in-the Partnership Scottsbluff Public Schools and Aulick Industries (Scottsbluff)

Southeast Regional Event (Seward) – November 2, 2017

  • Innovator of the Year  – Rare Earth Salts (Beatrice)
  • Business of the Year – Ariens Company (Auburn)
  • Community of the Year – Beatrice
  • Diplomat of the Year – Richard Baier (Nebraska Bankers, Lincoln)

Omaha Regional Event – February 13, 2018

  • Business of the Year – Evonik (Blair)
  • Community of the Year – Fremont
  • Diplomat of the Year – Mike Moylan (Shamrock Development, Omaha)
  • Power-in-the-PartnershipOPPD

The 2018 Banquet also marked the induction of the following new Diplomats:

Zach Adams – Adams Industries, Sidney

Rob Bila – First National Bank, North Platte

Patrick Boyle – Metropolitan Community College, Omaha

Rick Chochon – Great Plains State Bank, Columbus

Courtney Dentlinger – NPPD, Norfolk

Debra Ecklund – CFO Systems, LLC, Atkinson

Kent Grisham – Nebraska Trucking Association, Lincoln

Clinton Hamling – Behlen Mfg., Columbus

Justin Hart – ASI Signage Innovations, Omaha

Pat Haverty – Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, Lincoln

Thomas Higginbotham – Northeast NE Economic Development District, Norfolk

Erik Hoegemeyer – Western Integrated Seed, Fremont

Jonathan Jank – Seward Co. Chamber & Development Partnership, Seward

Ellen Kietzmann – Blue Ox-Automatic Equipment Mfg., Pender

Alexander Kumm – Charter Title and Escrow, Omaha

Catherine Lang – Nebraska Business Development Center, Omaha

Starr Lehl – City of Scottsbluff, Scottsbluff

Jamie Linn – Husker IMG Sports Marketing, Lincoln

John Phillips – Fox Theatre, Sidney

Sandra Reding – AKSARBEN Foundation, Omaha

Darren Robinson – KAPPA, Kearney

Michael Salerno – First National Bank, Omaha

Ryan Scholz – Firesping, Lincoln

Jennifer Serkiz – Cass Co. Nebraska Economic Dev. Council, Omaha

Rakesh Srivastava – Innovative Prosthetics Orthotics, Hastings

Jason Tuller – City of Imperial, Imperial

Travis Turek – Bruckman Rubber Co., Hastings

Brad vonGillern – Lueder Construction Company, Omaha

Kenneth West – DLR Group, Omaha

Mary Wilson – Keith Co. Area Development, Ogallala

With a membership of more than 280 business executives and community leaders, the Nebraska Diplomats, Inc. is the largest economic development organization in Nebraska. For more information, visit