40 Under 40: Alyson Manning

Junior League of Omaha members Colby Jensen, Alyson Manning and Alysia Radicia won a 2020 Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award, the 19th edition of the prestigious awards program for Omaha’s entrepreneurs, executives and professionals. This is part of a series recognizing the League members who won the award.

In her nine years with Kiewit, Alyson Manning has had no shortage of accomplishments. Her career highlights include: 

  • Developed and launched the company’s first Employee Relations & Affirmative Action Center of Excellence, designed to investigate and address employee issues and foster diversity under one business group
  • Designed and implemented the company’s first paid maternity and paternity leave policies, and the paid sick leave program; Launched our internal Immigration Department to facilitate obtaining work authorization visas resulting in $1 million of cost savings annually
  • Served as member of the COVID-19 Task Force, which has led the company’s efforts to manage this unprecedented epidemic 
  • Co-leading the Women in Kiewit initiative for the entire company designed to help recruit, retain and advance women within the organization

She is a graduate of Saint Louis University and Creighton University School of Law.

Her advice for young professionals:

  1. Work hard and push yourself
  2. Volunteer to help and say “yes!”
  3. Maintain positivity, composure and confidence even during times of uncertainty 

Alyson became a Sustainer after serving as the 2018-2019 Recording Secretary. She also previously held the positions of Executive Vice President, Cookbook Chair and American Girl Models Coordinator Chair, among others, throughout her time as an Active Member.

2017-2018 Board Of Directors which includes Alyson

Outside the League, Alyson has been heavily involved in the community for a decade, most recently serving as the 2020 Wine, Women & Shoes Co-Chair, Children’s Hospital, 2020 (event raised $183,000.00) and the 2019 and 2020 Pinot, Pigs, & Poets Restaurant Chair, Completely KIDs (events raised $400,000-500,000). She is the 2020-2021 Lauritzen Gardens Antique & Garden Show Luncheon Co-Chair for the Lauritzen Gardens (2020 show moved to 2021) and the 2021 Rockin’ Rosie Co-Chair for The Rose Theater.

“Understanding your skills, interests, accomplishments, and values are key components to a successful career,” she said. “Volunteering is an excellent way to learn more about yourself and professional potential.  It further offers the opportunity to discover how others perceive you and your strengths.”

40 Under 40: Colby Jensen

Junior League of Omaha members Colby Jensen, Alyson Manning and Alysia Radicia won a 2020 Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award, the 19th edition of the prestigious awards program for Omaha’s entrepreneurs, executives and professionals. This is part of a series recognizing the League members who won the award.

Colby Jensen has been with BKD for over seven years. 

Her role includes: building and supervising governmental and not-for-profit industry teams on varying audit engagements; building and contributing to a culture to foster meaningful relationships and retain talent throughout the offices and audit engagement teams; and providing support to other BKD offices as needed providing industry expertise to clients in need.

“Passing the CPA exam and earning my license to practice was the first monumental professional accomplishment of my career,” she said. “My biggest career accomplishments now relate to building the team at work and helping others succeed.  I instruct various firmwide trainings as others progress in their careers and feel accomplished when I receive positive feedback that I was able to help them understand the content covered, keep the training fun and showcase my knowledge and passion for the work I do. In addition, anytime I can provide additional opportunities to my team members to help them further their career, build their confidence and be seen as a trusted advisor, makes my career much more rewarding.”

Colby earned her associate’s degree from Metropolitan Community College and her bachelor’s degree at University of Nebraska-Omaha. 

Her advice to other young professionals: “Be open, honest and own your mistakes. Take interest in others and create genuine rewarding relationships. Give yourself credit and celebrate your accomplishments. You’re capable of more, don’t hold yourself back.”

Colby’s League experience includes bRUNch 5k Treasurer, bRUNch5k co-vice chair, bRUNch 5k co-chair, Finance Manager and Financial Vice President.

“The League has introduced me to a variety of amazing, connected women that have helped me grow my personal and professional network,” she said. “The various training opportunities related to the League operations, policies and meetings has crossed over into professional meetings and other organizations that I participate in, making me feel more comfortable, confident and able to successfully participate and manage meetings.”

2019-2020 Board of Directors which included Colby

Besides being involved in the League, Colby is a mentor for the UNO College of Business Scholars Academy and NESCPA (Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants), sits on the BKD Nebraska Foundation Board, participates in Boy Scouts of America events and volunteers at other various community organizations.

2020 Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards

Junior League of Omaha members Colby Jensen, Alyson Manning and Alysia Radicia are not just leaders within the League, they are leaders in business and service, earning the 2020 Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award. The 19th edition of the prestigious awards program for Omaha’s
entrepreneurs, executives and professionals was announced in September.

From left to right: Colby Jensen, Alyson Manning, Alysia Radicia

“I was blown away when I found out I was among the other great professionals on the 40 Under 40 list,”
said Colby, an Audit Senior Manager with BKD, LLP, and the League’s Diversity & Inclusion Treasurer and a Nominating Committee member. “Receiving this award displays my commitment to my career and community and acknowledges the progress all recipients have made professionally and in the greater Omaha area. It provides reassurance to ‘keep up the good work’ to create rewarding opportunities and experiences to those surrounding us, allowing others within our community to flourish and thrive. I’m so thankful to part of this list and a citizen on the Omaha community.”

Alyson, Employee Relations Director for Kiewit Corporation, agreed.

“It’s a true honor and privilege to be awarded this honor, along with the 39 other individuals recognized with such impressive volunteer and professional credentials,” she said. “Recognizing the great accomplishments of young people in these areas in our community each year also helps set a
precedence for everybody to understand and agree on. More so, it can help inspire others to exceed
these standards and foster the continuous improvement in our society.”

Alyson became a Sustainer after serving as the 2018-2019 Recording Secretary. She also previously held
the positions of Executive Vice President, Cookbook Chair and American Girl Models Coordinator Chair,
among others, throughout her time as an Active Member.

Alysia is the Executive Vice President-Elect. She works as an interior designer at RDG Planning & Design
while balancing her roles in the League and other community organizations.

“I don’t do the work I do for the title or the recognition,” she said. “In my role as a designer I strive to
design spaces that best position the organizations for success; same is to be said for the work I do as a
volunteer. The best recognition I can receive is when the organization is able to meet their goals and
better serve the community due to the design or volunteer time I have done. In this instance, receiving a 40 Under 40 Award solidifies that the work I do matters and makes a difference.”

Over the next several days, JLO Connections will profile Colby, Alyson and Alysia. Each woman will also be featured in the Midlands Business Journal’s Dec. 8 edition.

Junior League of Omaha Nominations

Each year the Junior League of Omaha has nominations for slated positions that are included in board and management. Included in the positions are:

Board of DirectorsManagement Team
President
President-Elect
Corresponding Secretary
Executive Vice President
Financial Vice President
Member-at-Large
Member-at-Large
Diversity and Inclusion Vice President
Nominating Committee Chair
Recording Secretary
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President-Elect
Communications Council Director
Communications Council Asst. Director
Community Impact Council Director
Community Impact Asst. Director
Finance Manager
Fundraising Council Director
Fundraising Council Asst. Director
Membership Council Director
Membership Council Asst. Director
Recording Secretary
Bylaws Vice Chair

The nominations of these positions are important as it allows the committee to hear names of people they may not otherwise know or be aware of that could be a good fit for the position. The majority of the slated positions prefer League committee experience paired with some professional experience in that field. 

Nominations are every fall. The deadline for nominations for 2020 is November 20 with applications due December 13. To nominate someone for one of the positions email nominating@jlomaha.org.

TAGG, You’re It!

Together A Greater Good (TAGG) has generated over $400,000 for local schools, nonprofits, religious institutions, and youth sports teams, since being launched in 2015. As a female-founded, Nebraska tech company, TAGG allows you to support your favorite nonprofits like the Junior League of Omaha by snapping a picture of your receipt from participating businesses, who will donate 5% of the total. It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Click here to see the participating Omaha and Lincoln businesses.

TAGG makes giving back so easy that active member and Cookbook Committee co-chair, Katy Spratte Joyce, raised over $100 during the summer for the Junior League of Omaha. “Overall, since I began TAGGing in August of 2015, I’ve raised $1,735.88 for local causes. Recently, I’ve earmarked all my TAGG activity just for the Junior League of Omaha. In the past, I’ve also donated to the Red Cross, American Heart Association, Nebraska Children & Families Foundation, St. Margaret Mary Catholic School, and more.”

Katy’s a TAGG-ing pro and the former community relations manager at TAGG, where she worked for three years with the charities, schools, teams, etc. on the TAGG platform to help increase their fundraising efforts. When asked her favorite places to TAGG, Katy said, “Blue Sushi, Smoothie King, Kontempo, and The Bookworm.” She recommends making the commitment to go to TAGG businesses, when you’re just beginning to TAGG. “After a few TAGGs, it becomes second nature. And as you can see in my example below, if you are strategic about large purchases, like car maintenance and repairs, your amount raised goes up even faster. You can do everything from order coffee using a TAGG business to get a new roof using a TAGG business.”

Here’s how Katy raised over $100:

June 25: Smoothie King, $0.37 

June 30: The Bookworm $6.30 

July 31: Whisk+Measure, $0.95

August 1: The Bookworm $5.95

August 4: Reve Salon & Spa, $3.25

August 15: Smoothie King, $0.34

August 15: Spirit World, $1.10

August 25: Blue Sushi Sake Grill, $0.90

August 31:  Kontempo, $15.00

August 31: Smoothie King, $0.37

September 1: Smoothie King, $0.34

September 9: Omaha Car Care, $61.13

September 24: Omaha Car Care, $67.03 

Total Raised: $163.03

“I like that I can shop intentionally at places that care enough to give back to their community,” said Katy when asked what she enjoys most about TAGG. “Nothing shows your values like where you spend your money. TAGG makes it so easy to give back while just doing your normal expenditures like picking up takeout or supporting your favorite local shop.”

DIAD The Life House Diaper Wrapping

Throughout the year the Junior League of Omaha partners with different organizations to give our time and resources to help different community partners, we call this Done In a Day (DIAD). One of our community partners we choose to work with is The Life House.

The Junior League of Omaha chose The Life House because it is an organization that provides an essential need for the Omaha community and surrounding areas of Nebraska. The Life House is a diaper bank and food pantry serving families in need. They believe in changing lives by offering essentials that all babies and families need. Offering diapers and food to families who need it ultimately lessens their financial strain and stress and thus allows families to address their other needs/concerns. This helps them financially move forward.  In 2020 alone, they have provided 112,470 meals and 360,226 diapers to at least 15,000 individuals. 


Providing so many diapers to the community means that the two people in charge of The Life House (yes, only two!) need extra hands. This is where The League comes in. By helping the organization wrap diapers, we are essentially helping get diapers out faster to the community and it frees up time and energy for the two women running The Life House. It gives them the ability to focus on other parts of the organization that need attention. In our first shift with The Life House, 6 women wrapped 9,000 diapers in TWO hours and today 5 members helped to wrap an additional 6,500 diapers!

We hope to be able to volunteer once a month with The Life House. Members: You can sign  up on Digital Cheetah! 

Impress Your Guests This Holiday Season

So you’re hosting a holiday gathering. Finding the right recipe to complete your meal should not be on your list of things to worry about while preparing! Need the perfect drink to go with dinner? A vegetarian side to provide a meatless option? A decadent dessert to leave your guests wanting more? The Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving Cookbook has you covered! 

With over seven different categories of recipes, JLOmaha’s cookbook can help you find a fun new recipe to add a fresh spin to dinner, or a recipe with a fresh spin on a traditional dish – the choice is yours! Check out the list below to see your options.

Junior League of Omaha’s Hand-Picked Favorites:

  • Sips & Spritzes (Beverages)
  • Tastes & Tidbits (Appetizers)
  • Healthy & Hearty (Salads & Soups)
  • Meats & Mains (Main Dishes)
  • Mix & Match (Vegetables & Sides)
  • Bakes & Bites (Brunch & Breads)
  • Treats & Treasures (Desserts)

With recipes like Bourbon-Infused Beef Tenderloin, Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownie Bites, and Shrimp Scampi-Stuffed Mushrooms, you’re sure to be a great host!

Shop local by purchasing a cookbook at one of our 18 area retailers or online through the link here: https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Drop Your Items Off for Bargain Bash!

Do you have any gently used home goods, clothing, kitchen appliances, décor, or furniture that are taking up valuable space in your home?  Donate them to our Junior League of Omaha Bargain Bash Rummage Sale!  We will be holding several drop-off dates over the coming months to collect your donations.

Upcoming drop-off date:

  • November 7, 2020
  • Location: Thermo King Christensen
  • Address: 7508 F Street, Omaha, NE 68127
  • Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

There will be NO drop-off date in December, but we will be back in 2021 with more opportunities to donate!

Future drop-off dates:

  • January 16, 2021
  • Location: Junior League Headquarters
  • Address: 12315 Pacific Street
  • Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • February 20, 2021
  • Location: Junior League Headquarters
  • Address: 12315 Pacific Street
  • Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Swing on by during one of our drop-off times, and our wonderful League volunteers will help you unload any items you wish to donate. Feel free to package smaller items into boxes, bags, or totes that you do not mind donating.  Our volunteers are also happy to help you unload any larger scale items that you may wish to donate as well. 

Additionally, in the interest of keeping everyone safe, you will notice that all of our volunteers will be wearing masks and gloves for the duration of the drop-off timeframe, and we strongly encourage you to wear your mask as well. We are committed to ensuring a safe and hassle-free drop-off experience for you, and will do whatever we can to be respectful of your comfort level. 

Ladies of the Junior League of Omaha assisting with Bargain Bash drop off in October

So if you have donation item(s) that are good shape and/or working condition, bring them on down to us!  Your generous donations are crucial for the success of this event.  Every single item donated contributes to the fundraising success of this event, which allows the League to continue to impact and support our community through our projects and league engagement. 

And don’t forget to spread the word to your friends and family.  Every donation counts!

Member Spotlight – Jessica Sock

This month we are getting to know Executive Vice President Jessica Sock.

Jessica is in her seventh Active Year in JLO and has held a variety of roles, including Community Impact Council Director, Done-in-a-Day Committee Chair and Board Member-at-Large. Her favorite role has been EVP as it allows her to connect with so many amazing members.

Jessica, her husband Don, and their five year-old Eliot enjoy camping, having fun outdoors and spending time with family.

Bourbon Baked Apples a la Mode

Looking for the perfect fall dessert? Our recipe for Bourbon Baked Apples A La Mode could be just what you are looking for – with or without ice cream! This perfect combination of apples, cinnamon and bourbon could be just the thing to warm you up in the crisp fall weather. 

Bourbon Baked Apples is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online and in stores now: https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Bourbon Baked Apples a la Mode

# Servings: 6 Category: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 6 large Honeycrisp apples
  • ⅔ cup rolled oats
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ⅓ cup bourbon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Core the stem end of the apples partially, removing only two-thirds of each core. Combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add pecans, butter and vanilla extract and work into the oats mixture until a ball forms.  Stuff equal portions of the mixture into each apple and arrange in a large baking dish. Sprinkle with more cinnamon if desired. Pour the apple cider and bourbon into the baking dish, spooning some over the apples. Bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are wrinkled and browned, spooning the cooking liquid over the apples every 10 minutes. Serve immediately with cinnamon or vanilla ice cream.

To learn more or purchase your own copy of the A Century of Serving cookbook click here.

Images by Joshua Foo