One of the primary goals for Revive! Omaha Magazine is to help bring awareness to and assist with the growth and expansion of African-American businesses and entrepreneurs. We are excited to highlight some of the businesses making waves in the city, nationally and in some cases on an international scale. While some have been successful executives and business leaders for decades, others have emerged recently.
Herb Rhodes, founder and President of American Harvest Company, builds on North Omaha’s rich history and continues a family legacy. Dr. Herb Rhodes has been recognized nationally and internationally for his outstanding success in business. He has held significant leadership positions and is highly accomplished in the areas of agriculture, the cattle industry and commodities trading. A highly regarded expert in his field, Rhodes could operate his business from anywhere in the country, but made the decision to stay in the heart of North Omaha.
Tim Christian, founder and CEO of Night Fox Entertainment, is a rising star in the film industry. Behind the scenes, Christian has raised millions of dollars for successful business ventures throughout the United States. With offices in Omaha and California, Christian has traveled the nation building relationships and negotiating business deals for nearly two decades. With his latest work, he has moved into the highly competitive field of financing top level movies with several of them now moving into national distribution. Christian is committed to his home town, making Omaha the headquarters for his business and working to make the city a mecca for movie productions.
Shonna is one of the founders and current President of Interface Web School. Dorsey is a dynamic innovator in the field of technology, computer programming and tech training. Launched several years ago, Interface is creating the next generation of computer programmers and coders. Graduates from her 11- week programs are moving into positions making $40,000 to over $70,000 in high demand fields where there are hundreds of thousands of openings across the country. Dorsey’s relentless pursuit of excellence and passion for giving back to children and organizations in North Omaha will pay great dividends for the entire city of Omaha.
Jason Fischer, founder and CEO of Surreal Media Labs, is quickly becoming one of the hottest names in the branding, marketing and video production arena across the country. Already having completed work internationally, Fischer has been locally recognized with major awards for his outstanding work. Counting the City of Omaha, Empowerment Network, OEDC, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Berkshire Hathaway, Omaha Film Festival and many others as clients, Surreal Media Labs delivers high powered video productions, documentaries, commercials and a full array of marketing and media products, including all social media platforms.
Ed Taylor & Carmen Baker
One of the most exciting recent developments in North Omaha is the official opening and launch of North End Teleservices, LLC., a full service contact center. A partnership between the Omaha Economic Development Corporation and two industry leaders, Ed Taylor and Carmen Baker, North End has the potential to quickly bring over 200 jobs, including 20 managerial positions to the heart of North Omaha on N. 24th Street. For years, the opening of a call center has been discussed as one of the best opportunities to bring jobs into the area. North End will help answer the call and go beyond a traditional center, but offer services related to all areas of contact management. The business has already made a commitment to the community by investing on North 24th Street, which will allow employees to reduce transportation costs and commute time and also encourage the support of local neighborhood businesses. The center features state of the art technology, competitive wages with full benefits, an inspiring employee centric culture, and an executive team which brings over 60 years of call center experience.
A licensed arborist in the State of Nebraska. Kevin Reddick, owner of Husker Tree and Landscaping, has recently expanded his businesses by securing significant contracts. A contractor providing a full scope of services related to landscaping and lawn care, but is best known for his work related to tree trimming and tree removal. He and others are living proof that African-Americans can be successful in all lines of work and there are opportunities to build a business in every field.
Dick & Sharon Davis
Dick and Sharon Davis of Davis Companies were recognized nationally for their leadership and expertise with a Business of Year Award presented by the SBA. Davis Companies is one of the largest African-American businesses in the region and successfully does businesses in numerous states across the country. Over the years, Davis Companies has also opened the door for minority entrepreneurs to gain contracts with the City of Omaha, Omaha Public Schools and other public entities. Under the leadership of Dick Davis, Davis Companies has made significant contributions in supporting the education of youth in the community, especially North Omaha students through scholarships and strategic investments. Serving on various boards and commissions, Davis has been instrumental in helping direct major funding to important efforts through the city and state.
Patricia “Big Mama” Barron
Made with soul in North Omaha! Patricia “Big Mama” Barron, her daughter Gladys and other family members are cooking their way into creating an internationally recognized brand name. On a daily basis, you can see customers from all over the city stopping by to purchase delicious food at Big Mama’s Sandwich Shop at 24th and Lake or sitting down to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Turning Point Campus. Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in 2008; the Travel Channel’s “101 Tastiest Places to Chow Down” list in 2010; the Sundance Channel’s “Ludo Bites America” in 2011; and, a number of national magazines.
Don McPherson is a classic entrepreneur. After decades of executive leadership and being an award winning general manager at large retail establishments, Don stepped out in faith to launch Styles of Evolution at 24th and Ohio, right in the heart of the historic African-American community. An early innovator, Styles is a significant and key investment to the rebuilding and revitalization efforts for the 24th and Lake Arts, Culture, Business and Entertainment District. For seven years, McPherson has operated a store which features men’s and women’s clothes, shoes and accessories, including jewelry, hats, and ties. In addition to serving neighborhood residents with quality merchandise and great pricing, Don has maintained an unwavering commitment to the community and actively participates in events and activities to draw visitors and shoppers back to North Omaha.
It is a behind the scenes operation. Most Omahans have no idea that All American Meats is a multi-million dollar business located in North Omaha. Shawn Buchanan has quietly built a $40 million enterprise which ships its products across the United States. All American Meats has become known in the food production industry for high quality products. In an article in Black Enterprise, Buchanan’s company was listed as No. 69 on the Black Enterprise 100s list of the nation’s largest Black-owned industrial/service companies. After retiring from professional baseball and successfully managing with Nebraska Beef, Buchanan launched All American Meats nearly 20 years ago in 1996. Buchanan again shows what’s possible in a variety of fields.