It’s a beautiful thing when the village comes together. The weather was beautiful, too.
30 small businesses, venues and organizations came together to host the very first Fall Festival in the Village at 24th and Lake. The new event builds on the successes of Christmas in the Village and Native Omaha Days activities hosted at 24th and Lake.
“The goal since we launched Christmas in the Village ten years ago and developed the North Omaha Village Plan was to build towards having large monthly and weekly events at 24th and Lake to further advance the district,” said Willie Barney, CEO of the Empowerment Network and co-owner of the Revive Center and Carver Legacy Center.
“It was phenomenal,” said Terri Sanders, publisher of the Omaha Star. “They had a chance to have fun and learn about the history and see the future of the Omaha Star when they stopped by.”
“Seeing the kids having such a great time was the best,” said Cynthia Hume, site director for OEDC’s Fair Deal Village. “They were all enjoying the games and petting zoo and I remember one little girl skipping across the parking lot saying ‘this was so much fun’ as she was leaving. That’s what it is all about.”
The Empowerment Network, OEDC, Revive, FHAS, Omaha Star and others teamed together to host the first Christmas in the Village and new businesses and venues have joined in along the way in the historic district at 24th and Lake.
Barney started bringing the businesses and venues back together for additional planning in late August of this year following one of the most successful Native Omaha Days on record, planned and hosted by the Native Omaha Days Organizing Committee.
He felt this was the time to create a collective master schedule and calendar to keep the great things happening at 24th and Lake front and center. The initial planning team has continued to expand and now includes 30+ businesses, venues and organizations. Even more are joining now.
“The holidays are a significant time for most businesses. When we work together, 24th and Lake is a great location for music, food, shopping, connecting with history and celebrating black culture,” added Barney.
Fall Festival is a great example of this collective approach. Each business and venue agreed to take on a part of the event and offer something unique for children and families. The goal for the team was to start small just like Christmas in the Village and build as they go.
“We were blown away by the turnout,” said Brigitte McQueen, executive director of The Union of Contemporary Art. The Union provided free pumpkins, craft making, a new exhibit and introduced their Pursuing Legacy project with Denise Chapman.
“We ran out of pumpkins and produce, brought more out and ran out again because there were so many families,” added McQueen.
In addition to the face painting, cartoon characters, hula hooping and other free activities, families supported the small businesses in a big way.
“We were excited about all of the families that came out to support the event,” said Yolanda Barney, co-owner of the Revive Center. “We were pleasantly surprised about the number that attended. Our team is planning ahead for the Trunk or Treat event. We really appreciate the support of the community.”
“It was so amazing, such a great turnout,” said Imani Murry, co-owner of Ital Vital Living that offered the free face painting and food for sale by Little Ve’s and their own smoothies and juices. “It went so well for our business and Little Ve’s that we sold out of just about everything. Plus, we provided face painting for over 300!”
“This was definitely successful and I think we’ve found another annual event,” said Eric Ewing, executive director of the Great Plains Black History Museum. “We had nearly 200 go through the museum in just four hours. Guests learned a little history and the kids were able to get a treat, too.”
That is exactly the vision and goal for The Village at 24th and Lake. A long time theme for the village revitalization efforts has been “A Rich History & Thriving Future.”
The event went extremely well even though one of the main attractions ran into a major snag. The hayride was not available as the farmer coming from Springfield, who was providing the trailer, had a flat tire without a replacement.
Organizers said it was disappointing to not be able to host the ride for the community after all of the coordination, but they are now planning to add it to the Trunk or Treat on October 30th.
All of the other activities were in place and fully enjoyed by those in attendance.
“Being a community advocate and business owner, there was something magical in the air Saturday,” said Michael Young, president of Technology Consulting Services and co-owner of Rooted Synergy Gallery. “Live music, activities for all ages and the community coming together to support businesses is exactly what this district needs.”
Based on the attendance and all of the smiles, laughter and positive energy, the future is bright for The Village at 24th and Lake.
Connecting families, friends and community to outstanding events and a positive environment including music, food, activities, arts, culture and small businesses, all within the historic walking district, that’s a beautiful thing.
Stay connected with future events here.
Atlanta Congresswoman Nikema Williams visits North Omaha
Williams was elected to serve in the district formerly held by the late legendary Congressman, John Lewis
While in Omaha, Williams stopped by Pleasant Green Baptist Church led by Pastor Brian Page for morning services, attended a rally to support congressional candidate Tony Vargas and was the keynote speaker for a luncheon sponsored by the Nebraska Democratic Party and Team Vargas on Sunday, October 30, 2022.
Williams emphasized the importance of voting and mobilizing others to vote.
“Tell your family, friends and everyone you know to get out and vote.”
Specific to Nebraska, Williams encouraged voters to support the $15 minimum wage, reject voter ID and vote for candidates that support health care, voting rights and economic advancement for all.
Her primary message was democracy is not a spectator sport. Everyone must use their voice.
“Your vote is your voice,” said Williams. “This is a vitally important time in our country. Nebraska is a crucial state. That is why I am here. You cannot sit this one out.”
Welcome Veta Jeffery, CEO of Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
Revive Magazine asked some leaders to share their thoughts about the Chambers new CEO and to provide an official welcome to Omaha for Mrs. Veta Jeffery, her husband, Tony and daughter, Toni. Jeffery officially started her new role in May of 2022.
Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools
We welcome Veta to this extraordinary community. The promise of Omaha is fundamental to the success of our students and we look forward to supporting her and the vision of the Omaha Chamber for all who call Omaha home.
President of Omaha City Council
Omaha City Council President Pete Festersen met Jeffery during her first chamber of commerce board of directors meeting and was very impressed.
“We discussed the huge opportunity that exists right now to address economic development in North and South Omaha. She has a lot of experience with diversity, inclusion and ARPA fund distribution and I am excited to work with her on those issues. Great things happen when business, government and philanthropy work together.”
CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands
“I am excited about Veta Jeffery’s leadership she will bring to the Omaha community. I am looking forward to her leveraging her local, statewide, and federal relationships and experience with internships and recruitment of diverse talent to continue the Omaha community on a path towards success.”
President of North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance
“Extending a heartfelt welcome to CEO/President Veta Jeffery and her family to Omaha. I am excited to see the ideas and programs Mrs. Jeffery’s will bring to the Omaha market and look forward to working with her to ensure there is an intentional focus on economic and business development in North Omaha.”
Dr. Viv Ewing
President & CEO Childrens Square
“Veta Jeffery is a brilliant business and community leader with deep experience in economic development. She will be a tremendous asset to the OMAHA community. I look forward to her leading a transformation for the city in economic development and engaging young professionals.”
Deputy Chief, Diversity and Inclusion, City of Omaha
“Veta Jeffery is exactly what Omaha needs right now; an accomplished, visionary, strategic woman to continue the unprecedented economic development growth of our region. I’m ecstatic that she is a DEI subject-matter-expert, and I look forward to helping her and the family to get acclimated to the City of Omaha!”
Special Projects and VEC Manager, Empowerment Network
“I would say that with the announcement of the new CEO it shows that Omaha is moving in the right direction. Circling back to the brain drain it shows that Omaha is being intentional about seeking out talent and diversity. I am excited about what is happening in my city.”
Thomas Warren, Sr.,
Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office
“The appointment of Veta Jeffery as President/CEO of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is historic and monumental. The OCC serves as a catalyst for business development and economic growth in the City of Omaha and the metropolitan area. Ms Jeffrey’s background and experience are aligned with the area’s priorities and needs, talent recruitment and retention, workforce development and increasing diversity through hiring and training initiatives.”
“The City of Omaha and OCC benefit from having the support of a very generous donor/philanthropic community. Ms Jeffery’s skills as a convener will enable her to facilitate public/private partnerships and continue the positive trajectory of our local economy.”
Douglas County Commissioner
“I grew up in the St. Louis metro area and her tenure there prepares her to step in and build a business climate that inclusively creates jobs and develop small and big businesses.”
“It’s refreshing to see that the chamber has hired a black woman to take its organization into the future, bringing her years of experience to Omaha from St. Louis. I look forward to meeting and working with her in the near future.”
Manager of Community Relations, Metropolitan Community College
This is a serious step towards creating a business community that will become even more intentional when it comes to diversify and inclusion…the Greater Omaha Chamber is key in leading the business community to help strengthen minority and small businesses for start up and escalation. We welcome the new CEO Veta Jeffery Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce to this place we call the “Good Life”! We look forward to having the conversations around the alignment Skill training and Associates Degrees that will support Businesses in the Greater Omaha area.
In my opinion strength of a progressive City is how it uses culture and diversity as a strength when it comes to creating vibrant places to live work and place, it becomes very important and I believe right thing to do…The future of the Greater Omaha area is full of Hope and Opportunities!
I was excited when I heard Veta Jeffery was selected to serve as the next President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. She is the first woman and first person of color to serve in this role.
It’s inspiring to see Black women getting opportunities to serve in leadership roles. I am sure she will do an amazing job taking the chamber to the next level.
Deputy Chief, Omaha Police Department
“I was excited when I heard Veta Jeffery was selected to serve as the next President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. She is the first woman and first person of color to serve in this role.”
“It’s inspiring to see Black women getting opportunities to serve in leadership roles. I am sure she will do an amazing job taking the chamber to the next level.”
CEO of North End Teleservices
Veta Jefferey from a leadership perspective is best characterized by strategic development, broad consensus building and convening public and private stakeholders to achieve business, economic and community outcomes. Her approach and achievements in city government, the financial sector and economic development transfer and align with the innovative, impactful and collaborator leader we sought to be the CEO and President of the Greater Omaha Chamber.
Notable of her many achievements Ms. Jeffrey was appointed by the Governor of Missouri to help bring back and rebuild Ferguson and the business community after the riots.
Ms. Jeffrey brought together public and private partnerships to work together on creating plans and bringing about outcomes. Her ability to do that in a divided community is impressive.
The committee consisted of diverse leaders and was chaired by Leslie Andersen, CEO of i3 Bank, and includes Carmen Tapio, CEO of North End Teleservices, LLC, Mindy Simon, CIO of ConAgra, Clark Lauritzen, Chairman and President of First National Bank of Omaha and Mogens Bay, retired CEO of Valmont. The selection committee was assisted by Korn Ferry, a worldwide leader in executive search.
We worked tirelessly, vetting all candidates and coming to a unanimous and enthusiastic conclusion that Veta Jeffery is the best choice and person to lead the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and to bring further transformational change.
Welcome to Omaha Veta Jeffery and family.
Stable Gray, award-winning business open at 24th & Lake
Stable Gray, award-winning, black-owned branding and tech firm, opens at 24th & Lake
Stable Gray was founded in 2015 by CharDale Barnes and Teddy Young to help small businesses build strong brands at affordable prices. The efforts of Stable Gray have evolved from providing a few simple media services, to pioneering some of the most innovative branding solutions in the industry.
“We want to create 8-10 six figure jobs right here in our community,” said Barnes at their grand opening held in July 2022.
The Stable Gray mission is: “to help businesses build the brand of their dreams. We strive to blur the lines between large companies with unlimited marketing budgets, and local small businesses. We help businesses of all sizes develop their brand into ones that look just like the companies we see on tv every day.”
The store front at 24th and Lake is their second location. They have a production studio located on the Better Together campus.
Revive Omaha would like to congratulate CharDale Barnes, Teddy Young and the entire Stable Gray team on their grand opening at 24th and Lake.
“Stable Gray does outstanding work with branding, marketing, social media and website development,” said Willie Barney, co-publisher of Revive Omaha Magazine. “They were recognized as small business of the year by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Teddy and CharDale are committed to supporting and investing in the North Omaha community.”
Learn more about Stable Gray