Natelina’s TDC Personal Chef presents
Happy Father’s Day Meals
Yes! She’s back and has something special for you for Father’s Day.
Date: Sunday, June 21, 2020
Schedule: 8 am to 2 pm
Pick Up Orders at Location:
at the Revive! Center Omaha
2402 Lizzie Robinson Ave – West Lot
Order by Texting: 402-212-2675
CashApp “Only” $NatelinaTDC
Breakfast Burger with Fried Egg and Gouda Cheese $12
Cajun Mac & Cheese with Grilled Chicken and Shrimp $14
Smoke Oxtails with Okra and Sweet Corn on Dirty Rice $16
Fried Jerk Chicken Wings N Waffles with Homemade Syrup $10
Sides: Country Hash Browns, Fresh Fruit, Grits, Sweet Potato Cakes, Grilled Vegetables, eggs and egg whites.
Desserts: Mango Ginger Cobbler with Fresh Blueberries
Redefine the Game celebrates completion of 3 cohorts and launch of the 4th
In 2021, The Empowerment Network and BCT Partners completed the 3rd and started the 4th Cohort of the nationally recognized Redefine the Game Institute.
A graduation ceremony for the 2nd and 3rd cohorts was held in June of 2021. The 4th cohort held its first class in November 2021 and will finish in September 2022.
Launched in 2018, by the Empowerment Network, BCT Partners and WDB Resultants, Redefine the Game is a highly interactive, career advancement and leadership development program.
It brings together African-American professionals from all sectors and engages them in a year long development experience which helps them to prepare for the next phase of their career.
Participants have the opportunity to rediscover their passions, purpose and ground themselves by reviewing their core values. From there they complete an assessment which helps them to understand how they make decisions, ways to interact with others more effectively and provides insights on how to use their strengths to maximize individual and collective work.
Over the period of the program, the class walks through the ten game changing strategies identified in the best selling book, Black Faces in White Places, written by Dr. Randal Pinkett and Dr. Jeffrey Robinson.
Pinkett and Robinson co-facilitate Redefine the Game, along with Willie Barney of the Empowerment Network and WDB Resultants and Damita Byrd with BCT Partners. Barney and Byrd worked together to develop the vision for the the cohort program and partnered with Pinkett and Robinson to bring it to reality.
It has made a measurable impact after just three cohorts. Over 40 corporations, businesses and organizations have sent employees through the program.
“We had thought about creating a course based on our book, but didn’t get around to doing it,” said Pinkett. “Then, Willie and Damita came to us with the vision and made it happen in a very short amount of time. Now, corporations and organizations across the country are inquiring about RTG.”
Including this cohort, 125 Black professionals and community leaders in Omaha will have participated. Of those who have completed the course, 70% have been promoted on their job.
“They were already doing great work and now have earned advancement and leadership opportunities through their own abilities, relationship building and utilization of their unique skill set,” said Barney.
“Alumni tell us that RTG helps provide them with an edge and the insights they need to better navigate their environments successfully,” added Byrd.
Revive Black Business Summit connects entrepreneurs to capital, resources & opportunities
“This was the best and most informative business summit event that I have ever been part of,” said Chef Wilson Calixte, owner of Le Voltaire French Restaurant, one of Omaha’s top restaurants.
“What’s happening in Omaha is the prototype for the nation,” said George Fraser, CEO of FraserNet, the PowerNetworking Conference and member of the National Black Business Hall of Fame. “Join this local and national Network, keep building and stay the course.”
Fraser is known across the world as one of the top experts on building highly effective and productive networks.
He joined Dr. Pamela Jolly, a nationally recognized thought leader on wealth building and a strategic advisor for business accelerators, as keynote speakers for the virtual Revive Black Business Summit.
Both Jolly and Fraser, along with other nationally known Black business leaders and entrepreneurs, have agreed to join the Revive Black Business Network Board of Advisors and to extend special offers to its members.
The Business Summit was hosted on Saturday, January 15th by Willie and Yolanda Barney, co owners of Revive Omaha!, Revive Center and Carver Legacy Center. 2022 marks 14 years since they launched Revive Magazine and 9 years since they formed the Revive Black Business Luncheon. January 15th also marked the 93rd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We have talked for years about launching the formal Business Network, but put it on hold as we worked on other community projects and businesses,” said Willie Barney. “We believe now is the time to move forward and build on and expand our local and national partnerships. To launch the Business Network on Dr. King’s birthday is incredibly significant. 2022 will be a breakthrough year.”
Jolly kicked off the Summit with an insightful presentation on the State of Black Business, emerging opportunities on the national level and the importance of working together.
“My research shows the benefit of building wealth together and elevating the standard of how we do business,” said Jolly. “We need to be prepared for the current and future opportunities.”
If the response from attendees is any indicator, the Black Business Network is an idea whose time has come.
“The experience was absolutely amazing and very informative. It was like I stumbled upon a high-level business master class led by owners and subject matter experts that were so willing to share their personal best practices and success strategies,” said Tim Clark, CEO of Clark Connection Group.
Clark also delivered a powerful message of his own during a session on Effective Networking. “Be intentional. Be credible. Build trust. Listen. Listen. Listen.”
“The information presented was extremely valuable for business owners,” said Marcella Dial who attended along with her husband, Howard. “We got started with our business, but felt stuck. This event helped us to see ways to move forward.”
The Summit featured some of Omaha’s most successful Black business owners and entrepreneurs.
Carmen Tapio, CEO of North End Teleservices, has grown from 0 to 400 employees in just over five years. She shared her journey and how she overcame initial rejections from banks to secure the funding she needed to expand. Tapio said she is aiming to create jobs for 1,000+ and continue changing lives through her business. She also encouraged attendees not to give up.
Candice Price, a serial entrepreneur including co-ownership of Home Team Auto Sales and Sapphire Grill, offered insights on generating multiple streams of income and highlighted the services available through the new non-profit she leads, Grow Nebraska. “Having multiple streams of income was a blessing for us during the pandemic as we had to put our food truck in storage.”
Richard Webb, probably best known as the former CEO of the 100 Black Men and current CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands, shared his experiences as a successful business owner and real estate investor with his firm, Abundant Living. “You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars attending seminars, it is possible to make money by investing in real estate. Develop relationships.”
Gladys Harrison, owner of Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering, spoke about being innovative and reinventing your business in the midst of challenges. With most Black businesses struggling and 41% closing during the pandemic, Gladys reported that 2020 was their best financial year in the history of the company as they expanded on partnerships. “It was the partnerships that allowed us to grow when others were closing down.”
Calvin Jones, CEO of Lions Gate Security, shared some best practices for establishing relationships and doing business with corporations and public entities, including some of Omaha’s largest organizations. “Persistence. You can’t be afraid to knock on the door and keep knocking.”
“What I experienced at the Summit was powerful, educational and dynamic,” said Bridget Hadley, Economic Development Manager for the City of Omaha. “The depth of experience among all of the panelists makes Omaha and our community rich. The exchange of information and nuggets of wisdom shared were practical, yet invaluable, and ready for implementation.”
“It was incredibly inspiring to hear from these successful business owners,” said Yolanda Barney. “Being in business, especially during a time like this, can be challenging and you can feel isolated. This let’s you know that you can still move forward and staying connected is vitally important.”
That is one of the main goals for formalizing the Revive Black Business Network. The group keeps businesses connected, shares information about resources and opportunities, identifies funding sources and provides a platform to communicate successes and best practices.
The Revive Business Network will host meetings, summits, workshops, luncheons, conferences, expos and other events throughout the year.
In addition to business owners and entrepreneurs, the speakers and panelists on the summit included a wide range of service providers and support organizations available to assist with information, access to credit and capital, training and technical assistance.
BC Clark – Nebraska Enterprise Fund, Candice Price – Grow Nebraska, Manne Cook – Spark Capital, Bridget Hadley – City of Omaha, and Ernest White – Carver Legacy Center all highlighted different forms of funding including grants, loans and equity. All of the organizations also offer training and special events. Karine Sokpah, founder of the Midlands African Chamber also highlight opportunities for entrepreneurs to win $10,000 through the Pitch Black competition.
“When we started the Revive Black Business Network, we wanted to make sure business owners and entrepreneurs knew what resources and opportunities were available to them,” said Willie Barney. “We have updated the Roadmap to Entrepreneurship in Omaha and we will have a consistent location for these activities to happen at the HUB inside the Carver Legacy Center and also at the Revive Center Markets.”
Two other sessions focused on helping businesses to get prepared with a solid foundation. Malinda Williams, financial advisor with MVEST Partners shared tips for getting personal and business balance sheets in order.
Martine Quartey, owner of Advance Tax Solutions with 20+ years of experience, walked participants through key aspects needed to manage taxes professionally. “Too many business don’t handle their taxes correctly, but we can help them build a solid foundation.”
Dr. Martin Williams of Martin Williams International and DreamKeepers focused on existing business owners and presented key concepts he has used over the years to help businesses scale. “Creating successful businesses is about culture.”
The final session included specific opportunities to do business with corporations and public entities. Winsley Durand from the Greater Omaha Chamber/REACH, Gerald Kuhn from the City of Omaha and Cameron Gales of Jacobs Construction all provided valuable contacts and pathways to get in the door. James Wright from Congressman Don Bacon’s office also discussed ways the office could be helpful.
“I thought the meeting was excellence in motion. So much good information and resources within our own community,” said Sophia Jordan, owner of Black Bottom Biscotti. “I am inspired to keep going and do business on purpose within our own community even more so.”
Fraser who closed the day off with a powerful keynote and an extended “post conference” session, emphasized some final key points.
“We can create jobs, build our communities and prepare the next generation,” said Fraser. “If you do not have a system, you do not have a business. What is your promise?”
He added, “We must connect, grow and prosper so we can learn, earn and return. Omaha has the opportunity to show the way.”
It was the perfect ending to the Summit. Creating moments like this on a consistent basis is one of the main goals for the Business Network.
“When do you ever have an opportunity to have George Fraser, a living legend, on a live zoom for an hour personally answering questions and sharing his experiences and insights?” said Calvin Jones.
The Black Business Summit was hosted by Revive! Omaha, Revive Center and Carver Legacy Center. The virtual event was managed by RealQuick Solutions.
24th & Lake partners work together; host 3,000+ at 10th Annual Christmas in the Village
800 bags of groceries provided to families during North Omaha’s largest holiday tradition
The Empowerment Network and community partners worked together to present the 10th Annual Christmas in the Village as a “Drive Thru” event. It was truly a Joy Ride to remember for all ages.
Though the lines backed up all the way to Cuming and at times Highway 75, the anticipation was extremely high for those that waited patiently for their turn to go through the Drive Thru Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake. The pandemic forced changes to the event, but it couldn’t stop the spirit of the community. Once the overflow traffic was organized, things went smoothly.
Judging by the reactions, smiles, ooohs and aaaaahs from children, parents, seniors and everyone in between, the 10th annual community celebration and holiday tradition delivered on the promise for all ages.
“It was awesome. Really a lot of fun. It really didn’t take that long to get through the line,” said one parent with three smiling children in the back checking out their “goodie bags.”
“The kids loved it,” said another.
“Thank you all for doing this,” said a woman driving a van through the event.
Music to the ears of event planner, Vicki Quaites-Ferris, Director of Operations for the Empowerment Network. Faced with a world-wide pandemic and a spike in COVID cases locally, there were questions about what to do with Christmas in the Village this year. Willie Barney, president of the Network, and Quaites-Ferris decided to take the vote to the committee.
The long-term partners agreed to host a drive thru event and practice all precautions needed to make it a safe event.
“We didn’t want to let the kids and families down,” said Barney. “It’s been a tough and challenging year for everyone, but we believed we could still create a memorable and fun experience for children and families. Our volunteers wore masks and used a lot of sanitizer.”
“It was even more than we expected,” said Quaites-Ferris. “Our partners really came through. In addition to the fun activities, we passed out sanitizer, masks and information on COVID-19.”
Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake is part of a longer term vision and initiative to rebuild an arts, culture, entertainment and business district in the historic neighborhood. The community-based North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan was facilitated by the Empowerment Network and Omaha Economic Development Corporation and developed with the input of 800+ adults and children. It was approved unanimously by the Omaha City Council in 2011.
Major projects, events and developments have happened in the “Village Zone” since the passage of the Village plan. It has served as a catalyst for hundreds of millions in public and private investments. The theme of the plan: Connecting a Rich History to a Thriving Future.
Barney came up with the idea for Christmas in the Village and shared a vision for the event with Quaites-Ferris, Deb Bunting and Stacy Henry Westbrook. They worked quickly to develop the initial plan and implemented the first event in less than four weeks. Michael Maroney and the team at OEDC also agreed to partner on the first event and have co-presented for 10 years with the Network.
“When Willie first shared the idea,” said Quaites-Ferris, “I said that sounds great, let’s do it next year. He said, no, we need to do it this year. We need to start bringing people back to 24th and Lake, even without any new buildings.”
Bunting had consistently shared that the arts can play a major role in rebuilding urban communities. The strategy has had a very positive impact. The initial attendance has grown to annually attract 3,000 to 5,000 attendees to the Village at 24th and Lake.
The pandemic forced the team to innovate and do things differently.
“Even from their cars, participants were able to receive a free bag of groceries, see cartoon characters, listen to some amazing holiday music, wave at Santa, see live animals including a camel and donkey and get a free goodie bag,” she said.
“We essentially brought all of the activities outside so everyone could participate from their vehicle.”
Organizers couldn’t have asked for a better day. With the sun shining bright and temperatures near 50 degrees, God smiled again on Christmas in the Village.
Along the route attendees could see Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Olaf, Ninja Turtle, Elsa, a dancing Doc McStuffins and for the first time, Black Panther.
“The children loved the characters,” said Ernest White, Vice President at American National Bank, one of the major sponsors and a lead volunteer at every one of the 10 Christmas in the Village Celebrations.
“Look mom, Look, Black Panther!, WOW!” said one child.
“Oooo wee, there’s a Ninja Turtle”, said another.
Those comments of pure fun and delight could be heard thousands of times all day. Balloon characters were also very popular including Frosty, Snoopy, a giant black Santa and a holiday Minion.
There was a constant stream of cars throughout the event. Some even started to line up as early as 10:30 am, even though the event didn’t officially start until noon.
This was the first year for the drive thru version, so getting the traffic organized along 24th street took some time. Overwhelmingly, community members were very understanding as thousands waited patiently waving and thanking organizers for not cancelling the event.
“We’ve been a part of every event since its inception,” said Michael Maroney, President of Omaha Economic Development Corporation, one of the presenting organizations. “It was amazing to see so many cars come through the event. It’s great to see what the event has become for the community. Before Christmas in the Village, we hadn’t ever had anything like this in North Omaha.”
OEDC staff Geneva Lopez, Cynthia Hume, Mike Schulz, Toni Tyree, NAACP president Vickie Young and a large team of volunteers welcomed families to the event by providing a bag full of groceries from the Fair Deal Grocery Marketplace. Families were incredibly appreciative as COVID has been extremely challenging in many ways. 800 bags of groceries were distributed during Christmas in the Village.
The food was made possible through the Healthy Village Collaborative facilitated by the Empowerment Network and supported with Cares funding provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
The whole route was full of surprises for the kids, but the most popular moment seemed to be the opportunity to see Santa standing near the street waving and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. Children and adults alike were smiling ear to ear with eyes wide open.
Santa was positioned right next to a new stage brought in to bring the singing and music closer to the cars. Santa’s visit each year is coordinated by Yolanda Barney of Revive Omaha Magazine and Revive Center.
The music, always a huge part of the event, was even more amazing this year as it was pumping up and down historic North 24th Street. Duke Rigg and his team have excellently managed the sound every year for ten years.
“We had an awesome lineup again,” said Barney. “We kicked off with Big Wade and the Last Few, and continued music all day with Gus McNair, Chad Stoner, Millicent Crawford, Eric and Doriette Jordan, Jarron Taylor and LaShaun McCroy. Most have been with us every year. Some of the best artists in the city.”
People were literally dancing in the streets and singing along in their cars as they drove past. The warm holiday spirit could be felt throughout the event. Volunteers were smiling and waving, and wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
Jonathan Chapman of the Empowerment Network and owner of a video and media company organized for the first time, a live broadcast of the event. He used it as an opportunity to train youth to bring a “Macy Days Parade” approach to Christmas in the Village. The video was available and can still be seen on the Empowerment Network’s Facebook page.
And though the event wasn’t able to host the Holiday Boutique, Aisha Conner of the Network and organizer of the annual Boutique found ways to incorporate Black Business owners into the event.
Candice Price, co-owner of Hometeam Auto, brought cars from her lot and positioned them at key points along the route.
“To sum up 2020 Christmas in the Village in two words… Simply Ahhmazing! It was a spectacular event enjoyed by thousands in the community. From live music, to giveaways including groceries for families, to local black owned businesses being given an opportunity to introduce their companies to so many, and even a fabulous manger set up with live animals! There was truly something for everyone! And to set it all up safely, in the midst of COVID-19, for all to enjoy is exactly what made it the event of the year,” said Price.
Leo Louis, CEO of his new moving company, Somebody with a Truck, was contracted to pick up and deliver items for Christmas in the Village and was able to post up his truck to help with distribution.
Ashley Reddick, owner of Mise En Scene Events, designed and installed beautiful balloon displays along the route. Entrepreneur and decorating consultant Carolyn Holmes wrapped the street poles beautifully with garland and flowers.
Jason Fischer, CEO of Surreal Media Lab, roamed the streets looking for the perfect moments to capture via video and photography. Jason is another partner who has partnered every year, producing excellent videos and capturing the essence of the event.
All of the traditional small businesses that participate in Holiday Boutique can be found on the Revive Omaha special edition online.
“You can support those businesses and others online with the virtual shopping guide,” said Conner.
Another black owned business that played a huge role was Calvin Jones and his team from Lions Gate Security. Jones went above and beyond by jumping in to help save the day and directing traffic at the 24th and Hamilton intersection.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years,” said Quaites-Ferris. “I want to thank all of the partners and volunteers for being a part of the event. Others from the planning team included the Omaha Star, Great Plains Black History Museum and OPD. The FBI Community Outreach Team, Bryant Center, UNO and Kappa Leaguers also came through big time.”
“This is the Village in action. Everyone working together, loving on each other, helping and supporting each other,” said Barney. “We will keep building on this community spirit. Now, we are moving to monthly events at 24th and Lake.”
Christmas in the Village is presented by the Empowerment Network and Omaha Economic Development Corporation. American National Bank is the gold sponsor and has supported the vision for 10 years. Other major sponsors include the Nebraska Arts Council, Douglas County Visitors Bureau and the North Omaha Turnback Tax Committee. Media sponsors include KETV and Revive Omaha Magazine.
Over 100 community partners have worked with the Empowerment Network to host the event each year.
“The holidays bring about a true sense of community. Anytime organizations, businesses and volunteers can share a few laughs, listen to the soulful sounds of Christmas, all while serving a need in our community, that’s a beautiful blessing. Despite the pandemic, we were determined to make CITV20 a success. CITV is a family tradition. Four generations strong for my camp. We look forward to it every year.” – Vickie Young
“This year’s drive through celebration of Christmas in the village was nothing shy of breath taking. Being able to see so much of the community still gather and celebrate the season in a safe way definitely helped lift my spirits during this difficult time.” – Sha’lise Oliver, college student and volunteer.
“There was an individual who came thru the line – he wasn’t sure what was going on but said he was ‘just following traffic.’ When we handed him the bag of groceries he was appreciative as he didn’t know he was getting food – Gave him the bag and he said: ‘Oh thank you I’m so appreciative because I don’t have any food right now. It’s going to help out a lot.’ He had tears in his eyes because he was so appreciative.” – Cynthia L. Hume, Manager, Fair Deal Village MarketPlace
Source: Revive Omaha Magazine