Lincoln Chamber of Commerce honors seven at Celebrate Business Awards – KOLN

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and its member organizations announced seven award winners from the 2023 Celebrate Business Awards on Tuesday. The awards ceremony was held at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel.

The Small Business of the Year Award went to Wax Buffalo Candle. According to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business of the Year Award is intended to honor a business which best exemplifies the spirit of free enterprise in Lincoln. Wax Buffalo Candle Wax Buffalo is a women-owned home goods brand. Their mission is to create beautifully imperfect small batch, handmade products for the modern home. They use 100% domestically-sourced soy wax, featuring small batch production and hand poured in Lincoln.

The Manufacturer of the Year Award went to Speedway Motors. The Manufacturer of the Year Award serves to bring attention to Lincoln’s manufacturing community and the contributions made to Lincoln both economically and socially. Since 1952, Speedway Motors has been a family-owned company that delivers automotive parts, shipping them all over the world.

The Green Business of the Year Award went to LI-COR Biosciences. The Green Business of the Year Award is designed to honor a businesses that has gone to create an environmentally responsible business. Since 1971, LI-COR aims to improve systems for plant research, gas analysis, drug discovery, protein research and small animal imaging.


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The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award went to 86 Bar Staffing. The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award recognizes a person or company that has shown creativity in the development of enterprise in Lincoln. 86 Bar Staffing aims to solve the workforce shortage the service industry has suffered post-pandemic. They provide local establishments staff to cover bartending or serving shifts. They also staff private events, tailgates, caterings, weddings and more.

The Tom Lorenz Tourism Development Award went to Joel Green of Robber’s Cave. According to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism Development Award recognizes the business that has showed creativity in the development of Lincoln’s tourism industry. Green has worked to bring the legend of Robber’s Cave back into not only Lincoln’s mind, but to those outside of the community as well. A landmark cave full of history and plenty of stories, Robber’s Cave is open to tours year-round.

The Cornerstone Award went to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. According to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, the Cornerstone Award is presented to the business whose entrepreneurship and endeavor added to the economic base of the Lincoln community and provided opportunity for others to live and work in Lincoln.

Leading the nation in providing medical and physical rehabilitation for adults and children, their hospitals in Lincoln and Omaha specialize in rehabilitating patients who have suffered a stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, complex medical issues and a variety of other conditions or traumatic events. Patients and families nationwide seek out Madonna for their ability to handle cases of varying complexity. Hospitality remains a core value, as they strive to make patients feel at home throughout their rehabilitation.

The Roger T. Larson Community Builder Award went to Dan Duncan. The Roger T. Larson Community Builder Award is given each year to a person whose proven leadership and influence through public service has shaped the Lincoln community.

Beginning his tenure at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1987, he worked through various leadership roles in agricultural research until his appointment as founding executive director at Nebraska Innovation Campus in October 2011. As Executive Director Emeritus of the Nebraska Innovation Campus Development Corporation, Duncan helped the public/private research campus develop from inception to approximately 700,000 square feet of occupied space. Currently, Duncan owns and manages Dan Duncan Consulting LLC.

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