• Work
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    Last month Dusty and the SPN crew hosted their annual Big Omaha conference, now part of the Big Conference Series.  They hold three events a year (in KC, Des Moines, and Omaha) showcasing some of the creative entrepreneurial talent locally and nationally.  I wrote a little about why I love Big Omaha so much in one of my weekly pregnancy updates and want to just say that I’m so very proud of what my husband does and all of the things he believes in.  We both care deeply about Omaha (and surrounding communities) and I feel so lucky to be a part of such a fun event.  Of course, one of the funnest parts of the conference is that they have a photo booth at the actual conference and then have booths set up at the parties they hold each night.  You can also check out my posts on the past four Big Omaha events here.

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  • Big Kansas City 2013

    May 16, 2013

    In March, SPN hosted one of it’s three Big Series events in Kansas City, called Big Kansas City.  Like Big Omaha and Big Des Moines, Big KC is full of innovative and creative people trying to create change in our communities!  Here are a few pictures from the event!  I was 18 weeks pregnant and at the time I remember thinking how great it was that my belly was finally starting to show.  As the website says,

    Big Kansas City is a two-and-a-half-day conference on innovation and entrepreneurship. Four hundred of the nation’s most heartfelt hustlers, builders, entrepreneurs, change agents and doers will come together to hear stories of innovation from more than a dozen leading speakers, create lasting connections within the regional and national community and walk away with an energy to follow their passions.

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  • SPN Awards

    September 10, 2012

    In August Dusty and the SPN crew put on a celebration to recognize 12 companies and individuals for their outstanding products, strong leadership and noteworthy contributions to the community. It was a great gathering of people, celebrating all of the wonderful people in the silicon prairie community.  For me it was an opportunity to see just what great things people are doing and how much of an impact SPN has been on Omaha and the surrounding communities.

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  • Big Omaha 2012

    May 10, 2012

    We celebrated Big Omaha’s fourth year and I can’t believe how successful it was.  I love being a part of this great event and everything else that Dusty and the rest of the SPN group does.  Here are a few pictures from the three day event.


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  • In May Dusty helped host Silicon Prairie News’ Big Omaha Conference. It was another huge success and here are some pictures from the three day event.

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  • I’ve begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not too far in the distant future.  I started taking classes towards my PhD in the summer of 2008 and I will officially be done with course work next semester.  This semester I took two courses, Statistics and Perspectives in Organizational Communication.  Both were challenging but worth it.  I will take two night classes next semester, one related to intergroup communication and the other on communication and workplace dignity. My plan is to finish up my course work in the spring and then spend the entire summer studying for comprehensive exams.  I will take my exams in the fall while working on my dissertation.  My goal is to be graduating in spring 2012. The title of this post is called new hobbies and although this is not a new hobby for me because I’ve been in school for so long but the finishing part is new.  School is also such a large part of my life that I sometimes think it’s the only hobby I have.  I’ve actually started a list called “The things I’m going to do when I graduate” and that list is growing and growing.

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  • Big Omaha 2010

    May 12, 2010

    This is year two for Big Omaha and it was a huge success.  Dusty and the Silicon Prairie News crew worked year-round to prepare for the event.  This year the event brought together 500+ entrepreneurs, innovators and creatives to hear a dozen nationally-recognized speakers of the like. The goal of the event is to inspire attendees to follow their passions, build the businesses they love and strengthen their creative communities.

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  • Class This Fall

    December 12, 2009

    This semester I’m only taking one class. It’s called Qualitative Research Methods. For those who are not familiar with research design, Wikipedia says,

    Qualitative research is a method of inquiry appropriated in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in the social sciences, but also in market research and further contexts. Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. The qualitative method investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, when. Hence, smaller but focused samples are more often needed, rather than large samples.

    Wow, I’m not even sure I would have been able to understand that definition if I wasn’t in the class. In other words, I learned how to conduct a study doing interviews and gathering other kinds of data like journals. For this course I interviewed three millennials about their job satisfaction and had them keep a journal for a week where they wrote about their thoughts on job satisfaction. I just finished my last class yesterday and I am so glad to have my paper done. Here’s a small excerpt from the paper I turned in yesterday.

    The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how job satisfaction was described by millennials working in entry-level professional positions. By examining how millennial’s describe job satisfaction, using qualitative approaches, we can better understand how this new generation of employees is adjusting to the workforce. With this information, researchers can add vital information to the already extensive research on job satisfaction, human resource professionals and managers can recruit and retain qualified millennials, and millennials themselves can better understand themselves as a generational group within the organizational structure. At this stage in the research, job satisfaction is defined as the degree to which an individual feels positively or negatively about the internal or external characteristics of her/his job (Hunt, Chonko, & Wood, 1985). The central question that guided my inquiry was: What is the meaning of job satisfaction to millennials? The study also helped answer the following three sub-questions: What experiences contribute to the job satisfaction of millennials? What experiences contribute to the job dissatisfaction of millennials? What do millennials believe are some strategies employers could take to increase their job satisfaction?

    I plan on taking two classes this next semester. I got lucky enough to find two classes I really wanted to take that were being offered on the same day. So, this spring I’ll be commuting to Lincoln every Wednesday for class from 3-9pm. That means a very long day of working and taking a class. I’ll only have to drive one day though. Overall, my class work is going great and I’m proud to say that I should be done with my course work by August 2011. Then I’ll be working on my dissertation for a year and hopefully be graduating by December 2012.

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  • BrightMix

    December 7, 2009

    BrightMix is doing great!  Here are some pictures of the BrightMix Crew from this past year (and a few from December 2008).  Business is doing great and Dusty is staying busy.  We feeling really blessed.

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  • Good Reviews For Big Omaha

    December 5, 2009

    Dusty and many others worked very hard on the Big Omaha conference and the question was at the end of the day, was it as success. Well, It looks like it was. A big technology and news website, ReadWriteWeb, did a write up on Big Omaha and gave it really good reviews. There’s also a video of Dusty and Jeff (one of the other organizers of the event and good friends of ours) that you should check out to see how professional Dusty sounds. I’ve been giving him some lessons on public speaking and he’s really been getting a lot of practice Check out the article to hear what others said about the conference!

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