Nebraska Building Chapter receives Entrepreneurial Spirit Award


Not only does the Nebraska Building Chapter represent construction firms all over Nebraska, the organization has also worked with the Center for Rural Affairs to start a Construction Academy.

This partnership provides support and encourages entrepreneurs’ advancement of skill, integrity, and responsibility, as well as stimulates and promotes progress, innovation, and safety in the construction industry.

Because of the dedication and willingness to help entrepreneurs, the Nebraska Building Chapter has been chosen to receive the 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award is presented annually to an individual or individuals who best exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit that is so crucial to the future prosperity of Nebraska’s rural communities. This organization has demonstrated outstanding support for the Center for Rural Affairs and exceptional dedication to small business development through technical assistance, business training, lending, and networking across rural Nebraska.

Sheila O’Connor, executive director of the Nebraska Building Chapter, has overseen their partnership with the Center for the last few years.

“The chapter was asked to develop curriculum and recruit members to present information,” Sheila said. “Our members have been involved in ongoing growth and development of these training sessions.”

Raul Arcos Hawkins, business development specialist with the Center, says the Nebraska Building Chapter’s support was essential in turning the idea of Construction Academy into a reality.

“They were a critical component in structuring the academy,” said Raul. “Sheila has been very helpful and resourceful providing additional materials to the project.”

Members of the Nebraska Building Chapter who have assisted with the academy have enjoyed being involved, and look forward to continuing their partnership.

“Working with the Center has been a great experience,” said Sheila. “Our members love leading the sessions, working with attendees, and watching these entrepreneurs grow their businesses, and we are currently recruiting presenters for the upcoming sessions.”

Sheila says Nebraska Building Chapter’s strong ties with organizations like the Center allow both sides to grow, innovate, and evolve while also helping shape the industry.

“Through partnerships such as this, we connect with new and emerging industry professionals, share knowledge and resources, and create lasting relationships,” Sheila said.

And, though unexpected, receiving the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was a pleasant experience for Sheila and the other members of the Nebraska Building Chapter, one for which they are grateful.

“It was quite a surprise when we were notified,” Sheila said. “We are excited for our members to be recognized for their leadership, time, and commitment to this program. They are the reasons this program continues to be successful. Thank you to the Center for Rural Affairs for all your efforts on projects such as this.”

Feature photo: The Nebraska Building Chapter was awarded the Center for Rural Affairs’ 2020 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. Pictured are Sheila O’Connor, executive director, and Jean Petsch, director of advocacy and industry affairs.  |  Photo submitted by Wood Aitken LLP