2022 Governor’s Ag and Economic
Development Summit

Reception/Banquet
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Younes Conference Center North,
707 West Talmadge Street – Kearney
(Gold Banquet Rooms)

6:00pm – Reception
7:00pm – Dinner & Awards

Summit
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Younes Conference Center North,
707 West Talmadge Street – Kearney

8:00am – 4:30pm

Summit Agenda:

 

8:00 am – 8:30 am: Registration

8:30 am – 8:45 am: Welcome – Governor Pete Ricketts

(Gold Banquet Rooms)

9:00 am – 10:00 am: Breakout Session 1

Track 1 - Supply Chain Solutions (Silver 3)

It’s no secret that the last few years have brought a significant disruption for many businesses. This panel will focus on how several Nebraska companies have navigated those challenges and what unexpected opportunities they may have uncovered in the process.

Moderator: Colby Angst, Nebraska Department of Economic Development
Speakers: Nicholas Raimondo, Vice President of International Business, Behlen Mfg.
Chris Roth, President, Reinke Manufacturing Company, Inc.
Tyler Backemeyer, Director of Sales and Supply Chain, CSS Farms, LLC
Track 2 – Small Meat Processors – Post-Covid Lessons Learned (Silver 2)

These small meat processors met the challenges the pandemic placed on their business and the local food supply, emerging successfully.

Moderator: Mary Baumert, Executive Director – NE Association of Meat Processors
Speakers: Mike Boell, Owner and Anna Zeleny, Manager – Oakland Processing
Brian Kurth, General Manager – McLean Beef, York
Ace VanDeWalle, Owner – Ord Locker
Track 3 – NeDNR – Drought Conditions/Solutions (Silver 1)

NeDNR and Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts are involved in a collaborative drought planning effort with stakeholders throughout Nebraska to develop localized drought plans focused on mitigating and responding to droughts, and developing technologies that assist the public, communities, and agricultural producers in better understand drought conditions in their areas.

Moderator: Jennifer Schellpeper, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
Speakers: Robert Lawson, State Conservationist – USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
Charles D. McWilliams, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mike Sousek, Lower Elkhorn Natural Resource District
John Thorburn, Tri Basin Natural Resource District

 

Track 4 – Apprenticeships (Silver 9)

Apprenticeship programs are a great model for developing highly skilled employees. During this session, the panelists will speak about their experiences in implementing their apprenticeships programs and the success of using this model.

Moderator: Brad Pierce, Division of Reemployment Services Director – NE Dept. of Labor
Speakers: Kimberly Anderson, Apprenticeship Director, Northeast Community College
Joe Cole, Vice President of Administration – Graepel North America Inc.
Catrina Gray, Apprenticeship Director, Central Community College
Rama Kolli, Chief Information Officer – BlueCross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
Joni Wheeler, Exec. Vice President, Talent and Enterprise Solutions – BlueCross
and BlueShield of Nebraska
Track 5 – Creative Survival of Small Businesses (Silver 8)

The pandemic presented challenges as well as opportunities for small businesses. Learn how these entrepreneurs got creative and their businesses survived the challenge.

Moderator: Dena Beck, Affiliated Fund Development Coord. – Nebraska Community Foundation
Speakers: Matt Dennis & Michael Stepp, Owners – Handlebend, O’Neill
  Chais & Shawna Meyer, Co-Founders & Owners – Nest: Space, Kearney
Adam Siegfried – Coppermill, McCook
Kelsie & Justin Wilson, Owners – The Danish Bakery, Dannebrog
Track 6 – NeDNR – Water Initiatives (Silver 7)

The 2022 legislative session ushered in historic support for water projects in Nebraska. The Governor and the Legislature worked together to develop water initiatives to secure existing and future water supplies, drive the tourism economy, support ageing irrigation infrastructure, and more. The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources has been charged with managing these projects. The panel will explore how these plans will impact stakeholders and Nebraskans for decades to come.

Moderator: Tom Riley, Director-NE Department of Natural Resources
Speakers: Devin Brundage, General Mgr. – Central Nebraska Public Power Irrigation District
Elizabeth Elliott, Director of Transportation & Utilities – City of Lincoln
Mike Hilgers, Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature
Dennis Strauch, Retired Mgr of Pathfinder Irrigation District / Nebraska Natural Resources Commission

10:00 am – 10:30 am: Break

10:30 am – 11:30 am: Breakout Session 2

Track 1 – Success in New International Markets (Silver 3)

Nebraska is an agricultural powerhouse and exports its homegrown products all over the world. This panel brings together international trade and marketing experts to discuss recent and future trends in trade and how to reach new markets and customers overseas.

Moderator: Cicely Wardyn, Assistant Director – Nebraska Department of Agriculture
Speakers: Andrew William Brandt, Director of Trade Policy – U.S. Grains Council
Paul Weiss, Liaison Manager – Food Export Midwest
John Worthington, CEO – IBT Online
Track 2 – Local Support for Small Business during Covid (Silver 2)

Learn how these communities got creative with local resources to help businesses survive the pandemic.

Moderator: Gary Person, President/CEO – North Platte Chamber & Development Corporation
Speakers: Cassie Condon, VP of Operations/Marketing – North Platte Area Chamber & Dev.
  Lisa Hurley, Executive Director – York County Development Corporation
Mary Wilson, Co-Executive Director – Keith County Area Development
Track 3 – NeDNR – Economic Impact of Flooding (Silver 1)

NeDNR develops, educates on, and encourages knowledge of flood risk in Nebraska. Utilizing this flood risk data, NeDNR helps citizens and businesses make informed decisions on development in and around floodplains and on mitigation projects to reduce potential economic losses. Additionally, NeDNR regulates the construction, operation, and maintenance of dams in Nebraska to protect life and property from dam failures. To promote the safety of dams in Nebraska, NeDNR maintains an inventory of dams in Nebraska, reviews plans for the construction or modification of dams, inspects all dams in the state, provides training to owners and engineers, and assists with dam related emergency preparation and response activities.

Moderator: Bob Robles, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
Speakers: Erin Cobb – Chief, Floodplain Manager, FEMA Region 7 – Mitigation Division
  Tim Gokie, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
Drew Minert
Jamie Reinke, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
Track 4 – ‘Growing Together’ – Community Internship Initiative (Silver 7)

The Northeast Nebraska Growing Together Initiative was created to address the outmigration and work force issues in the area. The Initiative focuses on 6 different components of need in the community: Downtown Development, Founders in Residence, Cooperative Scholarships, Workforce Retraining, Artists in Residence, and Early Childhood Education. This panel will focus on the Co-Op Scholarship/Internship component and the collaboration between the community and Wayne State College.

Moderator: Rose Baker, Talent Manager, NE Dept. of Economic Development
Speakers: Candice Alder, Economic Developer – City of Norfolk & Norfolk Area EDC
Dr. Marysz Rames, President – Wayne State College
Angie Stenger, Executive Director – Northeast Nebraska Growing Together
Track 5 – Career Pathways (Silver 8)

Career Pathway systems offer an effective approach to the development of a skilled workforce by increasing the number of workers in Nebraska who gain industry-recognized and academic credentials necessary to work in jobs that are in-demand.

Moderator: Josh Hanson, Greater Nebraska One-Stop Operator – NE Department of Labor
Speakers: Matt Gotschall, President, Central Community College
Danielle Hultman, Employment Specialist/HR – Mary Lanning Hospital
Randy Kissinger, Reemployment Services Regional Mgr. – Nebraska Dept. of Labor
Nicki Stoltenberg, Academy Partnership Liaison – Grand Island Senior High
Track 6 – Vietnam: Gateway to Southeast Asia (Silver 9)

This session offers business insights into the latest developments in the Vietnam Economy, government policies and incentives for U.S. companies that want to use Vietnam as a gateway to southeast Asia. This also give opportunities to meet directly with Becamex IDC Vietnam, the biggest industrial park developer and operator in Asia and valuable advice for doing business in Vietnam.

Moderator: Colby Angst, Nebraska Department of Economic Development
Speakers: H. E Mai Hung Dung, Vice Governor of Binh Duong Province
Le Phu Hoa, Provincial Minister of Foreign Affairs of Binh Duong Province
Bill Dao, North America Chief Representative, Becamex Vietnam & Binh Duong Province

11:45 pm – 1:15 pm: Lunch & Keynote Speaker

12:00pm – 12:30pm: Lunch (Gold Banquet Rooms)
12:30pm – 1:15pm: Speaker – Daniel Kritenbrink, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian & Pacific Affairs

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Breakout Session 3

Track 1 - Supply Chain Solutions (Silver 3)

It’s no secret that the last few years have brought a significant disruption for many businesses. This panel will focus on how several Nebraska companies have navigated those challenges and what unexpected opportunities they may have uncovered in the process.

Moderator: Colby Angst, Nebraska Department of Economic Development
Speakers: Nicholas Raimondo, Vice President of International Business, Behlen Mfg.
Chris Roth, President, Reinke Manufacturing Company, Inc.
Tyler Backemeyer, Director of Sales and Supply Chain, CSS Farms, LLC
Track 2 – Small Meat Processors – Post-Covid Lessons Learned (Silver 2)

These small meat processors met the challenges the pandemic placed on their business and the local food supply, emerging successfully.

Moderator: Mary Baumert, Executive Director – NE Association of Meat Processors
Speakers: Mike Boell, Owner and Anna Zeleny, Manager – Oakland Processing
Brian Kurth, General Manager – McLean Beef, York
Ace VanDeWalle, Owner – Ord Locker
Track 3 – NeDNR – Drought Conditions/Solutions (Silver 1)

NeDNR and Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts are involved in a collaborative drought planning effort with stakeholders throughout Nebraska to develop localized drought plans focused on mitigating and responding to droughts, and developing technologies that assist the public, communities, and agricultural producers in better understand drought conditions in their areas.

Moderator: Jennifer Schellpeper, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
Speakers: Robert Lawson, State Conservationist – USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
Charles D. McWilliams, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mike Sousek, Lower Elkhorn Natural Resource District
John Thorburn, Tri Basin Natural Resource District
Track 4 – Apprenticeships (Silver 9)

Apprenticeship programs are a great model for developing highly skilled employees. During this session, the panelists will speak about their experiences in implementing their apprenticeships programs and the success of using this model.

Moderator: Brad Pierce, Division of Reemployment Services Director – NE Dept. of Labor
Speakers: Kimberly Anderson, Apprenticeship Director, Northeast Community College
Joe Cole, Vice President of Administration – Graepel North America Inc.
Catrina Gray, Apprenticeship Director, Central Community College
Rama Kolli, Chief Information Officer – BlueCross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
Joni Wheeler, Exec. Vice President, Talent and Enterprise Solutions – BlueCross
and BlueShield of Nebraska
Track 5 – Creative Survival of Small Businesses (Silver 8)

The pandemic presented challenges as well as opportunities for small businesses. Learn how these entrepreneurs got creative and their businesses survived the challenge.

Moderator: Dena Beck, Affiliated Fund Development Coord. – Nebraska Community Foundation
Speakers: Matt Dennis & Michael Stepp, Owners – Handlebend, O’Neill
  Chais & Shawna Meyer, Co-Founders & Owners – Nest: Space, Kearney
Adam Siegfried – Coppermill, McCook
Kelsie & Justin Wilson, Owners – The Danish Bakery, Dannebrog
Track 6 – NeDNR – Water Initiatives (Silver 7)

The 2022 legislative session ushered in historic support for water projects in Nebraska. The Governor and the Legislature worked together to develop water initiatives to secure existing and future water supplies, drive the tourism economy, support ageing irrigation infrastructure, and more. The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources has been charged with managing these projects. The panel will explore how these plans will impact stakeholders and Nebraskans for decades to come.

Moderator: Tom Riley, Director-NE Department of Natural Resources
Speakers: Devin Brundage, General Mgr. – Central Nebraska Public Power Irrigation District
Elizabeth Elliott, Director of Transportation & Utilities – City of Lincoln
Mike Hilgers, Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature
Dennis Strauch, Retired Mgr of Pathfinder Irrigation District / Nebraska Natural Resources Commission

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm: Break

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm: Breakout Session 4

Track 1 – Success in New International Markets (Silver 3)

Nebraska is an agricultural powerhouse and exports its homegrown products all over the world. This panel brings together international trade and marketing experts to discuss recent and future trends in trade and how to reach new markets and customers overseas.

Moderator: Cicely Wardyn, Assistant Director – Nebraska Department of Agriculture
Speakers: Andrew William Brandt, Director of Trade Policy – U.S. Grains Council
Jessica Spreitzer, Director of Trade Analysis – U.S. Meat Export Federation
Paul Weiss, Liaison Manager – Food Export Midwest
John Worthington, CEO – IBT Online
Track 2 – Local Support for Small Business during Covid (Silver 2)

Learn how these communities got creative with local resources to help businesses survive the pandemic.

Moderator: Gary Person, President/CEO – North Platte Chamber & Development Corporation
Speakers: Cassie Condon, VP of Operations/Marketing – North Platte Area Chamber & Dev.
  Lisa Hurley, Executive Director – York County Development Corporation
Mary Wilson, Co-Executive Director – Keith County Area Development
Track 3 – NeDNR – Economic Impact of Flooding (Silver 1)

NeDNR develops, educates on, and encourages knowledge of flood risk in Nebraska. Utilizing this flood risk data, NeDNR helps citizens and businesses make informed decisions on development in and around floodplains and on mitigation projects to reduce potential economic losses. Additionally, NeDNR regulates the construction, operation, and maintenance of dams in Nebraska to protect life and property from dam failures. To promote the safety of dams in Nebraska, NeDNR maintains an inventory of dams in Nebraska, reviews plans for the construction or modification of dams, inspects all dams in the state, provides training to owners and engineers, and assists with dam related emergency preparation and response activities.

Moderator: Bob Robles, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
Speakers: Erin Cobb – Chief, Floodplain Manager, FEMA Region 7 – Mitigation Division
  Tim Gokie, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
Drew Minert
Jamie Reinke, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
Track 4 – ‘Growing Together’ – Community Internship Initiative (Silver 7)

The Northeast Nebraska Growing Together Initiative was created to address the outmigration and work force issues in the area. The Initiative focuses on 6 different components of need in the community: Downtown Development, Founders in Residence, Cooperative Scholarships, Workforce Retraining, Artists in Residence, and Early Childhood Education. This panel will focus on the Co-Op Scholarship/Internship component and the collaboration between the community and Wayne State College.

Moderator: Rose Baker, Talent Manager, NE Dept. of Economic Development
Speakers: Candice Alder, Economic Developer – City of Norfolk & Norfolk Area EDC
Dr. Marysz Rames, President – Wayne State College
Angie Stenger, Executive Director – Northeast Nebraska Growing Together
Track 5 – Career Pathways (Silver 8)

Career Pathway systems offer an effective approach to the development of a skilled workforce by increasing the number of workers in Nebraska who gain industry-recognized and academic credentials necessary to work in jobs that are in-demand.

Moderator: Josh Hanson, Greater Nebraska One-Stop Operator – NE Department of Labor
Speakers: Matt Gotschall, President, Central Community College
Randy Kissinger, Reemployment Services Regional Mgr. – Nebraska Dept. of Labor
Nicki Stoltenberg, Academy Partnership Liaison – Grand Island Senior High
Lisa Wilson, Plant HR Manager, CNH Industrial America LLC
Track 6 – Vietnam: Gateway to Southeast Asia (Silver 9)

This session offers business insights into the latest developments in the Vietnam Economy, government policies and incentives for U.S. companies that want to use Vietnam as a gateway to southeast Asia. This also give opportunities to meet directly with Becamex IDC Vietnam, the biggest industrial park developer and operator in Asia and valuable advice for doing business in Vietnam.

Moderator: Colby Angst, Nebraska Department of Economic Development
Speakers: H. E Mai Hung Dung, Vice Governor of Binh Duong Province
Le Phu Hoa, Provincial Minister of Foreign Affairs of Binh Duong Province
Bill Dao, North America Chief Representative, Becamex Vietnam & Binh Duong
Province

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Wrap-Up & Closing – Governor Pete Ricketts

Conference Information

Younes Conference Center North,
707 West Talmadge Street – Kearney
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Event Registration

Please contact Lori Shaal for additional information at lori.shaal@nebraska.gov.