The past two years, we’ve posted a blog around this time announcing that White Castle Roofing has won a Business Excellence Award from the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Not so this year.

But not for the reason you think.

Instead, this year, the Chamber asked White Castle Roofing’s own Charissa Hansen to be a part of the awards selection committee! While this rendered us ineligible to apply for the award, it seemed a little more meaningful to be recognized for our efforts in a different way — and contribute to choosing this year’s winners of the elite honor.

Business Excellence Awards are earned, not given

We sat down for a quick Q-and-A with Charissa to learn more about her experience on the committee, and what it revealed to her about the past two years’ honors for White Castle Roofing.

What all did being on the committee entail?
Being on the committee entailed more of a commitment (in a good way!) than I expected. I was approached to sit on the committee in January, and in February we received all the information needed to review the businesses. We were told to expect a 5-10 hour commitment over a two-week period, and that’s really what it ended up being.

What was the process to select winners?
We received all of the information the applicants/nominees answered and scorecards. After we submitted our scoring, there was a committee meeting to go over all of the compiled scores and present a recommended slate of winners.

Who made up the committee?
Business people from all over the community made up the selection committee! We were past winners of the Business Excellence Awards. The Omaha Chamber staff and Board also were a part of the process. 

What did you learn about the business community from being on the committee?
What really stood out to me while serving on the committee was the sheer volume of nominees! I realize how silly this may sound, but I didn’t realize what a prestigious honor it truly was having been a winner these past two years. (The compiled nominations created a PDF of over 300 pages!) It wasn’t just the volume of applicants, but the quality. I am so proud of White Castle Roofing and what we’ve done as a company. To have been honored among the business leaders of our community who are truly innovative and philanthropic is an honor I hope we never forget. Selecting from the list of applicants we had seemed impossible — it was story after story of businesses in the trenches, doing the hard and good work in our neighborhoods.

What stood out to you about the winners?
Naturally we received several applications from companies that were large and gave gigantic amounts of money. Obviously as a community, we need those leaders! What they do is appreciated and necessary. The winners, however, were the ones really on the ground level doing the hands-on good in our community. Whether it was in innovation, philanthropy, or in leadership roles, those who are honored are not the ones just writing big checks or sitting on boards. They’re the ones getting their hands dirty and creating a new culture in Omaha. 

You can see this year’s winners on the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s website — or catch up on our wins here and here. And as always, you can see more of what White Castle Roofing is doing in our own neighborhoods by clicking over to our Community Initiatives page!