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Newcomers / Businesses
John Hoehne relocated from North Platte 6 months ago to join the staff of Twin Cities Development as a research coordinator. He graduated from Creighton University with a degree in Political Science. John was originally born in Scottsbluff and returned in 2008 to work campaigns for Adrian Smith and Mike Johanns. Prior to arriving in Scottsbluff, John spent 6 months working on a pipeline in Alaska and worked in Kearney and a law office in North Platte as a paralegal. His girlfriend, Kesha Hinzle, recently joined him, moving from North Platte to accept a position as a pharmacy tech at Family Thrift Center. John has always liked smaller communities and never wanted to live in a big city. He enjoys a 5 minute commute and believes this is a great place to start a family. He has lived in other communities this size and believes Scottsbluff and Gering are very active an d progressive in comparison. He says one of the downsides of living in Nebraska is the lack of public land, compared to MT or ID, for example. ‘Here,’ he says, “The only way you have access to things, such as hunting or fishing, is if you own it or know the right people to make that happen.” He loves his new position at Twin Cities Development and he and Kesha look forward to starting their new family with the addition of a baby girl due on December 18!
Matt Hall & Patrick Merical
Matt Hall and Patrick Merical both moved to the community last year as part of the Union Pacific Railroad’s Operations Management Training Program. Although both are originally from Omaha, the arrived by different paths. Matt is a graduate of Creighton University with a degree in Marketign and previously lived in Houston while employed with Union Pacific. Pat was employed by Union Pacific in Omaha in their IT department. While they do enjoy th challenge of working long hours, it can make it difficult to meet other single people in the community. Yes, ladies, they are both single!! One of their local favorites is the Emporium Coffeehouse and both have many stories to tell of the incredible hospitality they have received from owner’s Ron & Sara Schluter and their family. Pat shares Sara’s interest and passion for fine dining and wine and truly enjoys getting together with friends for great conversation. Matt enjoys pretty much everything, but is looking forward to hunting and snow skiing. Having had the benefit of their company over a meal or two, I can attest to what can only be described as their energetic personalities, great character and excellent senses of humor. With the current economy, we aren’t sure how long we will enjoy their presence in our community, but for now, we are glad they are here! Welcome aboard, fellas!!
Phil & Jennifer Brooker
Phil & Jennifer Brooker recently moved to the community from Lander, WY. They married this summer and relocated to Scottsbluff, NE to begin their new life together. They have 2 Labrador retrievers. Phil moved here early in the summer to manage the new Fremont Motors Ford dealership. Jennifer followed shortly and accepted an administrative position with Paul Reed Construction. They love the friendly and open feeling of their new community. Phil has been very impressed with the community support of their new business. He said, “It is clear that the community wants new businesses to be successful in this community.” He is also very impressed with Regional West Medical Center and the airport. Coming most recently from a smaller community, he was very surprised at many of the community amenities. He was raised in a larger metropolitan area and after living in Wyoming came to have an appreciation of the people in rural communities. The Brookers are ecstatic that they have found the best of both worlds in western Nebraska. Jennifer says, “We plan to start our life and our family here.” Listen for their testimonials on the radio in a series of advertisements featuring some of our newcomers!
Heidi & Brian Larson
We would like to welcome Newcomer’s Brian and Heidi Larson and their 2 sons, Jacob and Andrew to the Twin Cities area! Brian and Heidi are both employed by Regional West Health Services. Heidi is a Physician’s Assistant with the Pediatric Clinic and Brian is a Patient Representative for the Regional West Physician’s Clinic Billing Office. They relocated to western Nebraska from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Heidi was recruited by RWHS for her current position. Their sons, Jacob and Andrew will be in the first and fourth grades at Longfellow Elementary School this fall. They are very involved in boy scouts and have already purchased a membership to Riverside Zoo. During their free time, the family loves to go hiking and camping. One of their favorite family activities is geocaching, a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. 200 treasures are located in the Scottsbluff/Gering area alone. For more info, see geocaching.com. The
Larson’s moved here June 1st and absolutely love it. They enjoy the fact that hiking, camping and exploring are available right outside of their back door. They also appreciate the friendliness of the residents of the community.
Terry & Sherry Gaalswyk
Terry and Sherry Gaalswyk arrived in Scottsbluff last month. He is the new Vice President of Educational Services for Western Nebraska Community College and she will be teaching Special Education at Westmoor Elementary School this fall. They recently moved here from Sioux City, IA. They are both originally from northwest Iowa. They own two Labrador retrievers, Midnight and Moonlight. Sherry says they are treated like children and spoiled rotten as pets should be! Midnight and Moonlight will both be turning 12 in November, so with age has come some challenging animal health issues. Terry and Sherry enjoy walking, keeping in contact with friends and family, and gardening. Sherry especially enjoys reading and golf. Each summer, Terry and Sherry vacation at a resort in Minnesota where they spend a week boating, visiting, fishing, and just hanging out on the beach with Terry’s entire family! Each family has their own cabin, but with 7 nieces and nephews under the age of 8, the activity never stops! They have been getting acquainted with the area. They love the quiet neighborhood and friendliness of western Nebraskans. They really love the short commute and lack of traffic around town compared to living in a bigger city. The Gaalswyk’s attended the Newcomer’s Wine & Cheese tasting and met Steve & Amy Hodges who gave them a western Nebraska welcome and shared that they had also lived in Sioux City, IA! We are glad to make their acquaintance and hope they enjoy their new community!
Joyce Figueroa arrived in western Nebraska shortly after the first of the year to accept the position of Director of Education for Regional West Health Services. She came to Scottsbluff by of Atlanta, GA, but is originally from St. Louis, MO. She is also a retired Captain from the United States Air Force. Joyce is an Epidemiologist, and worked as Chief of Public Health Operations and Commander for the Base Honor Guard at her last assignment. Prior to that she worked in Public Affairs, Intelligence, Bilingual Communications, Manpower Management Engineering, and Recruiting. She is obviously quite accomplished and also speaks 3 languages. She is fluent in Spanish and speaks some Arabic and Portuguese. Joyce is quite a world traveler has lived in many places around the world, including the Middle East (Lebanon, Egypt, Oman, Dubai, Thumrait), the Dominican Republic, Portugal, Panama and Puerto Rico. Personally, she has a great love of the Arts, dancing of all kinds, travelling, and ethnic and gourmet cooking. Joyce recently had a ‘small’ get-together at her house with about 20-30 people who were fortunate to experience her culinary skills. She prepared each dish herself. The event was such a hit, she was asked to have another. Being the gracious hostess that she is, she agreed, hosting a barbeque, with each guest bringing meat for the ‘Barbie!’ The evening was filled with great conversation, salsa music, a bit of dancing and much laughter. Hospitality is certainly her strong suit! She would like to learn more about the history and ethnic diversity of the region. Joyce has found it a bit of a challenge being a single person a new community, but looks forward to meeting new people and other singles who have moved to the area. We are certainly fortunate to have such a woman of many talents right here in our own community!
Kevin, Dedra, Kayla, and Payton Wick
Kevin and Dedra were living in a metropolitan community with their 2 children, Kayla 11, and Payton, 8 when they decided that life was just too difficult to raise their children in a large city. They wanted a slower pace of life where they could spend more time with their children, and less time commuting. Since they loved sports, camping, 4-wheeling and outdoor recreation, they began to consider life in Dedra’s home town of Gering, NE where her family still lived. They directed her to www.wehavejobs.net where they were both able to find employment. They are now living back in western Nebraska and their children are very active in many of the sports programs offered, tackle football, soccer and volleyball, just to name a few. They recently attended a Newcomer’s Event and were quite impressed at the red carpet welcome they received. Kevin recently joined the board of a newly formed Young Professionals Group. They look forward to continued involvement in the community.
Jeremy & Cassie Behnke
Jeremy & Cassie Behnke recently returned to Scottsbluff to accept teaching positions in the Scottsbluff/Gering area. Jeremy is teaching 1st grade at Lincoln Elementary and Cassie is teaching Math at Scottsbluff High School. They both moved away from the community about 10 years ago to pursue college. They recently moved home from Kearney to be closer to both of their families and have really enjoyed coming back to the area after experiencing life in central Nebraska. Jeremy is so grateful to be able to return home and teach in the same school system where he was educated. “There have been so many changes since we left. There is never any shortage of anything to do. And the community keeps growing and adding new things. This is such a beautiful area with lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoor life and recreation!” Jeremy is so grateful to be able to return home and teach in the same school system where he was educated. To other young couples who maybe considering a move home, Cassie says, “Just move home and try it. There are great jobs and if you decide it isn’t for you, you can always leave. Just try it.”
In January of 2008, Young Wang passed his CPA while living in Omaha, NE. However, he was disappointed in the lack of opportunities to use this newfound knowledge. He was offered a position with Mutual of Omaha, however that position would only require about 5-10% of the skills and knowledge he had worked so diligently to acquire. By using careerlink, he found a position with Eskam & Eskam in Gering, NE offering him an opportunity to work in a variety of accounting areas. “I really like my job with this firm.” he enthusiastically states. “I interact with people in all areas tax, finance, auditing, personal and business. The job in Omaha was too narrow for my interests.” Young moved to Gering, but his wife, Simen, remains in Omaha working for the Omaha Public School System until they are able to sell their house. Their 2 ½ year old daughter is in China visiting Wang’s mother and father for the summer. When Wang and Simen were recently taken on a community tour, they were amazed at how much the community had to offer. “I had no idea there were so many things to see and do, especially for families and children.” Young has recently become a member at the local YMCA and plays racquetball every Sunday with a new group of friends he has met. “Everyone is so friendly here. I really like it.” He lives only 5 minutes from the office and says he spends a lot less money on gas since he has moved here. He looks forward to his family joining him soon.
Seth Covalts and his fiancé, Megan Neely, recently returned to the Scottsbluff area to take advantage of new career opportunities. Both are graduates of Bridgeport High School, and Seth is a graduate of the University of Wyoming. He was living in Omaha when a friend forwarded him a link to a job listed on the www.wehavejobs.net website. He moved back home to become a project manager for Heggem Construction. He is working on the construction of the new Federal Correctional Facility being built in Torrington, WY. Seth sums up his experience in the following quote: “I have found my experience working with Twin Cities Development to be both helpful and enjoyable. It is nice to see an organization take such an active interest in the future of the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. The low cost of living and high quality of life of the area is complemented with an important sense of community pride and involvement. It boasts safety, security, and familiarity as a great place to raise a family, while also offering a surprising amount of career options.” His fiancé is currently enrolled in the University of Nebraska’s College of Nursing Program available at the extension center in Scottsbluff. They plan to marry in the fall.
Marc & Cyndi Trees
Marc Trees was living with his family in Arlington, TX when he was contacted by a recruiter for Aurora Loan Services about a management position in their Scottsbluff, NE branch. Marc had grown up in a small agricultural community in Michigan, so he was familiar with life in a ‘small town.’ When he came to interview for the position, the sight of the sugar factory was a pleasant reminder of what life had been like for him. He said it brought back a lot of nostalgia. During his interview, he met many of those he would be working with and found them very friendly, hard working, and relaxed. He knew this would be a great community to raise his family of 2 young boys and wife Cyndi, who would soon deliver number 3. Upon arriving in Scottsbluff, they read about a Newcomer’s picnic. It was the first social event they attended and felt like they were home. Marc recalls that they met someone who introduced them to another person who then connected them with a realtor who was able to find a house to rent. “That’s one of the great things about small towns,” says Marc, “There is always someone who is willing to help you or who knows someone who can.” Cyndi, who grew up in Arlington, TX, speaks about the first time her boys were able to play in their front yard without her worrying about something happening to them. She is still amazed that her boys are able to safely ride their bikes over to friends house a block away. “That just isn’t possible in Arlington,” she states. “This is the perfect place to raise a family and you can get any place you need to in about 5 minutes.” Husband Marc chimes in, “And if your kid does something he shouldn’t, someone else will let you know in about 5 minutes, too!” The Trees have 3 boys, Edward, 10, Tristan, 7, and Avery 10 months. When asked what they like about Nebraska, Edward and Tristan say, “Everything! AND we get to have 3 recesses at school!”
ElBially graduated from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering in 2006. He then worked in Cutter for a couple of years helping to build the New Doha International Airport. He had been waiting for 8 years for his papers to go through so he could move to the United States. His father had worked often in America as a structural engineer and ElBialy had always wanted to do the same. To him, America was always the ‘land of opportunity.’ In January 2008, he came to the United States and lived with his brother in Houston. He found a position on Careerlink in Scottsbluff, NE for Heggem Construction where he could use his struCAD3-D experience. Most of the engineering positions in Houston were in the Oil and Gas Industry, and he was looking to use his structural engineering knowledge. ElBially says, “I couldn’t believe it when the owner of the company called me to talk to me about the job. I was really impressed!” He moved to Nebraska in March and is currently designing and detailing a $7 million steel project for a new recreational center being built in Gillette, WY. “I really like the work and I am getting great experience in this job. I am hoping to someday be a project engineer.” When he isn’t working, he likes to go to the YMCA and go to the movies. He also likes to listen to rock music, especially Metallica. When asked if he likes country music, he pauses and says, “Shania Twain!” He would like to buy a dirt bike soon and spend some time going ‘off-road’ working on his technique.
Management Accountant/HR Director
Scotts Bluff County
We have been using wehavejobs.net for quite some time and are very pleased with the results. It is a quick and easy way of posting job openings and with great results. When I receive applications in, more time than not, the applicant puts down that he/she learned of the opening through wehavejobs.net. The geographic area is wide-spread and is larger than one would expect. Wehavejobs.net is one of our main sources for advertising openings. Darla Heggem and the staff at Twin Cities Development have been great and easy to work with.
Director of Human Resources
Nebraska Transport Company
NTC has experienced extremely positive results from the use of the wehavejobs .net site. There has been very expedient posting of the available jobs and often times questions of the success rate of placement to enhance improvement of the site. I find wehavejobs.net in many cases much more successful than the nationally known sites when we place joint postings and at a lower rate. I would recommend this for anyone searching for quality employees!
This was my first time to use wehavejobs.net and I found it very helpful in filling the position in my office. Darla was very helpful in getting my posting set-up and answered my questions in a very timely manner. I had responses from across the state and was able to fill the position with what I feel will be a valuable employee. I will definitely utilize this service again.
Intralinks Technical Solutions
Darla and the Twin Cities Development staff were instrumental in Intralinks Technical Solutions finding and hiring a qualified technician to help serve our expanding business. We were extremely impressed with the number of qualified applicants we received in a short amount of time, the professionalism of the TCD staff, and the timeliness of responses. By providing this service and helping to bring more people to the area, wehavejobs.net and Twin Cities Development are great assets to our community.
21st Century Equipment, Inc.
We are absolutely impressed with the response we have received from WeHaveJobs.net. We have already hired three well-qualified employees that contacted us through the site. The response rate thus far has exceeded our experience on Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com at a fraction of the cost. I believe we have also managed to reach potential candidates that would not have found us if we relied on just our traditional local classified advertising program because of the amount of detail we can channel through the site about both the job opening and our Company. We have made WeHaveJobs.net our #1 employee recruitment tool.
Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
First State Bank
Using wehavejobs.net has been a great way to attract both local and non-local talent to our bank. It has become our exclusive recruiting resource. Recruiting is just a small part of my responsibility and using the site has made the process easier. I am better able to quality applicants and filter them for interviews. I am happy with the results as we seem to be receiving more quality applicants with specific job experience, as opposed to several general applications. I think the site is a good resource for the community and we have had several applicants from outside the area. Thank you for creating a great recruiting resource for the community.
Bank Darrell G. Eskam, C.P.A., C.V.A.
Eskam & Eskam, Certified Public Accountants, a Professional Corporation
So far the experience has been beneficial to our firm because we have received more exposure through the careerlink and www.wehavejobs.net then we can by devoting time to have our advertisement in various news print publications. We still use print, but have not had the type of candidates respond as we have had through the web tools provided by the Twin Cities Jobs. It has been very cost efficient and has resulted in one hire and should result in another hire in the next month.
We have always been very pleased with www.wehavejobs.net, as well as the staff of Twin Cities Development. We have had a difficult time hiring CPAs in our area and their recent support has really helped our overall recruiting success. To date, we have received over 40 resumes from wehavejobs.net. As an added bonus, the staff at TCD attends career fairs that we don’t always get a chance to attend. They represent us and forward possible candidates to us. The TCD staff keeps our job openings in mind and always promotes our company to potential employees who are considering a move to the Scottsbluff area. Plus I have seen the TCD staff in action at career fairs promoting our community to people who before, would never consider a move from Wyoming or Colorado to the state of Nebraska. The staff at TCD and www.wehavejobs.net are a key part of our recruiting plan.
“Twin Cities Development’s efforts in providing a website, www.wehavejobs.net, for employers and candidates has been very helpful to our organization. With the initiation of the website, skepticism about its usage and the extent of its capabilities were present. However, I am pleased to say that this website has worked really well for us. When posting a position, we seem to have a good response from candidates within a short period of time.
With First National Bank North Platte in 5 locations – Alliance, Chadron, Gering, Scottsbluff and North Platte – we are able to hit all our markets with one swoop. Assistance has always been available to us at Twin Cities Development, through which has been efficient and effective. The annual cost for this recruitment resource is well worth the dollars. I’d recommend this recruitment resource to any employer looking to enhance their reach for candidates.”
Director of Human Resources
First National Bank of North Platte
“Posting our open positions on Twin Cities Development’s website, www.wehavejobs.net, has allowed us to connect with a new population of applicants. We have seen an increase in the quantity of applicants, but more importantly, we have seen an increase in the quality of applicants. We are now able to reach qualified people locally and in other states. TCD’s website has become a powerful tool in our recruiting process.”
Human Resources Director
Panhandle Mental Health Center and
Region I Behavioral Health Authority