Omaha’s Best Dressed Nominee | Phil Stalnaker

Originally posted at JM Web Designs.

Though he is marketing director for JM Web Designs, Phil Stalnaker wears many hats.  His roles include networking, business development, human resources, marketing, and sales.  He believes this is only possible by having such a great team of people around him, not only at JM, but also around Omaha through the numerous networking groups with which he is involved.  He earned a Masters’ Degree in 2007 in Business Management and has been given leadership positions in the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, his BNI Chapter, and the Sarpy Chamber of Commerce.

When Phil is not out networking, he is spending time with his wife, Nita.  They got married in the summer of 2008 and are enjoying each day together.  He is also active in his church, Steadfast Bible Fellowship, and loves to travel – especially if it includes Atlanta Braves Baseball.

JM Web Designs’ Marketing Director Named to Sarpy Chamber of Commerce’s Marketing Committee

Originally posted at JM Web Designs.

Phil Stalnaker is honored to receive recognition from the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce as the newest member of their marketing committee.  With over seven years of experience in the marketing field and a specialty in social networking strategies, he will bring a fresh set of ideas to the Chamber.

“This is an exciting opportunity to serve the Sarpy Chamber, as they have been an integral part of JM’s emergence as Omaha’s premier web design firm,” I said when asked about this appointment. I am excited to bring my wisdom and education to this new commitment and for JM’s influence to spread throughout the Omaha community.  This charge is something we take with honor and heavy responsibility.

Omaha Skyline Photo Makes it to National Magazine

Friends, I just wanted to share a photo of mine that made it all the way to Businessweek Magazine! Below is the text of the original email I was sent as notification. The image itself was part of a photo shoot I did in February with a friend of mine, Larry. There were ice chunks floating in the river below us. It was NASTY cold, but we persevered and ended up with some great shots.

Wanted to share with you that one of your photos made into business week!

Also, I wanted to see if you ever got paid for the last photo we purchased. I’m worried I forgot to turn the invoice in…I stumbled on the email when I was searching for your address.
Kim S
Manager – Communications, Graphic Design
Greater Omaha Chamber
(402) 978-7919
Fax: (402) 408-0367

My Literary License Should Be Revoked

I write humor columns.  I feel I should clarify this, as there have been numerous responses to some of my previous columns, stating a moderate level of worry about some of my “anecdotal one-liners”.  Apparently, some people feel that I am trying to push a hidden agenda behind the humor.  Let me say this: they are absolutely correct.  Since my code has been cracked (Dan Brown would be proud of you), I will honestly and straightforwardly let you all in on my secret agenda.  My goal is world domination.  And my plan is to take over the planet by placing subliminal, subversive messages in my humor columns, and gradually, over say forty or fifty years, the world will know me as their all-knowing ruler (I suggest President Bush raise the security level to chartreuse).

Actually, I’m kidding.  It will probably take more like sixty-five years for the subliminal messages to take effect.  Okay, I’m not planning to take over the world (but I may go after France, I hear they’re not big on fighting).  In truth, my first paragraph was a joke, except of course for the first sentence.  Then again, a few of you may have thought that was a joke as well.  Since I care so much about my adoring fan base, I wanted to help make sure that each perfectly-timed (I have yet to time a joke right), witty (rarely are my jokes witty) statement does not go unnoticed.   In order to help everyone know when I am making a joke, I am going to discuss two recent news items, one of which is very serious and should not be made light of, while the other would be well-suited for a punch-line at an orthodontist convention.  Hopefully the juxtaposition of these two stories will make it possible to understand the idiom of my own personal humor.  The first story is about proposed Nebraska legislation to segregate public schools.  Since this is a very serious topic, I will make no jokes and report it as an actual journalist (which means that there will be no “potty” jokes; though I can’t guarantee I won’t use the word “snozberries”).

Lately, the Omaha Public School District has been engaged in a debate over district re-alignment.  Their goal is to annex the Millard and Elkhorn school districts, thus making Omaha “One City, One School District”.  To me, that sounds very similar to Adolf Hitler “One World, One Style of Moustache”.  I can’t believe this is being fought in our state’s mini-congress (“Trying to be as useless as the real Congress”), but it gets worse.  In a reactionary measure, one of the city districts gave an opposing proposition for Omaha to split the current public school district into three separate districts, based upon locality.  There would be a west Omaha district, as well as a south and a north, and what school your child went to was dependant upon your location in the city.  Basically, this would divide Omaha into three different races.  And this week it was passed and signed by the Governor!  Personally, I think this is a wonderful idea.  I mean, segregation worked before (just ask Rosa Parks), and maybe it could work again!   But I don’t think it should be divided by race.  I think it should be divided by extra-curricular activities.  I grew up in Omaha, and although this is not a geographical or racial distinction, I think the best way to keep similar people together is to separate students by their favorite activity.  Here are a few suggestions for activity separation: athletes (“2+2=my jock strap”), nerds (“Pocket Protectors and Their Validity in Today’s World Market”), rebels, and budding pornographers.  That probably wouldn’t work (everyone would want to be in the budding pornographers district), but I doubt anything will change soon anyway, because Nebraska’s legislature is very good at imitating their national counter-part.

This brings me to my next important story.  A few years ago, Dan Brown wrote a novel entitled The DaVinci Code.    Since I know that most of my readers prefer truth to lies, I doubt many of you have read his fiction, but none-the-less it has stirred up controversy.  This is mainly due to the fact that he scented the pages in his book to smell like marijuana to entice more readers.  Actually, it’s because this summer his book will be presented by Hollywood on the silver screen.  The reason people are upset about this is because many citizens in this country feel that Dan Brown overstepped his literary license by adding things to The Bible in order to fit his story (prepare the tar and feathers).  His plot has something to do with the protagonist using secret codes found in The Bible to solve a murder mystery.  How dare an author make up something to use in a fictional story!  This absolutely appalls me.  Not once in my writings have I ever made up something just to sell copies, and as an author, I feel he should be banned from writing for the rest of his life.  He should become a journalist.

I think it is a horrible crime on humanity when authors twist real events in order to make the story work.  The sad truth is that nearly everyone does it.  In fact, this treachery even goes back to John Wayne.  His military performances had no basis in reality; if they did, not one country would have dared to oppose “The Duke”.  And everyone knows that when King Kong made his real life appearance in the thirties, the stage was set up outside on the river, not in a theater on Broadway!  I definitely believe that Dan Brown’s literary license should be revoked.  And while they’re at it, they should probably take mine away as well.  I admit to you that I did tell a lie (only one) in this column.  The pages in The DaVinci Code were not scented like marijuana; that would be ludicrous.  They were flavored with snozberries.  Really, taste it.  I’m not making it up.

Much Ado About Omaha

I live in Omaha, Nebraska (by the way, Katie Couric, Nebraska is in the United States, not Uzbekistan), and I’m supposed to tell you how great a place it is to visit. But before you rush over to your local banker and withdrawal all your money just to run out on the road and throw it in the face of some random driver who is swerving to hit you, hear me out. Omaha is not a big deal. Omaha is, in fact, the littlest deal I can think of. You are all honest, hard-working type individuals, relentlessly skimming away the profits of your bureaucratic and uselessly large corporations, and I want to level with all of you who dream of visiting the bustling tourist trap that is Omaha. It’s nothing special. Sure, we have the eighth largest concert venue in the world and are home to one of the best underground music scenes in the country, but that’s nothing! The people in this town all speak in one large, audible voice and with all their hearts want to tell you “meh”.

Despite the urges of countless Omaha denizens, many of you may have already cashed in your frequent flyer miles and ditched out on extended family vacations in order to enjoy the lush humidity and over-sized nests of mosquitoes in this fair town, but stop now and heed my crucial advice: don’t come to Omaha! Anyone who’s lived here longer than a nano second will tell you exactly the same thing: “There’s nothing to do in this town.” You may try to squash their apathy with a well-timed comment about the College World Series, or retort with the fact that Omaha’s theater community is where many of Hollywood’s best and brightest call home. Listen to the locals; they’re right and they care (despite their complete lack of interest). Allow me to suggest a top-notch summer activity that will accomplish the same goal as a real vacation: it will deplete every penny you have and leave you feeling completely exhausted, frustrated and stressed-out.

Instead of visiting the historic Old Market, or relaxing at one of the numerous high-class country clubs that Omaha provides, stay at home and try out a new awesome summer idea: plan a fake wedding! What better way is there to take away any chance of peace and comfort that an unplanned summer might provide, and use of every cent in your checking account at the same time? You are probably thinking to yourself that planning a wedding may be splendid fun, but you’re concerned because then you’d actually have to spend the rest of your life with the other person. Well folks, this is no longer a problem!

Thanks to a reader of mine named Dorothy Harris who sent me a wonderful article from the Dennison Sun Times (“Always a Dull Moment”) in Dennison, Iowa, I learned of a woman who, every July for the past fifteen years, planned and hosted a spectacular wedding ceremony and reception in her back-yard. Never was one detail missed. The cake was the richest and most delicate chocolate, covered in a frosting that looked as if it were pulled from a cloud. Flowers guided you along a path of exquisite beauty, and everyone danced until the sun rose the following morning. Here’s the key to her success: she’s not married, nor has she ever been. At her weddings, there is no actual marriage! The “service” part of the wedding encompasses a lovely reading of the dinner menu, to be held later. And your guests won’t care if there’s no actual nuptials; most likely they are just there for the free drinks.

Thus, I have a lovely suggestion for you. Get engaged! Who cares if you never actually make it down the aisle, you’ll gain more enjoyment planning the wedding than actually attending it. Trust me, I’ve done it twice and it’s way more fun than chasing your inebriated uncle through the park while trying to get him to put his pants back on. So this summer, instead of wasting your time by miserably pacing through the exhibits at the Joslyn Art Museum, or sulking through a dramatic performance of Romeo and Juilet at Shakespeare on the Green, go find yourself that all-important boyfriend or girlfriend and propose. Shop for the perfect dress, interview every caterer in town, scream your way through seventeen different florists, and then break up with your significant other just before you say “I do”. Your guests will be singing your praises all the way through the eighty-fifth box of supermarket champagne. There is no better or more deeply enriching way to pass the dog days of summer; that is unless you can get hired as Dan Rather’s replacement on the CBS Evening News (“Knowledge of current events is optional”).

So what should you do with your summer this year? The truth is I don’t really care. Actually, that’s not true. Despite there being absolutely no reason to visit my home town, I hope you come. I hope everyone comes. I hope that so many people visit Omaha that our streets turn into clogged arteries making my blood pressure rise high enough to make an aneurism seem like a day at the beach. And I hope you see me, which you will, as I will be the guy stuck in traffic next to you on the interstate screaming at the top of his lungs while our friends on the road construction crew (“your tax dollars at play”) take their mandatory fifteen minute break (which oddly enough occurs every ten minutes). I look forward to seeing you, and who knows, maybe we’ll get along and decide to kick off this summer of fun by planning a wedding together. Don’t worry, we’ll break up before any papers are signed, and you’ll be back home by the end of the summer; tired, angry and missing your twelve inch by twelve inch cubicle. And just like with every broken engagement, your passionate hatred of me will keep you warm through those long winter months. It will be absolutely wonderful.

After a second thought, maybe I’ll just go to France. I think that’s somewhere off the coast of Australia.