Nebraska CEO shares economic development insights at Heartland Summit

Heartland Forward’s flagship event spotlights Omaha for its success in spurring economic development

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Thursday, Carmen Tapio, CEO of the largest, African-American-owned business in Nebraska spoke at Heartland Forward’s national summit sharing what the city of Omaha is doing to promote economic growth, her insights on economic development and the impact of the historic investment she is making in an underserved community in north Omaha.

Tapio participated in a panel discussion highlighting the “secret sauce” ingredients making Omaha thrive at the Heartland Summit. Moderated by Axios co-founder, Mike Allen, the discussion also included representatives from two other 2023 “secret sauce” communities—Founder and CEO of Lightship Capital, Candice Matthews of Cincinnati, OH; and Mayor Robyn Tannehill of Oxford, Mississippi.

Heartland Summit organizers selected Omaha for its focus on job growth and urban core revitalization with an emphasis on strong collaboration between business, philanthropic, and public sectors, leading to years of steady economic growth.

Tapio’s story of economic development highlights the impact of private and public sector collaboration. Tapio intentionally erected her business, North End Teleservices in 2015 in a blighted, disinvested community with an average poverty rate of 59%. Her company’s presence in a community with an average median income that is just 40% of the national average was done to transform the economic landscape into a thriving, bustling community.

Tapio’s strategic approach to investing and strengthening an underserved community without displacing it means her investments are not just revitalizing the landscape of blighted areas, it means she is investing in the people as well.

“Fulfillment of North End Teleservices’ mission of creating jobs and changing lives is making an exponential impact in Omaha. Our collective efforts to strengthen and revitalize historically underserved areas in Omaha is ensuring every place and space of Omaha is substantial, accessible, and can be enjoyed by the entire community,” says Carmen Tapio, President and CEO of North End Teleservices. “Omaha’s recognition as a secret sauce community by Heartland Forward is special and represents the fruit of the collective labor and efforts of many. It shows that our community stakeholders know how to come together to fulfill our shared vision for a bigger and brighter community. It’s an honor to represent my city and organization at the Heartland Summit to share our story and what other heartland communities can learn from our example.”

The Heartland Summit is a flagship event of think-and-do tank Heartland Forward is a day-and-a-half event in Bentonville, Arkansas for leaders and experts to discuss challenges, create actionable solutions, and strengthen connections in the heartland and across the country.

As President and CEO of North End Teleservices, Carmen Tapio founded and runs Nebraska’s largest Black-owned business. For the past four consecutive years, North End Teleservices was named to Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies and climbed to the top 15% in 2022. Since its inception, the company has contributed over a quarter of a billion dollars to Nebraska’s economy.

SOURCE North End Teleservices

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