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How We Got Started

In early 1924, Dick Donavan of the International One Hundred Percent Club, with headquarters in Los Angeles, contacted a group of Omaha businessmen with the idea of organizing a club in Omaha. He met with Art Fales of the J.P.Cooke Co., I. A. Medlar of the Medlar Co., Rip Walters of Western Paper Co. and Jack Vette I of Remington Typewriter Co. With the help of this group, Donavan hand picked the first 25 members. The first meeting was held at the Fontenelle Hotel on May 10, 1924, and the Omaha One Hundred Percent Club was organized. Shortly after the first meeting, 15 more firms were signed as members. These 40 firms comprised the association's original membership. Today, J.P. Cooke Co. and Chicago Lumber Co. are the only firms that have remained members from the beginning.

The Association's Original Officers

President - Jack Vettel- Remington Typewriter Co.

1st Vice President - E. L. Holland, Orchard and Wilhelm Co.

2nd Vice President - Murray Thomas, The Pantorium

Treasurer - Dale Clark, Omaha National Bank

Secretary - Jack Meyer, Ernst and Ernst

By 1926 the club had grown to 75 members and it was decided to drop out of the 100 Percent organization and formally change the name to the Omaha Executives Association and incorporate in the State of Nebraska.

The constitution and by-laws that were set up in 1924 are about the same as those which we still operate under today. The main change was in 1931 when the policy of electing a full slate of candidates was changed to electing only the 2nd Vice president, secretary, and treasurer. At this point the 1st Vice President moved up to the President's position automatically.

The last of the charter members to be active in our association was Charlie Reed. Charlie Reed was a lawyer who had been a member or the original Panama Canal civilian board that took over from the Army. This group of businessmen finally put the Canal on a paying basis. Charlie was famous for his off color stories and jokes. He passed away in the mid 1980’s.

Interesting Anecdotes

  • The first member ever served two terms in a row as president was Harry H. W. Bubb who served in January of 1928 and July of 1928. Since then, only one other member has served two terms in a row as president and that was Cliff Ehlers (Midwest Tire) in January of 2000 and July of 2000.
  • We have had one member who served two terms as president but the terms were not back to back. This is Marvin Jelinik with Accurate Locksmith he served in 1998 and 2002.
  • We have had several sets of Father-son terms as president: Einer Berg in 1938 and his son Dick Berg in 1960 both of whom worked for Berg Clothing Company; Bill Neal in 1944 and his son Walt Neal in 1970 both with Neal Tire Company; and Rudy Stoysich in July 1989 and his son Ken Stoysich in July 2006 both with Stoysich House of Sausage.
  • The first woman to join the association was Ann Foster of Parking Lot Services.
  • The first woman president was Carol Corey of Ark Printing Co in 1988.
  • Our senior past president is Rich Richardson, president in 1950.
  • Our first full time paid secretary started in 1926.
  • To my knowledge, we have had only two members who could stand in front of the group and name every member at each table and the company they represented. They were Phil McCarthy of Dundee Florists and Hap Abraham of Abraham Catering.
  • Prices in the "good old days" are very interesting; our 1935 gold stag ax-happy Hollow was $1.75 green fees and $1.1 0 for dinner. At the 1944 stag, drinks were bourbon - .40, scotch - .50. By 1954 the prices had shot up to bourbon .50 and scotch .60.
  • Harry McMullen became the most popular officer in 1974. When he was vice president, he installed the great program of free booze at each of our meetings at the Castle Hotel.
  • Sometimes, you will hear older members call George Phelps "Blue George". In 1971 the top movie was The Blue Max. This was a WWI movie about a top German fighter pilot who received the medal called the Blue Max. George jumped on the publicity and came up with an award known as the Blue Max – a blue ribbon attached to your badge if you were up to date on leads.

This is a very brief history of our association. We are working on a more complete history. We would like to hear from you on any interesting items from the past that we can include.

Emeritus Membership

An emeritus membership may be established at the discretion of the Board of Directors of by a majority vote of the Board. Such a membership shall be limited, however, to a charter primary representative of the Omaha Executives Association which preceded the formation of this Corporation, or who has served 30 years or more in this Corporation or the said predecessor Association, or both and has provided outstanding meritorious service and dedication to this Corporation and the said predecessor Association. An Emeritus Member is entitled to all the rights and privileges of a associate representative. An Emeritus Member shall pay no dues to the Corporation, but shall pay for the luncheons and events he or she attends.

Scott Dye

Omaha Executive Association Presents Emeritus Membership for providing outstanding meritorious service and dedication to the Omaha Executive Association for 30 Years to Scott Dye with Baird Holm Law Firm on March 6, 2008.

Eugene Valasek & Marvin Jelinek

Omaha Executive Association Presents Emeritus Membership for providing outstanding meritorious service and dedication to the Omaha Executive Association for 42 Years to Eugene Valasek, Sr. with Weathercraft Enterprises, Inc. and to Marvin Jelinek with Accurate Locksmith for 41 years on July 19, 2007.