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Paulo Orlando: Talent Worth Retaining (for as Long as We Can)

Photos by Eric Francis

He’s the very type of talent we want to retain in Omaha: hard-working with a positive attitude, eager to develop. Even so, we find ourselves rooting for Paulo Orlando to get back to Kansas City.

Right now, the Brazilian-born outfielder is suiting up for the Omaha Storm Chasers, a temporary assignment while he fine tunes his swing. If all goes according to plan, it’ll be a speedy return to the Royals’ major league roster. For now, the 31-year-old is focused on Storm Chaser wins and exemplifying the “We Don’t Coast” attitude of his current hometown.

“You just think about being positive every day and doing a good job,” he says.

This isn’t Paulo’s first time in Omaha. He played here during parts of 2011, 2013-14 (when he was part of the Storm Chasers’ back-to-back Triple-A National Championship run) and 2015, the year he was called up to the Royals, became only the third Brazilian-born player in MLB history, and helped his KC team win the World Series.

“It was a big dream come true,” says Paulo who, in addition to Portuguese, has learned to speak both English and Spanish.

Growing up in Brazil, Paulo excelled at all kinds of sports – soccer, basketball, track and field. He was a sprinter for the Brazilian Junior Olympic team. He started playing baseball on the weekends when he was 12 and years later, caught the eye of a Brazilian-based scout for the White Sox.

“I play the sport not just for money but for love,” he says.

Dedicated and determined, Paulo spent more than nine years – and more than 1,000 games – in the minor leagues before he made his MLB debut. The husband and father of two, including a baby boy named Derek (after Derek Jeter), is looking forward to many more years on the diamond and continued impact after that.

“Everything that baseball has given me – I want to give back one day. I want to pass it on to the kids back in Brazil.”

For now, we get to enjoy seeing this top talent right here in Omaha; a player destined to make it back to the majors by suiting up, stepping up and working that much harder – no coasting allowed.

Posted in We Win |

Rain or shine, We Don’t Coast.

By Kaci Long

What was originally scheduled to be a homestand full of 25-cent hot dogs, two Kansas City Royals legends, an already rescheduled bobblehead giveaway and a fantastic fireworks show quickly became overshadowed by everyone’s favorite four letter word in baseball, RAIN. We had two rainouts over seven days which in turn caused us to have three doubleheaders in five days (one doubleheader had already been scheduled).

Over the week, we pulled the tarp on or off a total of 14 times and the field took nearly four inches of rain. Talk about Stirring Up the Storm!

 

When I strolled around the stadium the past few days, I caught some photos of our staff members and concessions. As I had previously mentioned, this homestand featured an already rescheduled Salvy Splash Bobblehead Giveaway that we were able to get in on Saturday. After the rain had passed, we set the bobbleheads up for the first fans through the gates.

Even with the weather being cold and rainy, thousands of fans were lined up early just to ensure they received a Salvy Splash bobble.

Wiener Wednesday (night) games feature 25-cent hot dogs along with Bark in the Park where dogs join their owners at Storm Chasers games. Head Chef Matt Atkinson was in the kitchen cooking burgers as he prepped for one of the picnics we had on Saturday evening. Matt is in his first year at Werner Park and has added exciting new offerings to our catering and suite menus such as chicken and waffles, along with brisket wellington. And, while Matt was in the kitchen, Concessions Manager Ryan Slane was making sure the hot dogs were up to high standards.

 

On Monday, we had to cut batting practice short so we could put the tarp on the field for the game that evening. I made my way to the field early enough to snap a quick picture of pitching coach, Andy Hawkins throwing to outfielder, Terrance Gore before the rain hit. As we began pulling the tarp, the players headed to the clubhouse to hang out and wait for the rain to pass.

In the clubhouse, we caught pitcher Malcom Culver grabbing a pre-game plate of food before he began the evening in the bullpen. Bubba Starling cozied up for a photo with his roommate, Cam Gallagher while they entertained themselves. Most of the players typically show up to the field around 1pm so the majority of their day is spent in the clubhouse. Some of them use the downtime to stay in touch with family or friends as Jake Junis was spotted on his phone. Storm Chasers broadcaster, Mark Nasser used the downtime as an opportunity to interview manager, Brian Poldberg for his radio show as they were all smiles.

 

Everyone knows that Nebraska weather is ever-changing and keeps us all on our toes. No one knows this better than our Head Groundskeeper, Noah Diercks. Noah was busy this past homestand watching the radar and making sure the field stayed in pristine shape. As anyone could guess, this can be a very stressful job. Once the call is made to put the tarp on or take it off, it takes a full staff (as you can see in the photos) to make this happen. After the tarp was off, the grounds crew’s job was not done. There were still foul lines to be chalked, the infield skin to be watered, and the batter’s boxes to be painted.  As the rest of the grounds crew did that, President/GM, Martie Cordaro and Noah had to push water across the grass so it could drain.

 

This homestand will go down in the books as many things.

For our staff and the grounds crew it was long and tiring, but we managed through it as a team. For Cam Gallagher, it featured his first Triple-A home run, which proved to be a game-winner. Bubba Starling also stayed hot and extended his hit streak to 12 games. Terrance Gore flashed the leather by robbing a sure to be Reno home run. And even catcher Luis Villegas pitched in to aid an overwhelmed pitching staff. Thanks to all the fans that supported us! Stir Up the Storm!

We’re ready to #StirUpTheStorm on June 10 at #WeDontCoast night! The first 1500 fans will receive a Paulo “O” Orlando bobble. Want to secure your own? Keep an eye on our social channels for a chance to win a bobblehead and We Don’t Coast swag!

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Posted in We Win |

CreativeMornings/Omaha Meet Dylan Baumann!

Omaha is part of the global CreativeMornings community. This monthly breakfast lecture series is designed to highlight our creative community and adds to Omaha’s strong arts and culture scene and growing reputation.

June’s theme is Survival. Stories of survival resonate because they remind us of our inherent power to adapt and change. A choice is always present, and survival is about choosing to move forward. Registration opens June 5. Everyone is creative. Everyone is welcome.

After our May event featuring Katie Kemerling, we caught up with attendee Dylan Baumann.

By JoAnna LeFlore

Dylan Baumann
Hometown:
Hickman, Nebraska | Creative Talent: Web Development, Cooking and Problem Solving

Dylan Baumann is great at high-fiving. But he is also pretty good at being an overall good human being as we witnessed at the CreativeMornings session in May. We had so much fun getting to know this guy that we wanted to make sure we shared him with the rest of the world, too.

What are some of your hobbies?
I suffer from ‘brief, but fleeting interests’ and have way too many hobbies which only last for a weekend or two. My long-running interests include cooking, video games, bicycling, and hiking.


We are a community who has committed to ‘Not Coast.’ How do you help to push our community forward/what causes do you advocate for and participate in?
I used to volunteer with local organizations which helped foster a welcoming environment for those in the creative industry such as AAF Omaha and spent time as a board member with AIGA Nebraska. In recent years I have mainly focused on helping students and recent graduates in graphic design, providing professional development and portfolio critiques to upcoming local talent.

I do my best to advocate for better personal and public transportation options and more home cooking.

What is your creative passion?
Oh man, definitely problem solving. I find it absolutely fascinating to learn about why solutions are created, how that conclusion was reached, and which problems the solutions fix.

Have you attended a CreativeMornings session in another city in the past?
I have not! I’ve watched most of the videos from cities around the world, but I’m glad to finally attend them in person.

Describe your favorite moment of today’s CreativeMornings presentation?
Watching ideas ‘click’ within the crowd. There were a few times throughout Katie’s presentation where her insight sets off a few waves of ‘ooo’s and ‘ahhh’s in the crowd and that’s the kind of thing that I love.

How are you motivated to express your creativity?
I make a lot of short-lived, stupid things. Whether it’s spending a week cultivating a sourdough only to have it turn out terribly or hooking up a raspberry pi to give me weather reports every morning, I enjoy running with creativity and making something with it. I used to sit on my ideas, collecting them and not taking action, but through silly projects I’m able to try new things without repercussions or expectations.

How important is being a part of a creative community to you?
Having a supportive creative community is hands-down one of the most important things you can possibly have in your career. They’re an amazing soundboard for your ideas, provide insight into technologies you haven’t been able to try yet, unposted job opportunities, and most of them will become your close friends.

In your opinion, how should we celebrate one another’s uniqueness?
Embrace the crap out of it. There’s no way we’ll be able to solve all of the problems unless we approach them from every angle, something you can only achieve if you allow people from diverse backgrounds and interests to be involved.

What might you look forward to by attending CreativeMornings lectures?
I’m excited to become friends with people who I might not have ever run into, hear more stories, and expand my understanding of how the world works.

Who is your favorite cultural leader and/or artist of all time?
Oof, that’s a tough one. I looove Noelle Stevenson’s work. I learned about her through her webcomic Nimona and later found out she illustrated covers for books such as Fangirl, To Be Or Not To Be, and Romeo and/or Juliet. If you’re looking for a kick-butt, radical human, she’s your person.  

If you want to learn more or connect with Dylan, visit him at: dylanbaumann.com.

Posted in We Entertain, We Inspire, We Live |

KC students experience Durham’s Gritty City tour.

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The last video in a series of seven, Durham’s Gritty City tour.

Students creatively tie Omaha’s gritty past to the We Don’t Coast brand story that begins with “here you earn everything you get”.


“Where taverns have an anxious guest for every corner, shelf and crack; with half the people going west, and all the others going back.” – John Godfrey Saxe, Harper’s Magazine

Omaha was known for being one of the wicked cities of the west with brothels, illegal speakeasy’s and gambling being the way of life. You can learn more about Omaha’s seedy past on The Durham Museum’s Gritty City Tour.

Many thanks to The Durham Museum for helping with this experience.

Learn more about how this video and the others came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

KC students experience Dodge Street

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The sixth in a series of seven, Dodge Street corridor.

“We had our tour guide Steve Gordon give us a lift so we could have our own We Don’t Coast experience on Dodge Street.”

Dodge Street’s center lane, often referred to as “Suicide Lane”, is reversible, changing direction twice a day to accommodate commuter traffic. Another quirk of Dodge Street is the restriction of making left-hand turns, which is often ignored, resulting in the traffic backup.

Many thanks to Steve Gordon of RDQLUS Creative for helping with this experience.

Learn more about how this video came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

KC students experience downtown on BCycles

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The fifth in a series of seven, downtown Omaha on the BCycle system.

“Adventure is endless on the seat of a bike. With the BCycle system, exploring the city has never been so easy.”

BCycle is the first large-scale bike sharing system in the Omaha metro, perfect for trips that are too far to walk and too short to drive. You can run your errands, grab lunch or explore the city, making your trips economical and convenient.

Many thanks to Ben Turner with BCycle and SecretPenguin for helping with this experience!

Learn more about how this video and the others came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

KC students experience Midtown Crossing

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The fourth in a series of seven, Midtown Crossing.

Shopping, dining, events and views can all be found at Midtown Crossing.

Midtown Crossing is a diverse neighborhood with retail and restaurants, residential space and outdoor events and activities. Over 150 events take place each year on the grand lawn ranging in festivals, concerts and movies to community sports leagues and fitness classes.

Many thanks to Amanda Lustgraaf with Midtown CrossingColdstone CreameryHutch and Ugly Duck for helping with this experience.

Learn more about their stay and how this video and the others came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

KC students experience Make Believe Studios

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The third in a series of seven, Make Believe Studios.

“Omaha has given Make Believe Studios the opportunity they needed to start their business.”

 

Make Believe Studios, a progressive midwest music studio is striving to cultivate Omaha’s music scene. The studio has hosted national and local artists (like drummer Sput Searight, All Young Girls are Machine Guns and BOTH) and aims to inspire more people to make music.

Many thanks to Derek Pressnall with the Icky Blossoms and Make Believe Studios for helping with this experience.

Learn more about the student’s stay and how this video and the others came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

KC students experience Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The second in a series of seven, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.

Evie explores the world’s best zoo.

Named best zoo in the world by TripAdvisor in 2014, we’re home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest and indoor desert. Here you can experience wildlife through fourteen different world-class exhibits, behind the scenes animal encounters or explore from new heights on the Skyfari.

Many thanks to Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium for helping with this experience.

Learn more about their stay and how this video came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

CreativeMornings/Omaha Meet Matthew Holt!

Omaha is part of the global CreativeMornings community. This monthly breakfast lecture series is designed to highlight our creative community and adds to Omaha’s strong arts and culture scene and growing reputation.

After our March event featuring Frank O’Neal, we caught up with attendee Matthew Holt, a graphic designer and front-end web developer.

By JoAnna LeFlore

CreativeMornings veteran, Matthew Holt, has just moved to Nebraska by way of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he frequently attended CreativeMorning sessions. We’re so thrilled that he chose us as his new home! While we typically pick our community features at random, we want you to know that we did not choose Matt simply because of his history of attending these events. We chose him based on his desire to show up and be awesome. Find out what this guy is up to and how he plans to change the world through his creative spirit.

What brought you to Nebraska? Initially, I moved down here for an internship that transitioned into a full-time position. During this time, I was able to get plugged into many of the causes and organization that I helped and volunteered with. Long story short, I moved here for a job and stayed here for the amazing community (and the coffee)!

What are some of your hobbies? Playing Overwatch with friends, exploring with friends, checking out new coffee shops and beating my friends at Swarm.

What causes do you advocate for and participate in? I love to be active in as many causes and organizations as I can! Currently, I volunteer with Forward Free (PTSD & Veterans), Nextgen (Preparing college students to be the next generation of leadership), Wordcamp Omaha (Open source – WordPress Community Event) and 1 Million Cups Lincoln (Education + Community for entrepreneurs and startups).

What is your creative passion? My creative passion is to help others recognize the value of “good” design, marketing and development. I do this by making it accessible to others either by volunteering, informing and explaining concepts and ideas.

How are you motivated to express your creativity? Through my work! As a designer, I am consistently presented with problems to solve. Everything from visual problems to experiential + spatial problems. No one solution will work to solve every problem, so I need to continually look for new and exciting ways to solve these problems. When I see a problem, I get the itch to solve it.

How important is being part of a creative community to you? It motivates me to be more creative. It’s also inspiring to see what other people are doing and the potential to riff or collaborate together!

In your opinion, how should we celebrate one another’s uniqueness? The biggest way to celebrate each other’s uniqueness is by listening. You might not share the same background, beliefs or culture but taking the time to respectfully listen can speak volumes to others. Seeking to understand where others are coming from by listening to their stories and experience is how I celebrate uniqueness. We’re all people, yet we are all vastly different!

What might you look forward to by attending CreativeMorning lectures? I look forward to seeing how others express their creativity in unique ways. Especially those who aren’t necessarily in a creative industry or role.

Who is your favorite cultural leader and/or artist of all time? There are sooo many to choose just one. The first one that comes to mind is Hayao Miyazaki. As a literal filmmaker/artist, he has done an amazing job of communicating Asian culture to a western audience, and telling western tales in ways an eastern audience can easily digest and understand. Beyond the east/west transition, he continually addresses issues of environmentalism, feminism and war.

If you want to keep up with Matt’s creative endeavors, find him online at:

Posted in We Care, We Entertain, We Live |