NE Game & Parks Commission partners with GROW Nebraska members to create special centennial merchandise

NE Game & Parks Commission partners with GROW Nebraska members to create special centennial merchandise

NE Game & Parks Commission partners with GROW Nebraska members to create special centennial merchandise


Baker's Candies Nebraska box

When the Nebraska Game & Parks needed to find vendors to create promotional items for its 100th anniversary celebration, GROW Nebraska provided solutions.

“GROW Nebraska’s experience has helped us make connections with Nebraska-based businesses,” said Margot DesRocher, Nebraska Game and Parks reservation program manager and volunteer coordinator. “We know any vendors they refer us to meet GROW Nebraska’s high standards, which has been a real benefit to us.”

In 2021, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is celebrating 100 years of inspiring outdoor adventures at its state park system. As part of the celebration, the commission wanted to order branded bottle openers and t-shirts for consumers to purchase.

“When looking for resale vendors, the Nebraska Game and Parks strives to support Nebraska businesses whenever possible,” DesRocher said.

She contacted GROW Nebraska’s product marketing coordinator and was referred to RCK Creations & More of Alda for the bottle openers.

“After Clarissa put us in touch with RCK Creations, they were able to provide several great options for what we were looking for with a quick turnaround time,” DesRocher said.

RCK created magnetic wooden bottle openers that are etched with the Nebraska State Parks centennial logo.

“This unique, limited edition item is light, compact, and will be right at home in your kitchen or with your camping gear,” DesRocher said.

So far, the commission ordered 150 of the bottle openers, which are sold through Buy Nebraska and at select park locations across the state throughout 2021.

The parks commission also partnered with another GROW Nebraska member, Lou’s Sporting Goods (Nebraska Sports Ind. Inc.), to create the “I Heart Nebraska State Parks” t-shirts. 

Lou’s Sporting Goods/Nebraska Sports is based in Fremont and has six locations across Nebraska (Lincoln, Omaha, Columbus and two in Fremont) and one in Wichita, Kan.

“The ‘I Heart Nebraska State Parks’ shirts are being sold through Buy Nebraska so that Nebraska’s park lovers, whether they are here in the state or are abroad and looking for a reminder of home, can show their park pride,” DesRocher said.

Some Nebraska State Park locations are also using the pine green shirts as uniforms for their seasonal staff.

“Both RCK and Lou’s Sporting Goods have been phenomenal to work with,” DesRocher said. They have great products, outstanding service, and a real knowledge of their customer base that helps us make informed choices on ordering product designs and quantities.”

The Nebraska Game & Parks is also selling ceramic mugs, tumblers, outdoor waist packs, stickers, t-shirts, iron-on patches and commemorative challenge coins through Buy Nebraska.

“We are always looking for a good collaboration,” DesRocher said. “Parks are the gateway to the outdoors, and we cherish the responsibility of being stewards of the outdoors and leaving a legacy for others to build upon. If there is a company whose product can help us share that passion, we’d love to join forces!”


Story by Kristine Jacobson, GROW Nebraska member and owner of KRJ Public Relations, a business that helps non-profits and businesses tell their stories and gain momentum through blogs, newsletters, annual reports, social media and other publications.

GROW’s Newest Training Focuses on Google Maps Listing

GROW’s Newest Training Focuses on Google Maps Listing

GROW’s Newest Training Focuses on Google Maps Listing

Sayler Screenprinting Leads the Way on Getting 5-Star Reviews.

It’s no secret that 5-star reviews on Google are great business builders.

Take it from Kyle Sayler, owner of Sayler Screenprinting in downtown Kearney (1923 Central Ave.).

Sayler’s business, which moved to downtown Kearney in 2015, has garnered 117 five-star reviews on Google.

Here’s one example from four months ago:

“Sayler Screenprinting has done a lot of work for us for a while and (the) workmanship is great, and (they) are always willing to handle all of our unusual requests. They meet our deadlines, allow us to have our online store for online ordering and payments. Always have great ideas and design. I highly recommend Sayler Screenprinting and please feel free to use my name as who recommended you to them.” (Rick Buerer)

Kyle said he appreciates the great reviews and knows that it helps his business.

“Whenever you are researching a purchase or business, you always look for the ones with the most stars,” he said. “You rely on other people. If everyone else likes them, it makes your decision easier.”

Research shows that 91 percent of people read online reviews before making a purchase.

Kyle said he does encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews, but he said his business’s great customer service is what he believes had led to his success in business and on Google.

“I really do think it’s the service through and through,” Kyle said. “Customers are really getting what they are wanting. Everything is quick and easy.”

Kyle started his business part-time in 2008 in his garage while he was still working as a designer at The Buckle. It’s now his full-time business, and he employs 9 full-time and 6 part-time employees.

With more than 20 custom orders each day, Kyle said satisfied customers and positive reviews on Google are crucial to his business.

“It’s very important,” Kyle said. “It’s what makes us stick out the most.”

In December, GROW Nebraska started offering Google My Business trainings to help more business owners harness the power of Google and use it to its fullest potential to attract positive reviews and new customers.

The Google My Business Training will focus on Google maps, how to add or change store hours and locations and how to add or change pictures. The training will also include instructions on adding products and other fun features on Google.

Jessie Harris, Marketing and Business Development Director for GROW, said GROW is offering this training to help business owners improve their chances of being found online and to legitimize their business to consumers.

“Google Maps is important for businesses because it helps them garner reviews, showcase their place of business, their products and their services,” Jessie said. “Consumers are more likely to visit a business that has photos on their Google Maps. Google Maps helps boost your SEO in local areas to help be found on page one of Google search.”

The training is offered FREE to GROW members. It will be offered on Tuesdays from Noon-1 p.m. with the option to set up an alternate time. Members can register for the training on GROW Nebraska’s webpage under the trainings tab.

Jessie said the training is relevant to business owners who have varying levels of Google knowledge.

“It will be helpful whether you need to set it up from scratch or whether you just want tips and tricks to make your Google Maps more engaging,” Jessie said.

This training is made possible through grants and donations to GROW Nebraska, which is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Every gift to GROW helps a Nebraskan.

For more information about Sayler Screenprinting, visit the businesses’s GROW page.

GROW Nebraska® Foundation is a statewide non-profit training and marketing organization. Serving over 400 Nebraska small businesses, the organization provides marketing opportunities, education, and training to launch and connect Nebraska businesses to the global marketplace. GROW Nebraska’s educational programs receive federal and state funding, along with generous support from foundations and individual donors.