Columbus, Neb.

Host Team

  • K.C. Belitz (Lead)
  • Kara Asmus
  • Rick Chochon
  • Pat Heimes
  • Sandie Fischer

Clayton Keller

Hometown: Millersport, OH
Campus: University of Nebraska at Omaha
Major: Public Administration

What Clayton learned: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Amber Ross

Hometown: Callaway, NE
Campus: University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Major: Agribusiness

“Working for a chamber or working as a community developer of any kind is really a labor of love-you get to do it because it is something you care about and something you’re passionate about.”


About Columbus

About The Serviceship Experience

Amber and Clayton, under the guidance of KC Belitz and the staff at the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, worked on a variety of different projects. They planned events for interns in the community, updated the community calendar, planned and executed a community trivia challenge, and started planning the Young Nebraskans Week event to take place in September. They also worked with the Columbus Area Future Fund to compile marketing materials for their next big campaign.

Accomplishments & Impact

Interns’ Night Out

Amber and Clayton got to help plan and then enjoy two intern’s night out. These events are designed to help welcome interns in the area and to help them meet other interns. The events included dinner followed by an activity.

Community Calendar

The team worked to rebrand, update and then market the community calendar. If you are ever in the Columbus area, check out the Good Times Calendar.

Young Nebraskans Week Event

Amber and Clayton formed a committee and helped start planning the September 2018 Young Nebraskans Week event that will take place in Columbus. This event will have personal and professional development and networking opportunities, along with tours of a few businesses in Columbus.

Something Good Trivia Challenge

The Something Good Trivia Challenge was the interns’ chance to really get out into the community and meet a lot of people. The event ran for two weeks, each morning they posted a trivia question on social media and then later in the day had a pop up event around town. Each pop up event had prizes and snacks for participants to win.

Columbus Area Future Fund

Amber and Clayton created new marketing materials for the Columbus Area Future Fund by interviewing and taking pictures of the Fund Advisory Committee, taking pictures of recent grant recipient projects and creating monthly newsletters. They were also able to create a list of potential donors, this list will be used in the future-during the campaign and to organize other events.


Final Presentation


Weekly Updates

July 13, 2018

Recently, Dr. Helen Fagan asked us to think about the legacy that we are leaving with this community. The answer to that question revolves around the letter R. Recruitment. Reach. Retention. Results.

Results. As the summer winds down, we find ourselves looking to our hosts to see what our role was this summer. Kara Asmus, Workforce Coordinator for the Chamber, said we are encouraging people to embrace the community brand, which is what the Chamber is really trying to do. KC Belitz, Columbus Area Chamber President, said that we are getting results. “The obvious answer is that you are getting work done. There are projects we wouldn’t have gotten to this summer. We never would have done them without you guys. Your internship may end in three weeks but you’re not going anywhere!”

All Week Eight Updates

June 29, 2018

As KC Belitz would say, “HEY TEAM!” That is exactly how we have tackled our projects at the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce—as a team. From brainstorming sessions to listing jobs for chamber members to recruiting campaign partners to pulling weeds for a streetscape project, there has been no shortage of opportunities for teamwork. The Chamber is never boring! Or maybe it’s just Clayton’s excitement for the unexpected stint in the sun, “… and then we get to pull weeds, I’M SO EXCITED!” Those weeds didn’t stand a chance.

The Young Nebraskans Week Committee met last week for the first time. We are working to incorporate their best suggestions from the meeting into our plan for the event. The next step is to create a budget and find sources of funding. This is a great group to work with and we hope to plan a successful event for them and the young professionals of the Columbus area.

All Week Six Updates

June 15, 2018

Columbus continues to inspire, entertain, and impress us. Each day brings a new face, a new opinion, and a new idea.

We were able to attend the Diversity and Inclusion Summit hosted by the Chamber. We got to hear about recruitment, inclusion, how technology is making a difference in inclusion and innovative problem solving. KC Belitz, president of the Chamber, said that the goal of this summit was to encourage Columbus to “create one community instead of two.” Then he joked, “We can’t afford two!” Diversity and Inclusion will be a focus during Young Nebraskans Week here in Columbus.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” So, we have made sure to have some fun. The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors a monthly Interns’ Night Out for all interns in the area during the summer. This month’s activity included a catered dinner and line dance lessons by a local dance instructor. About 25 interns joined us for this great night out on the town!

All Week Four Updates

June 1, 2018

Columbus: small town; big things. We started the week with back to back meetings and networking. We met many of the communities leaders and were able to learn about our projects for the summer. It was a long day and we were running on fumes, but our hosts, the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and the Columbus Area Future Fund, were able to come together and provide us with a “Get to Know the Newbies” Dinner. It was a welcome meal as we had spent the day adding to the ever growing list of projects. Throughout the dinner we were able to speak with the mayor, the chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors, and the president of the Columbus Area Future Fund. We were also dining with a journalist from the Wall Street Journal, as she was in town gathering information for a piece on the growing need for rural housing.

And let’s not forget about our own thoughts and impressions. Columbus is new territory for us, and with that comes first impressions.We have also been impressed with the people that we have met. We have met a lot of different people but they have all sung the same tune—there is something good going on here. We have both really enjoyed meeting the key community players that work every day to improve Columbus, and we’ve been impressed by the quantity and quality of these key players in the community as well.

Clayton and Amber were featured in The Columbus Telegram. Read their article >>>

All Week Two Updates