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Leadership Partner /lēdərˌSHip pärtnər/: A business or organization who makes an annual non-dues voluntary investment to help the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce reach new programming goals by investing additional funds, and at the same time helping the Chamber organization keep their overall dues at a manageable amount for members.

We will share a bit about each of our Leadership Partners weekly.



In photo: (L-R) Austin Larson, Mike Kalb, Brenda Benjamin, Linette Butler, Kent Cordes, and Rick Pettit.

Tell us a little about B|D Construction:

BD Construction is one of the Midwest's leading construction management and design-build contractors, with eight field crews working on a wide variety of healthcare, education, commercial, industrial, public and agricultural projects.

After more than 48 years building a wide variety of projects throughout Nebraska and the midwest, few companies have the depth of experience BD has. More important than that, BD’s principals, project managers and support staff have the specific skills and experience to build the best possible quality into every project.

We would love to learn about your leaders. Tell us a little about each of you and why you love living in Kearney, Nebraska!

Brenda Benjamin, President and CEO

  • Hometown: Kearney, Nebraska

  • A KSC graduate, I served as BD’s treasurer for two decades before stepping into the president’s role in 2015.

  • Our family loves animals, so we appreciate the great veterinary care here as well as the work of Kearney Area Animal Shelter. Kearney has such wonderful non-profit organizations overall—and I’ve enjoyed volunteering for and supporting the Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney Public Schools Foundation, Jubilee Center, the ARC of Buffalo County and so many others.

Linette Butler, General Manager

  • Hometown: Pender, Nebraska

  • I attended college in Kearney and remained after graduation. I fell in love with the construction industry after joining BD’s finance department shortly after college. In 2019, I was part of Leadership Nebraska Class XI which gave me an appreciation for the people, organizations and industries that keep Nebraska thriving.

  • The Hike Bike Trail is one of my favorite things to do. Riding my bike from Cottonmill – Yanney – Archway – Ft. Kearney sounds like a perfect way to spend a few hours with friends, especially when it finishes with a couple of cold refreshments at any of the fine dining establishments in town. The shopping isn’t too bad either!

Kent Cordes, PE, Civil Engineer and Project Manager

  • Hometown: York, Nebraska

  • Kearney is home, I’ve been here for 27 years now.

  • My favorite things to do in Kearney include walking and riding on the hike/bike trails, playing golf (but not well) at our area courses, eating and socializing at many of our fine restaurants and bars, and volunteering in a few capacities in town.

Mike Kalb, Business Development Director

  • Hometown: Kearney, Nebraska

  • I am a graduate of Kearney High School and Kearney State College, spent 10 years in the financial services industry and I have been with BD Construction for 19 years. I enjoy helping clients plan their construction projects and have found it extremely rewarding working with critical access hospitals in Rural America with their expansions and renovations.

  • Spending mealtime with my family at Kearney’s fine restaurants is one of my favorite things to do. Shopping at home improvement stores as we renovate our home and other properties we are involved with. Also, I really enjoy spending time in Kearney’s retail establishments because, as a lifelong resident of the community, you always run into friendly faces.

Austin Larson, Construction Operations Director/Estimator

  • Hometown: Kearney, Nebraska

  • I grew up in Kearney and graduated from Kearney High School and UNK. My wife Kaili and I are raising two boys and we enjoy watching the boys’ sporting events from youth to now high school. I started my career as a college intern for BD, became a full-time employee and am now on the leadership team.

  • Kearney has great golf courses and you’ll find me golfing at Kearney Country Club and Meadowlark Hills. Our family likes to run, walk and bike ride on the hike and bike trails. We also enjoy a good meal and drink with friends at locally-owned bar and grills.

Rick Pettit, Field Operations Director

  • Hometown: Kearney, Nebraska

  • I was born and raised here and really like living in this community with such nice and genuine people.

  • I enjoy playing golf and ice fishing at Yanney.

To learn more about B|D Construction and their services, like their Facebook page.

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