Rachel Witt, business owner/operator, boss, mother, wife, and now the 2015 Falls City Jaycees Boss of the Year, grew up in Stephens, Georgia – a small town that consisted of the “corner store” and the post office. Rachel attended a small, private Christian school, where she learned that education and life skills were top priority. She grew up in a strong 4-H family, where being in the cattle industry and 4-H was a way of life. Her parents managed RSE farms, a purebred cattle operation, and also raised club calves. She grew up showing cattle on the local, state and national level, proudly being named Champion Showman at the National Junior Angus Show, as well as Three Time All-Around Champion at the Chianina Junior National.
She attended the University of Georgia, majoring in Animal Science, with an emphasis on Meat Science, and a minor in Ag Business. After college, looking for a change in scenery, she moved back to Springfield, MO, where she was born.
Rachel said she obtained her real education working in her grandfather’s sale barn; on the side, she taught at Missouri State University and coached the Meat Judging Team. Rachel credits both of these jobs in giving her insight on how to handle people in the business world.
In 2006, Rachel moved to Falls City, where she married Brian Witt in 2010. These days her two stepchildren and 4-year-old twin boys, Cash and Treydon, keep her on her toes when she’s not at one of the three businesses she either manages or helps manage.
Things haven’t always been easy for Rachel and her family; two years ago her young son Cash was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
“It has been a learning experience for not only us but all of those around us – but the biggest inspiration is how one little boy can be such a superhero.”
As Rachel was about to launch a Type 1 Diabetes awareness project, Emerson-Hubbard student Tanner Haberman broke his leg in the Oct. 30, football game against Sacred Heart that forever changed his life. Haberman was later diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that contributed to his leg injury.
Witt sprung into action working on the Tackle Cancer Project. A benefit was held at Dickey’s BBQ in November, where 50 percent of the proceeds were donated to the Haberman family. Shirts were also designed and printed by Witt to sell the same night. Dickey’s employee Rachel Aitken, who authored the nomination for her boss, praised the other Rachel for her generosity, pointing out the $3,000 she raised for the Habermans.
“She selflessly gave back; not only to our community, but another community as well,” Rachel Aitken wrote.
Last spring, Rachel’s newest venture opened for business and Dickey’s BBQ was enthusiastically received by the community.
Witt explained how Dickey’s found its new home in southeast Nebraska. While on vacation a few years ago, a Dickey’s billboard jumped out at her and her husband as they considered where to eat. After visiting the restaurant, they realized how much they liked it and knew it would make a great addition to Falls City.
“Dickey’s is a super company to be a part of and we are very happy with the decision we made,” she said..
In the nomination letter sent to the Jaycees Distinguished Service Awards Committee, Aitken noted that her boss is the ultimate multi-tasking mother.
“Rachel is always making sure that the job gets done,” Aitken wrote. “With her twin sons it isn’t always easy to dedicate all of her time and effort to her businesses, but she steps above and beyond to always be a supportive boss. I know that when everything is starting to go south, Rachel is the first person to call.”
Aitken also credits her boss as being a huge role model in her life. “She is an extraordinary individual who not only shines as a boss, but as a community leader.”
Witt credits her hard working and dedicated employees for making both Dickey’s and Sportin F.C. such successful ventures for her family, but also acknowledges being a boss can be difficult.
“The hardest part about having employees is trying to make everyone happy. I’m not a confrontational person and I don’t like to make people mad, so I hate having to deal with issues.”
But Witt again credits her staff and managers at getting the job done, even when it’s unpleasant.
Speaking with employees of Dickey’s and Sportin’ F.C., its easy to see that Witt takes her employees under her wing and gives them a strong word of encouragement when needed.
“Even without a plaque she would be the “Boss of the Year” in my eyes; the plaque is just the icing on the cake,” Aitken gushed.
Witt thanked all of her “wingmen” for the award.
“I prefer to be more of a leader and motivator than a boss.” Quoting E.M Kelly, she added, “A boss says ‘go,’ while a motivator says ‘let’s go.’”