The soft glow of a monitor reflects in their eyes as they flick the joystick back and forth. With each click, the iconic 8-bit character responds, climbing ladders and dodging barrels on a video game old enough to run for president.

He likes his work, but Kendall Johnson wouldn't make a hobby of the truck and motorcycle parts that have moved along his line at Lincoln Industries the past 13 years.

Gabby Ayala has been all over the state, growing up in the Sandhills, going to high school in Neligh, college in Hastings and then settling down in Lincoln. It was while she was in college that she got her first exposure to craft beer.

In the late '90s and early 2000s Southeast Community College instructor Rich Douglass mounted cameras to a kite and began photographing farmland. It’s a far cry from the drones of today, but that was the liftoff for the precision agriculture program at SCC.

Last year, the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce marked new businesses, businesses with new owners, relocated businesses, renovated businesses, expanded businesses, business anniversaries, ground-breaking ceremonies and new chamber members with over 80 ribbon-cutting events.

As part of Directions, the Journal Star invites readers to share honors businesses or employees received in 2017 as best of state, region or nation. Also included is a recap of the major awards presented by business organizations locally.