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Carmen Tapio receives 2021 ICAN Leadership Award

ICAN Press Release

Tapio is the founder, president and CEO of North End Teleservices, LLC

August 11, 2021, noon CST: The Institute for Career Advancement Needs (ICAN) Leadership Award, a prestigious honor presented annually at ICAN’s Women’s Leadership Conference, recognizes people who live and lead authentically through the “4 C’s” of Collaboration, Compassion, Confidence and Creativity.

This year’s recipient, the sixth, is Carmen Tapio, founder, president and CEO, North End Teleservices, LLC. Tapio will receive her award at the 28th Annual ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference, held Wednesday, Aug. 11  at the CHI Health Center.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to receive the 2021 ICAN Leadership Award. ICAN’s high-integrity, compassionate and transformational leadership model inspires so many,” Tapio said. “Receiving this recognition is such an honor. We all lead, in our own way, every day; it’s how we lead that moves people to action.”

A dedicated servant leader within her community, Tapio has built a global career that embodies and exemplifies her passion for success in business and thriving communities.

Tapio’s current role as founder and CEO of North End Teleservices is the culmination of her passion for business and community by creating jobs and changing lives in Northeast Omaha. North End Teleservices takes a holistic view of everyone they employ; not only by helping them to create a vision for their lives and what is possible but also by helping them to achieve it.

Additionally, Tapio’s company serves as an example of the positive impact business can make on individual families, and the community, by creating pathways to career advancement and leadership.

Her leadership approach has translated into numerous accolades including Small Business of the Month, Business Excellence Small Business of the Year and Business Excellence in Innovation by the Greater Omaha Chamber, Best Corporate Culture by the Urban League of Nebraska Young Professionals and the 2020 Urban League African American Leadership Award for Business. In 2020 North End Teleservices, LLC. was named #677 on the Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing privately-owned companies.

Tapio is the 2023 incoming board chair of the Greater Omaha Chamber, and the first African American woman to serve in this leadership capacity. She is also a 100 Black Women Legacy Award Honoree, WCA 2020 Tribute to Women Honoree, a recipient of the 2020 Urban League of Nebraska African American Leadership Award for Business, the Greater Omaha Chamber’s 2020 Volunteer of the Year, a 2021 Enterprising Women of the Year Awardee and a 2021 winner of The Bloc, Inc. “50 over 50” award.

“We are proud to partner with ICAN to present Carmen Tapio with the 2021 ICAN Leadership Award,” said Alicia Edsen, Vice President and Corporate Safety Director at Kiewit. “Carmen is a coalition builder, compassionate leader and in both business and the community, she works tirelessly to get at the heart of issues to enable change. She represents all the qualities ICAN and Kiewit look to recognize with this award.”

Susan Henricks, President and CEO of ICAN, concurred.

“We could not be more impressed with her accomplishments,” Henricks said. “She has founded a successful company, she is extremely active in community events, and she uses job creation as a means of changing lives. Thank you, Carmen!”

Tapio led North End Teleservices through the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing new communications to stay in touch with her staff and looking for creative ways to keep people safe while respecting each individual’s situation, maintaining the company’s culture and ensuring clients felt cared for.

She uses her platform to bring new people to the table to solve problems, and, according to her nomination form, “makes each employee feel like a true equal in directing North End Teleservices to a prosperous future, and changing the lives of all who call North End Teleservices home.”

“Thank you to the entire faculty, staff and stakeholders of ICAN,” Tapio said. “I am beyond grateful for this acknowledgement, and am equally thankful to Kiewit Corporation for their sponsorship of this award.”


I am overwhelmed with gratitude to receive the 2021 ICAN Leadership Award. ICAN’s high-integrity, compassionate and transformational leadership model inspires so many. Receiving this recognition is such an honor. We all lead, in our own way, every day; it’s how we lead that moves people to action.

Carmen Tapio

About the award: ICAN and Kiewit created the award in 2015 after careful research and tapping into ICAN’s nearly 40 years of history working with leaders from across the globe. ICAN believes that current leaders, and those of the future, need to possess the skills of the four Cs — collaboration, compassion, confidence and creativity — in order to successfully lead their organizations and communities in an ever-changing and complex global economy.

Kiewit Corporation, headquartered in Omaha and one of North America’s largest construction and engineering organizations, helped develop the criteria for the ICAN Leadership Award and sponsors the ICAN Leadership Award each year.

Past recipients of the ICAN Leadership Award:

2020: Josie Abboud, Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital

2019: Nancy Pridal, Lamp Rynearson

2018: Patricia Kearns, QLI

2017: Tim Burke, OPPD

2016: Gail DeBoer, SAC Federal Credit Union

About the ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference:  The 28th Annual ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference sets its sights on how increased visibility, advocacy and sponsorship of women leaders – from within their organizations and out in their communities – leads to career advancement and greater influence.  It’s a win-win situation for leaders and their organizations, strengthening both company talent and social responsibility efforts.

On August 11, 2021, in-person and virtual attendees will explore what practical, intentional and actionable steps they can take to visualize their aspirations, garner the necessary exposure and experience, and acquire the path and support to manifest them. Together, ICAN leaders can illuminate how both business and the greater community can reap the benefits of these achievements.

About ICAN: No matter where you’re at in your career, you can take ownership of it. You can control your destiny. ICAN’s leadership development programs can help you discover new strengths, build productive teams and lead with authenticity. Our expert faculty have built immersive, results-oriented programs that bring out the best in leaders and companies. We’re ready to reveal your best self, too. Visit for more information.