Young Alumni Achievement Award

Established in 2014, Young Alumni Awards recognize outstanding career achievement, active community involvement or exceptional service to the university by UNO graduates 40 or younger.



Rick Knudtson

Rick Knudtson is an entrepreneur and tech investor. He earned a BS in computer science from UNO in 2010. That same year, Knudtson founded Randomnade, a social community and strategy tool for competitive gamers. It grew to more than 10,000 monthly active users. Two years later, Knudtson helped launch Flywheel as co-founder and chief product officer. The company is a managed WordPress hosting platform “designed specifically for creatives.” In 2018, Inc. Magazine honored Flywheel as Nebraska’s fastest-growing company and ranked it 344th fastest nationally. WP Engine acquired the company in 2019 and it now serves more than 30,000 customers. In 2021, Knudtson co-founded Workshop, an email platform for internal communications, where he is CEO. Workshop provides customers a bridge between “always-on instant messaging and always-outdated knowledge base.” That same year, Knudtson also co-founded The Great Website Co., a subscription service that includes website creation, ongoing content updates and on-demand design service. An Omaha native, Knudtson also invests in an array of tech companies.

Ashley Kuhn
Ashley Kuhn is co-founder and president of Blair Freeman Group, the only black female-owned and female-led Class A contractor in Nebraska. The company offers construction, owner’s representation and real estate services. Kuhn co-founded the company in 2018 with Maranda Adams after Adams and her husband had a disappointing contractor experience with an historic building they were remodeling. Kuhn previously had worked for the real estate development company White Lotus Group from 2004 to 2018, rising to executive vice president. Kuhn’s professional passion can be traced to her years growing up in North Omaha, where she developed “a lifelong passion for ensuring that real estate is appreciated and used for its highest and best use regardless of location.” Kuhn earned a BSBA in real estate and land use economics from UNO in 2006. She started her college career at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she competed for its track and field team before transferring to UNO in 2004. She currently serves on the UNO College of Business Administration Dean’s National Advisory Board.