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Businesses Making A Difference: At Your Service

COUNTERPARTS: No job too big or small

Touch it. Experience it. Own it.

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“That would be the goat,” asserted Counterparts owner Jim Shaffer. “Definitely the goat.”

It had seemed a simple enough question at first. What was the oddest request ever fulfilled by Counterparts, the concierge and errand service that offers a staggering array of timesaving and profit-boosting “let us do it for you” services.

“You remember, Richard,” Shaffer said in turning to Richard Patterson, the company’s operations director, “the time we had one of our people milk a goat three times a day for two weeks along with taking care of the client’s other assorted critters?”

“No, no, no,” Patterson retorted. “You’re forgetting about the aquarium and the logistical challenge it was to keep that huge thing heated and bubbling so the fish wouldn’t die when we transported it all the way to Missouri Valley.”

Playful debate ensued.

Goat. Fish. Goat. Fish.

Then more debate.


Goats and aquariums aside, Counterparts is more than just the outfit that, as Patterson put it, “gives you back your Saturdays.”
From office to home and from event planning to concierge desk services delivered facility-wide to residents of condo developments and retirement living centers, Counterparts helps people find equilibrium in their increasingly hectic lives and helps businesses manage scarce resources at a time when being laser focused has never been more critical.

The inspiration for the business was, in part, born when Shaffer came to appreciate what his wife went through in choreographing a gaggle of children. A simple trip to the grocery store was anything but simple when six hats and 13 mittens (one would invariably get lost in the chaos, wouldn’t it?) would have to go on and off and on and off again in a drill that was as dizzyingly frenetic as that of being a wig wrangler for Lady Gaga.

“A lot of people and businesses suffer from time poverty,” Shaffer said. “We help harmonize life and work. It’s all about finding balance. It’s about the choices we all make. You can spend your time in line somewhere, at a grocery store or dry cleaners or the service department of a car dealership, or you can spend time with your kids. What is a more valuable use of your time?”


Counterparts excels at giving time back to clients, but also excels at giving back to the community as a whole.

Wednesdays at the Ronald McDonald House? That’s when families know that Counterparts will provide shuttle service for shopping trips. A certain series of scorching days in August? That’s when staffers exhibited their trademark cool when a small army teed it up with a host of services provided in support of the Cox Classic.

“I like that ‘small army’ analogy,” Patterson said, “because we sometimes act as the cavalry, riding in to save the day. It gives us a great feeling to be somebody’s hero, even if it’s just in the smallest of ways.”

No job (or goat) is too small and no challenge (or aquarium) too great for the team that uses the same outside-the-box thinking in their approach to giving.

Just ask Courtney Young about Thursdays and the humble “power of one.”

The company’s pet service coordinator, she can be found every Thursday afternoon volunteering at the Nebraska Humane Society, all on Counterparts’ dime.

“I love my time spent here with all the animals at NHS,” said Young, “but it’s also a great learning experience. Not only do I get to benefit from the amazing expertise of all the staff here, I also get to interact with a broad range of animals, all with unique personalities. And that mirrors what I do for a living with Counterparts. It means I become a better pet sitter for my clients in the process, even as we contribute to the efforts of the Nebraska Humane Society along the way.”


-end- metroMAGAZINE



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