2012 40 Under 40 Honoree: Kim Harris
Mid-West Family Broadcast Group
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11:46 AM
Kim Harris can often be seen around town with a life-size, academic superhero sidekick. That's Nate, the kid-friendly mascot of the North Springfield Betterment Association.
Education: Hillcrest High School graduate
Family: I met my husband, Randy, when he was a rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey on a local classic rock station. He had long, fiery red hair and he swept me off my feet. We married more than 10 years ago. … My oldest daughter, Stephanie, is 21 … and is expecting her first baby in September. Then, there are her younger siblings, Gunnar, 9, and Lyric, 4. Our son … was named Gunnar Rock because Randy knew his son was ‘gonna rock.’ Lyric is lovingly known as Rosebud.
Recent travels: To Branson for an all-girls weekend. I enjoyed the laughter the most.
Just for Fun: If you were throwing a party and could invite any two people, who would be your must-have guests? President Abraham Lincoln and Sheldon Cooper. I would love to hear our 16th president’s witty stories and current political views while watching The Big Bang Theory’s lead character react to my friends.
Harris, who is president of the NSBA, created Nate as a role model for elementary students.
“Nate has helped unite business leaders with the idea that instilling good attendance habits early helps students to become successful employers, employees and neighbors in our future,” says Harris, a Hillcrest High School graduate who is working toward her undergraduate degree in communications at Evangel University.
Harris is an account executive with MW Springmo Inc., which is part of the Mid-West Family Broadcast Group. She is also an owner of MW Springmo, which owns the license to operate four Springfield radio stations, including KKLH 104.7 and KOSP 92.9.
Harris is proud to have earned Mid-West’s Master Sales Performer Award for generating 25 percent of the company’s sales revenue.
“Another professional accomplishment has been maintaining ‘Superstar’ status within my company,” Harris says. “Only those sales professionals who meet at least 90 percent of their projected sales goals annually receive this. … I have been recognized as a Mid-West Family Superstar for the past four years.”
Perhaps because of her accomplishments, Harris was chosen to serve as a mentor and educator for Mid-West’s new hires at MWF University in LaCrosse, Wis.
As proud as she is of her career, Harris considers Nate her greatest accomplishment. He is well known among the students at Springfield’s 14 north elementary schools as “the kid who is at school every day and is never late,” Harris says.
As NSBA’s ambassador, Nate visits children at attendance celebrations and other gatherings.
“He regularly encourages kids in the classrooms with quarterly rewards for improved and perfect attendance,” Harris says. “Nate also inspires kids to believe great things are possible.”
As Nate’s reach has grown, attendance at NSBA-sponsored schools has increased, with a record number of students being rewarded at the 15th annual Attendance Party held May 4.
“This mascot campaign has had a very positive influence for (the) Springfield Public Schools District and the north school teachers by helping them reach their attendance goals from year to year,” Harris says.
Her support for local students also leads her to spearhead community partnerships, such as one this year between NSBA and Children’s Miracle Network that enabled CMN to reach elementary schoolchildren with cardiac health education, supported by a $42,000 Kohl’s Cares grant.
Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.