A group of 12 companies will be recognized as the 2013 Choice Employers, based on survey results verified by the Missouri State University Small Business and Technology Development Center. The eighth annual Springfield Business Journal Choice Employers awards will honor companies based on their responses to questions about workplace benefits in the areas of incentives, family-friendliness, people development and corporate culture.

For the second year, the awards include three individual categories, for which a total of nine area professionals were chosen by an independent panel of judges.

All 21 honorees will be celebrated at a reception and awards ceremony in November, and company rankings in four size categories will be announced. The company award finalists, in alphabetical order, are:
  • H Design Group LLC, Paragon Architecture Inc. and Springfield Nephrology Associates Inc. in the 5-to-24 employees category;
  • GeoEngineers Inc., Ollis & Co. and UMB Bank in the 25-to-100 employees category;
  • College of the Ozarks, Commerce Bank and Guaranty Bank in the 101-to-300 employees category; and
  • CoxHealth, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Mercy Hospital Springfield, in the 301-plus employees category.
By category, honorees for the individual awards, which are not ranked, are:
  • Community Involvement Champion – Stephen Kleinsmith of Nixa Public Schools, Michelle Lindsey of Ozark Public Schools and Chuck Renner of Advantage Therapy LLC;
  • Human Resources Professional – Parker McKenna of Springfield Public Schools, Eric Maxwell of CoxHealth and Kathy Whitworth of Nixa Public Schools; and
  • Employee of the Year – Vicki Good of CoxHealth, Matt Morrison of Nowata Printing Co. and Jason Smith of Environmental Works Inc.
The 2013 Choice Employers event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Hilton Garden Inn, 4155 S. Nature Center Way. Tickets, which are $25 apiece, are available at SBJ.net/Choice.