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2018 Men of the Year: David Bixler

Bixler Corp.

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To know David Bixler is to know his passion for the mission of Rotary International.

In under a decade, he’s started a new Rotary club, spearheaded a $500,000 annual fundraising drive and helped a hospital in Mexico outfit its research lab with equipment.

“This is the largest project I’ve ever been a part of in Mexico,” he says of the $500,000-equipped research lab. “This hospital serves the needs of the poor and is doing cutting-edge cancer research that is shared worldwide through the St. Jude network.”

Hospital Civil in Guadalajara, Mexico, built the lab but fell short of the finances for equipment. Through Rotary and Bixler’s connections there, he went to work raising $250,000 to match the amount the Mexican government committed to contribute. In other words, no matching funds, no research equipment.

“In less than nine months, the hospital had the money and the equipment it needed,” Bixler says. “Through my Rotary network, I was able to put together the right people, and we were able to create a Rotary global grant that made up the amount the hospital needed to meet its goal.”

Bixler’s nonprofit work is made possible by his privately owned small business.

He describes Bixler Corp. as a seven-digit revenue company with as many as 50 employees doing residential and commercial cleaning and restoration. Beyond the custodial services, Bixler Corp. offers water, fire, smoke, mold and construction site cleanup to clients including Harry Cooper Supply Co., Steak ’n Shake and JMark Business Solutions Inc.

Local Steak ’n Shake franchisee Gary Leonard recalls a fire incident late on a Sunday night.

“We needed help getting this thing cleaned out,” he says on a video testimonial posted to Bixler Corp.’s website. “We started in here on a Monday morning and got this thing reopened and inspected by Thursday morning. It was nothing short of a Herculean effort.”

Bixler brought four years of experience with All-In-One Cleaning Service as vice president, and another five years in sales for Hillyard Floor Care and Springfield Janitor Supply, to run Bixler Corp. as president in 2000. He’s a graduate of Parkview High School and Missouri State University.

Bixler takes the role of a business owner well beyond the operations and balance sheet.

“This goes beyond managing employees and meeting payroll,” he says. “Employees often need help with finances, life coaching, purchasing decisions and finding resources to deal with circumstances beyond their control. Running a small business is like supporting a large family.”

For his Rotary family, he helped start the Rotary Club of Springfield Metro in 2011 and served as district governor of Rotary International District 6080 in 2016-17. That year, the club set records in 11 of 14 categories and raised $500,000 for the Rotary Foundation.

“The last two weeks of Rotary, I made an offer to all the Rotarians in District 6080 to match any contribution made to the foundation,” he recalls. “This raised an additional $58,000 for the foundation.”

By his works, it’s clear Bixler is committed to the Rotary motto: Service above self.

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