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Carrie Richardson
Photo provided by Leadership Springfield
Carrie Richardson

Leadership Springfield’s first executive director to start next month

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Amid organizational changes at Leadership Springfield, the nonprofit hired its first executive director.

The Leadership Springfield board approved Carrie Richardson as executive director. She’s scheduled to start July 9, according to a news release.

Leadership Springfield in March announced it was switching to an independent organization after 34 years as an affiliate program of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. With the decision, the organization’s board moved to conduct a local search, particularly eying Leadership Springfield alumni, for its new executive director role.

Richardson was a Signature Class 25 graduate and one of more than 12 applicants for the job, said Jamie Fields, the chamber employee who currently manages Leadership Springfield. Fields said she’ll fully transition next month to the chamber’s new role of membership development manager.

“There was a lot of input and individuals involved throughout the process, and we are thrilled that our final candidate was approved by the board,” said incoming Leadership Springfield board President Don Harkey, CEO and owner of People Centric Consulting Group LLC, in the release. “We believe she is the perfect fit to lead us forward and cannot wait to begin working with her.”

Richardson comes to Leadership Springfield from Ozarks Community Hospital, where she’s worked for more than a decade and is currently chief operating officer. She also previously worked in marketing for Developmental Center of the Ozarks, according to her LinkedIn profile.

At Leadership Springfield, Richardson will lead an organization that runs a community-based leadership development program. The group in 2017 moved to two signature classes per year, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

Fields said Richardson will evaluate future staffing needs, though officials have identified a need for three employees.

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