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Opinion: Hello from the features editor desk

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I’m fairly certain ink rather than blood runs in my veins.

As long as I can remember, words have been an integral part of my life. In elementary school, I was “publisher” of the not-so-daily Daily News with my brother as reporter, covering events including the dinner menu and summer vacation updates – you know, the real riveting news.

I began reading at a young age, and I haven’t slowed down since. Turning that insatiable literary appetite into a career was not surprising, and news reporting appealed to my left-brained nature. One journalism venture led to another, and now here I am sitting at the Springfield Business Journal features editor desk.

Hello, Springfield business community. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Week one was eventful and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many individuals – and reconnecting with some familiar faces. This included the Most Influential Women photo shoot Sept. 15, where I spent the morning getting to know this year’s exceptional honorees, and a Sept. 11 CEO Roundtable interview with local leaders in law. I look forward to future similar events, allowing me to become more integrated in the Queen City and providing the opportunity to tell its stories of enterprise and growth.

A little about me: I moved from Colorado and have lived in southern Missouri three years – all the while being entirely impressed by the solid community but not the fluctuating weather. I’m married to a kind and talented Taney County Ambulance District EMT, who shares my love of cars, coffee, kayaking, spelunking, hiking and travel. I’m also the proud aunt of four little ones who turn my world.

My degree actually is in applied science in surgical technology from Ozarks Technical Community College, including studies with Harvard University’s HarvardX in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Medicine is a great passion of mine, specifically neurosurgery and neurology relating to the study, treatment and awareness of chronic-pain disorders.

My journalism experience is nothing short of an adventure, including stories ranging from breaking-news discoveries with Mars rover missions at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and blog features with Eric Cohen Books’ textbooks in Greece and Spain, to following complicated murder cases and getting lost in the Zion Wilderness while writing travel features. I’ve also conducted exclusive interviews with Dr. Ben Carson, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert and retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin through the Pensmore Foundation.

I moved to SBJ from the Christian County Headliner News, in Ozark, where I was a general-assignment reporter specifically covering the courts, along with any other stories and tasks that came across my desk.

Life certainly is never dull, and I look forward to this new adventure with SBJ and the businesspeople of Springfield. As your SBJ features editor, my aim is to learn about your goals, strategies and contributions to improving the Springfield business community. I plan to assist in maintaining the reporting, integrity and transparency of the business community.

That being said, my email and phone line are always open. Please contact me regarding interest in writing Industry Insight columns and with story ideas related to the weekly SBJ Focus topics. I manage the content in each of those sections throughout the year. So if you need a 2018 editorial calendar, I’ve got that, too.

Thank you for making my first week with SBJ welcoming and memorable. I’ve based my career on the belief that everyone has a story to tell, and I look forward to telling yours.

Springfield Business Journal Features Editor Hanna Smith can be reached at hsmith@sbj.net.

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