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Springfield, MO

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2010 40 Under 40: Jill Renner Mowris

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Jill Renner Mowris finds that the key to leadership and influence is building strong relationships. She seeks to establish trust and respect with both staff and customers integral to her role as corporate research manager for Herschend Family Entertainment, which owns 24 parks and attractions in nine states, including Branson’s Silver Dollar City.

“Under my leadership, we changed our data collection process to make it more accurate and reduce expenses,” she says. “I feel like I’ve made some lasting contributions to HFE and to the research field overall.”

Since joining the company in 1999, Mowris has filled several roles, including managing new product marketing and research and development. But she says her spot on an organizational chart isn’t as important as her actions on the job.

“It isn’t your title that convinces people to truly listen to your opinions and follow you,” Mowris said. “Hard work, dedication and kind words work better than any title in getting people motivated to go in the same direction.”

Mowris serves dual executive roles, also working as vice president of operations at Jerry Henry & Associates.

In 2004, as Jerry Henry formed his own consulting business to conduct qualitative marketing research for Herschend and others, Jill was the first person he sought to hire.

“Jill is one of the best employees a business could ever have,” Henry wrote in his recommendation letter. “There is neither a project that is too big nor a challenge with which she cannot find a consensus.”

Even though she works with numbers for a living, Mowris said she is most motivated by the difference she makes in other peoples’ lives through her community endeavors. She says she is most proud of the work she’s been doing for the last eight years through Junior League of Springfield.

“My proudest leadership moment involved a shovel, some dirt and an old porch swing,” Mowris says of a landscaping project she worked on for a local agency that takes in women and children who’ve been abused and helps them get back on their feet. “Organizing that project made a difference in the life of one of the women there and that is my proudest moment.”

Treasured relationships are the common thread that runs through Jill’s professional and personal life.

“My grandmother used to tell me to make sure I talked to the people working the cash register at the grocery store or the waiter at my table because each of them had a story to tell. I try to live this way every day,” Mowris said.[[In-content Ad]]

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