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2011 Men of the Year Honoree: Jerry Redfern

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Jerry Redfern has dedicated his life to the practice of law.

This year marks his 50th with Neale & Newman LLP, the only law firm he has worked for during his entire career.

As a senior partner with the firm, Redfern emphasizes general practice and civil litigation.

His work on behalf of underprivileged individuals in need of legal representation garnered an Equal Access to Justice Award from Legal Aid of Southwest Missouri in 1994, and a year later was honored with the Missouri Bar’s Pro Bono Publico Award.

More recently, Redfern received the Tom Cochran Community Service Award from the Missouri Bar and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Drury University in 2007 and the Distinguished Attorney Award from the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association in 2000.

Still, it’s not awards that have motivated him for five decades.

“The simple notes I received from clients and others during the years have been more important to me,” he says.

Redfern has served as a member and past-president of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association and as a former chairman of the 31st Judicial Circuit Bar Committee.

“I have always tried to demonstrate leadership by hard work, dedication and humility,” he says.

That sentiment has caught the attention of co-workers and colleagues, including Charles Fuller, chairman of the grant committee for the Musgrave Foundation, a charitable trust that Redfern manages.

“Though at one time, he may have claimed me as his mentor, through the years, he has become mine,” Fuller says. “In time, I have found that there are many other people who make the same assertion.”

The Musgrave Foundation is one of three nonprofit foundations Redfern has managed for more than 10 years.

He also leads Roy W. Slusher Foundation and the Heuer Foundation.

“Such foundations are in the business of funding grants in southwest Missouri that support underprivileged children’s needs, senior and other health and human services, food assistance, education, medical research, animals, arts, community betterment and more,” Redfern says.

“(I) have attempted to influence the success of others, including through technology and other marketing efforts to raise awareness of poverty in southwest Missouri and such foundations’ missions and activities to address it.”

Redfern also is a past president of the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and the Springfield Park Board, as well as a former campaign chairman for United Way of the Ozarks.

He also is past president of the board of directors for Legal Services of Southern Missouri, which he still serves on the board.

From 2011 Men of the Year

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