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2011 Men of the Year Honoree: Jim Anderson

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Serving as president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce since 1988, Jim Anderson has made a name for himself as a key advocate for business in the Ozarks.

As the chamber’s chief executive, Anderson leads a 24-member staff and manages an annual budget of $3.1 million.

He’s quick to note, however, that the work he does is a collaborative effort.

“My focus is on partnerships, on working together,” Anderson says. “We have accomplished so much in our community with this culture of collaboration.”

Two industrial parks – Partnership Industrial Center and PIC West – are among many examples of the results of working together, Anderson says. The parks were born of a collaboration between the chamber, the city of Springfield, Greene County, City Utilities and the Springfield Finance & Development Corp., after Zenith closed its Springfield plant and highlighted a need for more jobs in the city. The parks are now home to employers such as Cintas Corp. and John Deere.  

“Jim’s collaborative leadership style has been a behind-the-scenes catalyst for the good things happening in our community,” says Brad Bodenhausen, who has worked with Anderson for 18 years and is the chamber’s executive vice president. “He has created a climate and a system for Springfield’s community leaders – business and government – to communicate candidly, disagree peacefully and work together in partnership toward our shared goals.”

Anderson is proud of his role in hiring and coaching a dedicated chamber staff and says his goal is to set an example for them.

“I think it’s important to roll up your sleeves and walk the talk,” Anderson says. “I do believe in servant leadership … and that you lead by example. You don’t lead by sending out e-mails or directives, or ‘Do this because I’m telling you to do it.’”

Anderson also sets a brisk pace for community involvement, active with numerous organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Committee of 100. He’s also a member of the Missouri Economic Development Council and on the board of directors for the Hawthorn Foundation. He also is a former member and past chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

The chamber was named Springfield Business Journal’s 2011 Business Advocate of the Year, but even with that and other accolades, Bodenhausen isn’t worried that Anderson will rest on his laurels.

“Jim continues to set higher goals and encourage the chamber and our community to do the same,” Bodenhausen says. “One word that is not in his vocabulary is complacency.”

From 2011 Men of the Year[[In-content Ad]]

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