Springfield, MO

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2012 Most Influential Women Honoree: Jean Harmison

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Working behind the scenes suits Jean Harmison just fine.

Her business, Club Management Services LLC, handles administrative functions for some 20 professional clubs and associations so their board members and committee chairpersons can focus on their missions. For instance, the Missouri Municipal & Associate Circuit Judges Association hired Harmison’s company to maintain financial records, coordinate an annual conference, update its website, and create and distribute a newsletter to its 600 members.

Harmison’s clients combined claim 3,000 members and a collective annual budget of about $2 million. The company brings continuity to groups that change their officers annually.

“Since my business manages more than 20 professional associations, I have the opportunity to work with a new board president each year,” Harmison says. “I am regularly informed by each club president that my leadership style was an aid to his or her success.”

Through Club Management Services, Harmison handles day-to-day operations as executive director of the Greater Springfield Dental Society. Other clients include the 30-member Young Presidents Organization, American Institute of Architects-Springfield and the Stone Meadow Homeowners Association.

The 15-year-old business, now with three employees and a Kansas City branch office was launched as a result of Harmison’s community work when she moved to Springfield from Iowa in 1987.

“I learned that a leader must be dedicated, motivated, organized and energetic,” she says. “I used these traits to develop Club Management Services.”

Harmison’s leadership is shown in her appointment this year to the six-member board of directors for Arvest Bank and her 2011 role as Junior League’s sustainer president that found her organizing a $2,000 fashion show fundraiser for the league’s endowment fund. In 2007, she was invited to serve as chairwoman of the local Muscular Dystrophy Association chapter’s 50th anniversary event, which has since led to MDA’s annual Festival of Hope. She says MDA is on its way to raising $100,000 for the 2012 festival, scheduled Nov. 16.

“I watched my brother lose his battle with muscular dystrophy at the age of 16, and I dream that someday there will be a cure,” Harmison says of her MDA involvement. “Whether it is teaching boot camp at the YMCA, mentoring middle school students for the Word of the Month program or being the new member chair of the Junior League, I make it my mission to lead by example.”

Click here for full coverage of the 2012 Most Influential Women.

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