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2013 Men of the Year Honoree: Brian Hammons

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Brian Hammons is a natural leader.

In the office as president and CEO of Stockton-based Hammons Products Co., in the community as a board member for the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, at home as a husband and father of three and in his faith as conference lay leader for Missouri United Methodist Churches, Hammons believes leadership is the simple capacity to influence people toward a positive result.

“One of the challenges of leadership is recognizing both the wide opportunities as well as the limits of that influence,” says Hammons, a member of the Missouri Bar Association since 1985. “As a leader I can have some degree of influence toward that positive success.”

The third generation to lead the worldwide supplier of eastern black walnuts, Hammons says the business has faced many challenges during the years, including changes in markets, processing, available crop, regulatory concerns, personnel, shareholders and family issues. But despite the challenges, Hammons says clear organizational methods and open communication have kept the business running smoothly.

“I find that it’s the day-to-day interactions, walking around the plant, observing and talking, provide opportunities to remind and reinforce the goals and values in the many details,” he says, noting he’s implemented several communication methods, including regular staff meetings and performance reviews.

Stockton born and raised, Hammons keeps the line of communication open outside the office as well. Always interested in community and governmental roles, Hammons has served organizations such as the Missouri State University Board of Governors and Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and taken on governmental roles such as a Stockton Board of Aldermen member and as a Republican National Convention alternate delegate.

“Many of my interests would lead to leadership roles. I’ve done what I could when asked,” Hammons says of the 19 statewide boards and associations he has served on since 1980, six as president or chairman.

As president of the Stockton Community Foundation following the May 2003 tornado that destroyed a portion of the small rural town – including much of the Hammons Products plant – Hammons’ leadership talent kicked in, helping marshal community resources in the rebuilding effort.

“Brian’s leadership not only helped get the company back in production remarkably quick, but it was also instrumental in the recovery effort of the entire community,” says Brian Fogle, Community Foundation of the Ozarks president and CEO, noting Stockton is still used as a model for community recovery by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for smaller towns.

Hammons continues to serve the community through the United Methodist Church and as a member of the local Lions Club.

Hammons dedication to business, community and family has led not only to his own success, but the respect of his peers.

“I have long admired Brian not only for what he has done, but for who he is,” Fogle says.[[In-content Ad]]


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