Springfield, MO

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2013 Men of the Year Honoree: Jerry Jared

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Jerry Jared doesn’t hesitate to define the path to success: Be prepared and lead by example.

“I have always taken responsibility for training and mentoring those who reported directly to me,” says Jared, chairman and CEO of Jared Enterprises Inc. “I would never ask a fellow employee to do something that I personally would not be willing to do myself.”

Jared has plenty of experience to share. He began his career with Consumers Markets, a four-state supermarket chain founded by his late father-in-law, Clarence R. Wheeler. Although the grocery business was sold in 1990, the family retained ownership of the properties. Jared had the forethought to approach the new business owner, Fleming Cos. Inc., in the late 1990s about buying out its leases of the Consumers Markets stores. Jared calls this move the “most monumental” of his career, because Fleming later declared bankruptcy.

“Had the negotiation not taken place, the company would have lost everything and I would not be in the position I am today,” he says. “A good leader must first take an active role in the business, be adaptive, demonstrate integrity and, above all, take an interest in those whom you are leading  (including) their families. A great deal of responsibility comes with providing a paycheck.”

Jared took over the business in 1997 and was involved in developing Cody’s Convenience Stores into 37 locations before they were sold in 2009 to West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go. In 2010, CRW Properties Inc., founded by Wheeler for real estate investment and development, merged with Jared Enterprises Inc.

“With the help of others, I have been very fortunate to have taken a good organization to a great organization, which has come about through extensive planning for the future, to include identifying talented employees who could potentially satisfy our organization’s long- and short-term needs,” Jared says.

He considers a highlight of his career the opportunity to teach his children in a business whose roots stretch back to their grandfather, including giving them the chance to make mistakes and learn from those missteps. Sons Brian and Curtis Jared have followed in their father’s footsteps now working in real estate. Curtis Jared is president and chief operating officer at Jared Enterprises.

“My children’s formal education has served them well when it comes to running a business, but the experience that they have gleaned from working alongside me for the past 10 years or so, I believe to be invaluable, and this is probably one of my proudest accomplishments to date,” Jerry Jared says.

Jared believes engaging employees in the operation of their company pays dividends.

“We feel by allowing them to let their entrepreneurial spirited ideas be heard and utilized in the operation of our company has made our success (what) it is today,” Jared says. “It is hard for some to allow for trial and error when it comes to a business so dear to their hearts, but I feel it is the only way to grow in a positive atmosphere, even if that means hiring someone smarter than yourself.”

Jared is a member of the Springfield Barons Club and is a founder and life board member of the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks. He and has served multiple volunteer roles for CoxHealth, including past chairman of the board of directors, chairman’s committee, executive committee and finance committee.[[In-content Ad]]


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