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2013 Men of the Year Honoree: Tim Connell

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For Tim Connell, being a leader means more than providing for one’s family and it means more than directing from the top down. For Connell, president and producer of Branson-based Connell Insurance Inc., true leaders are part of the team.

“I so often have seen leaders who have more charisma, knowledge and other great qualities but they for some reason are not willing to roll up their sleeves,” Connell says. “If you cannot lead by being willing to get down in the trenches and do even the most basic of tasks, then I don’t know who will ever follow you.”

Connell says he believes success in life comes to those who are willing to engage in their communities.

“I’ve learned while serving on many boards during the years, running my business and having a family, if you are not engaged, then you are not living,” Connell says.

Connell has been actively involved in the Missouri Association of Independent Insurance Agents for more than 20 years and served as a board member of both the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau. But it’s his involvement with the Development Authority board of Taney County, a group he worked with for 11 years and also led as chairman, that holds a special place with him.

Connell, who has a son with special needs, years ago became aware of what was then called the Senate Bill 40 board, which allocates funds for a county to provide housing and workforce development support to the developmentally disabled.

“I was blessed to serve as chair for three years and as an officer for much of the balance of those years. During the tenure we broke through to get our first totally funded (Housing and Urban Development) apartment building,” Connell says. “During this time, I was asked to serve on the Industrial Development Authority of Taney County. Within three months, we were blessed with a bonding item, which provided our disabilities group with the funds to renovate and add on to our sheltered workshop for the disabled, something that was sorely needed. Soon after, we were awarded funding for another HUD apartment.”

This experience inspired Connell to get his employees involved in providing Thanksgiving and Christmas lunches for employees at the sheltered workshop, Tantone Industries. Connell’s son, Brendan, now out of high school, is employed at the workshop and lives in the apartments his father helped bring to fruition.

“I don’t know what greater reward I could receive in life than knowing our son will be taken care of whether I’m here or not,” Connell says. “I have become a firm believer that we must take control of our own destiny and create the future of our community for our children.”

In 2008, Connell received the Community Spirit Award for his efforts with Tantone Industries. He also is a past recipient of the Rotarian of the Year award from the Branson/Hollister morning Rotary Club. In 2012, Connell Insurance was named Small Business of the Year by the Branson chamber, an honor the company received this year from the Springfield chamber.[[In-content Ad]]


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