Springfield, MO

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2015 Most Influential Women Honoree: Janet Dankert

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Janet Dankert has a deep knowledge of issues impacting the Springfield area because for years she has worked on the front lines to address them in tangible ways.

Dankert’s sphere of influence starts at the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, where she has served as executive director since 2012, and it ripples across southwest Missouri. She leads an organization with more than 50 full-time and part-time staff members and an annual budget of more than $2.6 million.

“I provide leadership and support to our board of 33 directors, the executive committee and five other board committees,” she says. “I also provide leadership at the state level through a network of 20 community partnerships across the state.”

Starting at CPO in 2002 as a development specialist, Dankert worked her way up following stints as program director and chief deputy director. She demonstrates leadership through her efforts to leverage resources, begin new programs and services and develop partnerships that meet the needs of the Springfield area.

“Over the past 10 years, I have helped secure more than 20 new grants and contracts totaling more than $1 million, expanding our Community Neighborhood Development Division and creating a new Affordable Housing and Homeless Prevention Division,” Dankert says.

One of her proudest accomplishments is the creation of the Springfield Affordable Housing Center. In partnership with the city of Springfield, the center offers a one-stop service hub with access to 10 community partners that provide services on-site. And then there is One Door, which is a centralized location for homeless-prevention services. “I’m also very proud of the work of the Impacting Poverty Commission. We are proving that we are willing to tackle our community’s most critical and daunting issue,” she says.

Dankert demonstrates leadership and influence through a team-focused approach to management at CPO.

In her three years at the helm, she has led the creation of a team system focused on 10 key operational priorities identified by staff. Those areas include healthy living, staff development, fundraising and legislative advocacy.

“These teams are led by staff and each staff member serves on at least one team, offering the opportunity for leadership as well as ownership of the organization,” Dankert says.  

The teams can make recommendations about policies and procedures and brainstorm new ways to address local challenges.

The organization was recognized as a finalist for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Small Business of the Year and receive United Way’s 2014 Service to the Community Award, as well as two Addy awards for marketing and communication efforts.

An active volunteer in the community, Dankert is a board member of Every Child Promise, the Central High School Boys Basketball Club and the Midtown Neighborhood Association. She serves numerous other organizations, including the Rotary Club of Springfield, the North Springfield Betterment Association, United Way of the Ozarks, the Good Community Committee, the Junior League Advisory Council and the Healthy Living Alliance Advisory Council. 


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