The impetus behind Andrea Brady’s commitment to colleagues and community is simple: She loves Springfield and wants to make it even better.
“I love being a part of it,” says Brady, retail regional manager for Great Southern Bank. “If I’m going to be involved in something, I want to be involved. It’s just not in me to do part way. I see leadership as setting the example, doing what you say you will do.”
Brady worked in retail and human resources for 17 years before moving to Great Southern in 2004. She oversees operations of 19 banking centers in the metro area, and supervises more than 170 employees.
“It is so rewarding to watch people develop in their positions and know in some way I am part of that,” Brady says. “As a company, we are driven to succeed and, as associates, we work together to achieve our goals and that success. I love watching associates grow and move into new roles.”
Brady says the individuals she’s worked for and with have inspired the leadership methods of her own career.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work for some really exceptional leaders who taught me so much about who I wanted to be and how I wanted to have a role in developing people,” Brady says. “I’ve also had the opportunity to work alongside many outstanding individuals throughout my career. Our peers can be our greatest teachers and help mold us into successful leaders.”
A member of the Rotary Club of Springfield Metro since 2010, Brady sits on the board and served as its president in 2015-16. During her tenure, the club provided comfort kits, which included clothing, toiletries and snacks for violent crime victims at The Victim Center, where she is currently a board member and volunteer advocate.
“We don’t always realize what a victim has been through,” Brady says of her work at The Victim Center. “They are quite possibly at the lowest point of their lives that they have ever been and ever will be. When clothing is taken as evidence and they are left with nothing, the kindness of a gift, something as small as a comfort kit, can help start them on their road to recovery.”
Marrying her work with Rotary with her commitment to The Victim Center was especially rewarding.
“It’s these moments that drive me to be involved and to do more,” she says.
Brady sometimes jokes she is involved with multiple organizations because she can’t say “no,” but the truth is that it’s so easy for her to say “yes.”
“They all have a special place in my heart, and I really can’t imagine my life without them as part of it,” she says.
Brady also volunteers with multiple local organizations including Help Give Hope, Leadership Springfield and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
Great Southern took notice. Brady is a recipient of the bank’s Bill and Ann Turner Distinguished Community Service Award.
“I can’t express what this meant to me,” Brady says. “We have so many wonderful associates in our company who give so much to their communities. To be recognized with this group of people is truly one of my proudest moments.”
Beauty Bar Hair Salon is the newest female-owned business on the central stretch of retail for the town of roughly 2,100 residents. But it’s hardly the only establishment on the street run by a woman.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen say that after the 2020 pandemic they have seen a lot of local businesses increase in importance. They say the idea of essential workers was key to that change.
Andrew VanZyll describes how his side-gig, Grimbeard Leather, began several years ago. He says it really started with something that he considered a spare activity and has become his side-hustle.
Oftentimes it takes a while before your sidegig starts rolling. Barak Hill gives his experience slowly seeing his business improve, and how he used his connections and reputation to gain more clients. Barak Hill is a local professional musician.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares helpful tools and resources to use for the customer discovery phase of launching a new tech business. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Jared Rasmussen, Office Leader for Springfield and Joplin with the engineering firm Olsson, explains the vision of the Renew Jordan Creek Project. He says the city's investment demonstrates it's commitment to the community.
Both Jeramey and Julia Henson talk about their experience in PDR (paintless dent repair), and elaborate on the need for efficient time management. Sometimes you need to know when to move on to the next project. Jeramey and Julia Henson are co-owners of the HM Dentworks Academy with Chris McWhirter.
Jessica Oliva, owner of Pickles and Buns food truck and co-owner of Tinga Tacos, says not to assume you know everything. She says her time in the industry has taught her that she always has more to learn.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, explains what entrepreneurs should know about starting the customer discovery phase for launching your great tech business idea. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliot describes the trends she sees in small towns after the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. She says that people see opportunity in these rural places they might not have seen before. Elliott is the Executive Director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group.
Sean Thouvenot, vice president of Branco Enterprises, gives an overview of what the process looks like once you have decided to invest in a new building. This video is sponsored by Branco Enterprises.