For Candida Deckard, helping create jobs in the Ozarks is a highlight of her career.
“My proudest professional accomplishment is being part of the CNH Industrial Reman LLC joint venture,” says Deckard, director of human resources and safety for the Springfield-based company, an initiative between SRC Holdings Corp. and London-based CNH Industrial. “To be able to help start a successful new company that has created good jobs for the community is a tremendously satisfying experience.”
Deckard says the company started with nine employees and now employs 270. Deckard’s involvement with the venture includes implementing retirement, medical and worker’s compensation plans and a structured training program.
“Being able to be part of the joint venture has helped me grow professionally and filled me with a great sense of pride in the teamwork it has taken to create this successful new company,” she says.
After a decade as assistant manager at local Wal-Mart stores, Deckard ventured into human resources. She worked first in retail and health care before moving to her current position, where she especially enjoys helping people grow in their careers.
“I find it truly rewarding to help others develop and advance professionally,” Deckard says. “When I see potential in others at work, we discuss their goals and create a development plan to help them achieve their goals and advance in the company.”
She conducts mock interviews and hosts application and resume sessions to help students improve their skills. She also works to mentor motivated employees – such as a safety assistant who began with no prior experience, who has now been promoted and earned an industry award.
“I am extremely proud to be able to work with this professional young woman and see her grow and attain professional recognition for all her hard work,” Deckard says.
She enthusiastically lends her experience outside of work, too. Deckard is on the Springfield Ballet Inc.’s board of directors as human resources chairwoman and guiding the ballet with employment issues.
“I am happy to donate my time to this nonprofit organization that cannot afford to hire an HR professional,” she says.
Deckard is also a member of the Ozark Region Workforce Development Board, a volunteer organization – one of 14 in Missouri – that covers Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster counties.
“We strive to facilitate, advocate and allocate resources for workforce solutions resulting in employer engagement and improved quality of life in the region,” she says. “My passion is workforce development. I get a great sense of fulfillment from being able to help with community growth through workforce development.”
Deckard has worked with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce on several projects, including one in conjunction with a Community Foundation of the Ozarks grant designed to increase higher education attainment. She helped craft an employer toolkit to create tuition-assistance programs or better utilize existing ones.
“I truly believe that if companies will invest in their employees, that the company and the employee both will reap the benefits,” she says.
Revival 98 opened a dispensary; the 101st store for Andy’s Frozen Custard Inc. debuted; and Collectomaniacs card shop consolidated two stores in a move.
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.
Caleb Scott, owner and coach for Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football team, talks about team cohesion. He says that despite the fact he may not look the part of a coach, the men look past it to see how they can work together.
Barak Hill, a professional musician living in the Springfield area, recounts when he first realized he could take his music career seriously. He recounts his journey to the point when he realized his passion could do more than pay for itself.
Rachel Barks walks through her experience as an interior designer and a basic understanding of what she considers when looking at an interior space. Barks currently owns Artistree Pottery, a business she started in 2020 after a career in interior design.