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2018 40 Under 40: Ben Agee, 30

Concessions, food and beverage manager, Ozark Empire Fairgrounds and Event Center

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Ben Agee has a lot on his plate. He implemented a large-scale change for the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds and Event Center by establishing an in-house food and beverage operation, which includes five independent concession stands operating at over 100 events per year. All this is in addition to the annual Ozark Empire Fair, resulting in a significant revenue increase for the fairgrounds, starting with the first year of operations.

Agee accomplished this while earning an MBA at Missouri State University, volunteering at Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, maintaining membership in Springfield Rotary Leadership Academy, and helping at Meals on Wheels.

What was your first job? When I was 15 years old, I started my own lawn-mowing business and kept up with it until I turned 18 and moved to college.

What’s your most treasured possession? My outdoor gear. In my free time I like to spend a lot of time outside.

What about your job would shock clients? We are not just here for the annual fair. We have a mobile food/concessions trailer, a small restaurant, a full-service catering department and, most recently, we have acquired a smoothie franchise called Maui Wowi that operates not only at our fairgrounds, but at JQH Arena and Lucas Oil Speedway.

What historical figure do you identify with most?
Jacques Cousteau, because of his desire to explore the unknown.

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