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2018 40 Under 40: Matthew Simpson, 32

Director of research, strategic planning and grant development, Ozarks Technical Community College

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Matthew Simpson has spent his entire career in higher education – currently as Ozarks Technical Community College’s director of research, strategic planning and grant development. His experience leading extensive community listening sessions and focus groups for OTC helped prepare him for a role on the governor’s Innovation Task Force. “This allowed me to work with leaders across the state on identifying a roadmap for attracting new startup firms, as well as supporting the growth and retention of existing firms,” he says.

Simpson knows startups, having previously co-founded Five Pound Apparel LLC.

Simpson, a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class 33, is board president for Foundation for Springfield Public Schools and member of the Springfield-Greene County Library District’s board of trustees. He also recently filled a vacant seat for Springfield City Council.

What was your first job? A baseball and softball scorekeeper for the Springfield Greene-County Park Board. Getting paid to watch games and eat concession food was a pretty nice deal as a teenager.

What is your best productivity hack? If you know that a task will have to be repeated frequently, invest time upfront to design a process or automation that can complete it.

What did you learn the hard way? No matter how hard you work, you can’t increase the number of hours in a day. Be willing to delegate and prioritize.

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