SPRINGFIELD AND OZARK, AUGUST—At the close of summer, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris unveiled his plans for the 32-acre Finley Farms in Ozark, featuring the historic Ozark Mill as the anchor.
The plans tied together the renovation of the mill, an ice cream and coffee shop, and relocation of the Riverside Bridge, to form a more concrete picture of the development.
“The entire design will reflect authentic Ozarks style in an understated way. The site will honor the past but won’t be tied down by it,” said Megan Morris, Johnny Morris’ daughter who’s working on the Finley Farms and mill restoration project. Phase I, which includes the opening of The Post, a 1,300-square-foot ice cream and coffee shop, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.
Finley Farms’ plans also feature:
In September, Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium celebrated the one-year anniversary of its reopening. In its first year, WOW brought in 1.6 million visitors.
To coincide with the anniversary, WOW unveiled plans for expansion, including a 10,000-square-foot addition to open next year housing the Windland Smith Rice International Awards and its annual Nature’s Best Photography exhibition, previously only displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of History in Washington, D.C.
The expansion is funded by a $15 million donation from FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and its founder Fred Smith. The awards are named after his late daughter who was a wildlife photographer and conservationist.
Drive-thru coffee shop Bigfoot Coffee Co. LLC opened; a pair of Springfield attorneys launched medical marijuana certification clinic The Med Card Co. LLC; and husband-and-wife owners Ryan and Lesley Day debuted their first business venture with the opening of The Farmhouse on Boone Cafe LLC.
Andrea Petersberg, owner of the Local Bevy, says the appeal of a local store holds a lot of value for people in and outside of Springfield. Petersburg says being a supporting part of the local connection for artists is important for her.
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, shares his story on how he left his job in the corporate world to pursue his dream. Now 60 years old and with signature character to his photography and business, he says he still is a 15-year-old boy with a camera.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, gives her advice for maintaining good relationships with clients. Drawing on her experience working with customers coast to coast, Thomas says equity and fairness are some of the best ways to build trust and respect.
Don Helms, co-owner of Munchie Moe’s, says it's important to know your business and to think ahead of your supply chain. Helms says COVID-19 has changed the way he has experienced business operation. He says foresight is key.
Janet Susdorf, business consultant and founder of Brain Power for Hire, LLC, discusses the importance of adapting and learning from failure. Drawing from the struggles she has faced in her own life as a sixtime cancer survivor, Susdorf talks about when to fight and when to accept change.
Jennifer Charleston, a 20-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and the only female lieutenant in the department, talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about her career in law enforcement and her new position in the department as a liaison to the LGBTQ+ community.
Moving from physical meetings to digital meetings can feel like a barrier, but Mackenzie Scherer, an independent technology business consultant, says it can be an opportunity. Scherer says that with good moderation, a digital meeting experience can make people feel more included in the discussion.
Abby Glenn, development director for Habitat for Humanity, says corporate partners are a huge asset to the work they do. Corporate donation matching programs help individual donors feel they are contributing more and help Habitat for Humanity cover the large costs of their projects.
Alex Neville-Verdugo, museum director at the Discovery Center in Springfield, describes the opportunities the Discovery Center has through partnerships with other educational organizations. Neville-Verdugo says the Discovery Center’s virtual learning program reaches across multiple countries, with traffic mostly coming from the U.S. and Canada.
Elizabeth Hurst, business development manager at HR Advantage, says we do see fewer women in the workforce today than before the pandemic. Hurst says many women want more flexible work environments and that is one way employers can capture the female labor force.