Heather Hardinger is a thought leader at her dream job. She’s the director of workforce strategy and programs for Taney County Partnership, where she leads initiatives promoting inclusivity and growth.
Hardinger coordinated efforts for the Hispanic Workforce Coalition in Taney County and she’s involved with numerous organizations, including the Mayor’s Commission for Human Rights and Community Relations in Springfield, Bread for the World Inc. and Safe to Sleep women’s shelter.
Hardinger graduated from Evangel University with a bachelor’s in international and multicultural studies and from American Public University System with a master’s in political science.
What was your first job? Working for the Alaska state Senate as a Senate page at age 17. This sparked my fascination for politics and public policy.
What are you doing to make the Ozarks better? Serving on the Mayor’s Commission for Human Rights has opened my eyes to how we can all work together to make the Ozarks more equitable and make opportunities more accessible for everyone.
Have you ever met a celebrity? During my time as a Senate intern on Capitol Hill, I met Condoleezza Rice and Lisa Murkowski. I ran into Hillary Clinton on an elevator – twice! I also stood next to Joe Lieberman on a tram.
What app gets you through the day? Highly recommend the Bellabeat and Calm apps for guided meditations.
Cuban cuisine arrived on C-Street with the opening of La Habana Vieja; independent brokerage Gateway Real Estate opened its first office; and a veteran of the restaurant industry invested in her first food truck.
Barak Hill gives advice based on what he learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected his business. He says we should all have a backup plan ready to use.
Sandy Higgins, owner of the Crackerjack Shack, recommends the book "The E-Myth Mastery" by Michael E Gerber. She says it changed the course of how she runs her business.
Aaron York describes the work culture he tries to foster at Donco3 and why he attributes to it a part of Donco3's success. Rachel York is a co-owner of Donco3 and Aaron is the General Superintendent.
Hollie Elliott, executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, explains how local schools factor into business decisions and affect a local community.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, says an important lesson she learned was not to over-expand and to do her research before hand. She gives examples from her experience as a startup business owner.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen own TCI Graphics, and are now celebrating 50 years of business. Jim Meinsen takes some time to explain his philosophy on debt, and how to stay out of it.
Caleb Scott, owner and coach of Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football, says the early grind was hard, but it was worth it. The team is in their second season carrying a national ranking of number 2 in the NFA IDFL.
Barak Hill, local musician and entrepreneur, tells about his switch to livestreaming in 2020. He says it was a necessary move, but also not an easy one.
Jessica Burkland, a SCORE mentor and an instructor at the MSU Department of Management, gives us a rundown of the non-profit organization SCORE. SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives and offers free consultation and advice to business owners.
Hollie Elliott, the executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, discusses some of the ways helping small town businesses is different than in larger cities. The Dallas County Economic Development Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit aimed at helping local existing and new businesses in the county.