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2019 40 Under 40: Heather Hardinger, 32

Director of Workforce Strategy & Programs, Taney County Partnership

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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.

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