Hector Cruz works behind the scenes to make connections and improvements at Evangel University. As director of alumni engagement, Cruz leads the team organizing homecoming weekend and fills the role of capital campaign manager, where he’s helped raise more than $2 million to install a new turf field, LED lighting, and baseball and softball scoreboards. He also teaches in the business department.
On the side, Cruz took part in the efactory’s business accelerator cohort in 2017, securing $30,000 in capital funding for Let’s Do Lunch, an app that organizes personal and business lunches. He also volunteers at Victory Mission, preparing and serving meals.
What was your first job? I graduated from Evangel on a Friday and started working the following Monday as an admissions counselor.
What is your proudest moment? When my kids say or do something that my wife and I have beat our heads against the wall trying to instill.
What is your best productivity hack? After reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen, I’ve incorporated the idea of funneling all tasks through an “in-tray.” This allows me to have a landing place for any ideas as they come, clearing my head.
What’s your most treasured possession? Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I want my heart to be with God, my family and the relationships that are important to me.
Auto service veterans choose Springfield for long-term investments in Blue Iguana.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares helpful advice and cautionary tips about the importance of tracking cash flow for new or established businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Michael Smith and Chris Sawyer, COO and CEO of Next Level Solutions respectively, discuss how they keep their remote teams and offices in and out of country on the same page. Next Level Solutions was ranked #1 in the Springfield Business Journal's 2021 Dynamic Dozen.
John Oke-Thomas, architect and co-founder of minorities in business, responds to the accusation that minority businesses are only successful because of the priority they have received in lending. He says that if a business uses a loan well, it shows their worth.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares tips for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding. Some of her tips apply broadly; some target technology industry businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups, and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliott discusses common misconceptions about locating your business in a small town. She says that there are a lot of benefits that people may not consider.
Drawing on his own experience dynamically evolving his company and business model, Jim Meinsen discusses when and how you might need to draw on new technology. Jim and Debbie Meinsen are co-owners of TCI Graphics in Springfield.
John Oke-Thomas, longtime Springfield architect, discusses his philosophy on architecture. He says that future historians will be focused on the sustainability of our contemporary architecture.
Erin Hedlun, director of marketing and communications at Evangel University, says compassion is an important job skill. Hedlun says it is a component of what makes a leader.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, talks about the concepting that went behind the aesthetic of the business.
Caleb Scott, coach and co-owner of Queen City Insane Asylum football team, says he had to sacrifice early on to make sure his team had places to play. With the business climate at the time, it wasn't easy.