Kaitlyn McConnell has a deep affection for the Ozarks region. She’s the eighth generation of her family to live in southwest Missouri.
Her historical affinity plays out at work as media relations manager for CoxHealth, where she launched a writing series about the hospital’s history. McConnell also created a new strategy for CoxHealth’s social media, helping its Facebook page grow nearly 350 percent since 2015.
Given her passion, McConnell started the website, OzarksAlive.com, to publish stories and photographs about people, places and unique bits of regional culture each week. Its Facebook page has over 25,000 likes. While her first love is the Ozarks, McConnell spent nearly three years living in Norway working for the oil and gas industry and has visited 27 countries.
Have you ever met a celebrity? I was the biggest Andy Williams fan. When I was 17, I wrote him a fan letter and got to meet him backstage at one of his shows in Branson.
What are you doing to make the Ozarks better? While (in Norway), I had the chance to really miss the Ozarks. When I came back, I made a concentrated effort to get plugged in. One of my main focuses at the moment is as president of Missouri Writers Hall of Fame.
What is your best productivity hack? To accomplish a large project, I try to do a little bit of work on it every day.
What is your theme song? Bobby Darin’s “Fabulous Places.”
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.