As community engagement manager for Mercy Springfield Communities, Karen Braun is passionate about bringing people together for a common cause.
During the past 12 years, Braun has managed and served on numerous committees within Mercy – including Force For Good and the Mercy Co-Worker Crisis Fund.
She is the marketing representative for Mercy’s three Springfield hospitals and other local clinics.
The Missouri State University graduate is also a board member for Springfield Catholic Schools and Isabel’s House Crisis Nursery of the Ozarks and lends her talents to The Junior League of Springfield Missouri Inc., The American Advertising Federation of the Ozarks and American Heart Association Inc.
What was your first job? My first job was at Video Depot in 1995. You know, back in the day when we watched movies on VCRs.
What did you learn the hard way? I often take on too many tasks, and sometimes think others can and should do the same.
What’s your most treasured possession? My wedding ring. It’s my constant reminder of the vows I said, the relationship with my husband and the life we’ve made together.
Have you ever met a celebrity? Walter Cronkite. He was born in St. Joseph, near my hometown, and having him come to Springfield in 2001 shortly after I started my first job out of college at Ozarks Public Broadcasting was a pinch-me moment.
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.