Mark Acre rose through the ranks of Torchmark Corp. unlike anyone else before him. At age 26, he was the national insurance company’s youngest director in history, managing 15 branches and 900 agents. He took that experience to start his own firm in late 2007. And with three offices, Acre and his team manage $10 million in premium.
The industry has recognized his work, being named the Young Advisor Team Leader of the Year by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and elected to the board of the NAIFA city and local chapters.
In his spare time, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in February. He did it to raise money for nonprofit Man Up and Go to serve the fatherless, empower single mothers and equip men to lead.
What is your proudest moment? The birth of my two biological kiddos and the adoption of my third.
What is your best productivity hack? An app called Habitify that sends alerts throughout my day until each task is complete.
What did you learn the hard way? Starting out working for a Fortune 500 company was an amazing opportunity. When I went out and started my own practice, I quickly realized that there were many things that happened behind the scenes that I needed to learn.
What historical figure do you identify with most? Napoleon.
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.