Then: District office director, U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond
Now: Executive director, American Red Cross of Southern Missouri
Working with Missouri Sens. Kit Bond until 2010 and Roy Blunt until 2015, Stacy Burks was familiar with natural disasters. When in Joplin after the 2011 tornado, Burks was impressed to see the Red Cross in action.
Fast forward to 2015 and the position she holds today: “I like helping people and feeling like I’m in service to other people. That’s one of the things that really makes me feel successful when I go home at night,” Burks says. “And the Red Cross does that each and every day.”
She can’t predict when disaster will turn workdays into overnights. But she still prioritizes her family. They enjoy time at the lake, church and cheering her 13-year-old’s softball games.
With a staff of seven and a 90 percent volunteer workforce, teamwork remains key to Burks’ business philosophy.
“We all rely upon each other to provide the best services for clients,” she says.
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Advance Auto Parts opened its first store in Springfield; Natural Grocers made its Springfield debut; and a business owner with experience in the insurance, financial planning and digital marketing fields entered the restaurant industry.
Marc Thornsberry, a Senior Engineer at CJW, says he joined the company after working in the public sphere. He says CJW had a ton of experience working with the community, and putting their customer's and clients.
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.