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2019 Economic Impact Awards Community Involvement Champion: Paula Adams

People First

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Service to others is engrained in Paula Adams’ DNA. She says her mother, Patti Penny, selflessly helped those in need and even founded a company where the motto centers on others: “We place people first.”

The motto also is a play on words for the staffing agency business model, for which Adams became president in 2006. At Penmac Staffing Services Inc., she maintains a service-oriented mindset. Adams sits on nine local boards of directors and advisory committees, and last year led employees to donate nearly $11,400 to United Way of the Ozarks.

“I never had to ask myself if I was going to prioritize community involvement; it’s a given,” Adams says. “Communities are about working together.”

Adams serves on boards or committees of Great Circle, Boy Scouts of America’s Ozark Trails Council, Downtown Springfield Community Improvement District, Kiwanis Club of Springfield South, Child Advocacy Center, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Christian County Enterprise, Ozarks Technical Community College and The Bank of Missouri.

She joined the OTC Board of Trustees in September 2018 and says it’s a good match to her company.

“We have a jewel in our backyard,” she says of OTC. “What they are doing with getting kids educated and ready for the workforce fits what I do on a daily basis hand-in-hand.”

While placing 28,100 people in jobs last year, Penmac Staffing generated $133 million in revenue across its 34 branches in nine states.

OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon says Adams’ unique view of the labor market and overall economic climate has led her to become an integral part of the community college’s leadership.

“Paula’s knowledge is beneficial to OTC’s mission to provide accessible, high-quality and affordable learning opportunities relevant to the community’s needs,” Higdon says. “She has influenced thousands of job seekers, supported local businesses and has been an exceptional leader for the Penmac Staffing team.”

Adams says supporting charities that help kids are close to her heart. She serves on the planning committee for the Handbags of Hope event benefitting Great Circle, which provides social, behavioral and mental health services to children in foster care and with challenging home lives. Penmac is back as the presenting sponsor of this year’s event. She also organizes annual golf tournaments for Kiwanis, and this year collected donations for Harmony House during United Way’s Day of Caring event.

Adams says she views her work as a form of community service, placing job seekers with employment opportunities.

“There’s a lot of joy in the job when you find someone who is looking for a job and a career and then watch them grow,” she says. “It really is very rewarding and gratifying to help and give back and help people find their path and career.

“The foundation of Penmac has been to give back to our community. They do so much for us helping our business thrive; it’s just a way for us to say thank you.”

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