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2019 Men of the Year: Joel Alexander

City Utilities of Springfield

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Joel Alexander brought more than a decade of news experience to City Utilities of Springfield, where he’s continued his work keeping people up to date with important information.

With the utility since 2002, he currently serves as manager of media and energy services, essentially the top public relations job at CU.

“As the public spokesman for City Utilities the last 12 of 17 years with the organization, I find myself called upon to serve the needs of our customers around the clock,” Alexander says. “When it comes to your power, light and utilities in general, these are basics of life and things people depend upon to be there.”

He’s also tasked with handling customer inquiries, assisting with special projects, and managing staff members who oversee conservation and management of utility rebates and incentives.

The nature of his position means Alexander is on the job even when he’s technically off hours, says CU General Manager Scott Miller.

Known as a “go-to guy” around town, Alexander has the important role of being the top contact person at CU, Miller says.

“That means he is basically on duty 24 hours a day,” he says. “Holidays, weekends and the middle of the night, he has been called to duty. He always does a great job.”

Prior to his tenure at CU, Alexander was chief photojournalist for KY3, for which he led a team of 12.

Nearly two decades after leaving the news agency, Alexander continues to be proud of his impact, whether that was coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Winter Olympics, Super Bowl games or the death of former Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan.

“I strived to show my staff that I will do whatever it takes to help them succeed, to get the news first and, foremost, accurately, and deliver it to our waiting audience as completely as possible as it impacts people’s lives and sometimes, in weather and crime situations, their safety,” Alexander says.

That work continues at CU, where he’s in a position to “relive stress and give information that builds confidence”.

“I have a responsibility and commitment to our customers to communicate what will impact their daily living through their utility services,” he says. “I am on TV and in the media almost weekly and appreciate the opportunity to educate as well as inform.”

Despite being on call 24 hours a day, Alexander has found time to make an impact on the community via civic organizations.

In 2009, he helped found Ozarks Honor Fight, which has transported some 1,300 World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to view their memorial.

He’s also been board president or chairman of The Victim Center, American Red Cross of Southern Missouri and the Boy Scouts of America Ozark Trails Council, among other nonprofit work.

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