The Coffee Ethic has modeled its business as the “third place” for customers, which Michelle Billionis describes as “a safe place where people can go, aside from work and home, that is welcoming, stimulating and restful.” The shop was designed to encourage creativity and spark conversation. The walls are lined with local art, and the wood fixtures are made of reclaimed walnut wood from the 2007 Ozarks ice storm.
Billionis says she is squarely focused on The Coffee Ethic’s mission: “Cup. People. Earth.” That means coffee beans are sourced through direct trade and roasted in-house; employees, customers and farmers are treated fairly and valued; and its practices are committed to sustainability and protecting the environment.
2018 was the shop’s most profitable year, Billionis says. That growth came after years of hard work following her husband Tom’s death in 2016. “If Springfield didn’t walk through those doors every day after tragedy, we would not be here,” says Billionis. Longtime employee Nathan Murphy became head roaster in 2017, and led the shop to win high marks for its beans.
June 21 is a special day at Coffee Ethic. It’s not only the first day of summer, but also its founder Tom Billionis’ birthday and when the twisted, brown steel art sculpture called the Tumbler gets rotated on the downtown square. The Tumbler is across the street from the shop and incorporated into its marketing. Since 2017, Coffee Ethic has donated all proceeds that day, giving over $6,000 to nonprofits.
The community’s architectural and engineering professionals present these 25 projects as an insight into their portfolios.
Vineese Knight with the Massengale Group Of Keller Williams says when she was a young salesperson the biggest mistake she made was looking at people as numbers. She started experiencing real success when she made the mental shift to thinking of her customers as people and genuinely caring about their needs above her own.
Cody Ritter, owner of Base Construction & Management LLC, attributes the company's fast growth in part to keeping customers happy. Base Construction & Management LLC is one of the Springfield Business Journal 2019 Dynamic Dozen companies, recognizing the 12 fastest growing companies in the area.
"You are a leader," says Carrie Richardson, Executive Director of Leadership Springfield. She gives suggestions as to how you can develop your leadership skills.
Michael Wehreberg, Wehrenberg Design Company, discusses the shift in the last five years in web site design to mobile-first designs. Ultimately, you have to think of the human first and serve them with ease, and Google will give you credit for being mobile friendly.
Ömer Önder, owner of Springfield Diner, struggles with the process of renaming his restaurant. The process led by Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, owners of the branding agency Longitude LLC. Ömer expresses all of the emotions he is going through as they work together to revise his seating, menu, hours, and a name to reflect those changes.
It is projected that 10,000 people in the United States will turn 65 years old everyday for 19 years, and non profits are going to be competing over the coming years in a fierce labor market. Give Five was developed as a civic matchmaking program to help connect capable retirees with charitable organizations that need help. Greg Burris outlines the problems the program addresses, opportunities for individuals and organizations, as well as how United Way of the Ozarks is licensing to the program to share with other communities.
Jamie Kinkeade noticed most of the women in her fitness classes at The Studio were wearing Lululemon. She knew her clients were driving to Kansas City to purchase the brand, so she approached the athletic apparel company to stock their merchandise in her store, The Movement. They said "no" at first because they were not looking to expand into the Springfield market, but her persistence paid off.
With more job openings than people to fill them, it is time for your company to evaluate how you are motivating and engaging your team to help you retain and attract the best talent. Sherry Coker, Executive Director at the OTC Center for Workforce Development, walks you through tangible and intangible incentives that encourage employee engagement, performance enhancement, and higher job satisfaction.
"When we first started we thought we could pretty much do this on our own," discloses Vera Gibbons with Baby Foot®. "We thought we knew what would be great...that's not really what happened." Gibbons recommends partnering with a strong marketing partner early and give them a budget.
With four generations in the workplace, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of how each approaches brainstorming can make all the difference in arriving at the best idea. Boomer Kay Logsdon, Director of Applications at CultureWaves, and self-described fossil Millennial Locke Hilderbrand share what their trends research at CultureWaves tells us about generational differences and tips on how to bridge the gaps. Generations in the Workplace is an ongoing multi-episode series tackling the issues of generational conflict.