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Springfield, MO

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2020 40 Under 40: Cassie Hanson, 34

Development and Grant Manager, Ozarks Food Harvest Inc.

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As development and grants manager at Ozarks Food Harvest Inc., Cassie Hanson is fighting hunger one grant at a time.

She has to brainstorm ideas that don’t just satisfy funding requirements but also align with the strategic initiatives of Ozarks Food Harvest. With 10 years at the organization, Hanson has been a leader who takes advice from mentors and passes her knowledge to younger employees.

Hanson was instrumental in raising roughly $5 million for Ozarks Food Harvest’s Ending Hunger, Building Hope capital campaign. The funds will more than double the current size of the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief.

What is your proudest moment? My involvement in Ozarks Food Harvest’s $5 million capital campaign. I provided administrative support for major donor requests and prepared proposals to foundations and the state of Missouri. It was a busy and stressful time, but so rewarding.

What was your professional aha moment? Understanding the complexity and difference between situational and generational poverty. I’ve learned what keeps a family in a cycle of poverty and food insecurity. There are so many factors that work against them. It’s not as simple as handing them a box of food.

What historical figure do you identify with most? Amelia Earhart. I always wanted to be as strong, independent and courageous as she was.

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