Then: Director of Community Outreach, Better Business Bureau of Southwest Missouri
Now: Community Wellness Coordinator, Springfield-Greene County Health Department
Through her role as community wellness coordinator at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Cara Restelli Erwin points to the expansion of tobacco control initiatives among her biggest accomplishments since her 2018 hiring. That included providing guidance on the city’s Tobacco 21 Act, which passed last year, and increased the purchase age for tobacco products to 21 from 18.
At the Health Department, her focus is on chronic disease prevention and helping people live healthier lives. She previously worked six years with the Springfield Fire Department as its fire and life safety educator.
“The topic has changed from fire safety to health, but really at the end of the day the result is the same,” she says. “In both the Fire Department and Health Department, it’s a challenge to be in a role that promotes upstream thinking.”
Atlanta-based Chicken Salad Chick made its Springfield debut; husband and wife Garrett and Rose Cochran opened Heirloom Candle Bar; and mobile eatery Girldad BBQ LLC was launched.