After winning the World TeamTennis championship for the first time in the team’s 23-year history last year, the Springfield Lasers will return franchise player and resigning league MVP Miomir “Misha” Kecmanovic.
The team is scheduled to begin play in July with a slate of new and returning players after yesterday’s draft, according to a news release.
The Lasers, owned by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, also returns doubles player Abigail Spears. The team drafted new players Joe Salisbury in the first round and Enrique “Kiki” Lopez Perez and Anna Blinkova in the third round, according to a news release.
“I’m looking forward to being back,” said John-Laffnie “JL” de Jager, who’s returning for his 13th season as Lasers coach, in the release. “Springfield is a great place, and last year was a big year for us, so hopefully we’ll get more people to come out and support us.”
Kecmanovic, a 19-year old player from Serbia, was named MVP of the WTT finals after winning his men’s singles bout in the final set to secure the victory for the Lasers against the Philadelphia Freedoms in August 2018.
He’s scheduled to play the first four home matches in Springfield on July 14, 16, 17 and 18. Kecmanovic won’t play the entire season with the Lasers because of international tour commitments, according to the release.
“It’s good to keep him in the league,” de Jager said in the release. “He’s going to be top 100. He was a major player in helping us win. Hopefully, next year he can play more matches.”
According to the release, Spears is currently ranked No. 31 in doubles by the Women's Tennis Association; Salisbury is considered the top pick in men’s doubles for the WTT; Perez is ranked No. 138 in doubles through the Association of Tennis Professionals; and Blinkova is ranked No. 84 in doubles and No. 104 in singles.
“I’ve been part of this league for 20 years, and over the years, the teams that win have had strong doubles.” de Jager said in the release. “We picked up the top men’s doubles player, and with Abi and Anna, we’ll be very strong on the women’s side. The women play a massive role in WTT, and we’re very happy with the team we’ve selected.”
Established in 1996 by the late Harry Cooper, the Lasers play home matches at the Cooper Tennis Complex. They’ll play Philadelphia at the July 14 season opener in Springfield. The WTT semifinals are scheduled for Aug. 2, followed by the championship match the next day. Locations have not yet been announced.
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.