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Banking
Southern Bank, a subsidiary of Poplar Bluff-based Southern Missouri Bancorp, which operates a loan production office in Springfield, was ranked second among publicly traded community banks in SNL Financial’s 2010 Top 100 community banks. Southern Bank (Nasdaq: SMBC) ranked 13th among public and private banks, based on criteria that included profitability, asset quality, efficiency and loan growth.

Dan Derges was named Springfield community president for Mid-Missouri Bank. Derges brings more than 30 years of experience in commercial lending and business development and has served in the Springfield market for the past 24 years. Derges received a bachelor’s in marketing and a master’s in business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Sarah Hanafin-Justice joined Empire Bank and InvestorServices as a registered sales principal. Hanafin-Justice, a Missouri State University graduate with 15 years of banking and finance experience, provides sales, processing, operational, administrative and customer service support.

Education
Missouri State University is one of 13 public universities in the state to share a $250,000 education grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlitt Foundation to redesign courses using technology to improve student learning. Missouri’s public higher education institutions filed a joint application for the grant and were among 29 selected from a pool of 600. MSU faculty will apply funding to an introductory psychology course.

MSU faculty will pilot a redesign of introductory English composition through a $250,000 grant shared among American Association of State Colleges and Universities members and the University of Central Florida. The funds will expand adoption of blended learning to 20 participating AASCU members.

Manufacturing
Springfield Workshop Inc.’s board of directors named Larry Leek to serve as its CEO. Leek was the first executive director of the SWI Foundation, responsible for launching the organization and managing its assets. Leek succeeds Chuck Bailey, who held the post since 2008.

Nonprofit
David Eslick was appointed interim director of the History Museum for Springfield-Greene County, succeeding director John Sellars, who vacated the position to become executive director of The Fremont retirement community. Eslick, a local historian and photographer who has served as a member of the museum’s board of trustees since 2007, has volunteered for the museum for more than 30 years.

Missouri Foundation for Health awarded Ozarks Food Harvest a $100,000 grant. The funding will be used for warehouse equipment, food purchases and distribution expenses.

Ambassadors for Children, a service agency of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, named Renee Knight its Caseworker of the Year. Knight has 17 years of experience working in the field of child abuse and neglect and currently serves as a foster care caseworker at the Boys and Girls Town of Missouri in Springfield.

Transportation
Rose Kastrup of O&S Trucking Inc. was named 2011 Safety Professional of the Year during the Missouri Trucking Association Spring Safety Conference.[[In-content Ad]]

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