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Newsmakers

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Banking
Empire Bank promoted Michaele Vetsch to assistant vice president/retail sales manager of eight Springfield area branches. She has more than 14 years of experience in banking.

Bart Stead joined Central Bancompany’s Empire Insurance Agency as an account executive, performing insurance and risk management reviews as well as client education.

He earned a master’s in business administration from Missouri State University.

Education
Robert DeLong, assistant professor of biomedical science at MSU, was awarded a $189,575 grant from the National Cancer Institute, a branch of the National Health Institute. The grant will fund undergraduate research on biomedical nanotechnology and assist students in getting their research works published in scholarly, peer-reviewed scientific journals. The funds also will purchase a spectrophotometer for the cell and molecular biology program.

Bryan Sanders, chairman of the Department of Social Sciences and professor of legal studies at Evangel University, was selected for the 17th edition of Marquis Who’s Who in American Law 2011–12. He also is director of Evangel’s pre-law program and faculty adviser to the Pre-law Society. Sanders remains involved in the legal field through his work in mediation and arbitration, particularly serving churches and not-for-profit organizations nationwide.

Engineering
Matt Bedinghaus of electrical engineering consulting firm A2V Partners LLC completed four days of training on Integrated Grounding Systems at Georgia Tech University. Bedinghaus utilizes software for design and analysis of electric power system grounding.

The training program explored all the issues involved in designing ground grinds for electrical substations and related it back to solutions built into the software.

Food Services
Chef Kevin Mueller of Twin Oaks Country Club took first-place honors during the Springfield/Branson Taste of Elegance culinary competition, hosted by the Missouri Pork Association and Ozarks Food Harvest. His winning dish earned the $1,000 top award and the opportunity to compete in the National Taste of Elegance event in Napa, Calif., April 29–May 1. Seven area chefs prepared pork dishes for judging. Chadwick Isom with Victory Trade School’s Branch Bistro & Catering earned second place and $500, and Chad Horvath of Chateau on the Lake’s Chateau Grille in Branson received third place.

Government
The U.S. Agency for International Development selected Rainbow Network to receive $50,000 to support its educational programs. The agency pledged the funds for 1,150 young children who will participate in the nonprofit’s cottage school programs, which promote reading, writing and arithmetic in rural Nicaragua.

The city of Springfield’s Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant was named 2010 Plant of the Year at the Missouri Water Environment Association Conference at Lake of the Ozarks. The city plant treats more than 5 million gallons per day.

The Missouri House and Senate apportionment commissions, by unanimous vote, named Doug Harpool, of Springfield, chairman of the Senate Apportionment Commission. Harpool was among 18 members appointed to two commissions that will reapportion the state’s legislative districts following the 2010 Census. The Missouri House and Senate commissioners have until Aug. 18 to prepare plans to reapportion both chambers.

Gov. Jay Nixon nominated Jenifer Placzek, of Springfield, to the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, which investigates, conciliates, holds public hearings and litigates complaints of discrimination in housing, employment and places of public accommodations. As a partner in Placzek, Winget & Placzek Law Firm, Placzek represents injured parties in products liability, personal injury, medical negligence, wrongful death and insurance bad faith actions.

Insurance
Springfield Farmers Insurance agents Leah Peryer and Aaron Haynes completed the Career Agents Course at the University of Farmers training facility in Agoura Hills, Calif. The university offers training to Farmers’ 15,000 agents annually.

Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance promoted Kellie Sansom to business manager and hired Kim Hart as a customer service representative in the commercial insurance department. Sansom, an MSU graduate and certified insurance counselor, has worked for Nixon & Lindstrom for nine years. Hart, a native of Branson, has worked in the insurance industry for 10 years.

Law
Thomas Venneman joined Legal Services of Southern Missouri’s juvenile unit staff. He received a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law.

Lee Ann Walker was elected president of the Christian County Bar Association. She opened her family law and estate planning firm, The Law Firm of Lee Ann Walker PC, in Ozark six years ago and has 23 years of experience in law practice. She also serves on the the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association’s family law, probate and estate law, and Law Day committees.

Manufacturing
Tuthill Vacuum & Blower Systems named Jeff Behling to succeed retiring President John Ermold. Behling was president of Tuthill Drive Systems in Brookston, Ind., since 2007. Previosly, he worked as director of manufacturing for Hypro Inc. and vice president/general manager of Poclain Hydraulics.[[In-content Ad]]

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