Abacus CPAs LLC hired Emily Buckmaster as supervisor of excellence, a newly created role to support employee growth and development. She has 17 years of experience in professional staff development, career coaching, recruiting and goal setting, most recently as director of career planning and development at Drury University. Buckmaster is on Abacus’ management and administration teams and works closely with department supervisors.
Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective hired Wade Lininger as a senior architect, Morgan Mace as an interior designer, and Jacob Crosby and Dustin Scott as project engineers. Lininger’s been practicing architecture since 1992 and previously worked at Buddy Webb & Co. and Sam A. Winn & Associates. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Drury. With nine years of design experience, Mace holds a master’s in project management and a bachelor’s in interior design from Missouri State University. Crosby holds a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology, and Scott has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from University of Arkansas.
Banking & Finance
Systematic Savings Bank Vice President and Chief Lending Officer R. Bradley Weaver, of Springfield, was appointed to the State Banking Board and Savings and Loan Board. Among his 40 years working in the finance and banking industries, he’s held the roles of CEO, president and board chairperson for First Home Bank.
The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Taney County Partnership appointed Izze Hughes as economic development programs director. She’s worked with the chamber and TCP since 2018, managing the local work-visa program and leading recruitment missions to Puerto Rico. Hughes holds a bachelor’s in communications from Evangel University.
Annie Boyd Sowell joined the Taney County Partnership as communications and marketing manager. She previously worked as marketing coordinator for Branson.com and interned in Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison’s office. With a bachelor’s in communications from College of the Ozarks, Sowell manages TCP’s digital platforms and produces content for TaneyCountyParntership.com, OnPointMO.com and ImagineBransonMO.com.
Drury University earned reaccreditation through the Higher Learning Commission following a two-year review. The process occurs every 10 years to examine quality assurance and continuous improvement, and to qualify universities for federal funds for student financial aid. Drury has maintained accreditation since 1915.
Dr. Rachel Brandes joined Ukena Kufahl Brandes Family Dental. She previously worked as a general dentist at Jordan Valley Community Health Center after earning a dental degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. She is a member of the state and national dental associations and the Greater Springfield Dental Society.
Visionhealth Eye Center in Republic moved; Gettin’ Basted expanded north to Springfield; and the second Springfield facility for Blue Iguana Car Wash opened.
Jennifer Charleston, a 20-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and the only female lieutenant in the department, talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about her career in law enforcement and her new position in the department as a liaison to the LGBTQ+ community.
Moving from physical meetings to digital meetings can feel like a barrier, but Mackenzie Scherer, an independent technology business consultant, says it can be an opportunity. Scherer says that with good moderation, a digital meeting experience can make people feel more included in the discussion.
Abby Glenn, development director for Habitat for Humanity, says corporate partners are a huge asset to the work they do. Corporate donation matching programs help individual donors feel they are contributing more and help Habitat for Humanity cover the large costs of their projects.
Alex Neville-Verdugo, museum director at the Discovery Center in Springfield, describes the opportunities the Discovery Center has through partnerships with other educational organizations. Neville-Verdugo says the Discovery Center’s virtual learning program reaches across multiple countries, with traffic mostly coming from the U.S. and Canada.
Elizabeth Hurst, business development manager at HR Advantage, says we do see fewer women in the workforce today than before the pandemic. Hurst says many women want more flexible work environments and that is one way employers can capture the female labor force.
Curtis Marshall, CEO of Tie & Timber Beer Company, says he sees work-life balance very differently. When he was younger, he would push himself to take on more and more responsibility, but would stop and put his career on hold for months while living in New Zealand or Mexico, or to start a pet software project. He says he lives by the philosophy of work hard and play hard.
Brent Cochran didn’t think he would become a retailer, but when thinking of ways to keep his young adult son with Down syndrome intellectually engaged, he came across a father and son team that did just that. Cochran, now owner of Al’s Pals Pet Place, says both the needs of his son and his affection for the family dog with a sensitive stomach led him to the world of e-commerce.
Michelle Romero, co-owner of PKD Venue, says her business has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by changing its business model to include food service. Now on top of serving as a venue for rent, they can keep revenue through online and pick up and go orders.
Dr. Clifton Petty, dean of the Breech School of Business at Drury University, lists three priorities for an effective MBA program. Petty says an entrepreneurial focus, a cohesive group of fellow students and an emphasis on hands-on experience are things students should look for in an MBA program. This is sponsored content.
Megan Short, the executive director of the Springfield Contractors Association, discusses her company’s organization strategies to encourage networking. She encourages organizing networking events around some activity and working to explicitly provide time during events for people to chat and have conversation.