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Newsmakers: April 23-29, 2018

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Last edited 9:22 a.m., April 30, 2018

BKD LLP hired Mike Gonsalves as a senior consultant II and Debbie Bennett as a tax associate. Gonsalves completed a bachelor’s in business administration from Robert Morris University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and Bennett has a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Emily Koepke and Jamie Lee joined BKD as consultants. Koepke is graduating soon from Missouri State University with a bachelor’s in agricultural finance, and Lee earned a bachelor’s in business management from College of the Ozarks.

Banking & Finance
Shawn Clemens
joined Central Bank of Branson as a commercial loan officer. He is a graduate of College of the Ozarks with several years of experience in the banking industry.

The Enactus team of Southwest Baptist University
earned its 33rd regional championship title. The team now moves on to the May 20-22 national exposition in Kansas City.

Ozark School District Superintendent Kevin Patterson was nominated for a Robert L. Pearce Award from the Missouri Association of School Administrators, honoring his work and dedication to Missouri children. Patterson also was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to the association.

The American Society of Civil Engineers chose GeoEngineers Inc. principal Jonathan Robison to lead an industry task force developing a manual for trenchless direct-pipe procedures. A licensed engineer in 15 states, he has provided geotechnical, trenchless, geohazard, construction and geophysical project management since 1997.

Bill Skains
was elected to the Branson Board of Aldermen, replacing Ward 1 Alderman Mike Booth. Skains is chairman of the Missouri Workforce Development Board and also serves with the Missouri Community College Association. Booth had served the Branson board for nine years.

Betsy Seay and Rick Castillon also were sworn in to the Branson Board of Aldermen after running unopposed.

Dallas County became a certified work-ready community with the Missouri Job Center. The program focuses on current workforce needs and helps reduce gaps in needed worker skills, in addition to streamlining education-to-workforce development.

Health Care
Heather Lyons-Burney
, a dispensary pharmacist at Faith Community Health in Branson, won a Jefferson Award from KOLR10 as part of a national program to honor volunteers who offer their time and expertise without seeking recognition.

Gordon Elliott
, CEO of Elliott Lodging Ltd. and Oak Ridge Real Estate Co., was chosen for the 2018 Excellence in Business Award from Ozarks Technical Community College. He owns and operates 22 hotels and 15 apartment communities throughout southwest Missouri. Elliott is also a founding partner of accounting firm Elliott, Robinson & Co.

Whitney Jackson
, a multiple-lines agent with insurer American National, opened a new company office in Billings. She has four years of insurance industry experience.

Columbia-based Connection Exchange hired Stephanie Grandestaff as director of community connections in Springfield. Connection Exchange is a business-to-business welcoming service and a membership-based tool for developing business leads.


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