Banking & Finance
Central Bank of the Ozarks promoted Carolyn Gentry to assistant vice president/retail sales manager. Previously the training manager, she now oversees the bank’s retail sales, service and operations, and assists banking center managers and their teams. She has 20 years of banking experience, including 15 years with Central Bank.
Hawthorn Bank promoted Jonathan Brown to mortgage sales manager of the southern Missouri region. Brown has worked in mortgage banking since 2014 and joined Hawthorn Bank in January 2020.
Simmons Bank was named to Forbes magazine’s list of the World’s Best Banks for the second year in a row. The recognition is based on surveys conducted by Forbes and Statista that evaluated feedback from 43,000 banking customers across 28 countries on such topics as trust, terms, customer service, digital service and financial advice.
Springfield Business Journal promoted Editorial Director Eric Olson to editorial vice president-external relations and Features Editor Christine Temple to executive editor. A 20-year SBJ employee, Olson serves as editorial liaison to the business community, works with contributors for writing and research projects, and handles copyediting and special products. Temple, a three-year employee with eight years in the industry, is responsible for the management of the newsroom personnel and print and digital products.
Mediacom Communications Corp. was selected as a 2021 U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal. Based on the key categories of strategy, execution, culture and financials, a panel of independent judges chose 49 private businesses with annual revenues of at least $250 million.
Habitat for Humanity of Springfield added Brian Johnson as controller, Jenna Pfeifer as operations manager and Daniel Schekorra as brand manager. With experience as a chief accountant, most recently for the Branson Convention Center, Johnson is responsible for Habitat Springfield’s accounting and finance. Pfeifer previously worked as Pension Consultants Inc.’s chief financial officer. She’s responsible to lead the design, management and improvements of Habitat’s systems. Schekorra has seven years of experience in marketing with specializations in content creation, design, analytics and marketing strategy. He’s responsible for identifying and expanding organizational brand awareness.
Laura Farmer, executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Southwest Missouri, was appointed to CASA’s National Leadership Council. The 15-member NLC represents the interest and views of a national network of CASA and guardian ad litem programs. Farmer has served on the National CASA/GAL Urban Leadership Council the past year.
Efactory Director Rachel Anderson joined the Greater Missouri Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors. She’s a co-founder of the Rosie networking group and Alumni Spaces startup, and also serves on the board for the Gillioz Theatre, The Network and Springfield Creatives.
United Appraisal Group owner Randall Walker, of Shell Knob, was appointed to the Missouri Real Estate Appraisers Commission. Since 1991, he’s worked on appraisals of agricultural, commercial, industrial and residential properties, and he’s served as chairman of the Aurora Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment and Planning and Zoning Commission. Walker holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Drury.
Khris Stillman joined Russell Cellular Inc. as area vice president for the newly established agent partner program. Stillman has nearly 30 years of technology sales and strategy experience, most recently as director of indirect sales for Verizon Wireless, where he’s worked the past 24 years.
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.