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Newsmakers: Dec. 13-19, 2021

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Banking & Finance
Guaranty Bank promoted Janet Richardson to operations officer and payment and digital banking manager. She has nearly 25 years of banking experience, beginning as a teller. Richardson began her current stint with Guaranty Bank in 2007 and has held the positions of call center representative, operations administrator, deposit operations specialist and customer information file manager.

Community
Three local University of Missouri Extension specialists – David Burton in Greene County, Kyle Whittaker in Webster County and Pam Duitsman in Christian County – are on the Neighborhood Leadership Academy team that was named Outstanding Program of the Year for originality and innovation. The 10-week program had 87 participants from rural and urban communities to build personal leadership skills, understand community-building principles and strategies, and enhance organizational leadership.

Education
Southwest Baptist University awarded its Life Beautiful Awards to staff member Carol Woods, administrative assistant in the Clark University Success Center, and faculty member Bill DuVall, assistant professor of psychology. Distributed during the annual employee Christmas banquet, the award is the highest honor a person can receive from the school. Woods joined SBU in 2017 and previously worked in elementary education for 12 years. DuVall’s been teaching at SBU since 2015 and previously served as a licensed professional counselor in Maryland.

Nixa High School librarian Sheila Michaels was selected to the American Library Association’s 2022 Class of Emerging Leaders. As one of 49 participants from the United States and Canada, she will be involved with project planning work groups, networking with peers and opportunities to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. After six months of online programming, the EL cohort culminates with a showcase of project work during the ALA 2022 annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Municipal
The city of Nixa received a $2,400 grant from the Nixa Community Foundation to purchase two canoes for river cleanup. For over 20 years, Nixa’s employee stream team has conducted two river cleanup events a year, and in July 2021, roughly 600 pounds of trash were collected on a 4.5-mile float down the Finley River.

Nonprofit
Sarah Thornton joined FosterAdopt Connect as director of youth programs. She previously worked 14 years at Drury University, in the evening and online division.

The Junior Auxiliary of Taney County received the Taneycomo Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Community Service Award. The organization was recognized for The Kindness Effect Project during COVID-19 restrictions in which handwritten cards of encouragement were delivered to seven Taney County nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as the Tender Critters Project that provided stuffed animals to CoxHealth and law enforcement and first responders in Branson. The toys provide comfort for children in stressful situations.

Real Estate
Viviana Writer, co-owner of Prosperiti Brokers LLC, was appointed to the board of directors of the U.S. Minority Contractors Association, Missouri chapter, which she previously served as the state representative. Writer also earned her Missouri real estate broker’s license and now serves as the designated broker for the company.

Prosperiti Brokers added Charlie Thomas as an agent after he passed the Missouri real estate license exam.

Law
Judge Jennifer Growcock was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, by Gov. Mike Parson to succeed retired Judge Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer. Growcock most recently served as a circuit judge in Christian County and holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska.

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