BKD LLP was honored with an Employees’ Choice Award by Glassdoor. The firm ranked No. 84 on Glassdoor’s 2021 Best Places to Work, based on anonymous employee reviews about their job, work environment and employer.
Springfield Ballet Inc. hired Maria Hall as its school principal. She is an alumna of the school and holds a bachelor’s in ballet, modern performance and choreography from University of Missouri-Kansas City. Hall oversees Springfield Ballet’s programming, development and class instruction for students, and supports productions.
Guaranty Bank added Paul Cowherd as vice president and commercial relationship manager of its Ozark branch. His banking experience includes credit analysis work and commercial lending at Simmons Bank and Great Southern Bank.
Mid-West Family Broadcasting promoted Scott Ellis to assistant operations manager and program director for Q102 KQRA-FM and 92.9 The Beat KOSP-FM. He’s worked in programming and on air for Q102, and previously spent three years as program director for Power 96.5 KSPW-FM.
Southwest Baptist University added Rebecca Rankin and Jason Young to its faculty this semester. Rankin is an assistant professor of theater on the Bolivar campus. She earned a bachelor’s in theater studies and history from Hastings College and a master’s in costume design from Western Illinois University. Young is an instructor of radiography and the associate of science in radiography program coordinator on the Springfield campus. He has a bachelor’s in human services from Evangel University and a radiography certificate from Cox School of Diagnostic Imaging.
Missouri State University agriculture professor Benjamin Onyango was awarded a second fellowship from the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program. He will travel to Kenya to work on curricula development related to agricultural practices with Kenya Assemblies of God East University.
Evangel University earned certification from the Excellence in Giving advisory firm for its transparency to donors in financial reporting. The school is among 600 foundations vetted and certified by EIG after the submission of 175 strategy, leadership, financial and impact data.
HR Advantage LLC hired Seth Bunn as a recruitment adviser. With 15 years of experience in recruitment, client services and career management services in the finance and education industries, he leads the firm’s recruitment division.
Alliant Insurance Services Inc. hired Tony Garavaglia as senior vice president of employee benefits and Lori Nilsen as first vice president of employee benefits. Working from the firm’s office in Chesterfield, their region covers Springfield, and Garavaglia is responsible for expanding the Alliant brand locally. He has 27 years of experience in health and welfare consulting, and working in mergers and acquisitions. Nilsen has 20 years’ experience in consulting and risk management, particularly with public entities and academic institutions.
The Michelle Cantrell Group at Murney Associates added Nancy Lawler and Clint Underwood as real estate agents. Lawler is transitioning from a career in education. Underwood has three years of real estate experience and specializes in farm and land sales.
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.