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Newsmakers: Feb. 8-14, 2021

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Accounting
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.

Arts
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.

Banking
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.

Broadcasting
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.

Education
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.

Human Resources
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.

Insurance
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.

Real Estate
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.

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