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Newsmakers: Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2019

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Banking
Central Bank of the Ozarks added Eric Meruelo as a mortgage loan officer and promoted Ashley Lawler to financial adviser and assistant vice president. Meruelo has 30 years of experience in mortgage banking as a producing manager and loan officer. With nine years of banking experience, Lawler is responsible for making recommendations of investment products and services.

Old Missouri Bank promoted Compliance Officer Luke Hansen to a vice president position. A three-year employee, he ensures the bank’s policies, procedures and customer engagement resources are compliant with state and federal regulations.

Culinary
Date Lady Inc.’s California Date Syrup and Askinosie Chocolate LLC’s Zamora, Amazonia Dark Chocolate Bar were chosen among 220 Good Food Awards winners at the ninth annual competition in San Francisco. A national panel of specialty food experts scored over 2,000 entries in blind tastings.

Education
Ozark North Elementary Assistant Principal Morgan Kelly was nominated as an Outstanding Assistant Principal through the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals. Kelly, who has been at the school for four years, will be honored at the 2019 MAESP Leadership Conference in March, along with an assistant principal from each of the state’s 11 regions.

Government
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, was selected to continue serving as chairman of the federal Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. Since joining the Senate in 2011, he has served on the committee, which oversees matters relating to federal elections and rules, procedures and administration of the legislative chamber.

Health Care
CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards was selected to serve as 2019 chair of the Missouri Hospital Association Board of Trustees for a one-year term. His duties include overseeing and directing activities of the MHA board, day-to-day advisory and testifying before committees of the Missouri General Assembly and U.S. Congress.

Hospitality
O’Reilly Hospitality Management LLC
was presented with Marriott Hotel Services Inc.’s Horizon Award for excellence in operations, development reliability on new properties and embodying the philosophy of Marriott International.

Insurance
Tom Jensen
of Connell Insurance Inc. became a certified human resources professional through the Society for Human Resources Management. A producer and consultant in benefits and commercial insurance, he has been with Connell for five years.

Municipal
Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC affirmed its AA+ long-term rating on City Utilities of Springfield’s outstanding revenue bonds and CU’s AA long-term rating on outstanding certificates of participation.

Battlefield City Clerk Beth Anne West received certification as a professional city clerk from the Missouri City Clerks and Finance Officers Association. She will be recognized during the 2019 Spring Institute banquet.

Officer Mark Priebe of the Springfield Police Department was chosen as one of 88 law enforcement torch runners in the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Representing the Missouri Law Enforcement Torch Run organization, he has worked with Special Olympics Missouri since 2007.

Nonprofit
Leadership Springfield added Ashley Clair as communications director. She handles marketing, social media and public relations, and also heads up programs. Clair previously served as community development manager for American Cancer Society-Southwest Missouri and worked in sales for Springfield Business Journal.

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