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Newsmakers: May 29-June 4, 2023

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Architecture
Kinetic Design and Development LLC added three staff members: James Christiansen as a project manager, and Natalie Baker and Robyn Herndon as architectural designers. Christiansen previously worked 10 years as a project designer for O’Reilly Automotive Inc. and holds an associate degree in drafting and design from Ozarks Technical Community College. Baker and Herndon both hold master’s in architecture from Drury University.

Banking & Finance
Central Bank in Springfield promoted Blair Gann to assistant vice president and loan officer, Abby Glenn to assistant vice president and business development officer, Garrett Koopmann to assistant vice president and an investment adviser, and Kara Turner to vice president and private banking relationship manager. Gann, who joined the bank in 2021, has a decade of agricultural lending experience and concentrates in the Webster County area. Glenn has eight years of experience working in nonprofit and government development roles and joined Central in 2021. Koopmann came on board last year and has four years of financial services experience. On Central’s staff since 2016, Turner has 22 years of executive sales and relationship management experience.

Education
College of the Ozarks faculty members Erin Hayes received the school’s Eugene Charles Wittick Teaching Excellence Award and Nathan Roberts was recognized with The Mildred Letton Wittick Professional Achievement Award. Honored for outstanding teaching ability and impacting the lives and careers of students, Hayes is a former ABC News correspondent and oversees The Point newsroom workstation in addition to her academic classwork. Roberts, an associate professor of conservation and wildlife management and chair of the division of agriculture and natural sciences, was honored for professional accomplishments, including research, publications and service to professional organizations. His career experience includes work for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the National Wildlife Refuge System and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Government
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department was chosen for a $111,650 grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The funding will go toward prevention strategies and activities to reduce the rate of substance use and overdose deaths in Greene County.

Hospitality
O’Reilly Hospitality Management LLC CEO Tim O’Reilly received the inaugural Tony Fraga Visionary Leadership Award at the 67th Choice Hotels annual convention in Las Vegas. Fraga was an owner/developer of Cambria brand properties, and O’Reilly, whose company manages five Cambria hotels with a sixth coming on board, was honored for his contributions to the brand and for advising on sustainability and the built environment.

Media
Mediacom Communications Corp. was selected to the 2023 U.S. Best Managed Companies program by Deloitte and The Wall Street Journal for the third straight year. The honor for private companies with revenues of at least $250 million recognizes excellence in four key areas: strategy, ability to execute, corporate culture and governance/financial performance.

Technology
The Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center at Missouri State University received $5.4 million in grants to fund private-sector technology investments. Through the Advanced Manufacturing Resiliency Grant Program from Missouri Technology Corp., JVIC is accepting proposals through June 15 and will award projects that focus on technology, infrastructure or workforce development to support and grow the state’s semiconductor industry.

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