Wa Gao of Abacus CPAs LLC earned her certified internal auditor designation. Gao, a member of the audit team, started at the firm in January 2016.
Banking and Finance
Central Bank of the Ozarks promoted Samantha Wheeler and Jo Haas to retail officers and banking center managers, and added Nicole Downey as human resources talent acquisition representative. Wheeler has 11 years of banking experience, most recently as assistant branch manager on South National Avenue. Haas has 16 years of experience, most recently as teller supervisor and customer service representative at the Hammons Tower branch. Downey has 10 years of experience in office management and administrative support.
Buffalo was named the Gene Speichinger Community of the Year by Missouri Community Betterment. Selected among 19 communities, Buffalo was recognized for its strong base of volunteers, including youth and governing officials.
Chris Templeton, assistant superintendent of the Willard Public Schools, was appointed to Western Governors University’s Teachers College P-12 Advisory Council. She is one of 10 education leaders nationwide giving guidance on all P-12 academic programs offered by WGU’s Teachers College. Templeton has 25 years of experience in education, most recently as professional learning coordinator for the Greater Ozarks Cooperating School Districts, which represents 59 districts across southwest Missouri.
Springfield Public Schools inducted Kim Crosby and Tom Prater, as well as Homer Boyd, posthumously, to the SPS Hall of Fame. Boyd, a Lincoln High School graduate, was a member of the Philharmonics and an advocate for preservation of the history of Springfield’s African-American community. He died in 2016 at the age of 83. Crosby, a Kickapoo High School graduate, starred in several Broadway productions, including “Into the Woods” and currently volunteers at Glendale High School. Prater, a Glendale High School graduate, was student body president, has served on the SPS Board of Education and is currently Springfield’s Zone 2 councilman.
Missouri State University selected Matt Blunt for the Bronze Bear Award to be given in December. As governor of Missouri in 2005, Blunt signed Senate Bill 98 to drop Southwest from the school’s name, and MSU officials say he fought for an operating budget increase that helped start its engineering partnership with Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is currently the president of the American Automotive Policy Council.
MSU awarded Sen. Jay Wasson the 2018 Governmental Excellence Award. He was selected by the MSU Board of Governors for his efforts to modify tuition restrictions and champion legislation which removed limitations on MSU’s ability to offer professional and doctorate degrees.
Missouri Lawyers Weekly selected three local professionals among its 45 up-and-coming attorneys: Austin Fax of Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law LLC, Jarica Oeltjen of BKD LLP and formerly of Kutak Rock LLP and Lathrop Gage LLP, and Scott Pierson of Law Offices of Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise PC.
Bike enthusiast Cody Stringer is betting his bike share nonprofit will lead to a more bike-friendly city.
As employees are more mobile and have a desire to work from home, Haden Long owner of Ellecor, explains office spaces are trending towards a more home-like feel. Things like shared work spaces, office pets, and cozy furnishings allow employees to be selective about where they work and become more effective as a result.
Every industry has to navigate trend shifts, but Scott Shotts of Missouri Spirits describes the changes in beverage industry as anarchy. Tried-and-true spirits rules are being ignored. Learn how the local distillery balances following the trends for product development with taking risks.
Kevin Wyas, founder of ECRI, started his first business at the age of 19, ran the business for 16 years before selling it. He recognizes the benefits of starting a business so young when he had relatively little to lose. "The stress and the uncertainty of this would be crippling," he says for somebody accustomed to a regular paycheck.
ighty percent of questions are common across industries, so you don't need industry-specific experience to do effective market research according to Debra Kassarjian, independent consultant and owner of DKInsights. As a matter of fact, she thinks there is a great deal to be gained from exchanging ideas outside of your industry.
Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, says the biggest leap they took in the first year was to purchase a vehicle. That major financial investment, however, allowed them to provide their outdoor guide services at a price point they felt was more appropriate.
Springfield Diner owner Ömer Önder sits down with a restaurant consultant who starts challenging the menu offerings."No bashful food." The blunt conversation is the launching off point to determine how the Mediterranean influence will affect the young restaurant's offerings in the future. Made to Order is an ongoing sbjLive documentary series in collaboration with Springfield Business Journal tracking the rebranding of a local restaurant.
Haden Long, owner of Ellecor, opened a retail home decor business five years ago in a traditional retail space. When the interior design side of the business took off, she decided to renovate a 100-year old bungalow to better show off product samples and installations.
Scott Shotts, partner with Missouri Spirits, says when they started in 2011 there were approximately 300 distilleries in the U.S. and now there are more than 3,000 so competition has grown significantly. Diversification of their business model has helped them succeed.
Matthew Blystone of Theta Float Spa had the financial means to start the unique business, but used crowdsourcing for pre-orders to determine market interest in addition to gathering a nice cash reserve before opening.
Avery Parrish with the Springfield Regional Arts Council explains how businesses can display local art in their spaces for a fraction of the price of investing in a permanent collection. The corporate partnership program allows a business to select from a customized portfolio of local artists' work curated based on the company's mission and aesthetic that can be switched out every six or 12 months.