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Newsmakers: Nov. 6-12, 2023

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FORVIS LLP made several promotions: Cheryl Cooper to managing consultant; Ben Lyford and Zachary Ray to managers; and Kyle Bowden, Matt McClelland and Garrett McLeod to lead consultants. With experience in forecasting and budgeting, and preparation and analysis of cost reports, Cooper holds a bachelor’s in finance from Missouri State University. Working in the agricultural, manufacturing and distribution segments, Lyford holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from MSU. Zachary Ray is a tax professional and holds a Master of Accountancy from University of Missouri. Bowden handles audits and holds a bachelor’s in accounting and business management from MSU. McClelland works on grants management and communications for the public sector team and holds a bachelor’s in mass media communications from MSU. McLeod provides consulting and advisory services and holds a bachelor’s in accounting from Southwest Baptist University and a master’s in health care administration from MSU.

Dake Wells Architecture Inc. hired Shawn Randles as an education specialist focusing on business development; Jacob Palan as a project manager and design associate; and Grant Umlauf, Sydney Stark and Nathan Shaffer as design associates. Randles, who holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Louis University, has spent nearly half of his 31-year career in district administration as a public school superintendent. With a bachelor’s in architecture from Kansas State University, Palan has two decades of experience in public and private projects. Umlauf and Stark were interns with the firm – and each completed the Master of Architecture program at Drury University. Shaffer holds a bachelor’s in architecture from Oklahoma State University.

Banking & Finance
OMB Bank added Brandon Ayers as vice president and director of retail banking and Amanda Nelson as assistant vice president and retail operations specialist. Ayers has worked over a dozen years in banking, most recently as a retail banking regional manager for Great Southern Bank. He holds a bachelor’s in business administration and an MBA from Southwest Baptist University. With 17 years of industry experience, Nelson previously managed OakStar Bank branches and coordinated implementations of Jack Henry & Associates Inc. products. She holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Drury.

Evangel University’s behavioral and social sciences department received a $15,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education under its School-Based Mental Health Recruitment and Retention Initiative. The university plans to offer student scholarships, educate and promote social work, and provide continuing education on mental health in schools for the community.

The Ozarker Lodge in Branson was honored as best independent hotel by Philadelphia-based hospitality industry organization Independent Lodging Congress during its Indie Awards in San Francisco. The hotel was selected out of four finalists by an industry popular vote.

Mostly Serious LLC hired Matt Townsley as director of client service, Megan Ellison as a senior designer and Allyson Dale as an SEO specialist. Townsley has experience in strategy, customer research, operational leadership and user experience design; Ellison has done agency design work for national and regional clients; and Dale specializes in search engine optimization and content writing.


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