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Newsmakers: Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2020

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Banking and Finance
Guaranty Bank hired Gregg Bailey as a senior vice president and commercial relationship manager and Jason Whitesell as a vice president and commercial relationship manager. Bailey has nearly 25 years of banking experience, previously working as market president of Community National Bank in Aurora. Whitesell has nearly 20 years of banking experience, most recently as a vice president and lender for Old Missouri Bank.

Thirteen local banks were among the two dozen financial institutions recognized as Elite Lenders by RMI Business Finance of Jefferson City for their work partnering on SBA 504 business loans. Platinum Elite lenders are Simmons Bank, Hawthorn Bank, Arvest Bank, Bank of Bolivar (now The Bank of Missouri), Central Bank of the Ozarks, The Bank of Missouri, Guaranty Bank and Southern Bank. Gold Elite lenders are Mid-Missouri Bank and OakStar Bank. Silver Elite lenders are Springfield First Community Bank, Branson Bank and Regions Bank.

Education
The Missouri State University Board of Governors elected Amy Counts, of St. Louis, as chair and Carol Silvey, of West Plains, as vice-chair. Counts, a senior account executive for Wise F&I, has a bachelor’s in hospitality restaurant administration from MSU. Silvey is the former vice president for advancement at the Ozarks Medical Center Foundation, and she also worked for 38 years at MSU-West Plains. She has a bachelor’s in education from MSU and a master’s in education from University of Missouri. Their terms start Jan. 1, 2021. The board’s other members are Gabriel Gore, Carrie Tergin, Beverly Miller Keltner, Christopher Waters, Lynn Parman, Jay Wasson and Briar Douglas.

MSU selected Springfield Mayor Ken McClure for the Government Excellence Award and Robert and Marlese Gourley for the 2020 Bronze Bear award. Recognizing support for the college, McClure’s award cites his help on MSU’s IDEA Commons expansion downtown and the city’s Grant Avenue Parkway Project. He previously worked as MSU’s vice president for administrative services, as well as associate general manager for City Utilities and chief of staff for Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt. The Gourleys were recognized for their donations to the school, including funds to establish the Robert Gourley Student Success Center at Glass Hall, the home of the MSU College of Business.

Nixa Junior High School music teacher Blake Richter is one of 25 music teachers nationwide to qualify as a semifinalist for the Music Educator Award. Presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum, there were more than 1,989 initial nominations. The finalists will be announced in December and the winner gets a $10,000 grant for their school, as well as recognition during Grammy week 2021.

Municipal
Gov. Mike Parson awarded 11 first responders and six civilians public safety honors for heroic actions around the state. Christian County Deputy Sheriff Thomas Butchness received the Medal of Valor for assisting in the rescue of a woman who was trapped in swift water conditions in the Finley River. The woman was clinging to a log, and Butchness climbed out to her and, along with fire fighters on the scene, brought her to the bank for medical care.

Developer Tom Rankin and Springfield Economic Development Director Sarah Kerner were reappointed to the Springfield Plaza Community Improvement District Board of Directors. Their terms end in October 2023.

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