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Newsmakers: Sept. 9-15, 2019

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Accounting
Hagan, Tucker, Schmitt & Gintz LLC staff accountant Samantha Gaston obtained her certified public accountant designation. She has worked at the firm for nearly four years, specializing in accounting and tax services to individuals and small businesses.

Civic
Five of the nine Missourian Award recipients this year are from southwest Missouri: Greg Horton, Donna Powers and Dee Wampler, of Springfield; Cary Summers, of Rogersville; and Joe White, of Branson. Horton is the founder and CEO of Integrity Home Care and Hospice; Powers is the former owner and operator of JDP Enterprises/McDonald's; Wampler is a defense attorney at the Law Offices of Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise PC with 53 years of experience; Summers is the president emeritus of Museum of the Bible Inc.; and White is the president of Kanakuk Ministries and founder of Kids Across America and Cross International Inc. The award recognizes the most accomplished citizens in the state.

Education
Southwest Baptist University added six staff members for the fall 2019 semester: Savana Ayers, nursing instructor; Nicole Helsel, radiography instructor; Sarah Howes, assistant music professor; Lacy Jones and Austin Kuhl, athletic training instructors; Delong Meng, assistant professor of business administration; and Gina Whitehead, kinesiology instructor.

Springfield Public Schools appointed Yvania Garcia-Pusateri as chief equity and diversity officer. She’s tasked with building inclusive learning and working environments and bridging the achievement gap for under-resourced and under-represented students. She most recently worked as executive director of multicultural programs at Missouri State University.

Evangel University received a $300,000 grant from Overland Park, Kansas-based The Sunderland Foundation for the school’s Sustainability Renovation Project. Evangel has upgraded some 800 lighting fixtures in two halls and plumbing fixtures in 91 bathrooms, resulting in projected energy savings of $26,602 a year.

Energy
Sun Solar LLC added Bryan Minor to its commercial sales team. He has 20 years of experience in retail management and business development.

Insurance
Andrea Croley, co-owner of Croley Insurance and Financial Inc., was appointed to the Missouri Health Innovation Task Force. One of seven appointees by the governor, she helps identify ways to curb rising health care premiums and to develop concepts for innovation and competition in the state’s health insurance market.

Ollis/Akers/Arney added Justin Coyan as a personal lines private client adviser. With a bachelor’s in administrative management from MSU and an MBA from Webster University, he has worked as a senior director of market operations for Evolent Health LLC and as business development manager for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Law
Van Pelt & Van Pelt PC partner Richard Van Pelt was selected by U.S. News as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the field of family law. Based on peer reviews, Van Pelt has been selected for the Best Lawyers in America publication each year since 2001.

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