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Opinion: Say hello to SBJ’s newest podcast

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This week, SBJ Podcasts welcomes another series to the family.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Citizen Inc., a podcast about the companies and CEOs who are on the journey of corporate citizenship.

For some, I realize it’s a new term. A couple of guests on the show even acknowledged they had to look up “corporate citizenship” to come prepared.

What is it?

Simply stated, it’s your company’s role in society. At a deeper level, corporate citizenship considers the social, financial and environmental impacts of an organization. It includes giving back with time, talents and treasures.

The point of the podcast is not that all interviewed on the show have figured it out and are seeing the maximum benefits to their companies, employees and communities. No, the beauty of it is that each shares their own experiences on the journey of giving back, and some of the conversations are equally about untapped opportunities in the community – current or yet coming – for listeners to get involved. There are learning moments for best practices to engage your teams and, just as importantly, some candid cautions about the sacrifices, even financially, you and your business might have to make to address your role as a corporate citizen.

It’s all about preparedness and helping our business community think about the broad impact all the ways giving back can have on Springfield and the region. It could positively change the trajectory of our city for decades to come. And the real change is in people – us and others – as our first guest, Shawn Askinosie, so pointedly explains in Episode 1. I hope you give it a listen – at or wherever you find your podcasts. We’ve also published excerpts from the show with Shawn, as we’ll do for each episode. Each week, a new audio episode will be available to stream.

I must note it’s an award-winning team with production by ADsmith Marketing & Advertising and studio recording staff Dustin Henderson and Joe Stearns. The accolades belong to the No Ceiling podcast and host Christine Temple, who launched SBJ into the world of podcasts with her show about women at the top of their professions and how they got there. No Ceiling has earned four awards: two in journalism, from the Alliance of Area Business Publications and the Missouri Press Association, and two for creative media, from the Telly Awards and the American Advertising Federation.

SBJ’s other podcast, 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes, also was recognized by MPA.

Seems in these projects, there’s all kinds of credit to give. So, think of the following paragraphs as rolling film credits – you’re just seeing them before you take in the episode.

For starters, the podcast co-host Greg Burris is a driving force behind this. He’s continually talking to me about the younger generation’s pursuit of “more than a paycheck” at work, the difference between “living on your community and living in your community,” and the things that make employees “sticky” – to their employers and their communities. Greg has educated me a lot on the topic in these last several months we’ve spent working on the project. He knows firsthand from his seat as president and CEO of United Way of the Ozarks.

The name Citizen Inc. was the brainchild of SBJ Reporter Karen Craigo, during a brainstorming session. In her typical fashion, Karen started her idea with, “Names aren’t my forte,” then proceeded with something brilliant. It immediately stuck with me, along with others on the team. The Citizen Inc. name is a perfect blend of hard-core business and serious about community engagement as working professionals.

Equally as impressive to me is the logo, an original work by McKenzie Robinson in SBJ’s creative department. The interwoven capital C reflects the convergence of companies and community – the very crux of the podcast.

McKenzie and creative lead Heather Mosley tag-teamed on the photos of the guests that you’ll see in podcast promotions and editorial content. Bravo.

And, last but not least, thank you to the podcast’s presenting sponsor, Great Southern Bank. I know the team there values community engagement from the Turner family on down. They walk the talk.

Thank you to all. Now, let’s go build our community around these ideas because, as the podcast’s tagline states, “We are Citizen Inc.” And we’ll determine what that looks like for our future.

Springfield Business Editorial Vice President Eric Olson can be reached at


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