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Opinion: SBJ welcomes editorial advisory board

Eyes & Ears

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In last week’s issue, Springfield Business Journal Publisher Jennifer Jackson introduced some reorganization and new roles in our editorial department.

For me, the changes are refreshing. I’m passing the reins of the day-to-day newsroom management to the capable hands of Christine Temple. And, in turn, creating more time to engage externally, in the business community.

A central component of my new objectives is SBJ’s Editorial Advisory Board.

As we’ve been preparing for this transition, the team and I have assembled a dozen businesspeople with diverse representation.

The board’s purpose is to provide feedback on current content and future coverage as it fits into the mission of SBJ and its publications and events. The group also will help shape us into a modern news organization to fill business information needs in a variety of mediums, which is a goal as we emerge from the pandemic.

I’d like to introduce the first board members and publicly thank them for serving. We already have one meeting under our belt and the input was just what it should be: candid, encouraging, challenging and insightful.

Here’s the 2021 editorial advisory board, in alphabetical order:
Ann Marie Baker, executive vice president, UMB Bank;
Lyle Foster, owner, Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar, and professor, Missouri State University;
Bob Hammerschmidt, vice chairperson, Commerce Bank;
Missy Handyside, general manager, Oasis Hotel & Convention Center;
Dee King, former corporate services development officer, Guaranty Bank, and in transition to a new job;
Craig McCoy, president, Mercy Springfield Communities;
Ryan Mooney, senior vice president of economic development, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce;
Maurice Moss, senior legal/regulatory counsel, City Utilities of Springfield;
Jeff Munzinger, retired president, Munzinger & Co.;
John Oke-Thomas, president/CEO, Oke-Thomas and Associates;
Shannon Porter, CEO, empower: abilities; and
Katie Towns, acting director, Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

I will lean on this group to help me scan the horizon of business and business news, and I’ll bring the comments and advice back to the SBJ newsroom and other departments for application. I’m extremely grateful knowing the value of a sounding board – and especially at a time like this when things are changing so rapidly.

I’m grateful to have years of experience with these businesspeople – some that go two decades back when I started working as a green reporter for SBJ. I fondly remember interviews with bankers Hammerschmidt and Baker, where in my early days I learned much from them about their industry. Mooney, a staple at the chamber, has long been a trusted source for our newsroom on economic development, and I can remember reporting on Oke-Thomas’ architectural design work from the early 2000s and on. Other members represent newer business relationships for me: Porter, Towns, Moss and McCoy. Some of the newer faces in the community have a lot to teach us as well, as they bring valuable outside perspectives.

I’ve connected with others through our editorial events: King and Munzinger, regular attendees and proficient networkers; Foster, who was in the live interview seat for the 12 People You Need to Know series with me; and Handyside, whose venue often serves as a host for SBJ awards programs.

Now, we’re getting to work. I appreciate their interest and dedication in reading SBJ content. With quarterly meetings planned, I’m all ears.

Springfield Business Journal Executive Vice President Eric Olson can be reached at eolson@sbj.net.

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