The Ozark Chamber of Commerce made two hires this month to fill out its three-person staff.
Greg Williams, the chamber’s president and CEO, said the organization has added Sarah Igartua as vice president of marketing and events, and Janell Douglas as manager of operations and member relations.
“Being fully staffed is critical to the mission and success of the organization,” Williams said via email. “These two recent hires will allow us to carry out the important programs and activities of the Ozark Chamber of Commerce.”
Douglas was chosen out of 12 applicants for the part-time role that will manage the office but also recruit new chamber members, Williams said. Her first day was June 8, he said, adding Douglas most recently worked as office manager for Jon’s Mid-America Fire Apparatus.
Williams said Igartua starts June 21 to succeed Audrey Pauls, who is exiting the position after working for the chamber since 2018. Pauls announced late last month that she and husband Everett are moving in August to Champaign, Illinois, where she’s been accepted to the University of Illinois College of Law. The couple also are co-owners of Zenith Climbing Center LLC and plan to maintain their ownership.
Williams previously told Springfield Business Journal Pauls will stay on board into July to help train her successor, who was selected out of roughly 25 applicants.
Igartua has 10 years of experience in event planning for corporate and private conventions, large group events and business expos, Williams said. At the chamber, she’ll be tasked with developing, implementing and managing the organization’s communication platforms and organizing its events. She moved to Ozark last year from Wichita, Kansas, he said.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Igartua founded event management company Wichita Event Planner in 2009. Williams said Igartua also owns Springfield Event Planner LLC, which she registered in April with the Missouri secretary of state’s office.
Auto service veterans choose Springfield for long-term investments in Blue Iguana.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares helpful advice and cautionary tips about the importance of tracking cash flow for new or established businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Michael Smith and Chris Sawyer, COO and CEO of Next Level Solutions respectively, discuss how they keep their remote teams and offices in and out of country on the same page. Next Level Solutions was ranked #1 in the Springfield Business Journal's 2021 Dynamic Dozen.
John Oke-Thomas, architect and co-founder of minorities in business, responds to the accusation that minority businesses are only successful because of the priority they have received in lending. He says that if a business uses a loan well, it shows their worth.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares tips for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding. Some of her tips apply broadly; some target technology industry businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups, and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliott discusses common misconceptions about locating your business in a small town. She says that there are a lot of benefits that people may not consider.
Drawing on his own experience dynamically evolving his company and business model, Jim Meinsen discusses when and how you might need to draw on new technology. Jim and Debbie Meinsen are co-owners of TCI Graphics in Springfield.
John Oke-Thomas, longtime Springfield architect, discusses his philosophy on architecture. He says that future historians will be focused on the sustainability of our contemporary architecture.
Erin Hedlun, director of marketing and communications at Evangel University, says compassion is an important job skill. Hedlun says it is a component of what makes a leader.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, talks about the concepting that went behind the aesthetic of the business.
Caleb Scott, coach and co-owner of Queen City Insane Asylum football team, says he had to sacrifice early on to make sure his team had places to play. With the business climate at the time, it wasn't easy.