Springfield, MO

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Attorney/shareholder, Miller & Sanford PC, 1845 S. National. Miller & Sanford is a full-service law firm dedicated to high-quality service for its clients, including cost-effective results in a timely fashion, problem solving and preventing legal problems through appropriate planning. The 15 attorneys in the firm practice law primarily in the areas of business, corporate law, taxation, employment, probate, estate planning, real estate, zoning, insurance, personal injury, construction, products liability, medical malpractice and workers' compensation. In Nickell's practice, he emphasizes business and estate planning for individuals and corporations. Miller & Sanford has provided legal services to area businesses and individuals since 1942. The firm was located in the Woodruff Building downtown until it moved to its present location. Nickell joined the firm as an associate in December 1981 and became a partner in 1986. Nickell is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, serving as the chair of the probate and trust committee and chair of the probate legislation subcommittee; on the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, serving on its probate and trust committee; and on the Greene County Estate Planning Council. He is also involved in some civic and charitable activities, serving on the board of directors of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks, Ozarks Public Television Endowment, Hospice of Southwest Missouri Foundation and is the president of The Kitchen Foundation board. He is also a member of the Springfield Southeast Rotary Club and is an assistant district governor for Rotary International District 6070.

Age: 44.

No. of years in Springfield/area: 19.

Education: Graduated from Jameson High School in Jameson in 1973. Received a bachelor of science degree, cum laude, from Central Missouri State University in 1977 and a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1980.

Early career: Grew up on a grain and cattle farm in northwest Missouri. "Growing up on the farm was a great experience and provided me with a broad base of general knowledge and a strong work ethic," Nickell said. During high school, he worked on the farm and ran a hay crew. During college, he worked as a pizza cook, bartender, newspaper delivery person and as an assistant curator for the university museum. During college, he took off six months and traveled solo throughout western Europe, working on a landscape crew at a nursing home in Germany and packing tulip bulbs for export in Holland. During law school, he custom-baled hay, brokered wheat straw and wrote insurance arbitration briefs for what is now Shelter Insurance. His first job out of law school was as a trust officer for Commerce Bank in Springfield.

Current projects: "Professionally, the majority of my time is spent on business and estate planning projects for individual and corporate clients. Every day brings something new and interesting. Some days are more fun than others, but it's never boring." On a personal level, he is chairing an extension committee working on getting a Rotary Club started in Nixa, he said.

Management philosophy: "I try to follow the Rotary four-way test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?"

Spare-time pursuits: Enjoys traveling with his wife, Rae, spending time in his woodworking shop and supporting Rae in her avocation of showing American Saddlebred horses.

Family data: Married to Rae for 19 years. They met in law school, and Rae Nickell is now an attorney and shareholder with Yates, Mauck, Bohrer, Elliff, Croessmann and Wieland.

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