Springfield, MO

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Development director, Springfield Little Theatre, located in the historic Landers Theatre at 311 E. Walnut St. Springfield Little Theatre is a professionally led, volunteer-based, not-for-profit community theater organization whose mission is "to provide southwest Missouri with a cultural center embracing live theater of a professional quality, as it enriches, educates and entertains the community." Hamaker joined the Springfield Little Theatre staff as the first development director in 1990. Her job responsibilities include publicity of productions and programs, raising funds for the operating budget and coordinating capital campaign efforts. Operational activities include program advertising sales, production underwriting, in-kind donations, and special events, among them the International Beer Festival, the Greater Ozarks Blues Festival, the Cadillac Dinner/Dance at Riverside, the Mystery Auction and the Valentine's Day show. Capital activities include coordinating such fund-raising events as "on-stage luncheons," serving on the capital campaign committee and disbursement of Missouri Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits. The current campaign is Project Star 2000 (the sidewalk stars). A comprehensive architectural study has identified immediate, long-term and potential capital/facility needs that will complete renovation and modernization of the facility, retire financial obligations and prepare for the developing needs of the theater. The campaign has a goal of $1.2 million by the year 2009, when the Landers Theatre turns 100 years old. To date, the campaign committee has raised $450,000. Bronze stars recognizing donors were embedded in a new brick sidewalk in front of the Landers Theatre in October of 1997, and a second sidewalk dedication with 28 new stars is scheduled for late March. Hamaker is involved in community outreach programs, serving as an ambassador for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Southeast Rotary Club, a member of the Ozarks Region National Society of Fund Raising Executives, past chair/current committee member of the National Philanthropy Day luncheon, on the board of directors for the Missouri Association of Community Arts Agencies, member of the Downtown Springfield Association and an active volunteer for Ozarks Public Television.

Age: 32.

No. of years in Springfield/area: Born Aug. 29, 1965, at St. John's Hospital to Bill and Jane Kristek, Hamaker has lived in Springfield ever since.

Education: Graduated from Glendale High School and completed a bachelor of fine arts in theater and dance at SMSU with a minor in communications. She has also attended several sales workshops and fund-raising workshops, as well as being a featured speaker for local workshops to not-for-profit organizations.

Early career: Hamaker spent most of her early career in sales and marketing, where she "learned several things that I carry with me today: a sincere smile goes a long way; you can't satisfy everyone and that hard work will pay off," she said. During college, she supervised the telemarketing department at the News-Leader. She was promoted to the retail advertising department after she graduated from college. She combined her love of sales and promotion with a love of theater when she joined Springfield Little Theatre in 1990.

Current projects: Promoting the rest of the season, preparing for the 1998-99 season.

Management philosophy: "Work at what you love and you'll find success."

Spare-time pursuits: Spending time with family and friends. Her personal hobbies include reading, outdoor activities and "experiencing downtown Springfield. I love to get involved in activities that promote downtown, so my hobbies and my career overlap in many areas. A real love for historic places, as is evidenced in where I work (1909 Landers), where we live (1904 home on Walnut Street) and husband Tedd's veterinary practice (1929 Springfield Veterinary Hospital on Route 66).

Family data: Husband Tedd, a veterinarian, a 3-year old son, Joseph, a 13-month-old daughter, Lena, two cats and one dog. "Family is very important, and we try to maintain a semblance of the wonderful childhoods we enjoyed for our children amid a very hectic lifestyle," Hamaker said.

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