More than 400 people attended the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s March 6 Athena Award luncheon at the White River Conference Center.
Selected from over 20 nominees, community volunteer Morey Mechlin was honored for her work as former executive director of Care to Learn, past-president of the Junior League of Springfield and for her service work with the Greene County Medical Alliance, the Springfield-Greene County Library District, the chamber board, Rotary Club of Springfield and others, according to a news release.
“Morey’s commitment to others makes her a true role model,” chamber President Matt Morrow said in the release. “She’s one of the busiest people you’ll ever meet, and yet there are so many stories about her willingness to mentor others and help them strengthen their leadership skills and build social capital.”
The Athena Award is presented to community leaders and those who have created opportunities for women in the area.
During the luncheon, chamber officials also announced the creation of the Virginia Fry Rising Star Award, honoring the late Husch Blackwell LLP attorney who died of cancer in November 2018. The award will be given at the Athena luncheon starting in 2020 to emerging professionals paving the way for future female leaders.
“Virginia was an iconic woman, lawyer, leader, wife and mom,” said luncheon speaker Crista Hogan, executive director of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, in the release. “She didn't just pave the way for those to come after, she plowed through unbroken ground. She was a giant disguised as a trim, impeccable woman in a designer suit. This is a well-deserved tribute.”
Bike enthusiast Cody Stringer is betting his bike share nonprofit will lead to a more bike-friendly city.
As employees are more mobile and have a desire to work from home, Haden Long owner of Ellecor, explains office spaces are trending towards a more home-like feel. Things like shared work spaces, office pets, and cozy furnishings allow employees to be selective about where they work and become more effective as a result.
Every industry has to navigate trend shifts, but Scott Shotts of Missouri Spirits describes the changes in beverage industry as anarchy. Tried-and-true spirits rules are being ignored. Learn how the local distillery balances following the trends for product development with taking risks.
Kevin Wyas, founder of ECRI, started his first business at the age of 19, ran the business for 16 years before selling it. He recognizes the benefits of starting a business so young when he had relatively little to lose. "The stress and the uncertainty of this would be crippling," he says for somebody accustomed to a regular paycheck.
ighty percent of questions are common across industries, so you don't need industry-specific experience to do effective market research according to Debra Kassarjian, independent consultant and owner of DKInsights. As a matter of fact, she thinks there is a great deal to be gained from exchanging ideas outside of your industry.
Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, says the biggest leap they took in the first year was to purchase a vehicle. That major financial investment, however, allowed them to provide their outdoor guide services at a price point they felt was more appropriate.
Springfield Diner owner Ömer Önder sits down with a restaurant consultant who starts challenging the menu offerings."No bashful food." The blunt conversation is the launching off point to determine how the Mediterranean influence will affect the young restaurant's offerings in the future. Made to Order is an ongoing sbjLive documentary series in collaboration with Springfield Business Journal tracking the rebranding of a local restaurant.
Haden Long, owner of Ellecor, opened a retail home decor business five years ago in a traditional retail space. When the interior design side of the business took off, she decided to renovate a 100-year old bungalow to better show off product samples and installations.
Scott Shotts, partner with Missouri Spirits, says when they started in 2011 there were approximately 300 distilleries in the U.S. and now there are more than 3,000 so competition has grown significantly. Diversification of their business model has helped them succeed.
Matthew Blystone of Theta Float Spa had the financial means to start the unique business, but used crowdsourcing for pre-orders to determine market interest in addition to gathering a nice cash reserve before opening.
Avery Parrish with the Springfield Regional Arts Council explains how businesses can display local art in their spaces for a fraction of the price of investing in a permanent collection. The corporate partnership program allows a business to select from a customized portfolio of local artists' work curated based on the company's mission and aesthetic that can be switched out every six or 12 months.