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From left, Cindy Baker, Jim Hodge and Barney Whitlock are the local honorees among the eight statewide for the 2018 Missourian Award.
SBJ file photos; Barney Whitlock photo provided by The Whitlock Co.
From left, Cindy Baker, Jim Hodge and Barney Whitlock are the local honorees among the eight statewide for the 2018 Missourian Award.

Three locals among 2018 Missourian Award recipients

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A licensed professional counselor, business consultant and accounting firm founder are the three locals on this year’s list of Missourian Award recipients.

The Springfield-area honorees are Cindy Baker, Jim Hodge and Barney Whitlock, according to a news release.

The locals and five others from across the state are scheduled to be honored Sept. 22 during a ceremony at The Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis. The event also will mark the 25th anniversary of the Missourian Award.

An honoree of Springfield Business Journal’s Health Care Champions in 2016 and Most Influential Women in 2010, Baker owns Touchstone Counseling LLC, Touchstone Helping Families, Garden of Healing LLC and Baker Consulting Services LLC, according to the release.

“Baker is a nationally recognized researcher, educator, advocate and philanthropist serving abused and neglected children and victims of domestic violence,” Missourian Award officials said in the release. “She tirelessly serves our great state, giving a voice to the most vulnerable citizens, which ultimately impacts families, communities and the lives of the next generation.”

A member of the 2016 class of Men of the Year, Hodge has worked as a business consultant for more than 30 years in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.

Missourian Award officials said he has created or built a “multitude of successful startup companies in a wide variety of industries, as well as leading a variety of companies through turnaround situations.”

Whitlock was a founding partner in 1985 of the firm now known as The Whitlock Co., according to SBJ archives.

According to the release, Whitlock also was a founding board member of Community Foundation of the Ozarks — which now distributes $20 million in charitable funds annually — and has served “in a variety of leadership positions on boards and committees over the last four decades.”

The Missourian Award was created in 1994 by Ralph Slavens and his late wife, Corrine, to honor individuals who have made a lasting impact on the Show-Me State. Past recipients include John Q. Hammons, Walt Disney and Harry S. Truman, according to the release.


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