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Matt Morrow returns to Springfield after two years in Alabama.
Matt Morrow returns to Springfield after two years in Alabama.

Year in Review: 2. Exit Anderson, enter Morrow at chamber

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SPRINGFIELD, FEB. 18—After 26 years, one familiar face exited the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and another stepped in. On Feb. 18, during Jim Anderson’s 312th board meeting as president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, he revealed his retirement plan and gave the board a loose timeline of four or five months to find his successor.

Anderson was instrumental in establishing Springfield’s Partnership for Economic Development in 1991, which continues to have a direct impact on economic growth and job creation in southwest Missouri and led to the creation of two partnership industrial centers. His tenure arguably peaked in 2012, when the Springfield chamber earned state and national chamber of the year awards.

Anderson’s personal accolades include the chamber’s own 2005 Springfieldian, 2006 Missourian Award and Springfield Business Journal’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement in Business honor.

By March, the chamber already had hired Cleveland, Ohio-based executive search firm Waverly Partners LLC and commissioned a search committee. But a new leader wouldn’t come until August, when the familiar face of Matt Morrow made his return to Springfield.

The former 12-year leader of the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield took over the organization in the fall. Morrow originally left the Queen City in December 2012, resigning from the Springfield HBA and relocating to Alabama to take a job as executive vice president of the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders. He was one of roughly 500 vying for the Springfield position.

After much fanfare, Anderson exited the chamber June 30, receiving a lifetime membership to the chamber during his retirement party and a roughly $30,000 check establishing the James B. Anderson Business Leader Scholarship Fund with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Anderson didn’t rest for long. He signed on with CoxHealth as vice president for marketing, corporate communications, public affairs and advocacy, effective July 7.[[In-content Ad]]

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