Few people know their calling at an early age. It seems that Andrea Sitzes was one of them.
“I started my own business at the age of 16 writing and designing advertisements for business leaders in my community,” she says.
That experience as a teenager prepared Sitzes for her current role as executive director of Show Me Christian County, a nonprofit dedicated to the economic development of Christian County.
“I am responsible for creating the direction and casting vision for how our organization will run,” Sitzes says. “Through my role in economic development, I am uniquely positioned to influence businesses and community growth on a daily basis. From large organizations to small-business entrepreneurs, I connect businesses with the resources they need to be successful and accomplish their goals.”
Her primary focus in the role is business attraction, workforce development and business retention and expansion.
“Working with high-level leaders, I am seen as an authority in the arena of economic development,” she says. “It is my responsibility to lead our county into the next era of growth.”
She served as the executive director for the Ozark Chamber of Commerce for three years before joining Show Me Christian County in March this year. Show Me Christian County, also known as the Christian County Business Development Corp., is a partnership between Ozark and Nixa to boost economic development.
While serving in that position, Sitzes says she had her proudest professional accomplishment when managing the growth of the chamber.
“Strategic planning and needs assessment are two strengths of mine,” she says. “In less than two years, I was a catalyst for restructuring the organization from the top down.”
Some of the changes she implemented were a new mission statement, a redesigned website, creation of employee manuals and operating procedures and rewriting the city-chamber contract.
“I didn’t accomplish the growth of the chamber on my own; my staff, board members and numerous volunteers contributed to our joint success,” Sitzes says.
She also has worked as a sales manager at Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa and Convention Center and Big Cedar Lodge.
“The experience I gained in hospitality before starting at the chamber lent itself well to community development,” Sitzes says. “I spent nine years in the Branson market working for the Chateau on the Lake and Big Cedar Lodge. At the end of my tenure at the Chateau, in addition to my sales manager duties, I was training our team on new procedures regarding e-signature contracts and assisting the corporate office with creating a policy for all properties to follow.”
Sitzes earned a bachelor’s in public relations from College of the Ozarks. She is an active member in Billings Betterment Association, Clever Community Betterment Association, and the chambers of commerce in Nixa, Ozark, Sparta and Springfield.
She also serves on the board of directors for the Missouri Economic Development Council as co-director for District 6.
“From an early age I have found enjoyment in servant leadership,” Sitzes says.
The Forward SGF comprehensive plan was born from the input of residents, and one message that came through loud and clear was their desire for connection.