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2019 Day in the Life

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Editor’s Note: Three local executives, three days. Springfield Business Journal’s 2019 Day in the Life series gives a glimpse into the world of community powerhouse leaders. Their diverse fields of education, city planning, and architecture and design are far-reaching. Though these three differ in their day-to-day duties, their dedication and work ethic connects them. SBJ’s editorial staff followed them to board meetings, development projects, kayaking on Lake Springfield and planning workshops. Here’s a snapshot.

Day in the Life with Mary Lilly Smith
Photo Gallery: Day in the Life with Mary Lilly Smith
Mary Lilly Smith is considered a wealth of institutional knowledge at City Hall. A city employee since 1982, the director of planning and development works with a team of 30 people and spends most of her time jumping from at least four meetings a day and responding to over 100 emails. She’s spent the last month on the city’s next comprehensive plan since agreeing to a $657,000 contract with a Chicago consulting firm.

Day in the Life with John Jungmann
Photo Gallery: John Jungmann
John Jungmann is five years into the job as superintendent of Springfield Public Schools. It’s his third time as superintendent, but SPS is by far the largest district he’s led. He’s known as a doer, evidenced most clearly in summer school enrollment. By his initiative, it jumped from averaging 2,500 students to a record 13,000 enrolled this year. More changes are in the pipeline, as he’s signed on to continue his role through 2022.

Day in the Life with Rita Baron
Photo Gallery: Day in the Life with Rita Baron
Twenty years into her professional career, Rita Baron is a principal in her own architecture firm, leads a staff of 12 and has projects in more than a dozen states. She also serves on the board of directors for OakStar Bank, for which she was a founding investor, and on the board of trustees for Drury University, where she graduated in 1999.


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