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2022 40 Under 40 Spotlight: Marci Bowling, 2001

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Then: Development/public relations director, Developmental Center of the Ozarks
Now: Founder, Watching Over Whiskers

A lot has changed for Marci Bowling since 2001.

At the time, she was raising funds and awareness for Developmental Center of the Ozarks, and her career led her through BKD LLP, Springfield Little Theatre and Mercy Health Foundation.

In April 2021, Bowling decided to devote her full-time efforts to an organization she founded in 2015: Watching Over Whiskers, a nonprofit dedicated to finding homes for cats and to keeping feral cat populations down through a trap-neuter-return program.

Bowling, 49, found most animal welfare organizations to be heavily focused on dogs, but she felt someone needed to advocate for felines.

“There’s a lot more of them than there are of us,” she says.

Interesting enough, Bowling grew up not caring especially about cats. “Like a lot of people, I didn’t understand cats,” she says.

But then she met Sterling, her gray domestic shorthair who will turn 18 in May.

“Sterling is my little heart,” she says. “I think God put him in my path – put me on that trajectory.”

Best advice to young professionals? Follow your passion, because work will be a lot less fun if you’re doing something that you don’t like to do every day. You need to find something you love to do.

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