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It’s been a busy couple of years for Darline Mabins.
After exiting a nearly two-decade career at Arvest Bank in 2021, she became executive director of the Multicultural Business Association and, most recently, took on the community diversity and equity director position for Community Foundation of the Ozarks Inc. She continues to lead the Multicultural Business Association on a contractual basis, and she’s been owner and CEO of Drain Pro Plumbing since 2019.
“In my career, I made sure that I lead by example,” Mabins says. “For me, it’s imperative that whoever reports to me sees that I would never ask them to do anything that I wouldn’t do or do anything that I haven’t done.”
In her new role that began this summer at CPO, Mabins is responsible for promoting inclusivity in the community, developing and providing diversity, equity and inclusion training sessions, and working with equity-focused nonprofits to improve services.
“I hope as the community diversity and equity director, that I can help to educate our community members to create a more equitable community – to help to make Springfield a place where all feel welcome,” she says.
Mabins brings a broad world view with her to each role.
In 2020, she was an interview guest on Springfield Business Journal’s No Ceiling podcast. In it, she talked about living as a young girl in Haiti, when her mother and brother died in a car accident. The accident was followed by a move to the United States. She grew up in a country where she didn’t speak the language, and she ultimately would go on to use the empathy she learned in her career.
She’s been active with organizations such as the Junior League of Springfield; The Network, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce young professionals group; the chamber’s Facing Racism task force; Missouri State University’s task force for diversity; the Greater Missouri Women’s Leadership Foundation; the Springfield Library Foundation and Friends of the Springfield Art Museum.
“I think having a strong culture of volunteerism creates a better community for all,” Mabins says. “I don’t get involved for the accolades. I help people because it brings me joy, and my life feels more purpose driven.”
That purpose is demonstrated through her role at the Multicultural Business Association, which helps to boost businesses and entrepreneurs who are racial/ethnic minorities, women, veterans or disabled.
“I hope that as the executive director for the Multicultural Business Association that we’re able to create a place in our community where multicultural business owners can start their businesses and thrive,” she says.
The first downtown Springfield branch for Arvest Bank opened; a longtime licensed massage therapist became a first-time business owner; and 7 Brew Coffee opened its fourth shop in Springfield.