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Newsmakers: Dec. 18-24, 2023

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Banking & Finance
OMB Bank hired Rachel Leach as a vice president and mortgage loan officer. She started her banking career in 2019 as a personal banker with Commerce Bank and accepted a few promotions, most recently to a private client adviser associate for Commerce Trust.

Guaranty Bank promoted Stephanie Callahan to senior VP of operations-cashier. A 15-year bank employee, she has 27 years of industry experience and holds a bachelor’s in finance from Missouri State University.

Education
Evangel University hired Wade Mumm as vice president for its Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. In the executive role, his focus will be on innovation. An Evangel alum, he has served as the lead pastor of the bilingual Greeneway Church in Orlando, Florida, for more than 20 years, and he is also an author, TV producer, educator and U.S. Army veteran.

Missouri Sen. Karla Eslinger, R-Wasola, was hired as commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, effective June 1, 2024. She will succeed Margie Vandeven in the role. Eslinger, the Eslinger, the Senate majority caucus whip who represents District 33 in southwest Missouri, has worked in several roles in education during a 30-year career, including teacher, principal, district administrator and assistant commissioner in DESE’s office of educator quality.

Human Resources
Springfield-based hiring firm Purpose Connect appointed Usman Wajid as chief strategy officer and Ariel Morel as chief operations officer. Wajid, of Kansas City, previously worked at Homebase, a real estate technology firm, while Morel, of Miami Beach, Florida, founded O3 Consulting Group LLC and has worked as its president and CEO supporting historically underrepresented business owners. Both were involved in the founding of Purpose Connect.

Penmac Staffing Services Inc. has announced several promotions. They include 20-year employee Stuart Stringer to chief operations officer and executive team member, Troy Yonker and Michelle Cologna to the new roles of district vice president, and Sherry Holland to corporate trainer. Stringer most recently worked as vice president of operations, while Yonker was corporate trainer, Cologna was an area manager, and Holland was a regional manager.

Nonprofit
Lutheran Family and Children’s Services was reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation. COA’s evaluation covers program quality, financial management and governance standards for private organizations and  public agencies.

Ozark Chamber of Commerce appointed Ashley Johnson as interim president and CEO, following Rachael Salveter, who was CEO the past 18 months and took on the role of director of development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield Inc. Johnson, a co-owner of Firehouse Flooring and More LLC in Nixa, has experience as former vice president of membership for the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce and led the organization in the interim between the exit this year of Chris Russell and appointment of Whitney Guison as its CEO.

Utilities
Sun Solar LLC added Jerry Carpenter as chief revenue officer. He has 14 years of experience in the solar industry.

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