Springfield, MO

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Newsmakers: Jan. 10-16, 2022

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Banking & Finance
Guaranty Bank promoted Carrie Eakins to assistant retail banking manager at its Farmers Park branch. She started her career as a teller with the bank in 2017 and was promoted to market branch banker representative in 2019 and to market branch banker specialist in early 2021.

Central Bank of the Ozarks added Blair Gann, commercial loan officer, to the bank’s Marshfield lending team. A native of Marshfield, she grew up in the agriculture business and has five years of experience in lending. Blair holds a bachelor’s in agriculture from University of Arkansas and is a graduate of the University of Missouri Agriculture Lender’s School.

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri elected Branco Enterprises Inc. Vice President Sean Thouvenot as its 2022 board chairman. He has served on the board since 2015, and Branco has been a member since 1986. AGCMO represents nearly 550 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties across the state.

The Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals named Gina McBain of Ozark West Elementary School as Exemplary New Principal of the Year for the Southwest Region. The award is open to elementary and middle-level principals in their second or third year who demonstrate outstanding contributions to the community and education profession. McBain, who holds a doctorate in educational leadership, curriculum and instruction from Evangel University, began teaching for the Ozark School District in 2001 and was named head principal of West Elementary in early 2020. It’s the second consecutive year an Ozark administrator received the honor.

Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. became certified by the Great Place to Work organization based on employee engagement surveys showing an 83% favorable response rate. The certification also recognized employee pride and retention as a large number of employees, 26% of the 700-person staff, have six to 10 years of tenure.

In the 38th Judicial Circuit, Jessica Kruse of Nixa, was appointed circuit judge and Steven Ward, of Nixa, was appointed associate circuit judge for Christian County. Kruse, who was associate circuit judge, fills the vacancy from Jennifer Growcock’s move to the Southern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals, and Ward takes Kruse’s seat. Kruse holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa and a bachelor’s in crime and society/sociology from Missouri State University. Ward currently serves as an attorney with McAfee & Taft PC and holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, as well as a bachelor’s in education from MSU.

Workplace ratings site named Classy Llama as a Best Company for Women and appointed its CEO, Kurt Theobald, as a Best CEO. The e-commerce agency was listed at No. 26 out of 50 workplaces for women, and Theobald ranked No. 35 among CEOs of small and midsize companies.

Mid-West Family promoted Brian Tyndall to general manager of its Springfield media group, succeeding the retiring Scott Meier. Tyndall is a 20-year employee of MidWest Family.

Former TV news reporter Linda Simmons joined Bott Radio Network as an account executive. She worked for KY3 News for nearly 14 years of her 18-year career in broadcast journalism. Simmons holds a bachelor’s in mass media from Washburn University.

Springfield Sign hired Chad Monteith as procurement manager. He has 20 years of experience, particularly in operations and inventory management, and previously worked at Undercover LLC and for AT&T. Monteith holds an MBA from Illinois State University.


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