Leslie Conklin of KPM CPAs PC earned the not-for-profit certificate from the American Institute of CPAs. With five years of accounting experience, she supervises the firm’s audit team. Conklin has a bachelor’s in accounting from Missouri State University and a bachelor’s in communication from Drury University.
Banking and Finance
Guaranty Bank promoted Sara Gugel to assistant vice president and Bank Secrecy Act and security officer from the role of electronic services officer. She has 17 years of banking experience and started as a teller at Guaranty Bank. Gugel holds a bachelor’s in business management from Evangel University.
Springfield area contractors Sean Thouvenot of Branco Enterprises Inc. and Doug Fronick of APAC-Central Inc. were elected as board officers for the Missouri chapter of the Association of General Contractors of America. Thouvenot is the chair-elect and Fronick is heavy/highway/infrastructure vice chair. The state organization represents over 500 commercial, industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms.
Olsson Inc. promoted Springfield office leader Ron Mersch to regional leader over Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Arkansas. He succeeds Sterling Cramer, who was appointed senior director of operations. Mersch held the post since 2012 and previously worked in city administration and economic development for the cities of Bolivar and Willow Springs.
Toth and Associates Inc. promoted professional engineers Shawn Barry and Matt Miller to vice presidents and shareholders. They’re credited with developing the civil engineering department into a core discipline for the firm. Barry and Miller have 15 years and 14 years of experience, respectively, in civil engineering projects and have worked together at Toth and Associates for seven years.
Evangel University promoted Erin Hedlun to director of public relations, succeeding the retiring Paul Logsdon. She joined the school in 2018 as a content specialist and now serves as spokesperson for Evangel and its seminary. Hedlun previously worked as public information officer for the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management, and she has a Master Public Information Officer certificate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Homeland Security Department. Logsdon completed 33 years of service to the university in December.
Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management hired Christine Morton as public information officer. She previously worked in news media, including stints at KY3 and Springfield Business Journal, and is responsible for the OEM’s marketing strategies, digital communications and community relations.
Gov. Mike Parson appointed Bobbi Lear, of Bolivar, as the Polk County clerk and Pam Robertson, of Mount Vernon, as the Lawrence County recorder of deeds. Lear has held managerial positions for Walmart and Woods Supermarket, and has worked as an underwriter for Polk County Mutual Insurance Co. and as a district manager for Western Shamrock Corp. Robertson was the interim recorder in the county and previously held the role from 1999 until her retirement in 2018.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson selected Judge Jack Goodman, of Monett, to succeed retiring Judge Daniel Scott in the Missouri Court of Appeals’ Southern District. Goodman previously was Lawrence County Circuit Court presiding judge. He was one of three finalists for Scott’s position turned over to Parson.
Company commissions locally produced pieces that highlight takeaways of the pandemic.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, discusses an issue she sees in how business is presented to young women. She says because social roles are different for men and women, women can be led to expect an unrealistic work-life balance as business owners.
Randy Bacon, a longtime professional photographer based in downtown Springfield, says preparation before making big decisions helped him transition between important stages in his life. He says his big decisions were ultimately a big leap of faith.
Andrea Petersberg, owner of the Local Bevy, says the appeal of a local store holds a lot of value for people in and outside of Springfield. Petersburg says being a supporting part of the local connection for artists is important for her.
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, shares his story on how he left his job in the corporate world to pursue his dream. Now 60 years old and with signature character to his photography and business, he says he still is a 15-year-old boy with a camera.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, gives her advice for maintaining good relationships with clients. Drawing on her experience working with customers coast to coast, Thomas says equity and fairness are some of the best ways to build trust and respect.
Don Helms, co-owner of Munchie Moe’s, says it's important to know your business and to think ahead of your supply chain. Helms says COVID-19 has changed the way he has experienced business operation. He says foresight is key.
Janet Susdorf, business consultant and founder of Brain Power for Hire, LLC, discusses the importance of adapting and learning from failure. Drawing from the struggles she has faced in her own life as a sixtime cancer survivor, Susdorf talks about when to fight and when to accept change.
Jennifer Charleston, a 20-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and the only female lieutenant in the department, talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about her career in law enforcement and her new position in the department as a liaison to the LGBTQ+ community.
Moving from physical meetings to digital meetings can feel like a barrier, but Mackenzie Scherer, an independent technology business consultant, says it can be an opportunity. Scherer says that with good moderation, a digital meeting experience can make people feel more included in the discussion.
Abby Glenn, development director for Habitat for Humanity, says corporate partners are a huge asset to the work they do. Corporate donation matching programs help individual donors feel they are contributing more and help Habitat for Humanity cover the large costs of their projects.