Central Bank of the Ozarks promoted Steve Gassel to senior vice president and director of private banking and Kara Turner to assistant vice president and a private banking officer. Gassel has 36 years of banking experience, including 23 years as a private banker. He holds a bachelor’s in finance from Missouri State University. Turner has 20 years of executive sales experience.
Commerce Bank hired Matt Cox as vice president and regional relationship manager of the southwest market. With 10 years of banking experience, he’s responsible for business development and delivering commercial banking products and services. Cox holds a bachelor’s in public relations and business communications from University of Central Missouri.
U.S. Cellular was named to the Forbes list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity for the second year in a row. Companies were selected based on Statista Inc. surveys of over 50,000 employees at companies with at least 1,000 workers.
Springfield Public Schools selected Katy Knapp as principal for McGregor Elementary School, beginning July 1, to succeed Sara Shevchuk, who was named principal at Truman Elementary. Knapp serves as school community liaison at Delaware Elementary, since 2019, and previously she worked an elementary principal in Bethany. She has a bachelor’s in Spanish from Missouri State University and a master’s in educational leadership from Evangel University.
SPS Deputy Superintendent of Operations Carol Embree was named 2021 Business Official of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Business Officials. With the district for 24 years, she oversees SPS’ $250 million operating budget and her responsibilities include construction management, transportation, purchasing, payroll and accounts payable.
College of the Ozarks ranked No. 1 on College Consensus’ 2021 Best Christian Colleges & Universities in the United States. C of O scored 80.2 out of 100 points based on combining results from other college ranking publishers and thousands of student reviews online.
Don Tosh, Evangel University professor of mathematics and corresponding secretary of the school’s Kappa Mu Epsilon chapter, was honored with a national award created in his name. The McKee Tosh Outstanding Chapter Award – also named after Rhonda McKee of the University of Central Missouri – will recognize outstanding local chapters of the KME mathematics honor society. Tosh has been a campus sponsor for 36 years, making him one of the longest serving secretaries in KME’s history.
Nixa Public Schools named sixth-grade teacher Ellen Fogle as the district’s 2021 Teacher of the Year. She’s taught in Nixa since 2016 and serves on the Inman Intermediate School Leadership Team. Fogle holds a master’s in teaching and a bachelor’s in education from University of Arkansas.
Olsson Inc. ranked No. 76 on Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms list based on annual revenue. It’s Olsson’s fourth consecutive year ranked in the top 100, and the firm moved up 18 spots from the prior year.
Transland CEO Mark Walker was named 2021 Volunteer of the Year for Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast. His community involvement has included seats on the boards for Court Appointed Special Advocates national chapter, Care to Learn, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Missouri Trucking Association and Drury University’s Board of Trustees.
Hy-Vee Inc. ranked No. 2 in USA Today’s 10 Best Supermarkets chosen by readers. The grocery chain with 88,000 employees and $11 billion in annual revenue is credited for introducing new employee benefits, such as a 10% employee discount, holiday pay and tuition assistance.
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Advance Auto Parts opened its first store in Springfield; Natural Grocers made its Springfield debut; and a business owner with experience in the insurance, financial planning and digital marketing fields entered the restaurant industry.
Marc Thornsberry, a Senior Engineer at CJW, says he joined the company after working in the public sphere. He says CJW had a ton of experience working with the community, and putting their customer's and clients.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares helpful advice and cautionary tips about the importance of tracking cash flow for new or established businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Michael Smith and Chris Sawyer, COO and CEO of Next Level Solutions respectively, discuss how they keep their remote teams and offices in and out of country on the same page. Next Level Solutions was ranked #1 in the Springfield Business Journal's 2021 Dynamic Dozen.
John Oke-Thomas, architect and co-founder of minorities in business, responds to the accusation that minority businesses are only successful because of the priority they have received in lending. He says that if a business uses a loan well, it shows their worth.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares tips for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding. Some of her tips apply broadly; some target technology industry businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups, and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliott discusses common misconceptions about locating your business in a small town. She says that there are a lot of benefits that people may not consider.
Drawing on his own experience dynamically evolving his company and business model, Jim Meinsen discusses when and how you might need to draw on new technology. Jim and Debbie Meinsen are co-owners of TCI Graphics in Springfield.
John Oke-Thomas, longtime Springfield architect, discusses his philosophy on architecture. He says that future historians will be focused on the sustainability of our contemporary architecture.
Erin Hedlun, director of marketing and communications at Evangel University, says compassion is an important job skill. Hedlun says it is a component of what makes a leader.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, talks about the concepting that went behind the aesthetic of the business.