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Newsmakers: May 17-23, 2021

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Banking
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.

Communications
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.

Education
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.

Engineering
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.

Nonprofit
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.

Retail
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.

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