Springfield, MO

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Newsmakers: May 2-8, 2022

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BKD LLP promoted Catherine Bennett, Caroline Cavanaugh and Tori Cross to managers and Spring Binfet, Jessica Lakin and Jill Stadler to managing consultants. Bennett provides audit services and holds a bachelor’s in accounting from Brigham Young University-Hawaii and an MBA from Missouri State University. With a bachelor’s in accounting from College of the Ozarks and a master of accountancy from MSU, Cavanaugh provides audit and review services. Cross handles audit services in health care and higher education. Binfet, Lakin and Stadler work in accounting outsourcing. Binfet holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Drexel University in Philadelphia; Lakin, an associate degree in accounting from Ozarks Technical Community College; and Stadler, a bachelor’s in accounting from Missouri Southern State University, as well as a master’s in accounting from Texas A&M University.

Banking & Finance
Scott Jacobson joined Branson Bank as vice president of consumer lending. He has 18 years of banking experience, including roles as a personal banker and consumer loan officer. Jacobson holds a bachelor’s in business education from College of the Ozarks and a master’s in education from Southwest Baptist University.

The Foundation for Springfield Public Schools named Great Southern Bank its 2022 Corporate Partner of the Year and presented the Darr family with its Advocate for Education award. Great Southern was honored for its support since the foundation’s inception and for annually helping to deliver grants to teachers throughout the district. The Darrs were recognized for years of support, both financially and in volunteering.

Erica Gaynor, a senior employee benefits adviser with Ollis/Akers/Arney, became a registered employee benefits consultant through the National Association of Health Underwriters. The REBC program analyzes group benefits with respect to federal laws, contract provisions, underwriting, plan design and cost containment. 

Ollis/Akers/Arney commercial risk advisers Najem Agnew and Caleb Johnson were awarded the certified risk architect designation by Beyond Insurance. Recognizing a new breed of insurance agents, the 12-month CRA program is diagnostic, results oriented and focused on managing and mitigating risks. 

Spring Branch Kombucha won Gold at the inaugural Kombucha Kup awards by Kombucha Brewers International. Its Lemon Hops variety was chosen in the hops category during the awards in Long Beach, California.

Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. issued its peer-nominated Excel awards during the 28th annual employee recognition ceremony: Scott Crise, manager of gas plant operations, the Community Advocate Award; Lauren Gandy, organizational development business partner, the Rising Star Award; David McNabb, special adviser to the CEO and general manager, the Distinguished Service Award; and Joey Pate, manager of enterprise business capabilities, the Excellence in Leadership Award. Additionally, five employees were named to the Outstanding Team for going on-site for weeks during a power outage at the co-op’s New Madrid Power Plant in southeast Missouri: Tim Hamilton, principal engineer; Ken Lance, manager of gas projects; Chris Marquez, manager of reliability-centered maintenance; Pete Ottoson, supervisor of engineering projects; and Sean Wright, managing director of engineering and construction.


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