Springfield firms BKD LLP and KPM CPAs & Advisors were listed on Inside Public Accounting’s 2021 Best of the Best Firms. BKD ranked No. 14, factoring in its $758.1 million in net annual revenue, up one spot from last year. KPM was No. 242, three spots lower than last year’s list, and it reported net revenue of $16.2 million. IPA ranks the top 400 firms based on company surveys and public analysis.
Banking & Finance
Central Trust Co. added Jeni Wirth as a trust administrator. She’s worked in the industry since 2001, beginning in retail banking before transitioning into trust and wealth management in 2007. Wirth holds a bachelor’s in finance from Missouri State University and is an accredited wealth management adviser through the College for Financial Planning.
The Assemblies of God Alliance for Christian Higher Education awarded Larry Dissmore as a Distinguished Educator and Sheri Phillips as a Distinguished Administrator in their service to Evangel University. Dissmore is a professor of music and director of orchestral activities and has worked for the school since 1988, leading the Evangel Concert Orchestra on tours throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Phillips, who recently retired as vice president for student development, had worked 35 years for Evangel in student-focused positions, including counseling, community life and academic support.
Strong-Garner-Bauer PC and several of its attorneys were recognized by Best Lawyers in America. Based on peer reviews, the firm was named a 2022 Best Law Firm. Individually, Steve Garner was honored as Lawyer of the Year in the Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs category in Springfield and among Best Lawyers for insurance law, medical malpractice law-plaintiffs, and product liability litigation-plaintiffs; Jeff Bauer was named Lawyer of the Year in Springfield for insurance law and recognized in the categories of Litigation-Insurance, Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Litigation-Plaintiffs; Neil Chanter was cited for medical malpractice law, personal injury litigation and product liability litigation for plaintiffs; Chandler Gregg was honored as Lawyer of the Year in Springfield for product liability litigation-plaintiffs, and recognized in the Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Professional Malpractice Law-Plaintiffs categories; Nick Smart was selected among Best Lawyers’ Ones to Watch in Springfield for plaintiffs work in medical malpractice, personal injury and product liability cases; and Jacob Lewis was chosen among Best Lawyers’ Ones to Watch in Springfield for medical malpractice law for plaintiffs.
Dee Wampler and Joseph S. Passanise of Wampler & Passanise Law Office PC were recognized by Best Lawyers in America: Wampler as Springfield Lawyer of the Year in the Criminal Defense: General Practice category and Passanise as Springfield Lawyer of the Year for Criminal Defense: White Collar. Additionally, Wampler was recognized for Criminal Defense: White Collar and Passanise for Criminal Defense: General Practice and DUI/DWI Defense.
Kristy Bork, the assistant director of aviation, finance and administration for the Springfield-Branson National Airport, became an accredited airport executive through the American Association of Airport Executives. She passed a 180-item multiple-choice exam, writing requirements, and an interview by a panel of AAEs. Bork is among 10% of AAAE members with the distinction.
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.