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Nonprofit wins chamber’s Small Business Award

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Harmony House this afternoon received the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 W. Curtis Strube Small Business Award.

"This is such an incredible honor. I don't think any of us thought we'd be standing here," said Lisa Farmer, Harmony House executive director, after accepting the award during the chamber’s annual luncheon at Oasis Hotel & Convention Center. "Our board is so proactive and supportive of our mission. They allow us to do what we do."

Harmony House won over finalists:
• Burgess Aircraft Management LLC, dba OzAir Charter Service, which operates a fleet of nine jets from Springfield;
• Dynamic DNA Laboratories LLC, a genetics lab that specializes in DNA testing;
• Loehr Health Center, a chiropractic and wellness company; and
• TheraCare Outpatient Services LLC, which focuses on pediatrics for its health care services, such as speech, occupational and physical therapy.

“It’s impressive how Harmony House has incorporated business best practices to ensure best-in-class service to its clients,” chamber President Matt Morrow said in a news release. “And, like many in our business community, they have focused on creating a strong workplace culture and being an employer of choice to attract and retain talent.”

Founded in 1976, Harmony House provides shelter and support services to domestic violence survivors, impacting the lives of more than 20,000 women, men and children who have received the nonprofit’s services, according to the release.

It was originally incorporated as the Family Violence Center and began as a grassroots all-volunteer organization with survivors initially being sheltered in volunteers’ homes and area hotels, then in rented shelter homes. Its name was changed to Harmony House in 2010 and the nonprofit moved in 2017 to its current facility on East Ridgeview Street, making it the largest domestic violence shelter in Missouri.

Harmony House is the second nonprofit to win the chamber’s annual award, first presented in 1992. Nonprofit Ozarks Food Harvest received the award in 2011, according to chamber officials.

Last year’s Small Business Award winner was Academy of Hair Design Inc. Honorees are selected based on written applications reviewed by an independent panel of judges comprising previous recipients, local business experts and volunteers of the chamber’s Small Business Council. The council was founded by the late Curtis Strube, a former director at Drury University’s Breech School of Business Administration. The 30th annual Small Business Award is given in his honor.

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