An independent panel of judges chose 40 rising professionals for Springfield Business Journal’s 2020 class of 40 Under 40.
Since its 1999 debut, the awards program honors individuals under the age of 40 for their professional and community accomplishments.
This year’s honorees, in alphabetical order, are: Elizabeth Avery, Burrell Behavioral Health; Josh Bade, CoxHealth; Jasmine Bailey, Springfield Police Department; Kirk Baumann, O’Reilly Hospitality Management LLC; Thomas Bieker, Environmental Works Inc.; Brandon Bowenschulte, UMB Bank; Katie Buford, Nixa Parks and Recreation; Derek Chaney, Mid-Missouri Bank; Nicole Chilton, Springfield Regional Arts Council Inc.; Timothy Chitwood, BKD LLP; Danny Collins, 37 North Expeditions LLC; Cole Currier, Foggy River Realty LLC; Andy Drennen, Central Trust Co.; Nate Dunville, Neale & Newman LLP; Katie Fulp, KPM CPAs PC; Erica Gaynor, Ollis/Akers/Arney; Cassie Hanson, Ozarks Food Harvest Inc.; Rachel Heinz, Missouri State University; Melinda Honey, Skaggs Foundation; Joel Hornickel, city of Branson; David Kelly, Nixa Public Schools; Christie Love, The Connecting Grounds; Tiffany Martin, State Bank of Southwest Missouri; Molly Miller, Drury University; Maurice Moss, City Utilities of Springfield; Kari Norris, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame; Austin O’Reilly, Dynamic DNA Laboratories LLC; Tyler Overstreet, Republic School District; Andy Peebles, Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown PC; Timothy Potthoff, Nabholz Construction Corp.; Allison Robertson, Empower: abilities; Shelly Rosenfelder, Husch Blackwell LLP; Ashanti Tate, Heartland Center for Behavioral Change; Jamie Thomas, Prosperiti Properties LLC; Joel Thomas, The Lamar Johnson Collaborative LLC; Adam Toth, Toth and Associates Inc.; Andy Trussell, Murney Associates, Realtors; Allyson Tuckness, Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks; Sarah Walters, Evangel University; and Elizabeth Wente, Spencer Fane LLP.
The new class will be celebrated during a 5:30 p.m. ceremony March 31 at Oasis Hotel & Convention Center, 2546 N. Glenstone Ave.
SBJ has partnered with Dynamic Strides Therapy Inc. for the 40 Under 40 event in an effort to raise awareness and money for the nonprofit organization. Dynamic Strides provides pediatric equine therapy services to kids in southwest Missouri.
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.