David is an experienced corporate, transactional and commercial law attorney within Husch Blackwell’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation group. He devotes a significant portion of his practice to representing clients in the commercial airline and business aviation industry. He has served as special counsel for domestic and international commercial airlines in connection with numerous aircraft acquisition, disposition and financing transactions, airport-related issues and transactions, sales and property taxation issues, and subsidiary dispositions and acquisitions, giving him a unique industry perspective. David also has served in a similar role to major maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities in both the commercial and business aviation sectors and has significant experience in the VIP aircraft completion sector. He has represented both U.S. and foreign business aviation clients (high net-worth individuals, flight departments, charter operators, fixed-base operators and major maintenance facilities) in connection with large business aircraft acquisitions, financings, leasing, management, charter leasing and maintenance, repair, modifications and completions. As co-chair of Husch Blackwell’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team, David’s industry experience has included various regulatory matters, including seeking certificates of authority from the DOT. David’s aviation practice has provided him with a unique perspective on issues facing the evolving UAS industry and he is actively following the
regulatory and associated issues involving UAS, including the pending actions before, and anticipated regulatory action by, the FAA and other foreign jurisdictions.
Kevin Agee is a new media specialist with the offices of University Communications and Web and New Media at Missouri State since Dec. 2014. As the social media lead for the university, he has helped increase MSU’s profile with more than 25,000 new Twitter followers and 16,000 new Facebook fans. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from MSU in 2011 and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. A 2017 recipient of the MSU Staff Excellence in University Service Award, Agee’s writing is published in several outlets, including the MSU research publication “Mind’s Eye,” Missouri State Magazine, the Springfield News-Leader and Fox Sports. He lives in Springfield.
Missouri State University
Kyle Ali is an advocate for equal educational and workforce opportunities and has excelled as an identifier, cultivator and developer of diverse talent. As a member of the People Operations team, Kyle maps the world’s top engineers and acts as their talent advocate to Google. Prior to joining Google, Kyle developed and launched Teach For America – Greater Nashville’s first regional institute for corps members and led Teach For America’s outreach and recruitment efforts at several of the nation’s top public and private institutions. Kyle is a proud alum of Teach For America, where he served as a high school social studies teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. Kyle holds bachelors degrees in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Missouri. He, his wife Danielle, and their daughter Sadie reside in Austin, Texas.
With more than 26 years of experience leading a global manufacturing company, Allen has a passion and talent for creating custom solutions for clients. Allen has a record of working with dignitaries all over the world. She has served as chairman of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Missouri District Export Council; and is a founding member of the Greater Ozarks International Trade Association. Throughout Allen’s tenure as CEO and owner of Allen Filters, Inc., she received the Global Business Person of the Year from the World Trade Center in St. Louis; Exporter of the Year from Missouri Director of Economic Development; and Exporter of the Year Award for the State of Missouri. Allen was interviewed as an industry expert by Business Week, CNN; The Wall Street Journal; Gannett News Service; Investor’s Business Daily; the International Business News Magazine; and Ozarks Public Television. A skilled manufacturing export advocate and women and girls philanthropist, Allen’s primary motivation is to create a cleaner environment and establish networks to help women and girls in third world countries obtain a better life.
Jim Anderson is the Vice President for Marketing and Public Affairs at CoxHealth. He was formerly the President of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. During his time with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber was recognized as the Chamber of the Year by its national professional organization in 2012. Before joining the Springfield Chamber, he spent nine years as president of the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, he served as a school administrator and school teacher in the Jefferson City Public Schools. Anderson has served on numerous state and national committees over his career.
Derek Ankrom’s practice is primarily focused on commercial litigation for religious and educational institutions, healthcare entities, and clients in the real estate, design, and construction industries. He assists his clients in resolving a wide range of legal issues, including employment disputes, claims of discrimination, civil rights violations, breach of contract actions, intentional tort and negligence actions, property disputes, construction law matters, and complex litigation. Derek has represented local, regional, and national companies and not-for-profit entities in both litigation and corporate matters. He has appeared in trial courts throughout Southern Missouri and the Missouri Court of Appeals on behalf of his clients. While in law school, Derek served as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Gary W. Lynch of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, and the Hon. Mark D. Pfeiffer of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. In 2011, Derek was named to the National Order of Scribes of the American Society of Legal Writers for displaying excellence in legal writing. Derek was the 2013 recipient of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association and Legal Services of Southern Missouri’s Equal Access to Justice Award, which was established to recognize attorneys who have made significant contributions to the mission of Legal Services of Southern Missouri and have shown a commitment to assisting low-income individuals in civil law matters. Derek also received the 2013 Missouri Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Pro Bono Publico Award recognizing a member of the Missouri bar in practice less than four years for their dedication to public service.
Jennifer defends clients in the automotive, trucking, construction and insurance industries in both state and federal courts nationwide. She has experience in all key phases of litigation: initial case assessment and negotiation, efficient written and deposition discovery, drafting and arguing pre-trial and trial motions, mediation and arbitration, and trial preparation. Jennifer has also drafted and argued successful dispositive motions. A key portion of her practice is advising clients on product safety to minimize tort and product liability risk and exposure. In addition to her trial and counseling work, Jennifer regularly handles appellate work at state and federal appellate courts and state supreme courts. Drawing on her experience as a law clerk for The Hon. William Ray Price, Jr. of the Supreme Court of Missouri and an extern for The Hon. Karen King Mitchell of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, Jennifer strategizes appellate arguments, drafts briefs and other appellate materials, and constructs effective oral arguments. Jennifer has written appellate briefs, writs, motions for transfer and amicus curiae briefs for a wide array of issues, including matters of tort law, juror nondisclosure, expert qualification, contract interpretation, enforcement of arbitration agreements, and insurance matters. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys mentoring law students, volunteering and long-distance running.
Shook Hardy & Bacon
Jim is a member of BKD National Manufacturing & Distribution Group and the BKD WealthPlan team. He provides tax, accounting and consulting services for individuals and closely held businesses and serves as the director of the accounting outsourcing services department for the Springfield office. His experience includes 11 years of identifying tax solutions for businesses in the service, retail and manufacturing industries. In addition, Jim is a frequent speaker on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance and provides ACA-related consulting services for businesses. Jim is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Missouri Society of CPAs and the Ozarks Technical Community College Accounting Advisory Board.
Christian Badger works in brand management and marketing at Kraft Foods. Before earning his MBA at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, he worked in account management at advertising agencies in Los Angeles and Chicago on clients including Del Monte, Sprint, and Invesco. Christian is originally from St. Louis, MO and has his bachelor’s degree from Mizzou.
Tara Bailes is a member Spencer Fane’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution and Labor and Employment Groups. Tara graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law in 2015. During law school, Tara was an Associate Editor for the Missouri Law Review. She served on the Board of Advocates’ Executive Board as the Public Relations Director and served as the Internal and External Relations Chair for the Women’s Law Association. Tara also held the positions of Assistant Client Counseling Director for the Board of Advocates and Auction Logistics Co-Chair for the Women’s Law Association. Tara studied International and Comparative Law and International Law and Development in London through the London Law Consortium during her second year of law school. During her law school summers, she worked as a summer associate at civil defense firms in Springfield and Kansas City, Missouri. Tara graduated from Missouri State University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business in 2012. At Missouri State, Tara was a member of the Honors College, the women’s soccer team, and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
Jon has had the opportunity to lead companies as a CEO, COO and Founder in industries ranging from service, to manufacturing to importing and distribution. Most recently he served as COO of Wiese USA, one of the largest Caterpillar dealerships in North America with four divisions and 36 locations. While leading Wiese, company revenues and profits more than doubled in a seven year period and became an industry best practice model for quickly driving results thru operational excellence and high performance culture management systems. Jon started his career at Procter & Gamble in sales and marketing and went on to be President of Noble Communications, one of the country’s largest marketing services firms where revenues increased over 350% in a seven year period and profits were among the industries best. He left Noble to become division Chairman of one of the largest marketing services firms in the world where he successfully led turning around the firm’s Southern division. That company was then sold to Publicis. He went on to launch a national consulting firm focused on driving bottom line performance thru implementing culture management systems designed to quickly drive accountability. The company’s client roster included Anheuser Busch, Arby’s, AmerCable, O’Reilly Automotive and others. His firm also focused on turnarounds, resulting in a 50% stake in a manufacturing/importing firm. That turnaround was featured in Industry Week Magazine, Inc. Magazine and other leading industry publications. He has spoken to over 100 Vistage and YPO groups on the subject of leadership best practices as well as managing culture management systems and was named the top Vistage speaker on the subject of leadership during that time. He has spoken at annual meetings for Labor Ready Worldwide, Tyson Foods, O’Reilly Auto, the North and South American CAT dealers and others on the subject of driving results thru effective culture management systems. Three years ago he stepped down from leading Wiese USA while remaining on their board and serving as an advisor. He is currently on corporate boards for the Nordic Group, Hammons Products and CTA Inc. He most recently served on the board of the Marlin Network and assisted in the sale of the company to a Private Equity firm. He serves as a special advisor to the CEO of Brewer Science and Chaired the Advisory Board of Missouri State’s Business School, one of the largest business schools in the nation. Jon and his wife Jo live on a small farm in Missouri with Lucca the squirrel-crazed dog. When he is not attending or watching college football games (especially Ohio State), they love to travel, support non-profits and mentor young inner city men. Jon competes in masters swim meets and team triathlons…..or at least he calls it competing.
Jon Barry is the Director of Business Outreach for Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. Originally from Jefferson City, Jon graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2001 with a degree in marketing. From 2001 – 2009, he lived and worked in the Netherlands, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Australia leading multinational business development, sales and marketing programs for Fortune 500-level companies. His specialties include startup and strategic planning, go-to-market strategy, business operations, sales, program development and leadership, product launch, sourcing and vendor management. Jon is an officer in the Missouri Army National Guard, a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), is currently completing an MBA with an emphasis in marketing and is conversational in Mandarin Chinese.
Missouri Secretary of State Office
I’ve been doing some aspect of Human Resources for more than 10 years, and have managed through many challenging situations. My skillset is definitely one that can be considered a true generalist, as I have deep experience in all aspects human capital management.
I have spearheaded new processes in staffing, talent management, benefits enrollment, onboarding, and training development. When it comes to attacking issues or opportunities, I’m energetic and always get very creative to find the right answer.
AmProd Holdings, LLC
Jan has 41 years of Credit, Cash Management, Marketing and Business Development banking experience. She is a Drury University graduate with a BA in Business and Economics. She currently serves on the Board of Trustee’s of Drury University, Board of the United Way of the Ozarks, and is on the Audit Committee of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. She is a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class 3 and a 2005 SBJ Influential Woman. Over the years she has served on many local community boards.
Springfield First Community Bank
Paul Berry is the Executive Editor of the Springfield News-Leader, the leader of in-depth, watchdog journalism in the Ozarks. With a degree in Organizational Management, Paul’s non-traditional path to journalism through nonprofits and social media prepared him to address new challenges the industry faces. Outside of the office, you’ll find Paul rooting on the Chiefs and the Royals, or walking his chocolate lab Salvador.
In college, Tom worked for the Southwestern Company of Nashville, Tennessee. Southwestern employs thousands of college students each summer to sell books door-to-door. Based on his success in sales (number one for three successive summers), Tom became a sales manager at Southwestern. Tom then joined FISI*Madison Financial and successfully ran the sales organization. Tom grew sales to over $350 million. Tom left FISI*Madison to start Private Business, Inc. Tom served as CEO for six years and took the company public in May of 1999. In January 1999, Tom purchased BancSource, Inc. Tom formed a sister company, Imagic Corporation, that develops and supports check-imaging systems to community banks. As CEO, Tom expanded both companies from small regional providers to national sales and service organizations. Imagic grew quickly, merged with OSI and went public. Under his leadership, Bancsource has gone from 27 employees to almost 500 serving 4,000 banks in 49 states. The Tom Black Center for Excellence, a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), offers customized sales training services to national clients of all sizes in a wide range of fields. www.tomblackcenter.com
Tom Black Center for Excellence
Amy Blansit is an instructor in the Kinesiology department at Missouri State University, teaching courses in health and wellness promotions, obesity management, and sport performance. With experience in real estate development, she purchased the dilapidated Fairbanks Elementary School to create a hub for resources in underserved northwest Springfield. As chairman of The Drew Lewis Foundation and Program Director of the Northwest Project for socioeconomic development, she is working to positively impact poverty.
MSU & Northwest Project
Vanessa Brandt is the Managing Director Account Service at Marlin. Food & beverage has been at the core of Vanessa’s career with 15+ years in the category—focused on new product innovation, strategic planning, brand development and commercialization. She’s worked with brands such as Coca-Cola, Diageo, Bacardi, Starbucks, Frito-Lay, French’s Food Company and many more.
Julie T. Brown
Julie Brown is a shareholder in the Transactional and Estate Planning Practice Groups of Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown, P.C. She concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, banking, corporation and business planning. Ms. Brown was a Member, Order of the Bench and Robe as well as a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Corporations and Taxation. Ms. Brown currently serves on the Board of Directors of Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. and Great Southern Bank. Ms. Brown also devotes a significant amount of time towards community activities such as serving on the Springfield Innovation, Inc. Board of Directors and the Board of the Springfield Business Development Corporation. She has also served, in the past, on the Boards of Ozark Technical College Foundation, Foundation for the Springfield Public Schools, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the Discovery Center, Lost & Found Advisory Council, and the Boys and Girls Club. Ms. Brown has also been recognized by the Springfield Business Journal with their “40 Under 40” award, for her outstanding contribution to the community and her profession. Ms. Brown received her bachelor’s degree from University of Missouri – Columbia in 1983 and her law degree, with distinction, in 1986 from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where she served as the Associate Casenote Editor of the University of Missouri – Kansas City Law Review from 1985 to 1986. Ms. Brown is a member of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Missouri Bar and the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association.
Julie T. Brown
Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown
Megan is the office straight talker, which bodes well for her marketing and copywriting responsibilities. She came to Revel with five years of experience working as the Marketing Manager for the Office of Cultural Affairs at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Her experience in marketing the arts paired with her degree from Appalachian in Marketing and Health Care Management set her up to lead the Marketing and Accounts Department at Revel. Never shying away from getting involved in any part of the agency, Megan loves the diversity her job possesses every day. After hours Megan spends her time outside running or hiking as often as she can, reading, eating Jersey Mike’s subs and teaching TRX classes.
With a background in branding and marketing, and passion for editorial, Dakota A. Cafourek collaborates with various brands and cultural institutions. She has developed consumer-facing content for international clients in sport, photography and healthcare. As a travel enthusiast, she has contributed pieces to Whalebone Magazine and And North among others, and was the founding editor of Upward Magazine. For the past year, she traveled and blogged the U.S. on Maidstone Buttermilk and was an Instagram Weekend Takeover Host for LoveSpringfield. Previously, Dakota helped drive two national mental health advocacy campaigns. Dakota is currently focusing on her new company, the Mo. Import Co., an import/export of home and lifestyle goods sourced from travel and geared for the New York market. She dedicates her free time to volunteering on the digital marketing team of a museum in New York City and practicing French and Italian. She holds a M.A. in Global Communications from The American University of Paris and a B.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Dakota splits her time between Manhattan and East Hampton, NY with her husband.
Mo. Import Co.
Mary Chalender is the General Sales Manager of KY3, Inc. She grew up in Chesterfield, Mo. In 1983, she graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in Communications. Her first job in sales took her to New York City and Houston, Texas. She moved to Springfield and started her media career in December, 1984. She spent 23 years in the cable industry, earning the position of General Manager before moving to KY3, Inc. in 2007. She started as the Local Sales Manager for KSPR, the station’s newly acquired ABC affiliate. Within a year and a half, she was promoted to General Sales Manager of KY3, Inc., the number one station group in the market with seven stations under their roof. Between their three affiliates (NBC, ABC and The CW), they produce almost 65 hours of live news a week. KY3, Inc. is truly committed to the community in everything they do.
Emily Church is the owner and founder of Everything Kitchens. She began building the e-commerce side of Everything Kitchens as a teenager, launching it at 20 years old. Her company has since celebrated it’s 13th year in business, and has grown to be both brick and mortar and online, with nearly 17 million in revenue in 2014. Everything Kitchens has been on the Inc. 5000 list, and the Internet Retailer Second 500 list, as well a winning many local business awards. Emily Church was a Springfield Business Journal 2012 40 Under 40 Honoree, Springfield Business Journal 2013 Most Influential Women Honoree, and a 2010 417 Magazine’s 20 Under 30 honoree.
Dan Cobb was Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of HealthMEDX until the sale of the company. HealthMEDX is a leading provider of software for the long-term care and home care industries. Dan served over 30 years in the industry and was a frequent speaker at national conferences and contributor to trade journals. He served on the board of directors for the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care (NASL) including a 2 year term as President and 3 years chairing its IT committee. He served on the Certification Commission for Health IT (CCHIT) Advisory Task Force and was co-chair of the CCHIT Long Term and Post Acute Care workgroup, defining electronic health record standards for the industry. Currently Dan serves on the board of the Mid America Technology Alliance, is the current Treasurer and served for 4 years Chair. He is on the board for the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO) and chairs its Endowment Committee. He invests in a number of startups, restaurant and real estate ventures.
As a member of the Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation group, Mike focuses on aviation law, with an emphasis on regulatory and tax matters. He represents and advises a variety of clients that own, operate and manage aircraft and fractional interests. He specifically advises on purchase, sale, lease and financing of business and commercial aircraft; the International Registry; Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Civil Registry; regulatory compliance (including domestic and foreign registration); and federal and state tax issues relating to owning and operating aircraft. Mike also counsels a variety of small businesses and large corporations in all phases of operation, including entity selection and formation; the purchase, sale and mergers of businesses and business assets; private-equity financing and counseling on daily operations; and risk management issues.
Teresa Coyan came to the Springfield area in 2003 to attend Missouri State University, where she received her undergraduate degree in 2005 in Business Management with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and in 2010 received her MBA through Webster University. Currently, Teresa works at CoxHealth, in which she is the liaison between CoxHealth and local, state & federal legislators, business leaders and the community in her role as Legislative and Public Affairs Manager. She is also active in a variety of community organizations including the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Network, Care to Learn, Convoy of Hope and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks. She was part of class 27 of Leadership Springfield and also sits on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools and the Board of Public Utilities.
Charlie has been an entrepreneur in the technology field for nearly three decades. He is currently severing as the COO for HealthMEDX of which he co-founded in 1999 and subsequently sold in 2011. He has also co-founded an active investment fund with current investments in www.motominer.com, www.360VINspin.com, www.essets.com, www.stonebank.com, www.somobank..com, and various real estate projects in Missouri and Florida. Holding dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from Missouri State University, Daniels’s has a diverse background in healthcare, technology, and business. He has held positions at all management and executive levels, as well as operational leadership in the areas of business development, professional services and software development.
Christine Daues is from Cleveland, OH. and spent almost 20 years in broadcast news and television production work. She held the roles of news producer, news writer, reporter, anchor, on-camera host and assignment editor. In August of 2010, she started a granola company called Granolove along with her husband Joe. The honey-roasted, gluten-free Granolove is sold as loose granola in bags at grocery stores and specialty shops around the Midwest. In 2015 Granolove was picked up by the specialty food arm of Associated Wholesale Grocers and distribution expanded to the South and Southeast. 10% of the profits from Granolove go to Shriners Hospitals for Children, where Joe and Christine’s daughter Jude is treated. In November of 2015, Christine took on a full-time role at Paul Mueller Company in Springfield as Senior Marketing Strategist. Paul Mueller Company is a publicly traded company that’s been crafting quality stainless steel tanks and processing solutions since 1940. Paul Mueller Company makes the equipment that processes everyday liquids you drink like milk, water and beer. Christine and her husband of 14 years, Joe Daues have two children, Joey age 9 and Jude age 7. Christine values her role in the community. She has served as a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Children. Christine and her family are also patient ambassador’s at Shriners Hospitals for Children and Christine serves on her parish council at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
Walker Deibel currently manages a portfolio of companies where he combines the roles of “entrepreneur” and “investor.” He is the Managing Member of EDC, which provides an Amazon-like experience for supply chain management; American Sun Control, an aluminum fabrication, awning, and window film company; American Powder Coating, which supplies Missouri manufacturers with metal finishing; and Mach 5, an online distributor of niche products. Walker is also an Executive Producer of award winning documentaries and independent feature films, which have premiered at the world’s most prestigious festivals: Sundance, Toronto, and South by SouthWest. He is a Partner in Codesmith, an elite, LA-based coding academy graduating mid to senior fullstack software engineers. Prior, Walker was CEO of Corley Printing Company–one of the largest printing companies in the US–where he spearheaded the creation of one of the largest digital book printing facilities in St. Louis before exiting the company to an acquisition target. Walker is an investor in three startups and has been a founding member in two that went quite far… but didn’t make it. Walker received his MBA from Washington University where he was also awarded the Declaration of Accomplishment in Entrepreneurship. He has both competed in and been a judge for the Olin Cup competition at the Skandalaris Center of Entrepreneurship, where he placed second, and serves on the Board for the St. Louis Chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organization. Walker is currently building the most comprehensive curriculum in the world around buying an existing business for his company, Pivotal Ed, which teaches would be entrepreneurs how to minimize the margin of failure by affordably acquiring existing revenue, infrastructure, and earnings.
Gretchen is a Springfield native and owner of Rockridge Group where her primary roles include purchasing, merchandise selection, and catalog circulation planning.
She was the marketing manager for the now defunct Direct Retailing Inc. company in Ozark, MO. When that company declared bankruptcy in 2008, her husband who also worked there, purchased the intellectual property via a court-approved arrangement with the secured creditors in the case, and re-launched the brands formerly owned by Direct Retailing. They’ve maintained a minimum of 20% year-over-year revenue growth since 2008, and will end 2015 with $2M plus in sales for the calendar year.
Previously, her career was in construction project management and construction materials quality control.
Karina Dixon earned her degree from Missouri State University in Organizational Communication in 2005 and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution in 2010. Her background includes six years at Springfield, Missouri insurance software start-up Intuitive Web Solutions (IWS), beginning first as Account Manager and eventually moving into an HR Generalist role. As HR Generalist, Karina took on accounting, marketing and overall operations responsibilities. Karina expanded her HR knowledge as HR Generalist with HealthMEDX, a mid-size Electronic Medical Records software company in Ozark. More recently, Karina spent one year as Director of Operations for CellARide right here in the eFactory. She is now HR Manager for Storee Construction. Karina has achieved her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification. She prides herself on her ability to focus on individual’s strengths in developing effective teams and is passionate about the importance of company culture.
Murney, Associates Realtors
Wade Early helps employers by litigating discrimination, retaliation, non-compete and other employment-related claims. Wade also emphasizes prevention by providing clients with human resource training and risk management counseling with the goal of avoiding litigation wherever possible. Additionally, Wade handles various litigation matters for employers including construction disputes and creditor’s rights issues. Wade was awarded his juris doctor, magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas School Of Law in Fayetteville where he was a member of the Arkansas Law Review. In his free time you are likely to find Wade on a wakeboard or wakesurfing on Table Rock Lake or in a duck blind with friends and family members.
Isabel Eisenhauer is the Assistant Director and a full-time consultant for the Missouri State University Small Business & Technology Development Center. Isabel is a Sales and Marketing Professional with 19 years experience with two Fortune 100 Corporations. As an Account Manager with Northrop Grumman (formerly Litton), Isabel had customer support and service responsibility for their single largest customer, representing 44% of gross sales. Prior to this, Isabel designed, implemented, and utilized a sales forecast system which provided planning information to Senior Management and unit demand information to Middle Management. Experience with Hewlett Packard included contributing in the Marketing function (New Product Introduction Management, Reseller Channel Management, and Sales Development) and the Finance/Accounting function (Financial Planning, Financial Reporting, Special Projects, and Cost Accounting). An area of significant accomplishment was during a three month assignment in Germany which resulted in improved relationships between the seven domestic divisions and the European distribution center. Isabel has worked extensively with international divisions located in Italy, Puerto Rico, England, Canada, Germany, Singapore, Scotland and China. Other experiences include owning a Management Consulting/Accounting firm providing services to small businesses and as an Associate Faculty in a small Community College teaching business courses. In addition, Isabel is a professional photographer providing wedding, family and high school portraiture as well as artistic landscape and architectural photography. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting and an MBA with emphasis in management information systems, both from Northern Arizona University. She is also fluent in Spanish.
Kyle Elliott helps his clients obtain patent, trademark, and copyright protection for their innovative products and services, so they can secure exclusive rights gaining a competitive advantage. Concentrating on electrical, computer, mechanical and chemical technologies, Kyle has extensive experience working with a broad range of products including aerospace fasteners, oil well drilling bits, transformers, vision systems, encryption software, UAV control systems, advanced polymer coatings and bio-fuels. Once obtained, Kyle helps clients enforce their patents, trademarks, and copyrights against infringers, so they can preserve their competitive advantage in the marketplace and profit from their innovations and development efforts. He also helps clients defend their products and services from accusations of infringement by competitors and trolls, so they can continue offering profitable and rightful services and products. As a certified mediator who assists litigating parties with resolution of disputes over patents, trademarks, unfair competition and copyrights, he helps clients bring closure to their disputes and return their focus and resources to their businesses. With over two decades of Intellectual Property experience, Kyle has developed case theories for accused infringers resulting in many settlements for no money and many settlements for less than the expected cost of litigation.
Brad Erwin was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and followed his soon-to-be wife to Springfield in 2003. He started Paragon Architecture and Visionary Grant Group in 2010 and started The Touchstone Group in 2015. He has received number awards including ENR Midwest Class of 2014’s Top 20 Under 40, 2015 SBJ Entrepreneur of the Year, 2014 Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year and 2013 YP of the Year The Network. Brad is very involved in his community including 2012 Chairman of the Network and Leadership Council, Secretary of the Partnership for Sustainability Executive Committee, Care to Learn Advisory Committee, P20 Advisory Committee, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Salvation Army Joplin Advisory Committee, CPO Executive Committee – Treasurer, AIA Springfield Board of Directors & Treasurer and Leadership Springfield Class 25.
Zack Exley is a political and technology consultant, previously employed as the Chief Revenue Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation. Before that he worked at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy. He is also the co-founder and former president of the New Organizing Institute, a progressive political technology training organization. In 2004, he was the Director of Online Communications and Organizing on John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Exley was Organizing Director at MoveOn.org during the group’s campaign to prevent the Iraq War. Exley began his political career working as a union organizer, and has also worked as a computer programmer.
Brian Fogle is President at Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Prior to joining CFO, he spent 30 years in banking in Springfield. Brian’s hometown is Aurora, MO, where he is a graduate of Aurora High School. He has his B.B.A. and M.B.A. in banking and finance from the University of Mississippi. He is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking of the South at L.S.U. He is married to Renee Arnaud formerly of Monett, and they have 3 children, Andrew, Betsy, and Ellen. Brian has been active in numerous civic and non-profit groups. He currently chairs the Good Community Committee and is on the board of the Every Child Promise, Mercy Health Systems-Springfield, and the Federal Reserve Community Advisory Board. He was awarded the O Franklin Kenworthy Leadership Award in 1990, the National Community Leadership Award in 1993, and the Springfieldian Award in 2010, and received and honorary doctorate of humane letters from Drury University in December, 2011. He was appointed by Governor Nixon to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education in 2012. His motto in life is “Often wrong, seldom in doubt.”
Community Foundation of the Ozarks
Taylor Fox is currently an F-22 pilot for the United States Air Force Reserves. After earning a degree in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Missouri, he continued his education there earning an MBA. He has a variety of startup experiences from working on the private equity side of the table to a variety of startups ranging from consumer goods to digital content with Newsy.com. Besides flying for the Air Force, he is currently active in real estate and a project to enhance corporate professional education.
US Air Force Reserves
Frazier has worked in a variety of positions in health care management and the insurance industry for the last 20 years. He is currently a board member of Springfield Innovation Inc. Recent positions include chief operations officer for Healthmedx, vice president of commercial operations for Healthtronics and president of Intuitive Medical Software. Frazier has a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Missouri State University.
Virginia is a member of the firm’s Healthcare, Life Sciences & Education industry team. She is an experienced litigator in federal and state courts in a variety of areas, including constitutional law, commercial and business litigation, breach of fiduciary duty and employment litigation. She advises healthcare clients as well as education clients with respect to the federal and state laws that regulate their operations. She also frequently defends management from many industries and areas in wrongful discharge, harassment, discrimination and related state and federal employment claims. Within the healthcare industry, Virginia’s experience includes:
- Representing a three-hospital system in favorably resolving federal civil liability charges.
- Defended a hospital against False Claim Act allegations brought by former employees with favorable results.
- Defended a hospital against allegations brought by multiple former employees who claimed retaliation for whistleblowing activities.
- Defended a long-term care provider against multiple allegations of discrimination brought by former employees.
In addition, Virginia has served her local healthcare community through many volunteer efforts. She was a member of the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks’ Board of Directors, and she previously served on the Board of Directors and as president of the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA). While on VNA’s board, Virginia negotiated a sale to Mercy healthcare system, whereby VNA used the proceeds to establish a foundation that awards healthcare-related grants to organizations in southwest Missouri. Virginia also previously served on the Board of Directors for Springfield Community Hospital. Virginia also represents school districts and public and private higher education institutions. She regularly advises boards of education, trustees and administrators on matters involving employee hiring, evaluation, remediation and termination, student rights and discipline, civil rights, contracts, the Sunshine Law; church/state issues, and other constitutional matters. Virginia also represents public and private employers in employment discrimination and disability matters and provides preventive employment law services, including supervisor training and employment compliance audits. Virginia is a member of the firm’s Executive and Partner Boards.
As a 18 year media sales veteran, Marty emerged as a leader within a transforming media landscape. Having excelled with three of the largest media companies in the U.S. (Knight Ridder, McClatchy and Gannett), Marty was a pioneer in leading and changing sales cultures from service organizations to world-class sales organizations. Marty has developed a sound curriculum of sales management and leadership experience as a 6-year Sales Director with focus in New Business Development, Training, Niche Product Development, Online Sales Development, Managing Sales Teams and Leading through Transition. Fueled by passion and ideas, Marty’s teams strive for peak performance. After posting two consecutive years as a top performing sales team in Gannett, Marty started his own company in June of 2014. Marty founded Goodnight Communications, LLC and InboundStar where he worked with local businesses and media companies to develop inbound marketing strategies to generate leads, sales pipelines and new business. Marty also speaks to various industry associations about strategies and tactics to convert “Advertise with Us” pages on media websites from boring static informational pages to dynamic sales tools that position value and generate local interest from local advertising prospects. As a sales leader, Marty speaks to the importance of sales strategy, pipeline development, progressive prospecting techniques and long-term sales planning. Marty is a natural field coach and continues to consult with media sales teams as a trainer, motivational speaker and curbside coach. In June 2016, Marty joined SBJ Publishing as the Chief Revenue Officer for The Springfield Business Journal and High Tide Communications. Marty combines his experience in traditional media, inbound marketing methodology and local sales experience to lead revenue initiatives for the leading local business news source in southwest Missouri.
Adlai is a member of Spencer Fane’s Real Estate Solutions Group. His transaction practice focuses on real estate development, finance and construction, including the use of development incentives and tax credit financing for commercial real estate developments and affordable housing projects. Adlai’s practice also includes general business counseling for both regional and national clients. Adlai is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma College of Law, where he served as the Assistant Managing Editor of the Oklahoma Law Review. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Missouri State University, and his master’s degree in economics from The University of Maine. Prior to joining Spencer Fane, Adlai served as an associate at a regional law firm where he handled a variety of business and commercial legal matters, including real estate and general civil litigation.
Jennifer Hargis is an experienced litigator and legal counselor to businesses and individuals in Southwest Missouri, and enjoys helping people resolve problems and disputes in the areas of real estate, construction, employment, personal injury, contractual matters, and various other industries and areas of law. She represents both plaintiffs and defendants in litigation, and is a trusted advisor and counselor in resolving disputes before a lawsuit is filed. Ms. Hargis has a diverse legal background, having practiced in St. Louis at a mid-sized firm representing defendants in a variety of cases, then practicing in-house at a large national construction company, and then moving to Las Vegas, Nevada where she practiced in the areas of construction and financial institution law for a prestigious regional firm in the Southwest. Ms. Hargis returned to her hometown of Springfield, Missouri in early 2014 and has deep roots in the Missouri Ozarks. She has a passion for helping business and individuals reach creative and practical solutions to legal problems to serve her clients’ best interests. She excels at explaining complex concepts in an accessible way to empower her clients to make their best decisions, and is trusted for her judgment, leadership, and ethics in guiding her clients to effective problem solving and legal strategy over the long term.
Ms. Hargis graduated from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law in 2003 in the top 25% of her class, and has a degree in History and Library Science, cum laude in the Honors College, from Missouri State University. Ms. Hargis is currently Treasurer of Southern Missouri Women Lawyers, and is a member of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association. She’s active in assisting local Veterans groups, and enjoys living in rural Webster County and traveling both in the U.S. and abroad.
The Law Firm of Evans & Dixon
Spencer Harris (Ph.D., Communication Studies) taught communication, persuasion, and leadership at the collegiate level for nearly ten years before becoming an organizational consultant. Now, as the Director of Operations at Mostly Serious, he implements and manages organizational processes to ensure the efficient delivery of services and an effective workplace culture.
Concentrating her practice in corporate and transactional law, Lauren advises clients in a range of industries, including business aviation, commercial airline, automotive, energy, construction, resort and hospitality, manufacturing, real estate and telecommunications. Throughout her career, she has advised corporate clients on a wide variety of matters, such as buying and selling businesses and business assets, trade and operational issues, regulatory requirements, corporate governance, creating and implementing company policies and procedures, and engaging in risk management. Lauren has extensive experience drafting and negotiating complex corporate contracts and other commercial documents, ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and providing general business and legal guidance to companies both large and small.
Paige Hendrix Buckner
Paige Hendrix Buckner is the Founder and CEO of ClientJoy, a service that makes it easy for businesses to send local, unique and thoughtful business gifts. A graduate of the University of Missouri, she served as a Teach For America Corps Member and the Co-Director of Not For Sale Nevada. She now resides in Portland, Oregon where she loves supporting the startup and artisan community. Paige is passionate about the intersection of entrepreneurship, education and technology. When she isn’t working, you can find her practicing jiu jitsu, reading historic novels or adventuring with friends.
Paige Hendrix Buckner
Jay Handy has a 30-year history in the financial services industry related to client relationships and asset management. In addition, he has helped with economic development initiatives in both Wisconsin and Missouri relating to early stage investing. He runs a boutique shared family office located in three states, Wisconsin, Missouri and North Carolina. Walnut Capital Management specializes in family wealth management and generational transitions. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Michigan State University.
SignalPoint Asset Management
Wes Hester is the President and CEO of Foxhole Technology, Inc. Foxhole Technology was founded in January of 2008 as a leader in delivering mission-driven, enterprise solutions in CyberSecurity, DevOps, and Cloud Services. James helped build Foxhole from a startup to a company of 140-plus folks that spans 18 states as well as overseas. James enjoys the opportunity to give back to Springfield through mentorship and assistance to other entrepreneurs.
Wes Hester holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Minor in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky. While attending the University, Hester was a member of the ROTC, and upon graduation in 1986 was commissioned into the United States Army.
During his 24 years on active duty, Hester, a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger, held a variety of positions that took his family around the globe, including assignments in Ft. Bragg, Ft. Sill, Ft. Ord, Korea, Kosovo, Bosnia, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, Macedonia, Albania and Croatia. In 1994, Hester was selected to attend the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California, where he obtained his Masters degree in Software Engineering and Acquisitions. Upon graduation, Hester
became an officer in the U.S. Army Acquisition branch. In 1994, while still on active duty, Wes assisted in the creation of CrossLogic, Inc., a North Carolina-based company implementing commercial IT services, where he served as a technical resident expert until CrossLogic was acquired by Number Six Software in 2005.
In April 2007, Hester, a Lieutenant Colonel, retired from the U.S. Army following his final assignment in the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Immediately upon retirement, Hester joined Number Six Software as the Vice President of Federal Solutions. Following the successful sale of Number Six Software to Advanced Technology Services (ATS) in December 2007, Hester founded Foxhole Technology, Inc. where he is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer.
Foxhole Technology is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business delivering agile, net-centric solutions that align mission critical objectives with rapid, innovative, cost-effective technologies that empower, protect and support today’s warfighters and peacekeepers.
Hester is married to Lisa, a partner and Senior Vice President in Foxhole Technology; and has two daughters, Vanessa Ender and Norell, a graduate of the le’Ecole French Culinary Institute (FCI).
Foxhole Technology, Inc.
Julie (Graham) Higgins is a 1985 Business graduate of Evangel University who has been recognized nationally as a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. In 2005 she was recognized as one of Springfield’s 20 Most Influential Women of Southwest Missouri, and she was Master of Ceremony for the President of the United States’ visit to Springfield in 2004. She has served as a board member of several organizations, and presently CoxHealth Systems Advisory board. Over the years, she has successfully built and sold several businesses, strategically consulted growing businesses to help them flourish at the next level. Throughout her years of business, she would always make time to mentor women, teens and children. After taking a hiatus from running her own business, Julie became involved in global sustainability. From this passion, she started I Pour Life, a local 501 (c)(3) non-profit – whose tag-line is “we provide a hand up, not a hand out” for sustainability to the most impoverished by strategically creating a path towards self-sufficiency. Locally, I Pour Life coaches homeless and at-risk youth, helping create a LifeMap for their self-sufficiency. I Pour Life’s global initiative in Korah, Ethiopia is called “the 10X10 women’s empowerment program,” and was recognized by the Ethiopian government with an award of excellence. Julie’s “10X10 program” there equips leper and HIV positive women with entrepreneurial skills, finances their start-up business opportunities, and maps a plan for them to pass along the same coaching they received to other women of their own community.
I Pour Life
Former Police Officer, turned serial entrepreneur, Josh Holstein is the Founder & CEO of a technology company using text messages to revolutionize the vehicle shopping experience. CellARide began over 5 years ago when Josh wanted to simply “text the car” for information without the awkward conversation. As a Missouri State Computer Information Systems alumni, Josh used his technical background to create a Software as a Service that is cutting edge and disruptive to the automotive industry and beyond. CellARide was one of the first 5 companies at The eFactory in Springfield, MO. Starting with a single person office and growing into one of the largest offices in the building. Josh has taken CellARide through and received investment twice from Capital Innovators, a Top 10 technology accelerator in St. Louis. He is currently working with the likes of Toyota, Enterprise, Nissan, Bass Pro Shops, Maritz and many others.
Lauren is a healthcare industry professional with 9 years of payer and provider experience at large to mid-sized healthcare payers, providers, ancillary organizations, and private equity firms. Her career focus is in program management, strategy planning and execution, and process excellence for large-scale implementations, business transformation programs, and merger & acquisition (M&A) diligences. She is a Strategy and Development Senior Manager at AIM Specialty Health. Lauren previously worked at West Monroe Partners as a Manager in the firm’s Healthcare Practice and at Accenture as a Manager in the Health and Public Service practice. She earned a Bachelors in Information System and Technology with a minor in Business from Missouri University of Science and Technology.
AIM Specialty Health
Nicholas Irmen is a member of Spencer Fane’s Trust and Estate Planning Practice Group where he aids clients in estate planning, business transactions, tax advice, trust and estate administration, and charitable planning. Prior to joining Spencer Fane, Irmen served as a law clerk for a firm in Little Rock, Ark. His practice is uniquely informed by his experience as a realty management extern for Walmart at which he worked during law school. Irmen earned his juris doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law where he graduated cum laude and was bestowed the Craig Sterne Memorial Award for Excellence in the study of Estate Planning and Taxation as well as the W.B. Putman American Inn of Court Pupil Award. Additionally, Irmen received his LL.M. (Masters of Law) in Taxation from the University of Florida – Levin College of Law. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.
Chrystal Irons was named director of the Missouri State University Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at The eFactory in Springfield, Mo., in May 2016. Prior to accepting this position, Chrystal was county program director and business development specialist for the University of Missouri Extension and SBTDC for more than five years. Chrystal has also been certified as a coach by Blue Mesa Group and earned the Economic Development Finance Professional designation. She previously served as a board examiner for the Excellence in Missouri Foundation for the Missouri Quality Award. In 2015, she won the Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Industry Award, which recognizes faculty and staff whose educational programming supports the economic viability of Missouri businesses. She has been providing one-on-one assistance and educational training to local business owners and prospective entrepreneurs in southwest Missouri since 2010. Chrystal earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in business administration from Drury University, Springfield, Mo. Her expertise includes QuickBooks coaching; strategic business planning; financial analysis, management and projections; and business workshop facilitation. She has also been a business owner and entrepreneur for the past 14 years in a family business, A-1 Walls & Landscaping, Ozark, Mo. She lives in Ozark with her husband and two children.
Chris Jarratt is the Creative Director/Partner at Revel. Jarratt started his first business at 14 and then went on the start a design firm at 24 that would eventually become Revel in 2010. His areas of expertise include: Marketing Strategy, Integrated Advertising Campaigns, Brand Development, Identity Design and Ingesting Massive Amounts of Caffeine. Jarratt is a graduate of Drury University and has received 26 Addy awards.
Jarad is a founding partner of Mostly Serious, a Springfield-based interactive agency. He was also the organizing president of Springfield Creatives—a member-driven organization dedicated to improving the lives of creative people in the Ozarks—and serves on the advisory board for an urban garden project, Springfield Community Gardens.
Tom Kish is an accomplished Business and Technology executive with over twenty (20) years of experience creating and leading IT organizations. Tom created teams capable of building and sustaining the infrastructure needed to support rapidly growing or transitioning business environments.
Most recently he was the VP of Information Technology for Bass Pro. Tom stabilized and engaged their IT organization while spearheading the efforts to create a strong technical foundation in preparation for the acquisition of its major competitor. Tom led the IT due diligence, integration planning and all initial integration activities for the merging of the Bass Pro and Cabela’s environments. Prior to Bass Pro, he was the Senior Vice President, CIO for Panera Bread. During his thirteen (13) year tenure with Panera, Tom was a member of the senior management team responsible for developing a new restaurant segment recognized today as Fast Casual. Prior to Panera, Tom was with Papa John’s for over five (5) years. As Vice President of Information Systems and Support Services he built and implemented Papa John’s IT infrastructure and organization, while turning around Papa John’s $30 million Print and Promotions Subsidiary. For both Papa John’s and Panera, Tom launched each brands eCommerce business
Tom’s reputation is based on being a skilled professional at aligning technology and business strategies to deliver innovation, business growth, and operational performance. Tom is a resourceful leader who drives aggressive planning, execution and accountability. Tom’s true passion is creating a fun and exciting work environment where he identifies and develops talent ultimately getting the right team member in the right place at the right time to leverage each of their capabilities for the overall good of the team.
Tom started his career with Arthur Andersen & Co as a Consultant in the manufacturing industry after he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.
Samuel Knox has 25 years of professional experience in non-profit business management and the print publishing industry. Samuel is president of Unite of Southwest Missouri, Inc and is managing editor of the Unite News Publication which he co-founded in 1990. He is also the author of the book titled, “Unlimited Possibilities for the Enlightened Believer,” published in 2014. Knox currently holds board seats with Deliverance Temple Ministries, Bartley-Decatur Neighborhood Center and Springfield Minorities in Business. He serves on three community advisory committees including the Juanita K Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, the Springfield Public Entities Diversity Initiative and the Biz 417 Magazine. Samuel studied music and business marketing at Missouri State University, and has been been married to his wife Tyra for 33 years and has one son.
Unite of Southwest Missouri
Steve is a member of inDinero’s Consulting team based out of NYC, working with the country’s most exciting and innovative startups, traditional SMBs, co-working spaces, accelerators, incubators, and VCs. He has a passion for helping people achieve both personal and organizational goals, rooted in the belief that the intersection of technology and business is at the core of what affords organizations the ability to run, grow, and transform with the ever-evolving needs of its customer base. With experience in large enterprise and startup sales, leverage Steve’s expertise in building a scalable sales strategy, establishing KPIs, and structuring revenue-generating meetings and calls to move from the ‘vendor’ bucket to that of a strategic business partner.
Stan Krempges started a home service business in 1993. After experiencing tremendous growth he began exploring opportunities to expand the concept. He opened 3 additional company owned stores in 2000. The success of that expansion led him to franchise the concept. After developing operations manuals, FDD’s, sales processes and all aspects of the franchise system the first franchise was granted in March of 2002. The franchise system grew to 23 locations in 12 states. In October 2012 he sold the franchise corporation to a parent company of 4 other franchise concepts. Stan remained with the company as VP of Operations growing the brand to 34 locations in 18 states.
Coaching and Mentoring Specialties: Lean Product Development | Lean Business Strategy | Startup Management, Metrics, and Operations.
Christopher Lazzaro’s passion lies at the place where technology intersects with people, design, and science. He is the founder and CEO of MetaMythic, where his team helps companies take employee engagement to the next level for important, but challenging areas like compliance and cyber-security awareness. Christopher’s work and leadership all centers on the deep belief that people are ready to be heroes, and just need to be called to a higher purpose, well equipped, and empowered to do what only they can do. This has caused him to be branded by some as a rebel and troublemaker. He’s happy to oblige these titles by shaking things up whenever and wherever necessary to make good things happen for organizations.
Christopher and his MetaMythic team are recognized internationally for thought-leadership in the cyber-security and human performance space. MetaMythic’s CIP Defender cyber-security awareness product has won four international awards for advancing the state of the art in training content, technology, and compliance. Christopher has been keynote speaker at twelve national cyber-security, human factors, and human performance conferences. These awards and speaking engagements are the result of MetaMythic’s celebrated Applied Fiction methodology that uses immersive storytelling to smash typical 5-15% training engagement levels, frequently attaining 85% or more—a great review even by Rotten Tomatoes standards.
Christopher enjoys living in multiple parallel universes. In one, he invents the Applied Fiction method of learning and co-founds MetaMythic to help organizations transform their employees. In another, he directs an IT organization at Associated Electric Cooperative where his teams lead the technology that operates the power grid across three states, fourteen power plants, and a commercial power sales division—you know, the exciting stuff. In yet another universe, he provides product development and business strategy coaching to startups in the Springfield region. Not too long ago, in another universe not too far far away, Christopher was adjunct professor for five years, developing the business programming curriculum and teaching at Drury University’s Breech School of Business.
Christopher and his wife Courtney, along with their two boys Atticus and Tolkien, live (and often play and have grand adventures) near downtown Springfield.
Associated Electric Cooperative Incorporated & MetaMythic
Liz Lidgett is an art advisor, appraiser, writer and television host. As CEO of Adore Your Walls, she works with corporate and private collections where she finds the perfect piece of art for their style, space, and budget. Liz is also the host of The Art Hunter with BetterHomesandGardens.com and is a freelance contributor for many national publications. She lives in Des Moines, IA, with her husband, Nick, their two cats, Cat Stevens and Nelly Purrtado, and their ever-expanding art collection.
Adore Your Walls
Nick is the Director of Marketing at Bright Bright Great, a full-service creative agency in Chicago. Through branding, strategy, design, and marketing support, Bright Bright Great has helped numerous companies, from start-ups to Fortune 500s, to refresh their brands and better connect with their customers.
Bright Bright Great
Guy C. Mace
Guy ‘Colby’ Mace is a mechanical engineer with a specific affinity and focus on sales and messaging. Prior to co-founding Baron VC in August 2012, Guy was the President and CEO of Siemens Turbomachinery Solutions, a division of Siemens AG. Guy’s career has primarily focused on developing and maintaining mid- and executive-level relationships in large industrial customers, and translating those relationships to mutually successful sales. He is passionate about the ‘pitch’, i.e. how to message and present an idea in the most effective manner possible. Due to the nature of captaining a large manufacturing and service company that operated in both domestic and global arenas, Guy’s experience is in all aspects of executive management, as well as market and product development. His M.O. is very simple: Give competent people the right tools and resources, and then get out of the way and let them succeed.EndFragment
Guy C. Mace
Colleen Marshall is an innovative leader with broad-based experience in behavioral medicine, coaching, and clinical and operational leadership for start-up, for profit and non-profit organizations. She has a proven ability to aggressively scale start up organizations, improve clinical quality and operational efficiency of established organizations and transform cultures and leadership development. She is a high-integrity, progressive and proven leader known for ability to grow individuals, cultures and organizations while accomplishing aggressive business objectives.
Her areas of expertise include:
* Providing fiscal, operational and clinical oversight of programs with annual budget up to $35 million
* Scaling start-up clinical organizations
* Providing oversight and development of culture, leadership initiatives and coaching in behavioral health clinical setting
* Designing and implementing large-scale clinical training and supervision initiatives (Motivational Interviewing, specialty)
* Develop, coach and supervise vice presidents, directors and managers of in behavioral health settings to achieve excellence in business objectives
* Serve as thought leader for national, international and statewide conferences and training
Morey Mechlin serves as a Consultant for not-for-profit management and campaign coordination. She was most recently the Executive Director of Care to Learn, where she worked to meet the emergent needs of students in the areas of health, hunger and hygiene. Morey previously served as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools. She is very active in the Springfield community and has served on a number of boards and received numerous awards and achievements.
Juan Meraz is the Assistant Vice President for Multicultural Services in the Division of Student Affairs at Missouri State University. Juan graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Master of Business Administration and has been teaching full-time at Missouri State since 1999. He has served as the Provost Fellow for Diversity at Missouri State, and a faculty advisor for LEAL – Leading in Education to Approach Latinos, MoState Movement, Director of the Student Diversity Training Team and Director of the Latino Leadership Institute. Juan is a Board member for the MBAA International, Assistant Director for Latin American, Caribbean and Hispanic Studies and is a Certified Diversity Professional providing training for various organizations and companies nationally and Internationally. As Assistant Vice President, Juan works to bring a better understanding of different cultures to the Missouri State University campus faculty, staff and students and the greater Springfield area.
Missouri State University
Scott Miller is General Manager and Chief Executive Officer for City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri. He assumed his current responsibilities in June 2011. Scott joined City Utilities in 2002 as the Associate General Manager for Electric Supply. Prior to his career at City Utilities, Scott served as Director of Steam Generation for The Dayton Power and Light Company in Dayton, Ohio. Scott earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Wright State University, and holds a Professional Engineers License. He has 30 years of experience in the utility industry. Scott serves on the Board of the American Public Power Association in Washington, DC, and as Chair of the Board of Directors of The Energy Authority in Jacksonville, Florida. He is also active in a number of community organizations and Board of Directors, including Springfield Business Development Corporation, Springfield Innovation, Inc., Partnership for Sustainability, Mercy Hospital, and the Sunrise Rotary Club. City Utilities of Springfield, MO provides electricity, natural gas, water, transit, and telecommunications/broadband services to 250,000 citizens in the city and surrounding area.
George Olive is the head of sales at DipJar, a NY-based startup focused on cashless generosity. Previously, George spent five years at McKinsey & Company in New York and in Houston, serving clients on topics including sales strategy, operational efficiency, and capability building, primarily in the electric power, oil field services, and chemical production industries. George is a Rhodes scholar and studied history at Oxford after completing a BA in economics at Columbia University.
Todd Parnell is retired president of Drury University, co-founder and the retired CEO of THE BANK in Springfield, MO, a community activist, an environmental advocate, an author, and keynote speaker.Parnell graduated from Drury University in 1969 with a Bachelor’s Degree in business and economics. He then went on to earn an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth University in 1971. He later received a Masters in history from Missouri State University in 2010. Prior to his position as president of The Signature Bank, Parnell was president of Truman Bank and executive vice president of First National Bank, both located in Clayton, Missouri. Parnell has served as the Board Chairman of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, member of the Springfield-Branson National Airport board, Board Chairman of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, member of the Rotary Club of Southeast Springfield, treasurer of the James River Basin Partnership, treasurer of the Upper White River Basin Foundation, and board member for Missouri Bankers Association and Wonders of Wildlife. Parnell is the author of Postcards from Branson: A Century of Family Reminiscence. Parnell has also authored two other books: “The Buffalo, Ben, and Me” and “Mom at War.” Parnell was inducted into the Missouri Writer’s Hall of Fame in 2012. Parnell’s forthcoming book series “A Skunk Creek Trilogy” is set to debut with the first installment in September 2015, titled “Skunk Creek: An Ozarkian FolkTale.” Parnell is set to debut his keynote speech “Life is a River…Experiences in Leadership” in September 2015 as well.
For more than 25 years, Jami has worked in the trust and investment management industry, including serving as CEO of a local trust company. Her primary role with Central Trust is to oversee the southern region. Her team includes 26 trust and investment professionals. Jami’s expertise is in the estate planning and estate administration area, and she works with clients to help them achieve their goals. Working for her dad during high school had a strong influence on Jami’s work ethic and leadership. She was expected to do everything better than any other employee because she was the boss’s daughter. His expectation was (and continues to be) excellence. Her goal is to always exceed expectations, whether it is with a client, friend, employee or family member. Jami was recently recognized by 417 Magazine as one of their “Women Who Mean Business”out of 75 nominees. She is a dedicated member of the community and is frequently asked to write articles and speak. She currently serves on the board of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and is on their executive committee. She is a past president of the board of the American Red Cross – Greater Ozarks Chapter and is a disaster volunteer. One of the things we are most proud of is Jami being appointed to serve on the Merit Selection Panel for the selection of the Magistrate Judge for the United States Courts, Western District of Missouri. She was featured in the October 2013 issue of Trust & Estates magazine as a “Practioner with Heart.” Jami traveled to Ethiopia in 2013 and to Tanzania in 2015 as part of Convoy of Hope’s “Women’s Empowerment Panel” to meet women who received microloans and started successful businesses. She describes the trips as profoundly life-changing. Jami is committed to helping women make sustainable changes to improve the quality of their lives.
Central Trust Company
Danny has served the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and the Springfield Business and Development Corporation as the Business Assistance Coordinator since April, 2015. His primary responsibilities include providing key support to the Chamber’s Existing Business Assistance Program, aiding companies in the region as they grow and working to facilitate any expansion projects. As he focuses on business retention and expansion, Danny coordinates and executes business visits, ensures businesses are accessing the resources they need for proper growth, makes sure all follow-up items are completed, and manages job creation as well as capital investment projects for existing companies. Danny has helped create materials used to develop, recruit, and retain talent in the Springfield region for key industries as well as providing support for the entrepreneurship community through events like the Go Big Pitch Competition, Startup Weekend, and SPIN66. Danny has also been active in working specifically with technology companies that want to locate within downtown Springfield. Danny graduated from Missouri State University with a BS in Psychology in 2012 and a MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology in 2014.
Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Carly is an ambitious, driven, creative person. She’s passionate about advertising and her role as a marketing professional. She loves to see her community grow and flourish and strives to be a part of what makes Springfield continually more awesome.
She is fortunate to be involved with Missouri State University as an Instructor in the Marketing Department. Connecting with students and constantly improving her classroom strategy drives her in becoming an exemplary member of the Marketing Department faculty. Previously she honed her Marketing skills at the corporate office for Meek’s Lumber and Building Supplies focusing on Relationship Management through special events. She then transitioned to a Marketing role at Ollis & Company, taking the lead on the transition to rebrand during the merger with Akers & Arney. She enjoys flexing her marketing muscles to help local nonprofits through her position on the board at the Betty and Bobby Allison Ozarks Counseling Center and as Logistics Co-Chair for the American Cancer Society.
Missouri State University
Linda Ramey-Greiwe is the Executive Director of Care to Learn. She was most recently the director of sales for the News-Leader in Springfield, MO. Prior to that she has served in various roles within Gannett for over 28 years. Linda helps local businesses market their products and services. Much of her expertise is in digital marketing, despite working in what you may think of as a traditional print business. The News-Leader is owned by Gannett and they are one of only 20 Google’s preferred providers and also one of Facebook’s largest clients. Linda is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia with a degree in Home Economics-Journalism. She also has her MBA from Webster University. Linda is active in the communities where she has lived. She is currently on the board for United Way of the Ozarks, a member of the Springfield Southeast Rotary, Mayor’s Commission on Children and the Impacting Poverty Commission. Linda and her husband, Terry Greiwe have two children; Alexandria, 22 and Dillion, 18. Linda is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys running and tandem bicycling. She also likes to travel.
Care to Learn
Derek Richardson is an Account Executive & Business Risk Advisor for Ollis/Akers/Arney. Beginning his insurance career in 2010, Derek has worked as an underwriter, a process trainer/auditor, and a licensed commercial producer. As Account Executive & Business Risk Advisor, Derek works with a variety of organizations to develop a custom program designed to reduce risk and control long term costs.
With a diverse background in nonprofit, tech, entrepreneurship, international development, business, and women’s empowerment, Erin uses her marketing and communications talents to further causes and companies she deeply believes in. Several pivotal moments have directed Erin’s professional career, and the first was learning to build clean water filters for underdeveloped communities in the Philippines in 2007. After graduating college, she hunted down an internship with Water.org, where she spent four years and went on to become the Digital Marketing Manager. The second pivotal moment came in 2012, when she left Water.org to start her own marketing consulting business, ExplodingSoul LLC. For almost four years, she helped both career advice site The Way Women Work, and tech company SpiderOak, with their marketing strategy and brand development. The third pivotal career shift came in October of 2015, when Erin decided to go full-time with SpiderOak as the Senior Marketing Manager, helping make privacy and encrypted communications mainstream. For almost seven years she has served on the board for international nonprofit Girls to School. When she’s not working, she enjoys life with her husband Chad and son Everett in Kansas City.
Scott Rogers works as System Director for Performance Integration and Innovation at CoxHealth. In that role, he works with leaders and employees across the system to gather ideas for change and integrate them with the strategic direction of the organization. Prior to his switch to the healthcare sector, Scott worked in manufacturing as a quality leader with Emerson Electric to improve products and services and develop suppliers in the US, Mexico, and Asia. His BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa and his Lean Six Sigma certifications allow him to bring a continuous improvement mindset to the way healthcare is delivered in the region.
Matt Rose is the Managing Director-Creative at Marlin. He began his advertising career in NYC, working on accounts for cameras, spirits and banks. Attracted by the culture and dedication to award-winning creative and strategy, Matt joined Marlin as a designer in 2000. Here he has been pivotal in developing branding work for clients, as well as leading the creative of the agency.
Charlie is an interactive developer who has planned, directed, and coded interactive digital projects since 2003. He currently owns and operates SELF Interactive, an interactive development consultancy. He also serves as president of Springfield Creatives, an association for creative professionals in Southwest Missouri.
Richard is General Counsel for Ollis/Akers/Arney, an employee-owned consulting and insurance advisory firm. Richard previously was a partner in the Springfield office of Husch Blackwell and focused his practice in tax, estate, and ERISA/employee benefits planning. Richard is also licensed as a Missouri CPA. Richard works with owners and executives to assess and manage risks unique to closely-held businesses.
J. Kendall Seal is Vice President of Research & Public Policy and General Counsel for the Women’s Foundation. At the Women’s Foundation, he oversees the organization’s Kansas and Missouri public policy work, board and commission appointments, annual grants, and research projects, including the status of women studies, Project Diane, and the Pay Equity Best Practice Guidelines. Prior to joining the Women’s Foundation, Seal spent 6 years with legal aid societies in southern and western Missouri, directing medical legal partnerships and representing domestic and sexual violence victims. Seal serves on the 10-member governing board of the Missouri State University system, a 6-year gubernatorial appointment that is senate confirmed. He earned his juris doctorate degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law where he volunteers as an adjunct law professor.
Jeff Schrag was born in McPherson, Kan. and graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and social science. Schrag came to Springfield in 1995 after purchasing the Daily Events legal newspaper. In 2007, he purchased the Pioneer Formal Accessories Co. and is now the largest wholesaler of cufflinks in the United States. In 2011, he created Mother’s Brewing Company, a craft beer business that distributes its products throughout the region and in several states. Schrag is also president of Bareham & Saunders LLC, Squires Properties Inc., Foster-Keen Construction LLC, and CollinCo LLC. He is the outgoing chairman of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board and is a member of the Missouri Press Association, the Downtown Springfield Community Improvement District, the Springfield Business Development Corporation, the City of Springfield TIF Commission, the Missouri Small Brewer’s Guild, the Brewer’s Association Finance Committee, and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks Mission Related Investments Committee.
Mother's Brewing Company/The Daily Events
Jeff Seifried is the President & CEO at the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB. He was previously the Manager of Regional Development for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Seifried is an accomplished executive with experience in national community marketing campaigns, business growth strategy, grant oversight, regional economic development techniques and small business development processes. After starting at the chamber in 2007, he broadened his commitment to community development by securing a seat on the non-partisan Springfield City Council in 2012, serving as the youngest member in Springfield history as Mayor Pro Tem and Zone One Councilman. Before joining the chamber, Seifried worked at Tuxen & Associates in Branson, an international business development consulting firm in sales and in 2005 was selected to work with the U.S. State Department on a business internship in Malaysia. Jeff is a graduate of Drury University with a degree in Business Administration and holds certificates in economic development from the University of Kentucky, The University of Oklahoma and has completed 18 hours of graduate level study toward an MBA from Missouri State University.
Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
Keith Seiwert provides accounting, audit, and tax services, specializing in serving non‐profit and Agriculture organizations. He currently serves as a director on the Ozarks Empire Fair Foundation and Rock’n Ribs Boards and is a past president of Rotaract. Keith graduated from Missouri State University with his B.S. degree in Accounting as well as his MAcc degree.
Karen Shannon is the Human Resources & Business Consulting Director for Ollis/Akers/Arney. Karen has served in senior leadership positions in banking and human resources for over 25 years. She and her team provided HR services to 5,000 employees across the US, United Kingdom, India and Mexico. Today, she works with clients on key business and HR strategies which have resulted in cost savings upward of $7 million. Karen received her MBA and BA in Business Administration and Economics from Drury University. She is a graduate of Leadership Missouri, serves as president of the board of directors of the Springfield-Greene County Library Foundation, and is a member of the Local Issues Public Policy Task Force for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Karen was recognized in 2000 by the Springfield Business Journal in its inaugural class of the Most Influential Women in Business.
Jane Silcock is the Public Affairs Advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Population and Reproductive Health. With an expertise in strategic communications, Jane manages USAID’s public outreach efforts in family planning and reproductive health. Jane’s specialties include digital media strategy, media relations, event planning, and speech writing. Prior to USAID, Jane worked at the Comisión de Justicia Social in Chimbote, Peru where she implemented communications projects to support the NGO’s activities around women’s empowerment and citizen participation. Jane also has two years of experience as a TV reporter at an NBC-affiliate in Columbia, Missouri. Jane holds a Masters of Arts in Strategic Communications from American University. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.
Upon graduating from Kickapoo High School in 2007, Tez enlisted in the United States Air Force as a flying aircraft mechanic on the C-130 cargo aircraft, stationed at Little Rock, Arkansas. While at Little Rock, Tez served 2 tours totaling 368 days in Iraq supporting OPERATIONs Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In 2011, Tez was selected to become a flight engineer on the KC-10 in-flight refueling aircraft. His new role took him to Wrightstown, New Jersey, where he deployed 6 times to Southeast Asia in support of modern combat operations. For his service and commitment to excellence while on active duty, Tez was awarded 3 Air Force Achievement Medals, 2 Air Force Commendations Medals, 2 Air Force Air Medals, and the John L. Levitow Award for leadership. Tez completed his bachelor degree in aeronautics with minors in management and aviation safety while enlisted. In 2015, Tez separated from active duty and joined the Air Force Reserves to pursue opportunities in finance. Since separating, Tez has obtained graduate degrees in business and finance and an associate role at Goldman Sachs. In graduate school, as a student investment manager, Tez helped develop a software suite that provided record returns to the University. At Goldman Sachs, Tez developed relationships with senior executives at top U.S. firms. Greg DeLong brought Tez back to Springfield, MO to join him as a Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor. Tez has been with his wife, Leanna, since Kickapoo High. An elementary school teacher, Leanna is currently taking time away from work to focus on their only son Mathis, born September 4, 2016.
Jason is a trial lawyer who represents clients from individuals to Fortune 500 companies in business matters and litigation throughout the country. Jason has defended class action cases for clients such as retailers, banks and universities. His litigation practice has encompassed complex contract and tort claims in healthcare, retail, construction. banking, manufacturing, higher education and other industries. Jason has extensive experience representing clients in construction matters, including contract review and negotiation, payment disputes, claims of defective design and defective workmanship, prevailing wage matters, and general claims resolution. He has been a featured speaker on construction and real estate topics throughout Missouri.
Jason has tried numerous cases in state and federal court and has represented clients at the appellate level before the Missouri Court of Appeals, Missouri Supreme Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth, Eighth and Ninth Circuits.
Michael started Marlin, a food-focused Ad Agency, as partner/shareholder July, 1985. He is assuming the Creative Director role. Today, The Marlin Network is comprised of 5 companies, 160 employees with 5 offices. Marlin was recently acquired by Advantage Solutions as it’s specialty food and beverage agency offering. Past clients include: Heinz, ConAgra Foods, Clorox, Simplot, Wilson Foods, Pet, Old El Paso, Tyson, 7-up, Tracker Marine. Current Marlin clients include: Starbucks, French’s Foods, Unilever, Bush’s Best, Cobb Vantress (Tyson). Previously, Michael spent 4 years with Noble & Associates beginning as Art Director and eventually advancing to Creative Director. He primarily handled the Tyson, Sara Lee, Old El Paso, Yoplait, Fishery Products and other food-focused accounts. The agency tripled in size during his tenure. Prior to Noble, he spent 5 years self-employed, building a branding design firm called The Art Department. This was strategically positioned to become an extension of a company’s marketing and creative departments vs an agency. Clients included Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Marine, Monsanto, 7-Up, Tan Tara Resort and Holiday Inn. The company sold to 2 key employees. Michael’s first job out of college was with Associated Graphics, inc, a publishing and ad agency focusing on tourism where he functioned as Art Director, Writer and Photographer.
Dr. Cody Stringer is an academic and an entrepreneur, having been involved in the formation of a number of corporations while also holding an advanced degree in the development of new sensor technologies. As Entrepreneurial Specialist with Mercy Research, Dr. Stringer forms new ventures around the technologies that have been developed by the Product Development team, and provides guidance and assistance to medical technology companies from around the region. Before joining the team at Mercy Research, Dr. Stringer was Co-founder and Vice President of Emergent Sensor Technologies, LLC, a St. Louis-based startup company. Dr. Stringer holds a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from the University of Missouri, with a focus on optical biosensors and chemical sensors with applications in human health, defense, and food safety and processing.
Matthew is a consultant for Adaptavist, the leading Atlassian Platinum Expert worldwide. While Adaptavist provides a number of services related to Atlassian software, including hosting, custom development, training, and professional services, Matthew’s focus is on helping companies translate their work processes so they can begin using the Atlassian tools. He often works with teams or project management offices and performs business analysis to uncover requirements and refine process, then handles the front-end configuration of the tools to meet an organization’s needs. With more than 9 years of experience working with the Atlassian tools, Matthew helps organizations improve their work management, knowledge management, and communication by leveraging Atlassian’s Confluence and JIRA in addition to providing project management coaching and guidance.
Zach joined BKD Wealth Advisors, LLC in 2006 as the investment intern for the Investment Committee, which determines the firm’s investment strategy. He now serves on the committee and coordinates investment management with tax, retirement, financial education and estate planning. He has been a part of the wealth management industry since 2008, providing financial and estate planning services to high-net-worth families. He obtained the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation by successfully completing a three-year program with studies in equity analysis, fixed income analysis, portfolio management, accounting, economics, derivatives and ethics. Zach is a member of the Kansas City CFA Society and CFA Institute. He also is a member of The Network for Springfield’s Young Professionals of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Missouri State University Alumni Association’s Strategic Planning Committee. He is a 2008 magna cum laude graduate of the Honors College at Missouri State University, Springfield, with a B.S. degree in finance and a minor in economics.
BKD Wealth Advisors
Jack is president of BKD Family Office and BKD Wealth Advisors, LLC investment advisory firms that provide wealth management services to high-net- worth families and corporations. He has been providing wealth management services for high-net-worth families and institutions since 1986. Jack is regularly contacted by national media for interviews and commentary on the market and economic events. He has been quoted in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, SmartMoney and CNBC.com. He is a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association and serves on its professional review board. Jack obtained his Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) designation from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed advanced portfolio management education. He’s also completed the Financial Management for the Family Office program from Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University. He is a 1983 graduate of Drury University, Springfield, Missouri, with a B.A. degree in business administration.
BKD Wealth Advisors
Amanda, a member of the Husch Blackwell Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation industry team, advises local, national and international clients on a daily basis, working with them to find practical solutions to business problems. Amanda has substantial experience negotiating and managing contracts required for the ongoing business operations of the clients with whom she works. Additionally, she counsels companies through mergers and acquisitions and in beginning new business ventures, including drafting complex shareholder agreements, buy-sell agreements, operating agreements. Throughout Amanda’s career she has been seconded with multiple clients, including a multinational privately held company; a major aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility; and an engine maintenance and overhaul facility. These “in-house” experiences give Amanda a unique insight into the everyday realties that are faced by her clients. Amanda also devotes a significant portion of her practice representing entities in the commercial airline and business aviation industries. Amanda has assisted clients in these industries with subsidiary and asset disposition, acquisition of assets and development of form agreements to streamline day-to-day operations. She has served as special counsel in providing lex situs opinions for foreign lenders in connection with aircraft acquisition, disposition and financing transactions. Clients also seek advice from Amanda on regulatory matters both with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). As a member of the Husch Blackwell’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team she counsels clients on the use and operation of UAS. Her work with both manufacturers and operators in the aviation industry that have implemented new technologies gives her insight into the challenges and opportunities that clients might face. Additionally, Amanda is closely monitoring the development of the framework for commercial use of UAS.
John Twitty is Executive Director of the Transmission Access Policy Study Group (TAPS). He began his utility career in 1983 at Rolla Municipal Utilities and after serving as General Manager moved to City Utilities of Springfield in 1991. He retired as General Manager and CEO of City Utilities in 2011. He served as Chair of the Board of the American Public Power Association and of The Energy Authority. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Missouri and received a Professional Degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 2006. John serves on the Board of Directors of Central Bank of the Ozarks and Jordan Valley Community Health Center and as Chair of the Missouri State Lottery Commission. He serves on the Member Representatives Committee and the Reliability Issues Steering Committee of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast.
Transmission Access Policy Study Group
Richard Walters is a partner in the Spencer Fane Real Estate Solutions Group, where his national practice focuses on real estate development, finance and construction, including the use of financial incentives, tax credits and private equity for commercial real estate developments and housing projects.
Lynette Weatherford, founder and president of Human Resource Advantage, Inc. has been in the field of Human Resources for 20 + years. Her expertise includes connecting the Human Resource process & practices to business plans through careful design and implementation in order to meet the bottom-line, “organizational profitability.” Lynette earned her Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Ottawa University and is a Missouri State University Alumni. In addition to her extensive training, education, and experience, she has her HR Certifications of SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification) and SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional). She is a member of the Springfield Area Human Resources Association, Branson Tri-Lakes Human Resource Association, Springfield & Branson Chamber of Commerce and the National Society for Human Resource Management.Human Resource Advantage, Inc. has been featured in the Who’s Who publication of Springfield Business Journal and has presented numerous seminars and training on HR related topics.
Joshua is a member of BKD National Manufacturing & Distribution Group and BKD’s Southern Missouri retail and business services and commercial teams. He provides tax, accounting and consulting services for individuals and for-profit businesses of varying sizes and industries. He is passionate about helping businesses reach their goals and has worked closely with business startups, acquisitions, stock and asset sales, mergers, turn-arounds, exporting and importing activities, succession planning, business registration, sales, payroll, property taxes, multistate apportionment and tax credits and incentives. His background also includes employee benefit plan audits and review and compilation (SSARS) engagements. Joshua is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Missouri Society of CPAs. He is a 2007 summa cum laude graduate of Georgia Regents University, Augusta, with a B.S. degree in accounting, and a 2008 graduate of Missouri State University, Springfield, with an M.Acc. degree.
Elizabeth is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Group and assists clients with a variety of labor and employment issues including both litigation and counseling issues. Elizabeth assists clients with litigation matters ranging from handling administrative charges and lawsuits involving discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and covenants not to compete. Elizabeth also assists clients with traditional labor issues including handling arbitrations and defending against unfair labor charges. On the counseling side, Elizabeth assists clients with many different personnel issues including 1) drafting and revising policies and employee handbooks, 2) advising on day-to-day human resources issues such as termination and discipline decisions, 3) conducting wage and hour audits, 4) advising on misclassification issues, 5) conducting internal investigations, 6) drafting employment agreements, and 7) conducting client training on current Human Resources issues. Elizabeth also counsels clients regarding Family and Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act issues.