I was very honored last year to be recognized as one of the Springfield Business Journal’s Men of the Year. I consider it an honor and privilege to be included with so many other men in our community who make our area a great place to live and work.
The award also is very humbling. I know many men and women that give of their time, talents and gifts to advance our world. I could make a long list of people who make a positive impact on others and aren’t recognized publicly with an award. I can give many examples of service above self. I could list men from my church, Wesley United Methodist Church, who help, support and mentor homeless youth, to men who work to help educate needy kids in the Nixa Public Schools, or neighbors who live next door that help other neighbors, or men I work with at Missouri State University who assist a co-worker in need because of health issues.
Another great example of service above self is the men in the SBJ’s 2018 Men of the Year. These 20 men are making a difference in our community. They are a great inspiration, and I am grateful for the work they do and the examples they set.
The world is indeed a better place when people give so freely. I am fortunate to work at an organization where public affairs is a central theme in all areas of study. Ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement are our three pillars of the public affairs mission. This mission should be ingrained in our everyday lives.
It doesn’t matter your job title, the number of boards you serve on, the neighborhood you live in or the number of awards you receive in your lifetime. Being recognized is nice, but making life better for someone else is the best award.
John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church who lived out the MSU public affairs mission, said it best: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
Brent Dunn is vice president of university advancement at Missouri State University and executive director of the MSU Foundation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bike enthusiast Cody Stringer is betting his bike share nonprofit will lead to a more bike-friendly city.
As employees are more mobile and have a desire to work from home, Haden Long owner of Ellecor, explains office spaces are trending towards a more home-like feel. Things like shared work spaces, office pets, and cozy furnishings allow employees to be selective about where they work and become more effective as a result.
Every industry has to navigate trend shifts, but Scott Shotts of Missouri Spirits describes the changes in beverage industry as anarchy. Tried-and-true spirits rules are being ignored. Learn how the local distillery balances following the trends for product development with taking risks.
Kevin Wyas, founder of ECRI, started his first business at the age of 19, ran the business for 16 years before selling it. He recognizes the benefits of starting a business so young when he had relatively little to lose. "The stress and the uncertainty of this would be crippling," he says for somebody accustomed to a regular paycheck.
ighty percent of questions are common across industries, so you don't need industry-specific experience to do effective market research according to Debra Kassarjian, independent consultant and owner of DKInsights. As a matter of fact, she thinks there is a great deal to be gained from exchanging ideas outside of your industry.
Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, says the biggest leap they took in the first year was to purchase a vehicle. That major financial investment, however, allowed them to provide their outdoor guide services at a price point they felt was more appropriate.
Springfield Diner owner Ömer Önder sits down with a restaurant consultant who starts challenging the menu offerings."No bashful food." The blunt conversation is the launching off point to determine how the Mediterranean influence will affect the young restaurant's offerings in the future. Made to Order is an ongoing sbjLive documentary series in collaboration with Springfield Business Journal tracking the rebranding of a local restaurant.
Haden Long, owner of Ellecor, opened a retail home decor business five years ago in a traditional retail space. When the interior design side of the business took off, she decided to renovate a 100-year old bungalow to better show off product samples and installations.
Scott Shotts, partner with Missouri Spirits, says when they started in 2011 there were approximately 300 distilleries in the U.S. and now there are more than 3,000 so competition has grown significantly. Diversification of their business model has helped them succeed.
Matthew Blystone of Theta Float Spa had the financial means to start the unique business, but used crowdsourcing for pre-orders to determine market interest in addition to gathering a nice cash reserve before opening.
Avery Parrish with the Springfield Regional Arts Council explains how businesses can display local art in their spaces for a fraction of the price of investing in a permanent collection. The corporate partnership program allows a business to select from a customized portfolio of local artists' work curated based on the company's mission and aesthetic that can be switched out every six or 12 months.