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JA N UA RY 2021 | T HE 20 U NDER 40 ISSU E | A PU B L ICATION OF TH E B U SIN E SS TIM E S COM PAN Y

CLASS OF 2021

MEET BOONE HEALTH'S NEW CEO

20UNDER40 PAG E 7 9

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC PAG E 4 4

MEGAN WA LT E R S

CELEBRATING SMALL BUSINESSES PAG E 6 5


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Chris Horn

s on i t a l u Congrat

to Columbia Board of Education Member Chris Horn and Assistant Supervisor of Student Services Erica Dickson selected for this year’s 20 under 40 class for their accomplishments and leadership.

You both are truly #CPSBest.

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JANUARY 2021

Erica Dickson


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Letter from the Publisher

DESIGNER’S PICKS

20 Under 40

T

his is my favorite time of the year . . . even more than Christmas or leisurely summer nights, and I love them both a great deal. This is the time of year that we introduce our new 20 Under 40 class to the community. Each fall, we ask for nominations from the community. We get hundreds of nominations and submit them to our 20 Under 40 alumni, our advisory board, and our staff, asking them to narrow them down to 40 candidates. Once the field is narrowed, nominees are asked to fill out a lengthy application and submit letters of recommendation. These submissions are then presented back through the selection group, who then makes their top 20 selections. Let me assure you that if a candidate has made it this far, they deserve it. At this point, our goal is to do everything we can to accomplish two things: make the new class feel incredibly celebrated and introduce them to their community in ways that extend past their LinkedIn profile. Two days on set with videographers and photographers captured who these amazing people are. However, the in-person celebrations this year must wait. We have postponed our gala until the time is right. But, you won’t have to wait to meet them. Please join me in welcoming the 20 Under 40 Class of 2021 on pages 83. I am confident that you will agree that our city is in fine hands. Since this is our 20 Under 40 issue, we thought it appropriate to check in with some of our alumni. Ty-Ron Douglas (Class of 2017) has written a book (page 19)! Les Bourgeois Vineyards (Owner Rachel Holman, Class of 2014) has gifts that will be sure to delight in our Favorite Finds on page 37. Alum and advisory board member Eric Morrison (Class of 2015) pointed out to me that we had many Alums on our list that have left the nest of

Please join me in welcoming the 20 Under 40 Class of 2021. I am confident that you will agree that our city is in fine hands. Mizzou and achieved great things across the country. See where our MU Athletics alums are now on page 41. (Mark Alnut, Class of 2005; Mario Moccia, Class of 2001). We also caught up with Peter Stiepleman (Class of 2014), Mun Choi, and Stephanie Browning, three people who’ve had a large hand in shaping what our community culture looked like in 2020. I am not convinced that the turn of a calendar page will make our lives instantly better. But I am convinced that we are a blessed community, indeed. It’s the work of these people and many more unnamed just like them that will make our lives better in 2021 and beyond. I hope you enjoy reading this, and as usual, if you have any feedback, I’d love to hear from you.

When I moved to Columbia for my husband to attend grad school, I knew our time here was temporary. What I didn’t know was how much Columbia would end up feeling like home. My husband recently graduated, and we moved to Wisconsin. While Wisconsin has plenty to love (Lakes! Curds! Beer!), I’ve found myself homesick for these COMO standbys: 1. Ragtag Cinema. A world-class place that I totally took for granted. 2. Brock’s Green Pepper Rings from Murry’s. No explanation needed. 3. Honking for the Wednesday demonstrators at Providence and Broadway. 4. Walking my dog around The District and somehow always ending up at Lizzi & Rocco’s. 5. Flat Branch Green Chile Ale. Beer is plentiful in Wisconsin, but nothing compares to this slightly spicy, crisp brew. (Honorable mention to my beloved Stag + a pickle!) 6. KBIA and the reporters that made commuting down Providence at 5 p.m. enjoyable. —Jordan Watts Senior Graphic Designer

ON THE COVER Megan Walters, business owner and home broker, is one of the members of the 20 Under 40 class of 2021. Meet the latest class on page 83. Photo by Keith Borgmeyer

JA N UA RY 202 1 | T H E 20 U N D E R 4 0 I S S U E | A PU B L I CATI O N O F TH E B U S I N E S S TI M E S CO M PA N Y

CLASS OF 2021

MEET BOONE HEALTH'S NEW CEO

20UNDER40 PAG E 7 9

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC PAG E 4 4

ERICA PEFFERMAN PUBLISHER

MEGAN WA LT E R S

CELEBRATING SMALL BUSINESSES PAG E 6 5

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New year, new office, same team! Catch us at 18 South 9th Street starting January 4, 2021.

columbiamarketinggroup.com | comomag.com | 573.499.1830 12

JANUARY 2021


President Erica Pefferman

Erica@comomag.com

Senior Vice President Fran Patrick Fran@comomag.com

EDITORIAL Publisher Erica Pefferman Erica@comomag.com

Editor Fran Patrick

Fran@comomag.com

Managing Editor Kim Ambra

Kim@comomag.com

Department Editor Hannah Kueck

Hannah@comomag.com

DESIGN Art Director Cassidy Shearrer

Cassidy@comomag.com

Senior Graphic Designer Jordan Watts Jordan@comomag.com

Director of Photography Sadie Thibodeaux Sadie@comomag.com

Graphic Designer Kate Morrow Kate@comomag.com

MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES Account Executive Charles Bruce Charles@comomag.com

Account Executive Kendall Lappe Kendall@comomag.com

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Director of Operations Amy Ferrari Amy@comomag.com

OUR MISSION

To inspire, educate, and entertain the citizens of Columbia with quality, relevant content that reflects Columbia’s business environment, lifestyle, and community spirit.

CONTACT

Business Times Holdings, LLC 18 S. 9th St. Ste 201 Columbia, MO 65201 (573-499-1830) • comomag.com @wearecomomag /wearecomomag @wearecomomag

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Magazines are $5.95 an issue. Subscription rate is $39 for 12 issues for one year or $69 for 24 issues for two years. Subscribe at comomag. com or by phone. COMO is published every month by Business Times Holdings, LLC. Copyright Business Times Holdings, LLC 2020. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any editorial or graphic content without the express written permission of the publisher is prohibited.

Avery Abbott, Keith Borgmeyer, Carly Buntin, Anthony Jinson, Sadie Thibodeaux

WELL ORGANIZED

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

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Specializing in:

ON T H EM E

What was your favorite part about your 20 under 40 experience?

Mike Nolan 20 Under 40 Alum Class of 2019

Annie Doisy 20 Under 40 Alum Class of 2017

Tommy Goran 20 Under 40 Alum Class of 2020

Matt Boyd 20 Under 40 Alum Class of 2020

It felt good to get recognition from a business and from people outside of my organization. Also, the party was rad!

The relationships!! Years later, I’m still able to connect with people outside of my immediate circle or industry to continue learning from them in order to improve.

The sheer volume of networking that it provided. There is such a high caliber of individuals in every class each year. The class builds each other up and wants to see each other succeed.

My favorite part of the 20 under 40 experience has been being welcomed into the family. When you meet other alumni, there is an instant connection.

• • • • • • • • • •

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Columbia: (573) 474-1072 Jefferson City: (573) 659-9000 OrganizeThatSpace.com


FEATURES

58

IN THE FACE OF A CHALLENGE

JANUARY 2021 | The 20 Under 40 Issue

Columbia’s most influential people of the year and how they’re navigating the

11

51

65

Publisher’s Letter

COUPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW Curt and Krista Kippenberger

CELEBRATIONS

WORKING

72

LIVING 19 ART & CULTURE Principled and Purposed

21 PET FRIENDLY The Royal Treatment

23 WELLNESS There for a Better Night’s Sleep

28 GOURMET A Columbia Tradition

55 CLOSER LOOK

56 BRIEFLY IN THE NEWS

59 MOVERS & SHAKERS

61 LOCAL GOVERNMENT New Year, Unfinished Business

37

63

FAVORITE FINDS A New Year’s Treat

GUEST VOICES REDI

pandemic.

Small Business of the Year Awards

NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT Granny’s House

75

52

PATHS TO SUCCESS: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Four former Mizzou Athletics staffers reflect on their time in Columbia.

BUSINESS UPDATE Atterberry Auction & Realty Company

87 PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW Troy Greer

106

90

20 UNDER 40 Each year, we honor a new class of 20 professionals who are taking strides in their fields and in our community. Join us in honoring the

THIS OR THAT

2021 class of 20 Under 40

De'Vion Moore

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Living

28 A COLUMBIA TRADITION The Pasta Factory continues to thrive after 44 years of serving Italian classics.

37 A NEW YEAR’S TREAT Start the new year off right with these cozy finds from Les Bourgeois Winery & Tasting Room.

51 COUPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW Curt and Krista Kippenberger discuss their first date and future plans for their business, Focus on Health.


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Living

Principled and Purposed

“I believe that true relationships are built on truth. Truth is my mentor. I try to be honest about what I see, and what I saw when I came here was a beautiful city that needed to have some conversations and engage in important work."

20 Under 40 alum Dr. Ty-Ron Douglas lives a destined, truth-seeking life. BY M ARY KATE HAFN ER

A

uthor, self-described border-crossing scholar, and motivator Dr. Ty-Ron Douglas exemplifies the saying, “Anything is possible.” “When you ask, ‘Where am I today?’ I say that I am here by grace,” says Ty-Ron, more commonly known as Dr. Ty. “When I say I am grateful for another day, know I am grateful for life.” For the past eight and a half years, Dr. Ty has worked with MU as an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and an affiliate faculty member of the Black Studies program. Outside of campus, Dr. Ty has helped Columbia through his work with Salt City Church, which has the mission of reaching the urban and collegiate community for Christ, among other community organizations. THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE Dr. Ty is the editor of “Campus Uprising: How Student Activists and Collegiate Leaders Resist Racism and Create Hope,” a selection of essays he co-edited with Kmt G. Shockley and Ivory

ART & CULTURE

Toldson and released in April. With the book, he seeks to create hope through the truth. “If you’ve never walked in those people’s shoes, then you don’t understand the pain and what that pain has manifested across generations,” says Dr. Ty. The book features students and faculty who have made a stand on their respective campuses. The book challenges its readers to do the hard work of speaking the true realities of their neighbors and addressing people’s needs before those needs become demands. “I believe that true relationships are built on truth. Truth is my mentor,” says Dr. Ty. “I try to be honest about what I see, and what I saw when I came here was a beautiful city that needed to have some conversations and engage in important work.” MISSOURI IS FOREVER HOME In November 2020, Dr. Ty accepted a position as the University of California’s first-ever associate athletic director for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. His new role begins on January 1, 2021. Dr. Ty describes the position as a preparation-meets-opportunity moment. The addi-

tion of “belonging” to the diversity, equity, and inclusion title connects to his active frameworks of a concept called “FREEdership,” which he hopes to take to both national and international audiences. “Belonging is another level that says, ‘This is yours.’ There is an ownership that comes with the word. Belonging requires that you are sensitive to the whole identities that people bring into a space,” says Dr. Ty. “Some of us have had to silence parts of our identities in order to be tolerated. Belonging is very different from toleration.” Missouri, Columbia, and MU will always be home to Dr. Ty. He shared that one of his most significant accomplishments at MU was the relationships he formed. “We had our own local challenges, pre-pandemic. It was tough being here before, during, and after 2015,” says Dr. Ty, referring to the on-campus protests for racial and social justice at MU that captured national attention that year. “But as I leave here, I am receiving messages from people all across campus and the community who I think appreciate that I’ve been here and that I’ve given Columbia my best. I’ve given Missouri all that I have.”

COMOMAG.COM

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Living

PET FRIENDLY

The Royal Treatment It’s been a great year for the winged beauties at Cedarhurst of Columbia. BY JODIE JAC KSON JR .

2020.

For a year that will forever be linked with bad omens, disastrous luck, and misfortune, 2020 was a particularly good year for monarch butterfl ies at Cedarhurst of Columbia. And it’s all thanks to Dr. Richard Hart and the result of not finding work as a chemist when he graduated with a degree in chemistry more than a half-dozen decades ago. Instead, Richard earned a PhD in entomology and, at the age of 90, has had a spectacular career as a monarch butterfly rancher. “It’s been a good life. I was allergic to everything in chemistry anyway,” he says with an easy laugh. The staff and residents at Cedarhurst of Columbia certainly are pleased that Richard has such a passion for the elegant monarchs. Over the past three years, Richard has overseen the release of 300 monarchs that either head north to Canada in the spring or south to Mexico in the fall in perhaps the most magical migration in the insect kingdom. Monarchs heading to Mexico from Canada are the fourth or sometimes fifth generation of butterfl ies that began their lineage in Mexico – and they return to the same area where it all started 10 to 12 months earlier. Richard and his wife of 63 years, Margaret, moved to Cedarhurst four years ago. An expansion of a colorful feature of their previous home, the butterfly garden that he created at Cedarhurst is something many of the residents have gotten involved with. A hillside on the 11-acre grounds and a garden outside Richard and Margaret’s memory care apartment are havens for milkweed. Monarchs feed on a variety of flowers and plants, playing an important role in pollination, but they only lay their eggs on milkweed plants, and the caterpillars that hatch eat only one thing: milkweed leaves.

“Th is year was our biggest [for monarch butterfl ies]”, says Denise Falco, Cedarhurst of Columbia’s community relations director. Richard laughs, “Th is year, things got out of hand.” In addition to the spring metamorphosis of caterpillar-to-chrysalis-to-butterfly, the Cedarhurst butterfly garden produced a “second big batch” of monarchs in the fall. That second batch came from the eggs of butterfl ies that weren’t released for the mysterious migration to Mexico. Those butterfl ies stayed behind in tiny butterfly huts – transparent mesh homes – that Cedarhurst residents can keep in their rooms. Some stayed with Margaret as part of her memory care regimen. “Th is year, we got so many butterfl ies,” Denise says. “It’s butterfly therapy.”

“This year we got so many butterflies. It’s butterfly therapy.” — Denise Falco, community relations director, Cedarhurst of Columbia

Dr Hart and caterpillar eggs.

Richard tags the butterfl ies with a sort of adhesive label that identifies the winged beauties with a registration number showing that they came from Columbia, Missouri. He knows of at least two that have made it to Mexico. He has tagged 100 monarchs each year for three years. “They certainly get a lot of attention here at Cedarhurst,” Denise adds. “It’s a project here in our building that all our residents help out with.” Prior to the era of COVID-19, before visiting restrictions were the norm, residents’ family members often included monarch viewing as part of their visits. She also recalls that in those now seemingly long ago pre-COVID days, groups of school kids came through to learn about the butterfl ies and caterpillars. Denise looks forward to seeing that resume. “Hopefully, maybe next year, we can start that again,” she says.

COMOMAG.COM

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Living

There for a Better Night’s Sleep Exploring the dangers of sleep apnea and how Kilgore’s Respiratory Center can help. BY JULES N. GRAEBNER

W

e spend nearly one-third of our lives asleep. While we are sleeping, our bodies are repairing themselves, ensuring we are well rested for the next day. However, with sleep apnea, a sleep disorder where the sufferer momentarily stops breathing during sleep, sufferers have disruptive sleep patterns, leading to a wide array of health problems. The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80% of those cases being undiagnosed. Kelly Kilgore-Bietsch, owner of Kilgore’s Respiratory Center, says that sleep apnea can be linked to a number of other issues, like high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Sleep apnea is considered a chronic disorder because it is not a rare occurrence — sleep apnea causes your oxygen levels to be hindered every single night, causing numerous health issues. “If you did something that is bad for you one day of the month, you might not do as much damage as you would if you did that same thing every day,” Kelly says. “The problem with sleep apnea is that you sleep every night, so if you have untreat-

ed sleep apnea, the damage is being done every night.” Diagnosed with sleep apnea herself, Kelly ended up working in this business through chance. A family friend had begun selling sleep apnea equipment and pitched the idea to Kelly and her brother, who owned Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy.

“The problem with sleep apnea is that you sleep every night, so if you have untreated sleep apnea, the damage is being done every night.” — Kelly Kilgore-Bietsch

WELLNESS

Ready for a new opportunity, Kelly and her husband put their house on the market in St. Louis. “We said we were going to give it 30 days, and if it sold, that was our sign to go and do the business,” Kelly says, laughing. “It sold the first day — we felt that God was giving us a sign.” Since then, Kilgore’s Respiratory Center has grown to be Columbia’s one-stop-shop for sleep apnea treatments. While they aren’t able to diagnose, Kilgore’s offers completely free sleep apnea screenings for people who suspect they may suffer from the disorder. Once they receive a diagnosis from a doctor, the patient can return to Kilgore’s for treatments, such as CPAP or BiPAP, two of the most common treatments for sleep apnea, or oxygen therapy. Once a patient has been prescribed a CPAP machine — a device that keeps the airways open during sleep — employees at Kilgore’s Respiratory Center can monitor the apnea-hypopnea index, which Kelly describes as how many times a patient stops breathing an hour. “I’ve had people with an AHI over 120,” Kelly says, “That basically means someone stops breathing and has to wake up every 30 seconds.” Over time, this disruption of sleep is detrimental. She explains, “It really affects the heart, brain, kidney, and lung tissue.” Kilgore’s Respiratory Center ensures that patients have assistance every step of the way. Kelly says that within 24 to 48 hours, one of the clinicians will call them and explain how to use and care for their device, answering any questions they may have about their new diagnosis. At the center, clinicians are able to see data to help them understand how the patient’s device is working, including the AHI number, without the patient leaving the comfort of their own home. “That’s why our tagline is ‘snoring is no joke,’” Kelly says. “If you snore, you have a 60% chance of having moderate to severe sleep apnea. We tend to make fun of the guy on the trip that snores — everybody thinks it’s funny and will send him out to sleep in his car, but somebody who snores at that level could stop breathing up to 80, 90, 100 times an hour. Sleep apnea is no joke!”

KILGORE’S RESPIRATORY CENTER 1019 E. WALNUT ST. 1815 CHAPEL HILL RD., STE. 210 573-442-8338 KILGORESRESPIRATORY.COM

COMOMAG.COM

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JANUARY 2021


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WORK FROM HOME

ANNE TUCKLEY

Anne has been in the interior design industry for over 20 years and has resided in many metropolitan cities from NYC to Houston while honing in on her skills. Her specialties are interior design and home staging, with a focus on unique perception. Anne graduated with a BFA in fine art with a concentration in design and illustration. She has extensive experience in designing new construction as well as remodeling and conceptualizing out-of-the-box ideas. She ensures cutting-edge design and superb customer service.  108 CORPORATE LAKE PLACE, COLUMBIA, MO 65203 573-639-1989 ANNETUCKLEYHOME.COM

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he idea of working remotely has always been a career goal for many. The pandemic made it a reality. Regardless of whether working from home was a previous dream of yours or something you sought to avoid, the pandemic has made it a reality for millions of Americans. For some, those pristine home offices are actually being utilized for something other than folding laundry or wrapping presents. But for many more, they are being required to find a comfortable space within their home to conduct business. Many households are now seeing both spouses working from home while their children are enrolled in virtual school. Even for those that want to work from home, the dream and the reality are vastly different, and everyone is adjusting. In order to better cope with working-from-home-

PROS KNOW

ANNE TUCKLEY HOME

By Anne Tuckley

T

HOME

related stress, I recommend implementing the following tips and tricks into your household: 1. Set up near a window. Most are experiencing cabin fever like they have never felt before. Stress is up, mental illness is up, and as the weather turns, our outdoor activities decline. Setting up your desk where you are exposed to natural light for the majority of the day is good for you both physically and psychologically. 2. Set up in a room where you don’t have a strong emotional connection. When your workplace and your home are the same space, it can be difficult to disconnect. Your workspace is going to trigger thoughts about what happened

during the day, and if you had a particularly rough day, you don’t want to keep reliving that. Set up your desk in a space where you don’t tend to spend much social time with your family. If you are lucky, you may have an office. If you don’t have a separate room, set up in a formal living room, dining room, or other location, you don’t socialize as a family (a child’s room can even work if it is primarily used for sleeping). Yes, you don’t tend to use your own bedroom during the day, but you don’t want your romantic and restful space to be contaminated by work stress. 3. Turn off any electronics that are not absolutely necessary. Use natural

light as much as possible. Turn off the TV. We are constantly inundated with artificial noise and light and these all contribute to higher stress levels. Make your workspace as serene as possible. Your work will provide enough stress.


WHAT THE

NEW YEAR, NEW HOME ORGANIZATION

JAKE BAUMGARTNER

Jake essentially grew up in the furniture industry as he is the fourth generation involved in Baumgartner’s Furniture. Working very closely with his father, Alan, Jake has been devoted to the stores full-time since 2004. His greatest enjoyment, however, still comes from working closely with the customers. He is married to Sarah, and they have two active boys, Noah and Laine. Jake received his degree in finance from Saint Louis University.

By Jake Baumgartner

ith a new year comes a new list of resolutions, and after the tumultuous year 2020 threw at us, it’s time to have a prosperous 2021. That prosperity starts with the home — maybe you want to stick to a better cleaning schedule, or perhaps you want to minimize the clutter and create an organized space. At Baumgartner’s, we can’t help you with the cleaning schedule, but we can help you find the furniture pieces to add to your home that will help declutter and make the space look brand new. After a long day of work, returning to a messy and cluttered home is the last thing you want to do. When your home is organized, you will often feel like you’re in better control of your life. While organizing your home

may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. TRY A BOOKSHELF Bookshelves might not be the first piece of furniture you think of when you think of minimizing your clutter because of the open build, but they make the perfect piece of furniture to help you organize those books you have laying around the house, your consoles, and any knick-knacks that you want to display. STOW IT AWAY IN A CABINET From apothecary to doors, there are so many different cabinet styles to choose from. If you have items you want out of the way, but to still be displayed, consider a windowed cabinet — your clutter will be contained, but

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W

HOME

you can still view your valued memories through the glass. If you want to hide your clutter, say your consoles and plethora of movies, a door cabinet might be perfect for you. WHEN IN DOUBT, BENCH IT OUT Benches are a great way to store extra blankets, pillows, and other cold-weather items. Not only are they great storage pieces, but benches also contribute extra seating and make your home feel warmer and more inviting. Start the new year off right with an organized home. Whatever project the new year brings you, we’re here to help. Visit our showrooms in Columbia and Auxvasse and let our staff help you find everything you need to get your space organized.


The Pasta Factory continues to thrive after 44 years of serving Italian classics. BY A MA N DA LO NG | PHOTO S BY K E I T H B O R GM EYE R


Living

GOURMET

STRAW & HAY Spinach egg fettuccine, prosciutto ham, and peas with Alfredo sauce.

COMOMAG.COM

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f the mere mention of its signature dishes — tortellini with peas and prosciutto, pasta con Lambretta, eggplant parmigiano, and so on — doesn’t make your mouth begin to water, you’re depriving your palate of one of Columbia’s longest-standing authentic Italian establishments: The Pasta Factory. In the Beginning A Columbia tradition for 44 years, The Pasta Factory originally opened at the Crossroads Shopping Center in 1976, founded by local entrepreneurs Mike Kroenke and Dennis Harper. In 1980, Richard Otto Maly, an MU alumnus and restaurant employee, bought the restaurant and subsequently moved it to its second, downtown location on the corner of Broadway and Hitt. After renovating and restoring the historic Stephens building built in 1892 by MU graduate E.W. Stephens, the new location offered an eclectic, vintage atmosphere with stained glass, belt-driven ceiling fans, and a New Orleans-style courtyard. Like many restaurateurs, current owner Jenny Dubinski climbed the proverbial ladder at the restaurant. She started as a hostess while in college in 1986 before working her way to server and then manager. Thanks to the long, late hours and social atmosphere, working in a restaurant can breed romance, and it was at The Pasta Factory that Jenny first met her husband, Jason Dubinski, in 1991. “We actually met here — he worked in the kitchen when I was a manager,” Jenny says laughing. The couple married four years later and, together, bought the restaurant in 2001. From Employees to Owners Jenny shares that, in the beginning, there was a lot of trial and error — they were figuring out the best way to schedule, order inventory, and keep customers and employees happy. “I always wanted it to have the neighborhood bar ‘Cheers’ feel,” Jenny says. That certainly was the case — the downtown location thrived with a booming, appetizer-studded happy hour that brought in the crowds alongside a solid customer base of regulars and students. “The restaurant business is a lot of hard work,” says Jenny. She returned to work,

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JANUARY 2021

ZUCCHINI & TOMATOES Linguine with fresh tomatoes and zucchini sautéed in wine, olive oil, garlic, and basil, tossed with Parmesan cheese

baby in tow, only eight weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Abby. “She basically grew up here.” Abby is now 20 years old, a junior at William Jewel College in Liberty, Missouri, studying nursing. Being a business owner wasn’t always in Jenny’s plan. “I didn’t know initially I wanted to own a restaurant. I have a degree in English and secondary education,” she explains. Although she never became a teacher, Jenny believes what she does often mirrors teaching. “I love that I get the chance to impact lives by giving my employees a safe place to be, a meal to eat together, and a person they can trust and depend on. To some of my employees, this becomes their family.”

Over the years, past employees have returned to tell her so. Over their first 10 years in ownership, Jenny and Jason built a solid foundation for The Pasta Factory that has carried them through, forming strong relationships with the community, their staff, and their customers. Making the Move “In March of 2011, our lease expired, and we had three options,” Jenny says. “Close, move, or sell.” She and Jason decided to downsize and relocate, bringing the vintage novelties, comfy booths, signage, and even the tall-back chairs with them. Although no longer a part of the Columbia Downtown scene, the change of venue has brought them a new stream of steady business.


Living

GOURMET

“We have always strived to keep the menu reasonably priced, stay current with the changing times, and put out consistent, high-quality food. I think the customers really appreciate that — it’s what keeps them coming back.” SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE Spaghetti with bolognese sauce

— JASON DUBINSKI COMOMAG.COM

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RAVIOLI SPECIAL Cheese Ravioli in a vegetable stock reduction with spinach and mushrooms

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JANUARY 2021


Living

GOURMET

Currently located on West Broadway in Columbia’s Fairview Marketplace, The Pasta Factory proudly populates the  list of long-standing Columbia eateries like Murry’s and The Heidelberg. The community-oriented restaurant still offers the same casual, family-friendly atmosphere and fresh, authentic Italian dishes to its  customers  — many of whom are fiercely loyal regulars.   “We have always strived to keep the menu reasonably priced, stay current with the changing times, and put out consistent, high-quality food,” Jason says. “I think the customers really appreciated that.” The Food While many of the classic dishes have always been on the menu, Jason has updated and elevated them over the years, using fresh herbs and making sauces and desserts from scratch. “On average, we usually make 300 to 400 meatballs in a week,” he says. Ask any local Columbian to name their favorite dish and the answer will vary from the house-made cheese soup to the Italian sausage and green pepper lasagna to the difficult to pronounce but easy to eat mostaccioli con salciccia, (pronounced sal-see-chee-uh). “Most of the time, customers just point to it on the menu to order,” Jenny says with a laugh. Other Factory favorites include the uniquely flavorful Mayfair Salad — romaine lettuce tossed with black olives dressed in the creamy, secret-recipe Mayfair anchovy dressing. “It’s like an intense version of a Caesar,” describes Jason. The appetizer menu offers house-breaded, deep-fried zucchini sticks, artichoke hearts and mozzarella, grilled bruschetta Pomodoro, and peel-and-eat shrimp for lighter fare. And, of course, the St. Louis Hill original, toasted ravioli, more commonly known as “T-ravs.” The Pasta Factory is a Sunday brunch must — the brunch menu features a variety of scratch-made quiches, sandwiches like the open-faced Italian and grilled ahi tuna, and the zuppa del giorno (soup of the day). Daily specials include pillowy potato gnocchi, with broccoli and sausage, and pepper-crusted sirloin, with a side of linguine with crab, asparagus, and tomato smothered in a bleu cheese cream sauce. Jason makes all the desserts from scratch. Specialties include a decadent pumpkin cheesecake with bourbon and pumpkin spice whipped cream and tiramisu.

CRABMEAT, ASPARAGUS & TOMATOES Crabmeat, asparagus, and tomatoes tossed together with linguine in a garlic herb cream sauce

Continuing the Legacy With a smaller and easier-to-manage location, The Pasta Factory has remained a beloved, authentic Italian go-to for locals. The relocation also helped carry-out business spike in the past few years to help keep The Pasta Factory’s business booming, even when there are more chairs than there are customers in the restaurant. “The pandemic has been hard on all small businesses, but especially the restaurant industry,” Jenny says. “We are fortunate that we

already had a solid to-go business established prior to COVID. And for those that do decide to dine-in, the tall booths really help customers feel safely distanced,” says Jenny. The new location is just the latest chapter in the restaurant’s long story. “I do miss the history of the old place — I spent half my life there,” Jenny says. Throughout multiple ownerships and locations, The Pasta Factory has been serving housemade Italian classics to its customers for 44 years, and Jenny and Jason don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

COMOMAG.COM

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Healthy and Affordable

Columbia, Thank you for making us part of your health journey since opening in June. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve you and your family healthy meals. We hope to see you at the store as we kick off the new year! Sincerely, Natalie Hardin

Delivery Available 34

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212 East Green Meadows | 573-777-3636 LeanKitchenCo.com/columbia


COMOMAG.COM

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a

Living

FAVORITE FINDS

New Year’s treat PHOTOS BY SADIE THIBODEAUX

Start the new year off right with these cozy f inds f rom Les Bourgeois Winery & Tasting Room. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we need to prioritize ourselves and our well-being. Whether you’re enjoying a bottle of wine with your closest friends or curating your space with a cozy throw and candle, treat yourself with these favorite finds from Les Bourgeois Winery and Tasting Room.

MO COFFEE MUG • State of Mine

||

DAY DRINKER COFFEE MUG • Chez Gagné COMOMAG.COM

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(Above) WINE BOTTLE CANDLES (SCENTED) • Unplug Soy Candles (Below) ASSORTED COCKTAIL MIXES • Camp Craft Cocktails

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JANUARY 2021

||

||

DECORATIVE PLATES • Danica Studio and Two's Company

WINE WITH MULLING SPICES • Les Bourgeois and Curio Spice Co.


Living

FAVORITE FINDS

HAND-WOVEN THROW BLANKETS Two's Company

|| EAT LOCAL TEA TOWELS State of Mine

COMOMAG.COM

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Wendy Moore is redefining reality. Team Healium is so very proud of you for being a part of the 20 Under 40 Class of 2021!

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JANUARY 2021


: S S E C C S TO SU

E R E H W RE THEY A ? W O N PATH

Four for mer Miz zou Ath staffers letics reflect o n their t in Colum ime bia. BY JON H

ADUSEK

O

ver the past three decades, the University of Missouri Athletic Department has witnessed significant growth — due in no small part to former Athletic Director Mike Alden, who led the department from 1998 to 2015. The Tigers saw success on and off the field, moving from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference, renovating and constructing new facilities, and garnering unprecedented financial support from donors. And as Mizzou Athletics grew and changed, so did the city of Columbia. We caught up with four former Mizzou Athletics staffers who spent significant years of their career in Columbia under Mike’s leadership. Many have gone on to prestigious positions at other NCAA Division I programs, yet they all cherish their memories of Columbia and what they learned at MU.

COMOMAG.COM

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Mark

Alnutt

S, THLETIC OR OF A BUFFALO DIREC T F SIT Y O UNIVER

M

ark Alnutt began his life in Columbia as a freshman walk-on for the Mizzou football team in 1993. The Kansas City native was soon granted a scholarship. After graduating, Mark eventually joined the athletics administration, becoming the associate athletic director from 2006 to 2012. “To receive an education and play a collegiate sport at the Division I level ALUMNI was something that I thought would never happen, but it did,” Mark says. “I was fortunate to have that walk-on opportunity and even expanded that role to earning a scholarship. So because of my experience as a student-athlete, I wanted to get back into athletics.” His time at MU proved to be the experience he needed to lead a department of his own — he’s now the athletic director at the University of Buffalo. Mark says the athletic administration lifestyle can be slightly nomadic, but Columbia remained a constant in his life for many years. His four children were all born in town. Citing the many relationships, both friendly and professional, that he formed while at MU, Mark spoke with a pang of nostalgia in his voice. “The thing I remember so fondly was having that opportunity to start a family in Columbia,” Mark says. “My wife and I have four kids, and all four were born in Columbia — same doctor. And that’s rare in this profession, to have all your kids born in the same city and have a place to call home.” When Mark wasn’t involved with the activities of the Mizzou football team or athletic department, you could find him at Cosmo Park coaching youth football for the Columbia Youth Football League — the site of some of his fondest memories. Mike always made sure Mark got off work in time to make after-school practice. “He’d always let me get out of the office at 5 o’clock so I can get back to the community and coach kids in the sport of football,” Mark says. Mark credits Mike with the leadership and training that’s allowed him to excel post-Mizzou. Mark has brought newfound success to Buffalo athletics, with the football team cracking the Associated Press Top 25 Poll for the first time this past season.

20U40

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JANUARY 2021

Laird

Veatch

S, THLETIC OR OF A EMPHIS DIREC T M SIT Y OF UNIVER

L

aird Veatch launched his career at MU in 1997, becoming the assistant athletics director for development from 2000 to 2002, years that saw major growth for the program. After seeing Gary Pinkel take over the football program from head coach Larry Smith, Laird got a front-row seat as Mike transformed MU into a destination school for Division I student-athletes. Laird’s fundraising activities were imperative to this blossoming era. “I shared an office with [current Texas A&M athletic director] Ross Bjork and Mr. John Kadlec — Mr. Mizzou,” Laird says. “Between the three of us, it was a very loud office. Talking to a lot of people on the phones back then.” Laird became the general manager for the Mizzou Sports Properties branch of Learfield Sports in 2003, overseeing multimedia activities in the sports department. The position itself was indicative of the program’s evolution under Mike, which Laird says was visible not just on campus, but in the community, as well. “We went through a lot of changes and got a lot done,” Laird says. “It was a young and eager staff, and we learned a great deal together and figured out our paths.” It was a heyday for MU, and Laird was around for those golden years. He fondly recalls evenings at Shiloh Bar and Grill and the longtime Mizzou sports bar Johnny’s Beanery, which closed in 2008. However, he’s less wistful for the heavy traffic on I-70. “About the only thing that I don’t miss is the semi traffic on I-70 going to Kansas City and St. Louis,” Laird admits. “I spent a lot of time on that highway during my fundraising and development days, traveling to see people across the state. And that’s probably what I miss the most — those relationships and friendships you form with Mizzou fans.” Like many of Mike’s acolytes, Laird has moved on to continued success and promotions with each career jump. He’s currently athletic director at the University of Memphis, and Laird is quick to credit Mike and his years in Columbia for getting him there.


r e n t r a Baumg Sarah

F ATHLE C TO R O E IR D Y D E PU T RSIT Y S UNIVE R U TG E R

S

TICS ,

arah Baumgartner fi lled Laird’s role as Mizzou’s associate athletic director for development, with the Tigers witnessing a significant boost in donor growth and athletic success during her tenure. She also handled sports administration duties for the men’s basketball team during the Tigers’ strong run in the early 2000s. And like Mark and Laird, Sarah gave major props to Mike for laying the foundation for her career in athletics administration. “Professionally, Mike Alden is a superstar,” Sarah says. “I owe so much of my success and where I’m at in my career to him and his belief in me. My time at MU and the things we got to accomplish and experience from an athletic department and student-athlete standpoint — it was awesome.” It was during these years that MU transitioned from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference, considered by most to be the premier conference in collegiate athletics. Sarah was vital in helping MU financially capitalize on the transition, which not only brought wider exposure to the program but bolstered Columbia’s economy with a sudden influx of tourism from visiting teams and fans. “I started my career at Mizzou when I was 23 years old, and they were some of the best years of my life,” Sarah says. “I loved living in Columbia and the people that I met.” For Sarah, these years are best remembered by the family and friends she made, memories forever tied to Columbia. Her favorite restaurants — Bangkok Gardens, CC’s City Broiler, and Addison’s — were the settings for these joyous occasions. “CC’s City Broiler I still think has the best steak I’ve had anywhere,” Sarah declares. “And I’ve had a lot of great steaks.” Now, Sarah is the deputy director of athletics at Rutgers University, applying the skills and administrative leadership skills she honed under Mike.

Mario

Moccia

20U40

ALUMNI

S, THLETIC OR OF A TE UNIVERSIT Y T C E IR D TA EXICO S NEW M

M

ario Moccia worked under Mike as Mizzou’s senior associate athletic director during years that overlap with Mark, Laird, and Sarah’s stints in the department. Mario was full of hearty anecdotes about his time in Columbia, which he looks back on fondly. He recalls one major turning point for both Mizzou, and by extension, Columbia. It came on August 31, 2002, when a redshirt freshman quarterback by the name of Brad Smith led the Tigers to a 33 to 20 upset of Illinois to start the season. “I just remember thinking after the kickoff — the dome [the thennamed Edward Jones Dome, in St. Louis] is packed. I was thinking, ‘Just don’t throw [an interception] to start the game,’” Mario recalls. “And Brad Smith just took us down the field. I tell everybody this going on 20 years now — when we scored that touchdown, it wasn’t this roaring cheer. Sixty thousand people said, ‘Did that just happen?’ Like this weird murmur-buzz.” There was indeed a buzz in the air. Like Sarah, Mario saw the parallel between Mizzou’s athletic development and the growing community and infrastructure of Columbia. He praised the town for its centrality and the warmth of its inhabitants. “In my opinion, it’s one of the most underrated cities in the country because it’s a big business hub, [there are] hospitals — plus, it’s a very progressive area,” Mario says. “It’s directly dead center in the middle of the state. You’ve got your government in Jeff City. You can do all your caravans in one day, whether it’s down to Hannibal or Joplin or St. Joseph.” Like Laird, with whom Mario worked closely, he also remembers going to Shiloh to celebrate the era’s many wins in football, basketball, wrestling, and many other sports. “It was just a fun time for me,” Mario says. “It’s an unbelievably livable city. You can drive and have whatever cosmopolitan stuff you want in Kansas City and St. Louis and be back at a reasonable hour. You’ve got the three universities and colleges there. Columbia just checks [a lot] of boxes.” From Mizzou, Mario became the athletic director at Southern Illinois University, a position he held for nine years before taking on the same role at New Mexico State in 2015, where he resides today.

“I started my career at Mizzou when I was 23 years old, and they were some of the best years of my life. I loved living in Columbia and the people that I met.” — Sarah Baumgartner COMOMAG.COM

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In the

FACE of a

CHALLENGE 44

JANUARY 2021


LE FREIMAN SAB

EN

UR

LA

Columbia’s most influential people of the year and how they’re navigating the pandemic.

Y

B

PH

OT

O S BY AN

THONY JIN

ver the past nine months, with COVID-19 spreading through Columbia and the world, Dr. Peter Stiepleman, superintendent of Columbia Public Schools; Dr. Mun Choi, president of the UM System and chancellor of MU; and Stephanie Browning, director of the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, have been forced to make the toughest decisions of their careers. As they’ve navigated the pandemic with support from each other and countless other community agencies, they’ve unquestionably shaped Columbia’s culture while learning a lot about the community, and themselves, along the way.

SO

N

Dr. Peter Stiepleman

Dr. Mun Choi

Stephanie Browning


20U40

ALUMNI

AS HE REFLECTS ON HIS SEVEN YEARS AS the superintendent of Columbia Public Schools, Dr. Peter Stiepleman focuses on accomplishments that are truly representative of CPS and Columbia. During that time, Columbia voters passed four school bonds and one school levy — the most recent bond passing with 87% community support during a pandemic. CPS formed a partnership with Moberly Area Community College, allowing students to earn a high school diploma while earning an associate’s degree free of charge. CPS reignited a sister city relationship with Hakusan, Japan, and plans to one day send students to attend a STEM school in Japan’s mountains. CPS was the recipient of land that is now the site of the Boone County Nature School, giving students across Boone County a place for outdoor learning. CPS has also established a pipeline for locally educated kids to become teachers in the district, which means the district will benefit from effective, culturally competent teachers.

DR. PETER STIEPLEMAN

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JANUARY 2021

“These are the things that shape this community,” Peter says. But then March 2020 came along, and the conversation took a dramatic twist. Instead of nurturing new partnerships and opportunities, Peter and his team quickly shifted into their incident command structure, solidified following the 2011 Joplin tornado. And Peter says the decisions the pandemic has required him to make have been nothing less than heartbreaking. “I spent most of my career working with community groups that have not always had a voice in the system,” he says. “In Columbia, one out of two kids participate in free or reduced lunch. The pandemic only accentuated the everyday struggle for many families and has made families who haven’t struggled acutely aware of what it means to struggle.” Despite the extreme challenges of transitioning to a remote learning model, Peter says his team quickly sprang into action to address two of the biggest barriers — technology and food. Thanks to some fast planning, CPS made sure that every pre-K through 12th grade student had a laptop or iPad. Then, Boone County funded 1,300 wireless hotspots, allowing CPS to ensure that every student could access online learning. CPS is also utilizing their 212 buses and drivers to deliver meals to 80 bus stops across 300-square-miles. “We knew we had to feed kids because you can’t learn if you’re hungry,” Peter says. “We are also utilizing home school communicators who are connecting families to resources, and we’re delivering meals to homeless shelters and motels where families are living.” Though the pandemic has brought countless challenges, some of which the district is still working to overcome, Peter says the community and valued partners like the United Way, Veterans United Foundation, COMO Helps, and Columbia Public Schools Foundation have pulled together to support the schools and each other. “It’s a great honor and privilege to live in Columbia,” Peter says. “But I’d give anything to have to wrestle with a snow day decision. Now I’m dealing with that perpetually. Every day is a massive snow day.”


DR. MUN CHOI

AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UM SYSTEM, Dr. Mun Choi isn’t a stranger to making difficult decisions that elicit strong opinions. He is straightforward in his admission that leading a university will not win him any popularity contests — a lesson he says he’s learned throughout his 16 years in academia. But the decisions that the pandemic forced him to make were, without a doubt, the toughest of his career. “The scale of the impact of the decisions we made have been greater than at any other time,” Mun says. “The budget cuts that we had to implement as a result of shutting down in the spring, and the cuts in state appropriations, led to hundreds of layoffs and thousands of furloughs for our employees. That’s always difficult to do.” At the end of March, when the university learned about the fi rst positive COVID-19 case in a student and the decision was made to close the campus for in-person operations, Mun says it affected about 90% of faculty and staff as well as the nearly 28,000 students who had to be resilient and accommodating through the process. While the decision to transition to remote operations was difficult, the decision to resume in-person operations after Labor Day, when the university hit the peak of active student cases, was equally polarizing. “There were calls from various members of our community, students, faculty, and staff, asking us to pivot to remote learning, but at that point, we decided to continue with our operations because we thought we could manage the number of cases,” Mun says. “We knew students weren’t being hospitalized, and the great majority were recovering in a timely fashion and coming back to continue their education.” To share and reinforce safety protocols, Mun says leadership quickly learned that frequent communication was key, and that emails from administrators weren’t the most effective way of doing that communication. Instead, they relied on new channels, like social media influencers, or on parents to ask their students to follow safety protocols.

The university has also ramped up its efforts to provide mental health services. A team of staff members from the Office of Student Affairs reaches out to support students who are in isolation, and the university has increased accessibility to telemedicine visits for counseling services or other medical visits. “We are reaching people throughout the state using telemedicine,” Mun says. “The number of telemedicine cases happening on a daily basis are eclipsing whole prior years.” Despite being accountable for a string of consequential and controversial decisions, Mun says he has been inspired by those who rise to the occasion and do things for the benefit of others, and he has been gratified by seeing people act with grace. “I’ve seen our faculty and staff rise up with great enthusiasm to come and teach and do things that are needed for students to have a residential experience,” he says. “Faculty take responsibility for educating the next generation and will do what it takes. I was heartened to see that. Not surprised, but heartened.” As he looks at the year ahead, Mun says 2020 has reminded him to always expect surprises. “We plan with various contingencies so we can pivot quickly when we need to, but we always focus on achieving excellence for student success,” he says. “As long as we focus on achieving excellence and making changes when warranted, I think we will do fine.”

COMOMAG.COM

47


THROUGHOUT HER CAREER IN public health, Stephanie Browning, director of Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, has navigated measles and pertussis outbreaks, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, and Ebola cases. She created the fi rst HIV/AIDS program for Yuma County, Arizona, in the late 1980s, where she developed programs for community testing, education, and disease surveillance, and she worked to destigmatize the disease while calming fears in the community. Her agency has had a robust preparedness program since the 9/11 attacks, and they regularly plan, test, and drill for all sorts of unexpected situations. But nothing could have prepared her for March 2020. “When you’re planning for it, you try to think of worst-case scenarios, but there is nothing like the real deal,” Stephanie says. “We’ve defi nitely had things where we’ve been tested and they’ve been challenging, but this is one ongoing challenge. When we have to issue orders, fi guring out how to reopen while balancing health and economy, it’s a perpetual challenge. I have never faced anything like that in my career.”

STEPHANIE BROWNING

48

JANUARY 2021

Despite the extreme challenges this pandemic has brought, Stephanie says that right now, her agency is operating at its true mission — preventing the spread of disease. The human services division and its social workers have been working closely with local nonprofits to provide basic needs to those in isolation. The agency has also been working to be transparent because Stephanie says trust from the community is integral to the success of any strategy. “The real lesson is you have to look at the science, and HIV was the same way,” Stephanie says. “There was lots of misinformation, but you have to take steps to put into place things that have strong evidence to support strategies.” Though she says she’s been surprised to see how polarized the community has been around COVID-19, she’s hopeful that when the pandemic is under control, the relationships the agency has formed with the business community will continue to grow. She says she would love to partner with businesses on issues like wellness and health promotion. In the meantime, she says she will continue to make decisions based on science and not public opinion. “It’s all difficult,” Stephanie says. “Every one of these stay-at-home orders is a decision of weighing if this is going to improve COVID-19 and keep our hospitals open, what it’s going to do to our businesses that are having a hard time paying rent and to people who are having a hard time getting food.” Although Columbia’s plan for reopening has not been fully implemented due to increasing cases of COVID-19, Stephanie says she looks forward to the time when life can begin to return to normal, and she hopes that Columbia will remember the steady leadership that she, and others around the city, provided during a time of uncertainty. “I haven’t seen my parents for a year, and my husband hasn’t seen his mother in 15 months,” Stephanie says. “It certainly makes you appreciate your family and friends and the people you love and makes you think that when things get better, we need to appreciate the things we have and not take them for granted.”


Chiropractors that treat you like family. Chiropractic care is an amazing option for addressing many conditions including the desire to have improved vitality and optimal health. Our team is made up of individuals that want your life to be better. We want to be your complete health and wellness provider in Columbia and vicinity. These amenities are complementary to our members: • Massage tables available before or after adjustment • Email, text, or phone appointment reminders. You can also reply to our text messages and our office will receive your reply. • Posture training instruction at key points in your care plan • Family friendly – with a dedicated toy room for your children to enjoy • Free WiFi

• Ample parking • Beverage Station with Nutrientinfused fruit water, hot chocolate, Keurig coffee station, Orange Tiger Family cups (take some home for the family!) • Make an appointment through the website, by texting, or by calling • Convenient hours, including early mornings, lunch breaks, and evenings

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Living

COUPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW

Curt and Krista Kippenberger Curt and Krista Kippenberger discuss their f irst date, working together, and their future plans for their business, Focus on Health. HOW DID YOU MEET? Curt : Krista moved to our hometown, Rolla,

the summer before our freshman year. She met another girl that was in the group I hung out with before the school year began. Long story short: I met Krista on the first day of freshman year at the lunch table. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DATE? Krista: The homecoming dance in October

1997, but it wasn’t a real first date because he had broken up with me the week of the dance to get back with his ex-girlfriend. He was a gentleman and still went to the dance with me since we had already made plans. He soon broke up with his ex-girlfriend again, and we officially started dating again in January 1998. WHAT KEEPS YOU BUSY DURING THE WEEK? C: Krista and I live parallel lives during the

week. The clinic and gym captivate the majority of my attention while Krista keeps the peace at home and makes sure the community presence of Focus on Health is on point. We try to leave work behind and connect at dinner or an evening family walk and entertain our two girls. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO

care all under one roof has been a dream of mine since we founded Focus on Health. Our mission is to influence the health and mobility of our community. We empower patients to make conscious health care decisions, and we give them the tools to manage many of their musculoskeletal issues on their own. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME? C: I love mountain biking and rock climbing.

We do this as a family and with many friends. Those of you who know me well may not believe I’m an introvert, but my hobbies allow me to recharge so I can be present with my family and patients. We highly value travel and will often find places that we can pursue our hobbies outdoors.

WHAT IS THE BEST QUALITY OF YOUR PARTNER? C: Krista has a lot of love and passion for

our family. She keeps us glued together. I have been with her for 22 years, and I can’t imagine going on this journey with anyone else. K: How calm he is in the storm. He has been the one who has kept me calm throughout this pandemic and the ups and downs of 2020. WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP? C: Krista and I rely heavily on each other,

remodeling or gardening, and date nights, too.

but we are also wildly independent. You will often see us in different locations when at a party or a gathering. But beware: If fun Curt and fun Krista get together on a dance floor, we’re sure to steal the show!

WHAT IS THE KEY TO A LASTING AND

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE

K: Work on projects around our house like

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP? K: Knowing each other’s expectations

through communication.

HOLD FOR THE TWO OF YOU? K: We are designing a digital course for

chiropractic students called Tri 11 The Missing Course. This will be a crash course in the systems we use in our business, showing new doctors how to jumpstart their own practice.

WORK TOGETHER? K: I love working together — at first,

we only had each other. We were each other’s coach. Now, I’m not in the office as much since I’m out marketing, but we can always come together and talk about what’s going on inside the business daily. WHAT INTERESTS OR EXCITES YOU ABOUT WORKING IN THE HEALTH CARE FIELD? C: I truly believe that we offer the

foundation of health care. Having fitness training and conservative

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT TO WORK ON TOGETHER? C: We do a ton of home projects and remodeling. I can’t say it’s my favorite, but I love spending active time with my family. It’s something we can all do together, and I do love the results! K: Growing Focus on Health. I

love talking business with Curt and dreaming with him. I love bringing those dreams into reality together.

COMOMAG.COM

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Working

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79

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SMALL BUT MIGHTY

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SHARING GRANNY’S LOVE

Meet the Class of 2020 for the Small Business of the Year Award..

Meet Troy Greer, the new CEO for Boone Health.

Granny’s House provides a safe, loving after-school home for kids.


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Working

CLOSER LOOK

JANUARY 2021

physical therapy background, I can offer either service, individualized to the person I’m working with at the time,” Jennifer explains. The recent expansion has allowed Jennifer to go from being “mostly a Pilates instructor” to focusing more on growing the physical therapy aspect of the business, a goal of hers for the next year. In the future, Jennifer hopes to bring on more instructors to help her increase the class schedules and offer more targeted courses for people who live with neurological conditions. 300 ST. JAMES ST., STE. 101-102 573-474-3600 ADAPTABLEPILATES.COM

RENEW Spa, Salon & Sauna

Calving Technologies Libby Martin grew up on her family’s farm. She’s been surrounded by cattle her entire life, and now, she’s created a startup to reflect her upbringing — Calving Technologies. In April of 2019, Calving Technologies officially became an LLC, offering cutting-edge technology that benefits both farmers and their cattle. “What we’re doing is creating a device that helps monitor pregnant cows during the last part of their pregnancy,” Libby says. “This way, farmers can have a better idea of how those animals are acting and when they will have their calf.” Libby hopes to continue building the team and bring on data scientists and coders to develop an app that will help power the systems. “[Our technology] provides a timeframe of notice for farmers,” Libby says. “Farmers would have a six- to 12-hour timeframe leading up to the calving event, so farmers will know what’s about to happen.” She adds that this helps farmers to know when they need to

be at the farm to help the cow through labor if she needs it. LIBBY@CALVINGTECHNOLOGIES.COM 573-353-4198 CALVINGTECHNOLOGIES.COM

Adaptable Pilates In September of 2019, Jennifer Mullen, doctor of physical therapy and Pilates instructor, purchased and rebranded Adaptable Pilates. What started out as a small, 840-square-foot space for Pilates and physical therapy has now more than doubled in size with its recent expansion that was completed in September of 2020 — a year after Jennifer originally purchased the studio. Adaptable Pilates offers group reformer classes, Pilates reformer classes, virtual mat classes, individual Pilates lessons, and physical therapy. “For anyone that has chronic pain, Pilates is a really good fit, and with my

“My whole life, I’ve burned the candle at both ends, leaving little time for relaxation and self-care,” Megan Waigandt, co-owner of RENEW Spa, Salon & Sauna, says. When she was in her 30s, she began adapting a wellness routine that helped her both inside and out. Now, Megan has made it her mission to help others find their state of calm so they can live their best lives, and she’s doing just that with RENEW. RENEW is a full-service salon, spa, and sauna that offers cuts, colors, blowouts, lash lifts, facials, and relaxation. “Our mission is to promote self-care and wellness,” Megan says. “It’s always our goal to do our best to assist people with their self-improvement journeys while respecting the planet and its creatures.” Every vendor the studio uses advocates for animal-friendly and environmentally sustainable practices. RENEW is an authorized retailer of Eminence Organic Skin Care, so for every product sold, a tree is planted and portions of the sale go towards feeding organic meals to children in cancer treatment facilities. 911 E. BROADWAY 573-77-RENEW RENEWCOMO.COM

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Briefly in the News JA N UARY 2021 56

JANUARY 2021

GIVING BAC K

Boys and Girls Club of Columbia Receives Local Support To aid in the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia’s efforts to meet the increased needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Miller, Bales & Company held a matching campaign during the month of September to raise funds and awareness for the organization. The campaign raised $23,770 to support the mission of BGCC. MBC clients and friends gave $13,770, with Miller, Bales & Company fulfi lling its matching promise of $10,000. ED UCATION

Columbia College and Columbia Housing Authority Partner Columbia College and the Columbia Housing Authority have agreed on an educational partnership to provide participants in


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BRIEFLY

the CHA’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program a discounted tuition rate. Th is opportunity to invest in an exceptional and attainable education is available to participants who take either evening classes at the college’s main campus in Columbia or online classes. Students will also have the opportunity this spring to utilize the college’s Virtual Education Initiative, which offers a course-by-course option to enroll in either an in-person or virtual section of a given course. SU PPO RT

Welcome Home Inc. Receives Grant Welcome Home Inc. received a grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation for $17,000 to help enhance Welcome Home’s programs and services for disabled, homeless, and at-risk veterans and their families. Welcome Home’s services include transitional shelter and rapid re-housing services, professional case management, employment assistance, assistance with benefits earned, and other support and access to resources.

“It is truly an honor to join forces with such an incredible, like-minded organization like Disabled Veterans National Foundation. With their funding support, we are able to provide assistance to more than 350 veterans, more than half of whom have a mental or physical disability, and their families.” — MEGAN SIEVERS, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF WELCOME HOME

CELEBR ATIONS

CoMo Cooks Opens for Business The Loop CID and REDI announced that CoMo Cooks, a shared commercial kitchen at MU North, has received an operating permit from the city health department and is now officially open for business. CoMo Cooks will give all cooks a chance to turn their recipes into a business reality, regardless of background, income, or status. The goal is to increase entrepreneurial success by providing accessible, inclusive, and affordable kitchen space for starting and expanding local food-based businesses. A RT AND CULTUR E

True/False Film Fest Announces Theme for 2021 True/False Film Fest announced its theme for 2021: The Nature of Uncertainty. Acknowledging and responding to a collective pandemic consciousness, the

theme is a reminder that tumultuous times invite creative reimaginings. True/ False 2021 will be an outdoor, communal celebration of resilience and the arts. Running from May 5 to May 9, True/False will inhabit the 116-acre Stephens Lake Park for an in-person experience that maintains awareness of current circumstances, meets a need for shared joy, and delivers the worldclass cutting edge nonfiction fi lm that is the hallmark of the festival. GIVING BAC K

Missouri Employers Mutual Awards Grants Missouri Employers Mutual awarded a total of $209,600 to 33 policyholders in Missouri for the implementation of new safety equipment to promote safer workplaces. Th is brings the total amount of safety grants awarded to nearly $1.75 million since 2016, affecting more than 7,000 employees. Th is grant cycle, MEM offered policyholders the opportunity to apply for grants for COVID-19 safety measures in addition to routine safety interventions and products.

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What is REDI?

Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) is a nonprofit, public/private par tnership created to enhance the vitality of business and increase the number of quality, sustainable jobs in Columbia and Boone County.

Attract

Expand

Grow

New Businesses

Legacy Businesses

Entrepreneurship

For more information, visit our website or give us a call!

(573) 442-8303 • REDI@CoMo.gov • columbiaredi.com

We offer dance instruction in: • Pre-school

• Modern

• Ballet

• Body Toning

• Musical Theater

• Tap

• Lyrical

• Yoga

• Jazz

• Hip Hop

• Irish

ADULT CL ASSES AVAILABLE!

Virtual classes available! CALL 573-875-1569

Contact the studio for more information regarding classes, studio rentals, private lessons, choreography, or flash mobs! danceartsofcolumbia.com | 110 N 10th St. Suite 3, Columbia, MO 65201

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JANUARY

R A N DA R AWL I N S

The Shelter Insurance Board of Directors announced that Randa Rawlins will become Shelter Mutual Insurance Company’s next president and CEO. The board made the move to president effective January 1, 2021, in anticipation of the retirement of current president and CEO Matt Moore, who will retire in June 2021. Randa will lead Shelter Mutual as well as each of its subsidiary and affiliate companies. Randa is a graduate of Truman State University and the MU School of Law. She began her law career in Kansas City, where she practiced insurance defense for 20 years. Randa returned to Columbia in 2002 to become Shelter’s general counsel.

MICHAEL MEEHAN

Great Circle is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Meehan, PhD, as the nonprofit’s first chief clinical officer. In the newly created role, Michael oversees clinical fidelity for the agency’s programs and services, including the full integration of trauma-informed care. Michael joined Great Circle in September and brings more than 30 years of experience working with children and families in clinical and community settings. A licensed psychologist, he is an adjunct instructor of psychology at Maryville University and has served as a board member of various child services

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and Catholic-affiliated organizations. Michael received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Loyola University in Chicago.

CASEY CALLANS

After working with Peachtree Catering and Beet Box for a year and a half, Casey Callans will become the head chef of a new, collaborative project between Beet Box and Harold’s Doughnuts called The Strollway Market. In this position, Casey will be responsible for maintaining the kitchen, ordering food, creating the menu, and creating and executing everything on the menu. Casey has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Columbia College, but has been in the restaurant industry for years, working for local favorites such as Beet Box, Cafe Berlin, and Nourish Café and Market. The Strollway Market will be located in The District.

BOB BRUMMER

For over 20 years, Bob Brummer has been a part of the grocery industry, but now, Bob is changing his field and moving on to handyman work. Bob started his journey in the grocery industry at Hy-Vee as a dairy employee, and within six months, he was promoted to dairy manager. The grocery industry was a part of his life until November of 2020. After remodeling his own kitchen, Bob caught the eye of

a colleague who saw potential in him and his craftsmanship and urged him to pursue the handyman business. Bob has taken the leap and started his own handyman business, Bobby B’s Handyman, where he will help with fixing, cleaning, remodeling, restoration, and much more. R AWL I N S

MEGAN SIEVERS

Welcome Home conducted a nationwide search for an executive director and found the best candidate right in their own backyard. Megan Sievers was selected by the Welcome Home Board of Directors to lead the organization into 2021 and beyond. Megan has been affiliated with and led organizations serving the military and veterans since 2004. Her bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing, formal training and certifications, and years of experience working in the nonprofit sector have helped the organization reach new heights in programs, services, fundraising, and partnerships. She has served as the development director at Welcome Home since August 2017 and has led the organization to unprecedented success in fundraising. She supported the 2017 capital campaign and the organization’s transition from a 10-bed shelter to 34-bed, 32-room shelter and supportive services center.

MEEHAN

BRUMMER

SIEVERS

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT

New Year, Unfinished Business Reviewing unfinished policies and laws that began throughout 2020. BY KRCG 13’S KERMIT MILLER

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nder ordinary circumstances, a long off-season break (with an intervening election) would create a sense of anticipation at the state capitol. Returning veteran lawmakers and newcomers alike would look forward eagerly to a new legislative session opening in January. But the COVID-19 pandemic, which first delayed the conclusion of the 2020 regular legislative session, and Governor Mike Parson's decision to call lawmakers back to Jefferson City into special sessions twice over the summer and fall to deal with COVID issues and urban violence, might have tempered (if not robbed) those who write the laws of their desire to jump back into it. Nevertheless, the 101st Missouri General Assembly will open January 6, 2021, and lawmakers have pre-filed some-600 bills to address new concerns, long-standing issues, and unfinished business from 2020. The unfinished business is likely to attract immediate attention, in part because of the manner in which it was left unfinished. Parson had summoned lawmakers to address the potential liability faced by health care providers who treat (or who choose not to treat) COVID patients, plus business owners working to supply the war on COVID. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry had pushed hard for such legal protections almost since the pandemic began. Legislation was drafted and was being heard in committee when word came down the governor and changed his mind and wanted to wait until 2021. "New language was dropped at the eleventh hour, for whatever reason, that really changed

the whole dynamics of that," the governor told me later. "And we were under a very strict time schedule with COVID . . . and this was more of a procedure that would have taken place in a normal session." That sounded a bit vague. "What was in that bill that he doesn't like?" I asked Senator Ed Emery, of Lamar, who was handling the liability bill. "I don't think there's anything that he doesn't like. I think his concern was the absolute lack of confirmation from the [house of representatives] that they'd seen the language and that they were okay with the language." Lawmakers might be waiting to see if U.S Congress addresses the problem in the next COVID package, which still hasn’t been approved. Emery is term-limited and will not be back in January. Joplin's Bill White and Parkville's Tony Luetkemeyer have pre-filed the original Senate language for consideration in 2021. The pandemic could drive several bills in the new session. Democrats in both the house and senate will make noise about bringing back ear-

ly voting permanently, probably citing the positive appraisal of the state's Republican secretary of state about the smoothness with which the pandemic voting law was put into effect. ("I think anyone has to look into this election, dig into the data, and say, 'Would it be good to continue some of this?'” Secretary Jay Ashcroft told me a couple of days after the election.) And there almost certainly will be scratching and clawing about the limits to which local governments can impose emergency rules on individuals and businesses. The decision by St. Louis County Executive Sam Page to close restaurant dining rooms saw significant pushback. St. Louis County Senator Andrew Koenig picked up the battle flag, pre-filing legislation to bar local governments from imposing such a rule for more than two weeks within a twoyear period without the approval of the state legislature. "We live in a constitutional republic where we have separation of powers," Koenig said during a news conference. "No one person should have the power to make law and

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“We live in a constitutional republic where we have separation of powers. No one person should have the power to make law and shut our businesses down.” – ST. LOUIS COU NTY S ENATO R A NDR EW KOE N IG

shut our businesses down." Koenig's bill also would prohibit limits being imposed on in-home gatherings. The special session at mid-summer addressed urban violence by targeting those who commit it; lawmakers steered clear of the questions surrounding police behavior. So look for police accountability legislation coming from Ferguson Senator Brian Williams, as well as St. Louis's Steven Roberts, who comes over to the senate from the house, and Kansas City Representative Ashley Bland Manlove. Their bills would ban the use of no-knock warrants and chokeholds and track the use of deadly force with a requirement that police report all such situations to the attorney general. They also would require training on how to de-escalate volatile situations. At the same time, conservatives will want more protection for police. Incoming Senator Rick Brattin, who served four terms in the house, has filed legislation to punish communities that go down the "defund the police" road and to step up the penalties for state workers who participate in rallies deemed to be "unlawful assemblies." Other pre-filed bills address everything from education standards to tax policy (look for another debate on whether to require sales tax collection on internet sales, the so-called Wayfair Tax). And lawmakers will take another shot at sports betting in Missouri. Three senators, including Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, of Columbia, and house member Phil Christofanelli, of St. Peters, have re-filed sports betting bills they sponsored in 2020 — bills that appeared to have lived until the pandemic got in the way. Now, with sports betting already in place in the border states Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, and Tennessee, Missouri is losing revenue it desperately needs. The legislation would legalize wagering through online services, through lottery vendors, and on casino boats. Arguments remain over how much to charge for applications, licensing, and taxes. The real debate, however, is still over whether to impose "integrity fees" — payments to professional sports leagues, such as the NBA and MLB. Traditionally, the money that goes back to those leagues is ostensibly to monitor their games for betting-oriented shenanigans. In fact, it's little more than a royalty, and in Missouri, proponents have proposed to leave the integrity money in state coffers to maintain, repair, or build new sports venues.

Kermit Miller anchors the 6 and 10 p.m. news for KRCG 13. You can reach Kermit at kmiller@krcg.com

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Now Open

for appointments in the heart of Columbia’s North Village Arts District.

110 N. 10th St. Ste. 7. mklush.com | 573-777-1030 Follow us:

/mklush

@mk.lush


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GUEST VOICE

Get REDI Breaking down the work REDI has been doing for the community for the past 30 years. BY STACEY BUTTON, REDI PRESIDENT

R

egional Economic Development Inc., known to most people as REDI, is a local collaboration that has worked to benefit the Columbia and Boone County community since its founding in 1988. Yet, many people still ask — what does REDI do? It’s a complicated question to answer. REDI works with a long list of partners and provides a wide array of programs. Some people may have worked with or known about one of REDI’s programs, but not the others. Or they may have heard the REDI name but not ever understood exactly what we do. What REDI would like you to know is that all our efforts are designed with one goal in mind — to help create quality, living-wage jobs that provide upward economic mobility for our residents and sustain a dynamic local economy for our community.

HOW DOES REDI DO THIS? Collaboration is the heart of REDI and all we do. REDI brings together the City of Columbia, Boone County, MU, local businesses, organizations, educational institutions, municipalities, service agencies, and more to coordinate economic development programs that create jobs. Together, all these groups work through REDI to attract new businesses to the area, support existing businesses so they can thrive and expand, and they help entrepreneurs grow startup businesses. These businesses, in turn, create and retain jobs for our community’s residents. And as the employees and employers succeed, they all contribute to the tax base that supports schools, libraries, roads, public safety, and other services.

HOW IS REDI FUNDED? REDI’s budget to provide these services is funded through both public and private investments. The City of Columbia provides the REDI staff, who also serve as part of the

city’s department of economic development. The city, Boone County, and MU join with many private sector investors – more than 70 in 2020 — to fund REDI’s operations and economic development programs. Funds invested in REDI make possible REDI’s work in three strategic focus areas: attraction, business retention and expansion, and entrepreneurship.

ATTRACTION REDI manages a database of available sites and buildings and assists landowners in

acquiring Missouri Certified Site status. When businesses are looking to locate in a community, they generally send a request for proposals outlining what they are looking for in a new site. REDI responds to RFPs, which often require extensive knowledge and information about the availability and cost of infrastructure, including utilities, transportation, and workforce. REDI coordinates site visits when needed and performs due diligence to learn as much as possible about any company that chooses Columbia or Boone County for a new

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location. When a company decides to locate here, REDI can help the company connect with local providers and state programs to support the company.

BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION REDI works to increase the stability of existing legacy companies. REDI coordinates with local businesses to identify skill gaps and partners with educational institutions to provide labor force training, certification, and degree programs. REDI conducts site visits with area businesses and community leaders to identify and address needs. REDI offers existing businesses the opportunity to share information at REDI Board of Directors meetings and brings together local plant managers. REDI also provides ongoing support to existing businesses, including connections to local and state support.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP REDI supports entrepreneurs creating startups, as well as existing and growing small businesses. REDI offers a full-time entrepreneurial coordinator and the Hub co-working space, with programming to provide entrepreneurial resources and support to a diverse clientele. REDI supports the region’s startup ecosystem, and provides offices for the supplier diversity program for minority- and woman-owned business enterprises, the Missouri Women’s Business Center, the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and the Small Business Administration — all right here on site with REDI and the Hub. REDI also promotes grassroots entrepreneurship programs and is assisting with revitalization of The Loop, including providing small-scale manufacturing support and launching a shared commercial kitchen. REDI’s mission spelled out 30 years ago is still the focus of REDI’s work today: Increase economic opportunities, maintain our community’s superior quality of life, recruit new businesses, retain existing business and assist with expansion, and support new business startups. REDI serves businesses in Columbia and throughout Boone County in ways big and small. Large projects to which REDI lends assistance can be more well-known because they attract media coverage. But equally important is the everyday assistance REDI offers, such as helping businesses find available space, helping employers and educators work together to equip students with skills employers are seeking, connecting businesses to state programs that help with employee training or aid in expansion, providing co-working space for a startup, or helping an entrepreneur find a mentor. These are among the myriad services that provide widespread support to our community businesses and provide its residents with a stable economic base.

Stacey Button has been the president of REDI since 2015. You can reach Stacey at 573-441-5542.

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Meet the class of 2020 for the Small Business of the Year Award, powering their way through a pandemic while keeping their shine. BY MICHELLE TERHUNE

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very year, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce honors businesses of 25 employees or fewer for their success and overall impact on the community through its Small Business of the Year Award. This year, despite the pandemic, brought in an impressive class of finalists.

Chamber members nominate businesses that then complete a comprehensive application. Six judges rate the applications, then meet to select the top five and the award recipient. Chad Massman, the Chamber’s director of membership, says there were nearly 70 nominees, about of which 50 submitted applications. “The pandemic put a damper on what is usually a well-attended recognition event for the finalists,” Chad says. “We had only a

small, socially distanced event at The Roof. The finalists usually hold events at their businesses and make presentations to 100 or 150 people,” he says. “This year, most people had to attend via Zoom.” But Chad says the pandemic didn’t put a damper on the quantity of applications or the quality of the class of 2020. Those, he says, were as impressive as ever. But, you can see for yourself.

FINALIST:

Just Jeff’s It started with a guy and a cart selling hot dogs on MU’s campus. Fast forward seven years, and Jeff and Nicole Spencer have two full restaurant locations and two hot dog carts. “When I started serving hot dogs from a cart on campus, I never thought we would be where we are today,” says Jeff. “It made for a great small business that really changed our lives.” Within two years, Just Jeff ’s opened its first location on the Business Loop. Nicknamed the “Dog House,” it offers drive-through, walkup, and patio seating and is managed by their daughter, Kayla Rice. In June 2019, the company opened a dine-in and drive-through location on East Green Meadows Road. The Loop location was uniquely suited to operate during the pandemic, so Just Jeff ’s temporarily closed the Green Meadows restaurant and consolidated employees. This location was reopened in July. “We’re really lucky, because we have the best customer base in the world,” Jeff says. “We haven’t taken the hit some restaurants have.” The restaurants are open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and that makes it a great place to work. They use the carts to cater occasions ranging from weddings and birthdays to business events. Jeff says they run a clean operation, proudly stating they haven’t had a health violation in their seven-year history. What was Jeff ’s reaction when he was told Just Jeff ’s was a finalist for this award? “It’s crazy, because we’ve been doing small business parties for years for the award nominees. Then, they tell us we’re finalists,” Jeff says. “I actually cried!”

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“When I started serving hot dogs from a cart on campus, I never thought we would be where we are today. It made for a great small business that really changed our lives.” — Jeff Spencer, Just Jeff’s


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CELEBRATIONS

FINALIST:

Restoration Chiropractic Taylor Sirois grew up in chiropractic medicine. His grandfather and parents were all chiropractors in Salem, Missouri. Taylor knew the preventive benefits of chiropractic treatment, and he never dreamed of being anything else. Taylor met his wife and business partner, Leah, in St. Louis while he was attending Logan University College of Chiropractic, and she was a chemical engineer. While doing his residency at Colorado’s largest chiropractic office, Taylor was exposed to techniques and technology not available in his family’s small-town practice. “We are committed to keeping people healthy naturally,” Taylor says. “Our vision was to build one of the largest chiropractic practices in Missouri. We’ve done that by providing quality care, using state-of-the-art technology, educating our patients and our community, and building a team that truly loves and cares for people.”

In four years, Taylor and Leah did just that. With a focus on preventative care, education, and technology, including thermographic imaging, Restoration Chiropractic has two doctors and seven staff treating up to three generations of families. Despite the pandemic, the company doubled its office size in 2020 and is preparing to recruit more doctors and staff. “Initially, we took a huge hit of 40% to 50% with the stay-at-home order. However, we treat people from infants to the elderly, so we’ve been diligent in taking precautions to keep our patients and our staff safe so they feel comfortable coming back,” Taylor says. Taylor calls the award “such a cool honor” and not just for them. “We’ve had family, friends, banks, patients, staff, and others who had faith in us and our vision,” Taylor says. This recognition also highlights the people who helped get us here.”

“We’ve had family, friends, banks, patients, staff, and others who had faith in us and our vision. This recognition also highlights the people who helped get us here.” — Taylor Sirois, Restoration Chiropractic

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CELEBRATIONS

FINALIST:

PedNet PedNet has been working to make getting around Columbia more equitable for everyone for 20 years. The Pedestrian and Pedaling Network was launched by a founder who had traveled the world and noticed the benefits of having a connected network of streets, sidewalks, and trails that allowed people riding bikes, walking, and using wheelchairs to move about the community freely. “We had a lot of evolution over time,” says Lawrence Simonson, PedNet’s chief strategy officer. “We’ve moved from our initial recreational impact to something much broader in scope.” PedNet is a nonprofit advocacy organization supported by memberships, donations, grants, and paid consulting services. Among the events PedNet organizes is the annual Bike, Walk & Wheel Week, and it partners with Ragtag Cinema for the Velo Vini Vici bike and wine-tasting event celebrating women on bikes. In 2018, PedNet joined three other transportation advocacy organizations to form Missourians for Responsible Transportation. MRT brings together rural and urban communities and grassroots organizations to advocate at the state level for a safe, fiscally responsible, and equitable transportation system. Lawrence says the pandemic hasn’t hit PedNet as hard as other businesses, but some of the grants they’ve relied on in the past aren’t available, and donations have declined as contributors are affected. Donations to the nonprofit are always welcome. Lawrence says being an award finalist is a high point for PedNet. “Ten years ago, we were faced with the challenge of turning the organization around in nine months or closing our doors,” Lawrence says. “We learned on the fly, poured our hearts and souls into it, and created a model nonprofit business.”

“Ten years ago, we were faced with the challenge of turning the organization around in nine months or closing our doors. We learned on the fly, poured our hearts and souls into it, and created a model nonprofit business.” — Lawerence Simonson, PedNet 68

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CELEBRATIONS

FINALIST:

Heart of Missouri CASA Since 2005, Heart of Missouri Court-Appointed Special Advocate volunteers have been changing the lives of thousands of abused and neglected children in foster care in Boone and Callaway counties. The nonprofit organization trains volunteers to be advocates for kids who need someone speaking up for their best interests amid difficult family situations. “Our volunteers are from all walks of life,” says Kelly Hill, CASA’s executive director. “Some are retired and others are still working. Some are stay-at-home parents and others are business owners. Every CASA volunteer needs to be consistent, caring, objective, and strong on follow-through for these kids.” The pandemic has made the work of volunteers challenging. Despite restrictions on in-person visits, half of the 150 active volunteers are spending time with kids in-person. The other half are doing some “creative things to stay in touch virtually with kids,” Kelly says. CASA is always looking for volunteers and holds training sessions for new ones four times a year. They must be 21 or older, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass a background check. They must be committed to spending at least two years in the role and devoting eight to 10 hours a month. People can also donate money to the nonprofit. Kelly says being a finalist for this award provides a “huge benefit.” “Our big challenge is always awareness. What CASA does isn’t as intuitive as other nonprofit organizations,” Kelly says. “This is a well-respected award, and it helps build the recognition that we are a legitimate small nonprofit business in the community.”

“Our big challenge is always awareness. What CASA does isn’t as intuitive as other nonprofit organizations. This is a wellrespected award, and it helps build the recognition that we are a legitimate small nonprofit business in the community.” — Kelly Hill, CASA COMOMAG.COM

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CELEBRATIONS

AND THE WINNER IS . . .

Job Point To say that Job Point has come a long way since its founding in 1965 is an understatement. After having three different names in its first 40 years, the nonprofit was renamed Job Point in 2005 to better align with the organization’s mission and services. Job Point educates students and trains clients before helping them find and maintain employment. Most clients have some kind of disability or other economic disadvantage. “Our work isn’t done when we place a client in a job,” says Steve Smith, CEO and president. “For them, holding a job is like developing a habit. If we can help them maintain a job for 90 days, they’ve proven they can hold a job, even if it’s not the one they want to do long-term.” The pandemic forced Job Point to make some quick pivots. “We shut down the program entirely for a few weeks and developed virtual education and training on the fly,” Steve says. “We’re now taking a hybrid approach. There’s more in-person time for clients who need handson training, such as in construction. We’re providing more Chromebooks to clients, but some have fluid living situations and no internet access, so they come here to work at a safe distance.” Steve describes Job Point’s funding model as “complex,” combining donations and United Way support with governmental financial support, fees from Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Job Point’s success can be measured by what it gives back to the community by enhancing the workforce and saving taxpayer dollars. For one thing, criminal recidivism among its applicable clients is half that of local, state, and national averages. Moreover, the annualized wages earned by those clients who last for 90 days or longer in a job exceed Job Point’s annual operating budget. What about being named the 2020 Small Business of the Year? “It’s rewarding and an honor,” Steve says. “It’s helping us get our name and word out about what we do. That will help us attract more clients and help us build our employer network.”

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“It’s rewarding and an honor. It’s helping us get our name and word out about what we do. That will help us attract more clients and help us build our employer network.” — Steve Smith, Job Point


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Granny’s House Mission Statement: To nurture and inspire public housing children.

Founded: 2011

Board Members:

Sharing Granny’s Love Granny’s House provides a safe, loving after-school home for kids.

here’s nothing like a grandmother’s love — or homemade cookies baked by your grandmother. It’s that type of experience and emotional connection that Pam “Granny” Ingram and the staff and volunteers at Granny’s House have provided to kids in Columbia for nearly 20 years. Since 2001, when Pam fi rst started out in two public housing apartments on Trinity Place, Granny’s House has been a safe, nurturing home away from home where kids can come each day after school to see values, manners, and God’s love in action. And yes, they even have a volunteer grandmother who bakes cookies every week, although Pam points out it’s the overall atmosphere that creates such a loving space. “Grandmothers are there to listen,” she says. “Your mother wanted to make sure she got everything right and scheduled, but your grandmothers love you. There’s nothing like your grandmother’s love.”

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President • Ellis Ingram, Secretary • LouAnn Triplett,

BY KATIE PERRY HARRIS

T

• Pam Ingram,

Treasurer

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS AND CHARACTER As a child, Pam grew up in public housing in Kansas City, part of what she describes as a family of the working poor. While there may not always have been enough food on the table or money for extracurricular activities, she was surrounded by a loving family, and trips to the nearby public library inspired her lifelong love of reading. She came to Columbia to study journalism at MU, where she met her husband, Dr. Ellis Ingram, a pathologist who is also actively involved with Granny’s House and its science programs. Pam’s childhood experience informed her approach to helping kids when she saw a need in our community. “Having been there myself, having walked in their shoes, informs me in a way that gives me a deeper compassion and more empathy for people,” she says.

• Sue Crane, Board Member • Adonica Coleman, Board Member • Carl Triplett, Board Member • Martha McCrary, Board Member • Caritas Habimana, Board Member


Working

That empathy spills over into the relationships Granny’s House creates with each child who comes through its doors. “I love the fact that we never call the kids ‘clients’ or ‘youth,’” Pam says. “Kids and their families treat us like family members. We love those authentic, loving relationships with the kids.” Granny’s House serves kids from age 4 through high school. In addition to helping with homework and being a presence in kids’ lives, Granny’s House offers enrichment programs ranging from a science academy to a princess academy. These are aligned with various “tracks” — Pam says programs like the princess academy are part of their character-building track. “We want the kids to have a strong, vital, intimate relationship with God and build character,” she says. “We have them three hours a day. We want things to happen in their hearts and lives that they can take home with them.” The academic track at Granny’s House includes a science club, conducted in partnership with University Hospital and the MU School of Medicine. “It’s no accident that 90 percent of the kids who graduate high school and go to college choose a medical-related science major,” she says. “I think it’s because of their exposure through our science club.” The book club, called the “Reel Life Book Club,” focuses on books with a companion movie. It’s a special way to share Pam’s love of reading. “We are trying to raise up a whole community of lovers of books and readers,” she says. “We often find books that will teach life lessons and [how to navigate] crossroads that the kids might be facing at their points in life.”

A MOSAIC OF HAPPY KIDS Thanks in part to a donation from the Veterans United Foundation, Granny’s House moved to its current location on Worley Street in 2018. The larger home allows for more space to serve kids in separate areas, as well as a safe space with a large, fenced-in yard. With two stories, the house can hold a group of elementary kids downstairs, while the high school students are upstairs. Pam is quick to point out that the move would not have been possible without community support. “We are a grassroots organization,” she says. “Columbia is such a giving community, with a lot of places that are helping change the trajectory of kids’ lives. When people fi nd that, they want to partner with you.”

“It’s a home for them, it’s where they get love. These kids have so much confidence in Granny, they can tell her how they’re hurting or what’s going on in their family.” — Caritas Habimana

NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT

Those partnerships with community organizations and churches have helped make possible necessary renovations and projects at the Worley Street house. “We could have never undertaken the projects we have without the broad base of community support. There is an endless list of people, groups, and churches that have helped us over these 20 years,” Pam says. Over the past decade, Granny’s House has seen a shift in the population of kids it serves as refugee families continue to settle in Columbia. Today, the majority of kids come from refugee families. At one point, Granny’s House served kids from 12 different nations, including Thailand, Kenya, Yemen, and Iraq. “It is a big, beautiful, happy mosaic of kids from all over the world, and I love it,” Pam says. “I love the refugee kids’ perseverance and their deep appreciation for life. There are so many beautiful things in each culture that contribute to the beautiful whole.” Caritas Habimana is the “auntie” of the African refugee families at Granny’s House; she helps with translation and reaching out to parents. Caritas fi rst became involved about 10 years ago when she was working with refugee families and heard of the program. “I had so many families where the parent didn’t speak English, so we connected with Granny’s House,” she says. “The kids can do their homework and be there after school.” It’s not just for refugee kids, but also for American kids whose parents are working long hours, Caritas points out. “It’s a home for them — it’s where they get love. These kids have so much confidence in Granny, they can tell her how they’re hurting or what’s going on in their family,” Caritas says. It’s why kids from Granny’s House go on to succeed and stay connected with the people who played such an important part in their lives. “I love it when kids go away and keep in touch,” Pam says. “At the end of the day, when the kids are 20, 30, 40, they say, ‘My time at Granny’s House was one of the happiest times in my life.’”

GRANNY’S HOUSE PAM@GRANNYSHOUSE.ORG 573-881-5894 GRANNYSHOUSE.ORG

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BUSINESS UPDATE

Going Once, Going Twice – Sold! Tim and Crystal Elliott broaden Atterberry Auction & Realty Company's horizons. BY JODIE JACKSON JR. | PHOTOS BY ANTHONY JINSON

CALL IT DIVINE PROVIDENCE. The only connection Tim Elliott had with auctions was as co-chairman of the fundraising auction at Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School in 2018. As it happened, Larry Atterberry Jr. was on-hand to call the auction. Tim had hoped to close a business-purchase deal earlier that day, ending a 10-month search assisted by Columbia business broker and advisor Jeff Guinn. But the business purchase fell through, Tim says, and he mentioned the business-buying search to Larry.

Later that night, Tim got an email from Larry, explaining that Larry and his wife, Marla, were looking at selling their company, Atterberry Auction and Realty Company LLC, which marked its 50th year in 2020.

ENTICING AND INTRIGUING Tim and Crystal Elliott, parents of four girls, gained an additional family when they bought, took over, and renamed Atterberry Auction & Realty Company in July 2019. Tim looks back at the night he talked with Larry Atterberry Jr. at the fundraising auction.

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“That’s really how the whole thing got started,” Tim says. “It’s kind of like the good Lord put Larry and me together on the right day at the right time.” It didn’t take Crystal long to buy into the idea. “What are we going to do with an auction company? That was my initial thought,” Crystal says. Once she learned more about Atterberry Auction & Realty and found that most of its auctions are done online, Crystal’s attitude shifted from “intrigued” to “more promising.” Learning that Atterberry’s auction company was a member of MarkNet Alliance — a consortium of 60-plus auction companies that post their sales on each other’s websites — that was “another big, enticing factor.”

MAKING HIS OWN MARK When they bought the company and pursued new ways to build their audience of online bidders and sellers, both Tim and Crystal relied on 19 years of community connections

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they’ve made as a busy married couple. They’re Columbia College alums; they're on the college’s athletics advisory board, and they attend sporting events at Columbia College and MU. They’re also active members at Our Lady of Lourdes and volunteers at Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School, Father Tolton Catholic High School, and other charities and organizations. “It’s going really well,” Crystal adds. “It was definitely a good transition.” Tim’s background in sales and business management was another bonus that made the business purchase even more palatable. He grew up working in the family business, Mid-Am Building Supply, working in the warehouse, the front desk, and outside sales. Before that, he was a sales rep for Cumulus Media — his fi rst job out of college — and a chemicals sales rep. Tim’s desire “to find something to make my own mark” led him to contact Jeff, eventually leading to that fateful conversation with Larry.

A NEW SET OF EYES AND EARS Crystal is a full-time mom — the Elliotts have four daughters, ranging in age from 10-yearold twins to a 15-year-old — and she keeps the administrative wheels of Atterberry Auction & Realty Company churning from home, a seemingly natural extension of her background in the insurance industry. Tim manages the day-to-day operations. “We had a lot of contacts ahead of time that really helped us get out there in front of people,” he adds. There wasn’t a big announcement when the Elliotts bought the business. “The only difference,” Tim says, “is Larry is not physically sitting in the seat here.” An added bonus of the Elliotts’ purchase was gaining a new family, too. That’s how Tim views the “very, very valuable” staff, like Marla Oglesby, the broker and real estate auction consultant, and Scott Sapp, a second-generation auctioneer and personal property auction specialist.


“I rely on them to keep doing their job and help lead us along,” he says. “The Atterberry family created a really strong base and business here. We’re just a new set of eyes and ears and coming in to push it to the next level.”

EXPANDING THE FOOTPRINT “On the real estate side, it’s been a good year,” Tim says. “The housing market right now is really strong. We’ve seen significant growth since we bought it.” Although 2020 will forever be the subject of doomsday memes, it’s been a good year for Atterberry Auction & Realty Company. One property sold this year for just over $1.5 million, and another sold in Joplin, a bit outside the company’s previous footprint. “We’re reaching a different group and keeping the audience we had, trying to get a bigger piece of the pie,” Tim explains. An ongoing objective is getting past the public stigma that insinuates that online real estate auctions only deal in foreclosed properties. “People see a real estate auction and wonder why it’s being auctioned. ‘Did someone die in this house? Is it falling apart?’” Tim explains. “We’re breaking down those walls. Why would you not put your house up for auction? You know, within 45 days your house will be sold, and in another 45 days, the sale will close.”

ONE-STOP-SHOP Some of the innovative steps towards building a larger audience is using 360-degree camera angles — as other realtors do — and, especially with COVID-19 in mind, “having more avenues for people to be able to experience the properties and items we’re selling without having to be there to see them.” Atterberry Auction & Realty Company is also boosting its efforts to be a one-stop-shop for selling personal property along with real estate. As Tim puts it, “They can turn the keys over to us and we can handle all of that.” With online auctions now all the rage — and for good, practical, economic, health-related reasons — does that mean the goodold-days of an on-site farm or estate auction, complete with apple pie and hot dog food stands, are a thing of the past? “If someone wants to do a live auction and that makes sense for them, we have the resources to do it,” Tim answers. “It just seems like what’s best for our customers. Online is really the way to get max dollars for what they invested when they hired us.” Tim and Crystal also set the business apart by letting auction-sponsoring fundraisers keep more of the auction proceeds. And that’s important to them, based on their own fundraising experience. For now, the Elliotts are focused on “just keeping the Atterberry business name out there and letting people know we’re still here.” Tim adds, “And, we’re wanting to help the community in any way we can.”

AT TERBERRY AUCTION & REALT Y COMPANY 7912 I-70 DRIVE S.E. 573-474-9295 AT TERBERRYAUCTION.COM

Auction item photos provided by Atterberry Auction & Realty Company

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Your Trusted Attorneys

ROB TEMPLE

ERNIE UELIGGER

NATHAN JONES

Ernie Ueligger represented me in a wrongful death suit this year. I can’t say enough about his compassion and professionalism. He always answered my emails and phone calls within 24 hours. He kept me well-informed throughout the entire process, and we achieved a very good result. He was exceptionally kind and caring. I would not hesitate to recommend Ernie to anyone with a personal injury issue. He is an amazingly committed and conscientious young attorney.� - Julia D

C E L E BRATI NG 4 Y EA R S O F BEI NG YO UR TRUS TED LAW F I RM .

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PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW

Troy Greer Chief Executive Off icer, Boone Health PHOTO BY ANTHONY JINSON HOMETOWN

It’s complicated. I’m from a military family and was born in England, but I proudly consider Huntsville, Alabama, my “home.” YEARS LIVED IN COLUMBIA

I’ve been here for two months, and I’m loving it! JOB DESCRIPTION

Improve the health of the people and communities we serve.

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PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

I’ve served 23 years as a health care leader. I most recently served as the CEO of Lovelace Medical Center and the Heart Hospital of New Mexico in Albuquerque and have had senior health care leadership roles in Jacksonville and Houston. QUOTE YOU LIVE BY

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” That’s from 1 Peter 4:10. FAVORITE VOLUNTEER/ COMMUNITY ACTIVITY

We’re new to Columbia, but I’m excited to have already joined the REDI board. We were very involved in Make-A-Wish New Mexico before relocating. My wife and I are excited to get involved in Columbia! FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT

Favorite recent project: I am loving the process of creating an independent Boone Hospital. A COLUMBIA BUSINESS PERSON YOU ADMIRE AND WHY

Dr. Jerry Kennett. Dr. Kennett is dedicated to his patients, Boone Health, and this community. He treated me and my family incredibly well throughout the search process and relocation. WHY YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR JOB

It is a blessing to work in a health care setting. We see countless examples of passionate caregivers, providers, and team members serving the needs of others. WHY YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION

I believe in Boone. It has an amazing culture and provides health care services that are world-class. It’s a privilege to be here and to lead this organization. WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION

We are passionate professionals dedicated to the organizations we are privileged to lead and the communities we serve. THE NEXT CHALLENGE FACING YOUR INDUSTRY

Like everyone else, we’re facing the impact of COVID-19, which has been significant for health care. Beyond the virus, we must work

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“I want to ensure that health care continues to be a resource for continued growth in the greater Columbia community. On a personal level, I want to share a servant’s heart and find ways of helping atrisk community members.”

to create a much better patient-centered experience while ensuring the highest levels of quality, service, and value. YOUR NEXT PROFESSIONAL GOAL

Ensure that Boone Health makes a successful transition into independence. BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED IN BUSINESS

Relationships can never be underestimated. Good relationships improve the probability of working through challenges. HOW YOU WANT TO IMPACT THE COLUMBIA COMMUNITY

I want to ensure health care continues to be a resource for continued growth in the greater Columbia community. On a personal level, I want to share a servant’s heart and fi nd ways of helping at-risk community members. GREATEST STRENGTH

Perception. GREATEST WEAKNESS

Patience. WHAT YOU DO FOR FUN

I am an avid snowboarder and love my time in the mountains. FAMILY

My wife, Mandy, and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage this January. We have a 23-year-old son, Caldwell, and a 21-year-old daughter, Victoria. FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF

Raising two children to be young adults who want to serve others. One is in the Army, while the other is hoping to go to medical school. MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT YOU

I am an introvert. Although I enjoy public speaking and getting to know others, I enjoy quiet times of reflection and thought.


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CONGRATS MARCUS from the Total Lending Concepts team on being honored as a 20 Under 40!

Let Marcus get you in your dream home today! marcus@tlcbroadwaygroup.com TLCBroadwayGroup.com


UNDER FORTY Each year, we honor a new class of 20 professionals who are taking strides in their fields and in our community. Join us in honoring the 2021 class of 20 Under 40 recipients. BY H A N N A H KU EC K | PHOTO S BY K E I T H B O R GM EYE R

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Chris Horn

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Reinsurance Manager, Shelter Insurance

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hris Horn is a man of honesty and integrity. He’s a devoted husband, father, and friend. And, he relentlessly works to give back to his community. Every day is different for him in his job as reinsurance manager for Shelter Insurance. He and his team of five manage Shelter’s U.S., Caribbean, and Latin American markets, and depending on the time of year, they travel to market the company’s services and foster new client relationships, work on underwriting and pricing reinsurance treaties, or develop strategic business plans — to name a few of the teams’ responsibilities. Chris has had many accomplishments throughout his career. He started at Shelter Insurance as an intern, and after years of hard work and support from people in his life that believed in him every step of the way, he has progressed to new, bigger roles. Another notable accomplishment Chris is proud of is being a part of the Leadership ColumAGE: bia Class of 2019. He says: “That 36 opportunity provided a great learning experience, a wonderful network, and opportunities to serve our community. Together, these accomplishments provide opportunities to help others achieve, which is what makes [the program] so special.” Not only is Chris doing great things in his career, but he is also always doing new things to give back to the community. Most recently, Chris was selected as a school board member for Columbia Public Schools, and he’s on the board for Heart of Missouri CASA. Chris also serves on the advisory council of the Inclusive Impact Institute, the advisory board of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central Missouri, the committee for the Journey Towards Inclusive Excellence Boone County, the CPS Equity Work Group, and, most recently, he has joined the Columbia Metro Rotary. Chris stays busy, and he enjoys participating in community service projects and opportunities whenever he can. He’s accomplished so much in his career and community, and he credits it all to his faith in God. “God has always placed me exactly where I needed to be when I needed to be there, and where I am today is no exception,” he says. “I am blessed to have many people support my journey.”


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Sarah Klaassen Pastor, Rock Bridge Christian Church

“I

begin every day with morning prayers and after that, it depends . . . On a given day, I might show the fire marshal around for our annual building inspection, visit a church member in the hospital, unclog a toilet, draft a sermon, join a social justice strategy session, and lead the worship team’s evening meeting,” Pastor Sarah Klaassen says. For Sarah, the varied days at Rock Bridge Christian Church are meaningful and filled with joy, and she’s always on the clock for any member of the congregation — regardless of the hour or need. Sarah’s journey to get ordained wasn’t an easy one. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Sarah explains that many faith communities are still unwilling to ordain LGBTQ+ people, including the one she grew up in. But on February 14, 2015, it finally happened, right here in Columbia at Rock Bridge Christian Church. “It was a day that will define my entire life,” Sarah says. As a gay pastor, Sarah says she serves a church that welcomes all to membership and ministry. And every Sunday, the church begins worship by making sure this is known. Regardless of “race, ethnicity, age, sexual and gender identity, economic status, educational level, and differing ability,” everyone is welcome. Sarah is a highly self-motivated person. On top of being the sole pastor on staff, she’s on the leadership team for Faith Voices and she’s a member of COMO Transit Justice, the Mid-America Alliance Q (also known as Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance) Team. She’s been a panelist for the State of AGE: Inclusivity Conference, and she’s often called upon to speak or pray at rallies, 37 marches, and vigils. These are just some of the ways she stays involved and connected with our community, and she attributes this strong work ethic to her roots — from growing up on a farm to her career as a college athlete, when there’s work to be done, Sarah is there to do it. “Many of us who know Sarah are better off in this life because we have had a chance to work and play with her in these shared years in Columbia,” Reverend Jimmy Spear says.

20 UNDER 40

Fun Fact: Sarah has an identical twin sister who also has a religion degree. COMOMAG.COM

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Michael Aslanidis

Co-owner, G&D Steakhouse

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ichael Aslanidis’s family is the driving force behind everything he does. In fact, it’s his family that got him where he is today, but specifically, his grandfather, Gus. Over 50 years ago, Gus left his small tobacco farm in Greece to find a better life for his family in the U.S. Although this was a big risk, it paid off when he opened G&D Steakhouse, which now has the fourth generation of the Aslanidis family operating the local staple. Michael is continuing his family’s legacy while also expanding upon it. He continues to create an inviting social media presence, creates new products like the restaurant’s signature Opa Michael’s Original Greek Seasoning, and welcomes every customer as his own family. It was Michael’s parents that demonstrated the importance of hard work — a principle Michael values and hopes to emulate for his own two kids. “Everything I do,” Michael says, “I do for my family.” Even as COVID-19 made its way to Columbia, causing many restaurants and other businesses to shut their doors, Michael continued to persevere, work hard, and quickly pivot G&D’s 50-year-old AGE: business model to continue to serve the Columbia community. He used 37 G&D’s social media platforms to reinforce the importance of eating local and supporting the town’s favorite restaurants and how to use a mask when entering the restaurant. He says, “We have been blessed with the most amazing customers and employees and have really felt the love from Columbia throughout this pandemic.” Kindness, Michael says, is another guiding principle in his life. Whether he’s cooking up a G&D regular’s order before they’re even up, greeting customers with a smile, or helping a friend through a dark time, Michael is a light to many people around Columbia. And so is G&D Steakhouse — Michael has given new life to the restaurant through donations to schools, nonprofits, and other organizations. “Columbia has always been good to our family and it makes us happy to give back what we can,” Michael says.

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Julia Chisholm

Ambulatory Operations Pharmacy Manager, MU Health Care

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f Julia Chisholm could do one thing to make Columbia a better place to live, she would provide better access to affordable medications and incentives for wellness. Affordable prescription medication is one of Julia’s passions. She says: “Most people go to a doctor to get a medication, and there are so many new and innovative products available. However, even with insurance, many individuals are still unable to afford the high monthly copays and out of pocket costs.” As the ambulatory operations pharmacy manager for MU Health Care, Julia does much more than count pills. She manages the Mizzou Specialty Pharmacy, supports all of the outpatient clinics at MU Health Care, advises patients — you can even find her at a Saturday drive-thru flu clinic administering shots. On top of all of this, Julia is a mentor for families going through a new hearing loss diagnosis, an academic whose work has been recently published in a pharAGE: macy journal, and a mother to five children. 37 Julia loves to make a difference. She has created a new career ladder for pharmacy technicians to advance professionally as a patient medication liaison. This team is focused on connecting patients, providers, insurance companies, and pharmacies — they are not only helping to improve patient care, but they’re also making medications more affordable. Her drive to make a difference isn’t limited to medicine. Julia is an active mother at her children’s school and after-school activities, and she’s an active volunteer. Every year, her family participates in the Voluntary Action Center’s Adopt-A-Family Program to help make a family’s wish list come true. Julia’s family, team, and patients keep her motivated. “I love making a difference, no matter how small, and I never tire of going the extra mile. The intrinsic motivation of helping someone and contributing to a greater purpose drives me to continue to bring my best every day,” Julia says. She credits her love of reading for where she is today — she’s even working on her first book, about her non-traditional career path to leadership in an academic health system.

Fun Fact: Julia is a retired NCAA Division 1 athlete in swimming and diving (emphasis on retired). COMOMAG.COM

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Megan Thomas Director of General Dentistry Compass Health Network

egan Thomas has childhood memories of volunteering in her dad’s dental office. She remembers providing clerical support and watching her parents’ holistic approach to helping their patients. Now, Megan is achieving her long-term career goal of being in the public health field through her role as dental director for five dental clinics in both rural and urban areas. Megan has a passion for providing quality dental care to those who are vulnerable and in need. She says, “The pandemic is the cause of a considerable amount of mental and emotional stress, and now more than ever, it is important to be supportive of our patients.” Even through the pandemic, Megan has led her team safely. “Creating and implementing safety protocols, researching the most innovative interventions to enhance program development while simultaneously continuing to treat patients within the community for dental emergencies — that was a feat that was not easy, but incredibly important,” Megan says. Safety and accessibility continue to be a priority for Megan and Compass Health. “She is a fearless leader that puts her team and patient’s care in front of her own,” nominator Nikki McGruder says. When Megan is not working to better the smiles of Columbia, AGE: she stays busy through her community involvement. She mentors 37 adolescent Black and Brown girls within the community through The BOLD Academy. She has created programming for health fairs and backto-school programs, and she helps to recruit and retain dental health care professionals with diverse backgrounds through mentoring and shadowing opportunities. She even volunteers with youth athletic programs. “I feel a sense of responsibility to the community in which I live to mentor, support and model good citizenship with the healthy balance of being approachable and providing a listening ear,” she says. Megan credits her success to her parents. Her father was one of the first Black dentists in the St. Louis area, and her parents showed her what it looks like to be more than “just a dentist.” They created a safe environment for her to learn, and they showed her how to find her voice to support those in need.

Fun Fact: Megan hoards socks — she loves getting them as gifts or purchasing them for others. 88

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Josh Rein

Head Brewer and Head Cider Maker, Logboat Brewing Company and Waves Cider Company

osh Rein has a passion for beer and cider — so much so that he often wakes up in the late hours of the night thinking of the finer details of the beverages and how he can improve Logboat Brewing Company and Waves Cider Company. Josh is motivated by an unrelenting desire to prove he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. And his portfolio shows for it. For the past seven years, Josh Rein has been instrumental in providing Missourians with the refreshing beverages from Logboat, and most recently, Waves Cider, which opened earlier this year. He has created over 50 different beers, helped plan and design five brewery expansions, and now, he runs and operates the cider production for Waves Cider by himself, including sourcing the fresh juice, fermenting, packaging, and developing recipes. “I am most proud of designing and producing beverages that have been embraced by so many people in the state,” says Josh. This, paired with the community support that has allowed the brewing company to grow and employ more talent, continues to bring Josh immense pride. He notes that, “together, we on the brewing staff have won upwards of eight awards for our beer at national competitions.” Apart from designing the beverages for Logboat and Waves Cider, Josh wears several other hats around the companies, including overseeing the entire production crew, quality control, AGE: maintenance, and relationships 38 with local farmers to help source apples and handle the company’s spent grain, which can be used to feed animals. Josh has had several mentors that have impacted and encouraged his career. Larry Goodwin, at Flat Branch Pub and Brewing, instilled the confidence Josh needed to pursue his career in brewing further; Stephen Hale, at Schlafly Beer, helped him hone his skills and transform brewing from a home hobby to a career; and Paul Dickerson, at Broadway Brewery, put his trust in Josh to help with brewing when the business first began — the confidence and skills Josh gained during his time helping at Broadway Brewery would later help him navigate his later business ventures. And of course, Josh credits where he is today to his family — for teaching him the importance of hard work and humility, and for supporting him and his career every step of the way.

Fun Fact: Josh is an amateur silversmith. COMOMAG.COM

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n 2017, when Megan Walters was just 23 years old, she obtained her real estate license, started Homes by Megan, and co-founded Camacho Coffee. Now 26, she has obtained her broker’s license and continues to grow and exceed her personal goals. This journey is something Megan takes immense pride in. When she was 23 and coming out of college with student loan debt, she started Homes by Megan around the same time her husband was starting Camacho Coffee, and while she describes this experience as terrifying — to only work on commission while owning and operating two businesses — Megan defied the odds. Camacho Coffee serves over 50 wholesale clients across Missouri, and Homes by Megan will be in the top 10% of agencies in the Mid-Missouri area. “Statistically speaking, everything that I have done since 2017 should have failed, but I have been overwhelmingly blessed to prove myself,” Megan says. Megan’s success comes from hard work, support from her loved ones, and a lot of multitasking. On days when she’s not meeting with clients about buying or selling their homes, or meeting with inspectors, Megan can be found roasting, bagAGE: ging, and selling Camacho Coffee. 26 She says, “I have a little headpiece I wear sometimes so that when I’m speaking with clients or other agents, I can also bag coffee at the same time.” Outside of business, Megan is involved with several nonprofit organizations. She’s volunteered as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters, she’s packaged food for the Columbia Food Bank, and she’s volunteered with set-up and clean-up for the Changing the Odds program through Women’s Network, for women trying to return to the workforce. And with the help of Camacho Coffee, Megan has the opportunity to give even more. She’s helped shop and deliver 2,350 diapers for the First Chance for Children Diaper Bank, purchase and deliver fresh groceries to Coyote Hill’s foster families, and support local businesses by providing supplies and mentorship as the pandemic threatened business closures. “It is Megan’s way of life to give her time to people and to this community,” Virna Camacho says. “She has a genuinely caring personality; she uses her skills and talents to help others and she excels in all she does.”

Megan Walters

Broker/Owner, Homes by Megan, House of Brokers Realty Inc. Co-founder/Co-owner, Camacho Coffee

Fun Fact: With the help of her husband and father-in-law, Megan built her own wedding venue at their farm. 90

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Jerrell Jackson Co-Owner of API Elite

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aised in a poverty-stricken area, college wasn’t even an afterthought for Jerrell Jackson’s family. But, he’s changing the game. Jerrell starts his day at API Elite at 4:45 a.m., just in time for the first class at 5 a.m. On top of being an owner of the gym, Jerrell is also a trainer. Whether his client is a college athlete or a new mom trying to gain her confidence back, Jerrell has experience with all ages, sizes, and goals. “My job as a trainer is to build trust with my client,” he says. “From there, I’m able to shape their mind around the belief that they are champions and nothing can stop them from reaching their goals.” Since Jerrell came to Columbia for college (he played wide receiver for the Mizzou football team) he has been highly involved throughout the community, and owning his own business has only amplified this. He’s hosted school supplies drives, cancer awareness boot camps, and events to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia. API also offers scholarships to athletes that wouldn’t be able to afford the elite training otherwise. “Our biggest mission is being a gym that is accessible for anyone, even if you can’t afford it,” Jerrell says. “GrowAGE: ing up in Houston, I lived in Fifth Ward, which is one of the most vi30 olent neighborhoods in Houston. There was no way my mom could afford elite training for me. [The scholarship] allows athletes in a similar situation to take advantage of the opportunity.” Jerrell is proud to be the first person in his family to attend and graduate from college. He’s also fulfilled his dreams of becoming a successful business owner and NFL player, having played for teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. “I now get to be a role model for my family and other young people, and that truly means the world to me,” he says. His next goals include continuing to improve his business acumen and expanding the gym’s Foster a Kid program, which helps kids from low-income families afford classes and access mentorship opportunities.

Fun Fact: Jerrell loves acting and hopes to appear in a movie one day. COMOMAG.COM

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Aaron Emel Owner and President, Cost Cutters and Supercuts of Missouri; Owner, FCE Capital LLC and FCE Investments LLC

Fun Fact: Aaron is the best hair braider in his house. 92

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rom a young age, the mentality of working hard was instilled in Aaron Emel. In 2005, Aaron moved back to Columbia after a stint in California with a goal of getting into banking and finance. Despite having no experience, he got a job at a local bank, and eventually became market president after 12 years of hard work and progress. “I believe that success was what gave me the confidence to go into business for myself. There is no replacement for hard work and personal motivation,” Aaron says. After 15 years in banking, Aaron has gone on a new path and is now the owner of Cost Cutters and Supercuts of Missouri. Given the eight Cost Cutters and Supercuts locations in Mid-Missouri, Aaron starts his days in a variety of places. He’ll drop his kids off at school, read a financial headline or two, then he’ll be off to his ofAGE: fice or to meet with his staff. A normal day includes splitting 39 his time between the salons, recruiting new staff members, and making sure everyone has the tools they need to succeed. Aaron’s most important goal for 2020 was to stabilize the company’s employee mix and reduce turnover. And he’s succeeded by creating several new jobs in Columbia and the surrounding areas. But of course, the year wouldn’t be complete without some disruption from COVID-19. “Plans for expansion in the salon business to alternate markets have been put on the back burner this year as we wait for employers to bring employees back to work and schools to get back to full session,” Aaron says. “We did manage to start another new business in 2020 with FCE Investments LLC, which has a focus on alternative investment products.” Aaron’s wife, fellow 20 Under 40 winner Ashley Emel, keeps him motivated every day. Together, they spend time brainstorming ways to help each other nearly every night, Aaron explains. And, of course, he finds motivation through his two independent daughters as he strives to be the best dad he can be for them every day.


Kelly Hill

AGE:

35

Executive Director Heart of Missouri CASA

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hen Kelly Hill says yes, it’s not to dip her toes in the water — she dives right in,” former board chair for Heart of Missouri CASA Traci Kennedy says. “She is strategic, analytical, and thorough, with vast experience in social work and child services.” Since Kelly took over as executive director for Heart of Missouri CASA, the nonprofit has seen nothing but growth. The nonprofit has doubled its team and the number of active volunteer advocates, and they’ve increased revenue by 125%, moved to a larger space, and increased awareness of the nonprofit throughout the community. More children in foster care now have a caring and consistent CASA advocate thanks to this growth. “When I started back with Heart of Missouri CASA in 2016, we were advocating for 22% of the children in need,” Kelly says. “Today, we are advocating for 50%. This year we will surpass 300 children served in one year, the most children served in any year of our history.” These accomplishments, Kelly adds, couldn’t have been done without the help and support of her team. Prior to her current position, Kelly worked for Love INC, where she would notch of her proudest achievements — the Extra Mile program, a financial management coaching program that has been going strong since its inception in 2012. “That program has impacted hundreds of low-income individuals in Columbia and helped them gain confidence in their financial management skills, get out of debt, and save money,” Kelly adds. And while she can’t take credit for all of the work Love INC. has done since she left in 2016, she takes pride in the foundational materials she created and being there to guide the program through its first three-year funding cycle with United Way. Kelly strives to have the work of her life be done in betterment of the community, and through her day-to-day job in the social work field, she gets to do just that, as she has the opportunity to be involved in changing the lives of “unseen and unheard groups of our community.” “Ultimately, for me, my faith is the foundation of my life. I believe that every good thing that has come my way and that is in my life is from God,” she says.

Fun Fact: If Kelly wasn’t the executive director of CASA, she would be a nutritional therapist or a French pastry baker. COMOMAG.COM

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Joe Seymour Area Manager, River City Construction

Fun Fact: Joe is a commercial drone pilot. 94

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lthough he works in construction, Joe Seymour says he’s the last person you want swinging a hammer. As the area manager for River City Construction, Joe starts each day by waking up at 4 a.m. After he completes his main priorities or task items, he never knows what kind of day he will have: Each one brings something new. He might spend the day pursuing new work, solving problems with the project teams, visiting job sites, or meeting with clients — all things on the business side, and away from physical projects and hammer-swinging. But, one thing is always consistent in his work day. By 5 p.m., Joe finishes his work and goes home to focus on being a dad. Joe has already accomplished many things in his career — he’s responsible for overseeing River City Construction’s Missouri office, he’s been elected to serve on the board of directors for the Association of General Contractors and the Carpenters’ Pension Trust Fund, and he’s won the Association of General Contractors Building Excellence Award for the State Historical Society of Missouri Center for Missouri Studies. With all of these great AGE: achievements under his belt, 39 Joe is just getting started. For 2021, Joe has outlined a few new professional career goals: the successful completion of the company’s key projects, such as the MU Sinclair School of Nursing and Columbia WWTP Digester Complex; partnering with a new volunteer or nonprofit organization; and maintaining the company’s vision of being the most respectful and reputable contractor in the area. Joe grew up in the construction industry. The work ethic of his grandfather, uncle, and father are his guiding life principles. “My family owned a residential construction company and taught me about hard work, ethics, and the construction business at a very young age,” he says. Joe credits where he is today to his wife and kids. “We have relocated three times in the past 15 years for different construction projects and positions in the company,” Joe says. “Their resilience, dedication, and support mean everything.”


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Chief Operating Officer for Healium, StoryUp Studios

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s chief operating officer for Healium, Wendy Moore is the right-hand woman to CEO Sarah Hill, and she’s constantly seeing new opportunities to add to her list of accomplishments. At the top of her list is her job as COO of a startup that makes a difference in peoples’ lives through using virtual and augmented reality as digital medicine. When Sarah hired Wendy just over a year ago as the business development lead, she quickly realized that Wendy was a special asset, saying that, “In a few short months, it was clear I had hired a talented, compassionate leader who leaned into challenges, had the ability to win and lose gracefully, wear a closet full of different workplace hats, and would one day become a global thought leader on selling a new class of ‘digital drugs’ that mimic the impact of traditional pharmaceuticals.” Throughout her past year, Wendy has had the opportunity to speak with the CDC, NASA, Google, and so many more. But her drive to help people isn’t limited to her career. Wendy has a genuine heart. She is “Aunt Wendy” to 15 different kids, a role she relishes. After her best friend’s husband was tragically killed in a driving accident, WenAGE: dy stepped in to help raise their 31 three young children. She has a passion to help others that are going through difficult times. Currently, Wendy is a founding member and board secretary of the Women’s Investment Network for Entrepreneurs (or WINE), which invests in and mentors women-led businesses, and within the next few years she hopes to serve on boards throughout the community. “I’d love to sit on the board of either REDI or the chamber in the next few years, because I love economic development and business community initiatives,” she says. Wendy’s husband and her family motivate her and help her to celebrate life in all of the little ways. These people in her life, paired with Wendy’s love for new opportunities and change, makes her the passionate and driven woman she is today. “I get energized by new adventures, whether that’s a new business strategy or a new country to explore,” she says.

Fun Fact: Wendy is “Aunt Wendy” to 15 kids and counting, and she loves being the fun and adventurous aunt. COMOMAG.COM

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rent Rash is reimagining Columbia’s arts scene and bringing symphonic music back into the community spotlight through his position as executive director of The Missouri Symphony. A former college professor, Trent now spends most days solving problems; building relationships with staff, donors, the board, or patrons; mentoring the MOSY team; or working to make MOSY a better public service to the community. “We offer people more than just music — we offer them hope, comfort, and inspiration, a charge we have tried to live up to, especially over this difficult year,” Trent says. As the pandemic wiped out all in-person events and the organization had to cancel all summer performances, Trent saw these obstacles as an opportunity to innovate. His first instinct was to take care of the musicians in MOSY family. Knowing that these musicians depend on live performances for survival and often don’t have full-time incomes during the summer months, Trent set out to create an online fundraiser that would raise more than $30,000 to help support the MOSY musicians. Trent’s proudest accomplishment, however, is MOSY@Home, an online hub for musical content, which came to existence as a result of the pandemic. MOSY@Home features Mister MOSY, a character idea from AGE: former MOSY employee Monica 39 Senecal Palmer that connects kids to symphonic music. “It has been such a privilege to create and play this character during COVID times,” Trent says. “His teaching moments to the kids watching were also bringing me direction during a difficult period.” Along with Mister MOSY, Trent explains that the hub features MOSY U, a series geared towards student musicians; Virtuosity, the place for online concerts; and MOSY Motifs, a podcast that explores relevant issues in symphonic music. Trent credits his own inner-strength for where he is today. “Most recently, I came out as gay after having been married with kids for over 15 years,” he says. “That took a lot of courage and strength to face the unknown and the consequences that would follow.”

Trent Rash

Executive Director, The Missouri Symphony

Fun Fact: Trent’s original plan in life was to be a journalist — he was even on the staff of The Maneater at MU. 96

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Jason Gruender

Vice President, Meyer Electric; Manager, Liberty Family Medicine; Owner/Broker, Liberty Insurance Solutions

AGE:

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hen Jason Gruender’s peers are describing him, they use one word — Superman. Most people know Jason from Liberty Family Medicine, but for 15 years, he has been with Meyer Electric, one of the largest electrical contractors in central Missouri, where he’s now vice president. And, to add to the list, he’s also the owner and broker for Liberty Insurance Solutions, as well as a husband and father. For years, Jason has been achieving accomplishment after accomplishment that helps better himself and his community. In 2003, Jason obtained his degree in electrical engineering, but he wasn’t ready to stop learning and advancing his skills. So, he set out to obtain his professional engineer license, which would require exams and years of training under licensed engineers, and in 2008, he achieved his goal. He also takes pride in helping to bring the model of direct primary care to Columbia alongside his wife, Dr. Bridget Gruender, at Liberty Family Medicine. He says, “[At Liberty] so many people have been blessed with top-notch care that they would have otherwise not received.” Jason and his family are also passionate about community involvement and giving back. He has several roles throughout the community — he’s an ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the small business committee and Women’s Network Steering Committee. And at Liberty, the companies have established a scholarship program where they highlight three local organizations and provide monetary donations every month. Some of Jason’s favorites include Coyote Hill and Rainbow House. One topic Jason is passionate about is the gender gap in many industries, including health care and construction — industries that he and Bridget are a part of. “I believe there is a strong chance my daughter will consider following in the footsteps of one of her parents and, for this reason, I plan to do all I can to help her have an equal chance of achieving whatever goals she sets forth,” he says. One of the people in his life that Jason credits with his development is his wife. “No one believes in me more than my wife, Bridget,” he says. “I can’t remember a single time in our relationship where she didn’t support something I wanted to try.”

Fun Fact: Jason spent a summer working on the pit crew of a Nascar truck team. COMOMAG.COM

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Garrett Pearson Executive Director, City of Refuge

Fun Fact: Garrett loves to scuba dive. 98

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uring Garrett Pearson’s college years, he had a dream of changing the world — now, through his role as executive director for City of Refuge, he has the opportunity to change someone else’s. Garrett grew up in a broken home. There was a time when he wasn’t certain of who he was or what his value as a person was going to be, but his sister Mallory helped him along. In fact, it was his sister that helped him refocus his enthusiasm from wanting to change the world to changing someone else’s world. Every day is different at City of Refuge, but Garrett makes sure the nonprofit can thrive and serve Columbia’s international community. The goal of City of Refuge is to help refugees regain control of their lives and contribute to the city. “Our model of care revolves around two ideas: to help families recover and regain control of their lives,” Garrett explains. Since Garrett was selected to lead the organization, City of Refuge has grown exponentially. Starting with a low budget that limited them to assisting around 500 refugees in 2018, Garrett has expanded the organization’s reach, allowing them to help more than 1,200 refAGE: ugees each year. By forging strong 29 relationships with businesses and organizations around Columbia, Garrett was able to make this drastic growth possible. Keith Anderson, vice president of the board for City of Refuge, says: “The most impressive accomplishment, in my eyes, is his ability to get the best out of the people he manages. Those people are excelling at their jobs, and they are excited about what the future holds. Garrett does a great job of listening to them and using their input to establish the future needs of the organization.” While Garrett is proud of the work he’s doing for Columbia and City of Refuge, his most proud moment dates back to 2012 in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. It was Garrett’s first international work experience, and throughout six months, he partnered with a children’s home taking care of 20 children while the country was going through an orphan crisis. He focused on youth development, project coordination, and assisted in building a new care home for young, single mothers. Garrett’s family and his experience growing up shaped the value of belonging within him — a value which now drives everything he does and hopes to do.


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Assistant Supervisor of Student Services, Columbia Public Schools; COO, Innovated Dreamz; Owner, Xola’s Vegan On-The-Go

ntrepreneur. Activist. Advocate. Mother. These are just some of the many roles Erica Dickson has throughout the community. Erica works as the assistant supervisor of student services for Columbia Public Schools, where she assists families who are homeless, executes equity training, and ultimately does whatever she can to help meet a student’s needs. She’s also the COO of Innovated Dreamz, a nonprofit organization she co-founded with Cory Crosby. In her role for Innovated Dreamz, Erica works to provide coaching services to those in the community who are interested in starting or growing a small business. And, she’s the proud owner of Xola’s Vegan On-The-Go, a food trailer that brings fast and nutritious meal options to the community. “A misconception is that I can not do all these things and do them well,” Erica says. “A typical day would consist of me doing my best to do both.” Of all of the work and service Erica has done, her work in the nonprofit sector is what she’s most proud of. Her first dealings with the entrepreneurial world were with an AGE: organization she founded in 2012. As a young single moth36 er, she was struggling to find affordable, quality care for her school-aged son. So she created a space just for that with King’s Kids AEO Services Inc. Through this organization, she learned just how challenging nonprofit work can be, but in the end, everyone that came through this nonprofit became family. She says: “My goal was that our parents would never have a lapse in employment due to a lack of care. So, I would like to think this organization played a part in building a stronger economy as well.” Erica’s three children, TJ, Mikey, and Xola, motivate her every day to continue helping others in any way she can. “The love is indescribable! And, when I’m out-and-about, moving and working throughout the day, I try my best to see all of the children that I serve through my ‘mom lens,’” Erica says. She uses this same lens for the adults that she encounters. “As idealistic as it seems, wanting everyone to experience [love, nurturing, and protection] — the necessity of everyone experiencing that is what motivates me,” she says.

Fun Fact: Erica actually hates talking on the phone. COMOMAG.COM

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Jeremy Spillman Chief Creator, Spillman Homes

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hen Jeremy Spillman was a teenager, he felt lost. When he was a sophomore in high school, he dropped out. By the time he was 17, he had been sent to prison for four years. After watching people go through the doors just to come back in — and an altercation with a prison-lifer that would try to kill Jeremy — he knew this wasn’t the path he was meant to be on. Now, he has a beautiful family and he owns his own company, Spillman Homes, where he makes home renoAGE: vation visions come to life. 39 Jeremy starts his day around 4 a.m. He’ll work on the creative process of designing his company’s next round of houses or a project they’re currently working on. When the rest of the office shows up, they will discuss “hot-list items” that need to be discussed and trouble-shoot the situation. The rest of his day will consist of estimating, appointments, and meetings with the experience managers in the field. When there’s a free moment in the day, the team will invest it in creating and fine-tuning processes and making everything as systematic as possible. And, it’s a lot of work. Jeremy says: “I don’t think people realize how much work it really takes . . . We design a product, manufacture or build the product, manage the business side behind it, manage the compliance side behind it, sell the product, and then we warranty the product.” He adds that his team spends a minimum of one year with each client as they work on designing, planning, and building the project. But regardless of what the client wants, Jeremy comes with enthusiasm and plenty of ideas. “When others thought our renovation project was next to impossible, Jeremy went the extra mile to make our dream a reality,” clients Brian and Christine Grace say. “He shared our vision for our home while bringing his own ideas, creativity, and expertise to the project.” No matter what Jeremy’s doing, he hopes to change lives — being able to do this is his reward. “We all have life events that give us the unique ability to bring something special . . . The reason I revealed my trials and failures is that I want to use it as a platform to help our youth who are lost and struggling just like I was,” he says.

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s a chiropractic physician and owner of Compass Chiropractic and Wellness LLC, Ashley Emel spends her days helping people flourish. “I love seeing a variety of people and issues,” Ashley says. “It brings a lot of joy when we can help those that are in pain or suffering feel better.” Ashley takes pride in her extensive training, specifically completing her CACCP, a certification in pediatrics that took several years to complete. This certification took an additional 200 hours in pediatrics training, two papers, and a test — a curriculum she successfully completed while moving two times and after she gave birth to her youngest daughter, Charly. This certification is just one of the many accomplishments Ashley has achieved in her career. She also takes pride in the startup and success of Compass Chiropractic and Wellness. The business began as two rooms in another chiropractic office, but less than a year later, the business outgrew the space, and it only continues to grow after the move. In 2014, Ashley began the nutrition side of the practice, which has evolved into helping people in over 20 states address their nutritional needs. Ashley helps wherever she can in whatever community needs her; she regularly goes to Missouri Mennonite communities to help fulfill their wellness needs. She says: “Each Thursday, I go to Sedalia as a satellite day and see dozens of people. This has been on my dream board of things to be able to do the past few years.” And if running the business and road tripping to Sedalia to help underserved communities wasn’t enough, Ashley also spends time as secretary for True North, serves on the board of The Missouri Symphony, and, for the past three years, has been the co-leader for her oldest daughter’s Girl Scouts troop. Ashley credits her family for where she is today. Ashley’s parents and husband always push her to do her best, and her children give her the drive to keep going. “I truly could not be where I am today without my family,” Ashley says.

Ashley Emel Chiropractic Physician, Owner, and Principal, Compass Chiropractic and Wellness LLC; Owner, Cost Cutters and Supercuts of Missouri

AGE:

37

Fun Fact: Ashley really dislikes the sound of crinkled bags. COMOMAG.COM

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hether he’s helping people achieve their dreams of owning a home, fundraising to help rebuild communities after disasters strike, or coaching basketball for Columbia’s youth, Marcus Jones lives a life that prioritizes his neighbors. Prior to Marcus’ current role as branch manager and senior loan officer for The Broadway Group, he spent five years with Veterans United Home Loans. Here, through the Veterans United Foundation, Marcus was able to procure $100,000 on behalf of the American Red Cross after a tornado swept through Jefferson City. But, his list of accomplishments doesn’t stop there. “Most recently, opening our branch of Total Lending Concepts, as The Broadway Group, has been an exciting and proud moment as we — partners Joe Newberry and Eric Johnston — are working hard to help people realize the dream of home ownership,” he says. And, that’s not all. Marcus stays involved with the youth community, too. He currently coaches fifth-grade Columbia Magic basketball as well as middle school basketball for Columbia Independent School. He serves as the safety and facilities committee member for the Boys and Girls Club and consults with its athletic programming, and he co-founded and serves as the director for three youth teams: Columbia Magic, 94ft Basketball Club, and CarrollGoL1ve. Marcus works tirelessly to gain support for these teams so kids with limited resources have the opportunity to play basketball and maybe earn a scholarship for the sport. “He makes sure that finances do not limit a kid’s opportunities and gives them the hope that, with hard work and dedication, they can achieve anything they want,” local attorney Bogdan Susan says. “The zeal of kids motivates me,” he says. “Seeing children’s happiness and success really illuminates me in a way that helps push me further. AGE: Coaching youth basketball takes a 37 lot of my time, but watching these children show real joy really gives me the energy to keep going harder.” Marcus’ main goal is to enhance the lives of the people around him, and he continues to do this through sharing his positivity and giving his time to various parts of the community.

Marcus Jones

VP of Corporate Growth of TLC; Branch Manager, Senior Loan Officer, TLC — The Broadway Group

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or eleven years, Kari Hopkins has been helping Coyote Hill children’s home grow and transform into the nonprofit organization it is today. “When I started in 2009, Coyote Hill was a small nonprofit, mostly unknown to the community,” says Kari, now the organization’s chief development officer. In her day-to-day role, Kari oversees all of the fundraising and marketing efforts for the organization. Some days she’ll be planning a fundraiser event, others she might be writing copy for newsletters or taking pictures with big checks that were generously donated to the organization by its corporate partners. But, the best part of Kari’s job is connecting the community with opportunities to invest in its future. Since she’s been a part of the Coyote Hill, Kari has helped it triple in size and become a household name throughout Mid-Missouri. She’s been there as the organization has built four new homes to accommodate twice the amount of children. She’s been there as the organization has tripled its budget while remaining debt-free. She’s watched the staff grow from 12 to 43 people. She’s been the leadership behind the expansion of the organization’s equine program. And, she was there to watch as Coyote Hill hit a milestone of caring for over 500 children. It’s the children who call Coyote Hill their home that motivate Kari every day. “I am driven to give them a childhood they deserve and didn’t receive,” she says. “I believe child abuse can end with this generation. They can stop the cycle of abuse and neglect.” Kari’s mentor through her 11 years at Coyote Hill is founder and executive director Larry McDaniel. Larry, Kari explains, has quietly and unintentionally been her mentor for the past 11 years — he taught her humility, leadership, and boldness, and that getting out of her comfort zone helps her grow. “I have a running note on my phone affectionately called ‘Larry-isms’, because I want to remember every lesson he has taught me,” she says.

AGE:

33

Kari Hopkins Chief Development Officer, Coyote Hill

Fun Fact: Misspelled words drive Kari nuts — make sure you spellcheck! COMOMAG.COM

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River City Construction is extremely proud to congratulate our very own,

Joe Seymour on being selected to join the 2020 class of Columbia, Missouri’s 20 Leaders under 40! Thank you to Joe, and all of the honorees, for your leadership and

positive impact throughout the Central Missouri area.

River City Construction strives to be the leading builder in our operating areas. When we partner with our clients, we embrace their unique goals and strive to provide the absolute best in design, quality, project management, efficiency, safety and delivery to meet those goals. 6640 American Setter Drive, Ashland, MO 65010 | (P) 573.657.7380


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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vision Real Estate 22 N. 8th Street Columbia, Missouri 65201 Office: 573-449-6200 | Cell: 573-808-3460

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Save

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Summer

Winter

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Car

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4. Really just spades.

The Beatles

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Netflix

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DISC

2. Chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.

Night Owl

Skeptical

Business

1. But details are important.

Print

Traditional

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Principal, Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School Columbia Public Schools

Big Picture

Modern

Ocean

De’Vion Moore

PC

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300 St. James St., Suite 103 Columbia, MO 65201

Profile for Business Times Company

COMO | January 2021  

Columbia, Missouri, Small Business

COMO | January 2021  

Columbia, Missouri, Small Business