I’ll admit it – I’m a big fan of Ozark Empire Fair. While I didn’t grow up in Springfield, every summer I visited my aunt and uncle’s farm out in Clever, and those trips were often timed to coincide with the annual fair, which celebrates the agricultural roots of the Ozarks and the region’s unique culture.
Now, heading to the fair is a tradition with my own children, and we enjoy many of the same things I loved as a kid: musical acts, exhibits, food on a stick, the Lion’s Club Duck Pond, and perhaps most important for the kids, the rides on the Midway.
Now under way in its 76th year, the 2012 Ozark Empire Fair theme, Live Local, brings a new exhibit to the lineup, with the Live Local Expo occupying 37,400 square feet in the east wing. With the tagline “Support Local Businesses,” I knew a stop at the Live Local Expo was a must for this year’s fair visit. Continue reading ‘Live Local embraces flavor of annual fair’
For more than a decade, Springfield Business Journal has presented annual awards, starting off in 1999 with our inaugural class of 40 Under 40, recognizing up-and-comers younger than 40 for their professional and civic accomplishments. Now, we’re adding to that event with a charitable component. Continue reading ’40 Under 40 raffle fights community hunger’
Sometimes, I worry that my job has made me too suspicious of the world around me. As a journalist and an editor, not only do I find facts for reporting the news, but I also question the facts and scrutinize them carefully to make sure that they’re correct – and that they make sense in the bigger-picture scheme of a story. It’s difficult to accept many things at face value, because I want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how. My newsroom colleagues and I have been accused at times of questioning everything – and that’s OK, because we do.
At other times, I’m also thankful for my questioning nature, because it comes in handy in terms of not being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people who, unfortunately, are a fact of life. Continue reading ‘Maybe there really is no such thing as a dumb question’
It seems some Springfield businesses know a good thing when they see it. With March winds still packing a chilly punch, Urban Districts Alliance and a group of local companies are thinking ahead to summer and throwing their support behind Fireworks at the Field, an Independence Day celebration that will return for the second year to Hammons Field and downtown Springfield.
Continue reading ‘Never too early to think of baseball, fireworks’
Interviewing businesspeople from all walks of business is just part of the grind that comes with my job, so it’s a good thing I enjoy it. There are, of course, the interview subjects who are unforgettable, but there are also interviews I wish I’d done but missed my chances during the last 12 years. This month, two businessmen – one in each category – are on my mind. Continue reading ‘Happy birthday, Mr. Hammons and farewell, Mr. Wessel’
As a journalist – and an avid reader – I love words. I spend a lot of time with them, and I enjoy putting them on a page, marking them up, and reworking them to convey the facts and thoughts I want to share with others.
Still, there are some words and phrases that drive me nuts. For example, I cringe when people take words that are verbs, and make them into nouns. A recent trend I’ve heard is people saying, “I have an ask out,” when what they mean is that they’ve posed a question. The question is what’s out – ask is the action used to put it out there.
I am comforted by the fact that I’m not the only person in the world who ponders such things or sounds off about them. The fine folks at Lake Superior State University, in fact, offers a fun platform for people to weigh in on overused, misused or nonsensical words – or maybe words that aren’t actual words – that should be stricken from our collective vocabularies.
The university’s 2012 List of Banished Words, like many of its predecessors, is a good roundup. Continue reading ‘Strike the amazing baby bump, banished words list says’
When Community Foundation of the Ozarks announced Nov. 30 that Greene County Commissioner Roseann Bentley is the 2011 Humanitarian, I’ll admit I was a little puzzled – not because she is undeserving of the honor, but because I was surprised that she hadn’t already received it before now. Continue reading ‘Concern for others came early for 2011 Humanitarian Bentley’
In less than two weeks, Walter Cowart will wrap up a 35-year career with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Cowart joined the SBA in 1976 in Lubbock, Texas and served as manager of SBA’s Springfield branch office since 2008. He came to Springfield in 1981 from SBA’s Kansas City district office to help launch the local branch, where his last day is Aug. 26. As he prepares to leave, the branch reports an increase in loan volumes for financing backed by the SBA. Continue reading ‘Local SBA branch faces leader’s exit, reports growing loan volume’
When the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce announced its 2011 W. Curtis Strube Small Business of the Year on May 4, it brought to the forefront the reality that there are a lot of hungry people in southwest Missouri. Continue reading ‘Enlist in the fight against hunger’
The AARP is looking for a few good workplaces.
More specifically, the organization is looking for employers in Missouri and across the U.S. that use policies and practices that are particularly appealing to a specific demographic, for recognition in AARP’s Best Employers for Workers Over 50 program.These attractive benefits may include flexible work options, training opportunities and competitive health and retirement benefits.
Continue reading ‘Workplace perks know no age limits’