My Day with the Attorneys’ Friend

Eric Olson, SBJ EditorIt doesn’t take much time with Crista Hogan to learn if you’re going to keep up, you’d better quicken your step.

It also doesn’t take long to hear from her the reasons why: attention deficit disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. The acronyms ADD and OCD are uttered often – in a blessing and curse sort of a way.

Interestingly, the two “disorders” play like a symphony as she directs the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, as well as her busy personal life as a self-described “only parent.” It’s a fascinating show to watch.

One thing I learned, at the end of the day, it works for her.

That’s just one of the pieces from the hours I spent April 17 shadowing Crista for Springfield Business Journal’s Day in the Life special section.

I’ll open my notebook from the day for some of the interesting factoids that didn’t make the print story or to elaborate on other points.

  • Her hair stylist, Paul Catlett of Studio 417 Salon, below, is much more than a hair stylist to Crista. Confidant is the best word, and it’s unique how interwoven their careers have been. “We talk about real things other than hair,” she says, crediting Paul with helping one of her daughters through a tough time. It seems Paul is naturally that way, given the six marriages he’s helped arrange – “I connect those dots for people,” he says – but the bond appears stronger during the course of Crista’s life.


  • After a prolonged battle with bipolar illness, Crista’s first husband, Jim Shuler, took his life three months before Dr. Tedd Hamaker, the man she was remarried to, died of cancer. “I started running at night. I was lonely,” she told me of the mental and emotional effects.
  • Crista calls attorney Stephanie Montgomery her best friend.
  • She’s birth mother to three children ages 25, 22 and 18, and became a grandmother at age 46. Her children and her career are inseparable – from the picture with Crista’s first child on her hip at the law school graduation ceremony to the daily visits in the SMBA office with youngest daughter, Theo Shuler. “I’m starting to get some parental cred,” she jokes.
  • Her whole bean coffee of choice is from The Hub.
  • She’s a people person and takes a personal interest in others. During a meeting to order shirts from Bryan Simpson at Five Pound Apparel, below, Crista asks the young entrepreneur about his MBA studies at Drury University. “I’m glad you’re doing that,” she encourages him. “You’re absorbing and you have real-life application. You should write a book, while you’re at it.” Bryan replies, “You’re the second person who has said that. I don’t even read books.” They laugh together and shift back to the business at hand.


  • She won the SMBA’s Law Day essay contest as a Parkview High School senior in 1981. Also recognized that year was a Hickory Hills Junior High seventh-grader named Matt Miller, who now is an area developer.


  • Most days, she works out in the mornings (a five-mile, five o’clock run) and in the evenings (My Hot Yoga to refresh with “balance and focus”). But she’s also known to do hip-hop dance exercise classes with her high school daughter, and she’s brought along fellow attorneys Mark McQueary, Stephanie Montgomery and Teresa Grantham. On this day, here running partners, below, are Olivia McNair, Teresa Grantham and Andrea Turner, and her dog, Dudley.



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