Sunday, May 19, 2024

Business in brief: New crisis counseling firm launches in Springfield; Moxie gets director

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McConnell and Edwards launch new crisis consultancy group

A new Springfield crisis communications consultancy has launched to help organizations better communicate effectively and clearly when time is of the essence. McConnell Edwards, owned by Kaitlyn McConnell and Steve Edwards, will work with companies, nonprofits and individuals to evaluate and create strategies that emphasize transparent communication. 

Edwards retired as CoxHealth president and CEO in 2022, working for the health system for more than 30 years. McConnell, whose background is in journalism and communications, worked as CoxHealth’s corporate media contact for more than six years.

A key focus of the company will be preemptive crisis counseling, which happens long before an emergency arrives. These collaborations will be adaptable and individualized for each company, and may involve group discussions, mock interviews, and drills for various scenarios. In other moments, they may help companies communicate as a sensitive situation unfolds.

“When it’s a crisis, it’s too late to respond,” Edwards said. “You’ve got to really prepare and have a plan.”

In an era when constant communication is key, crisis communications must extend beyond “no comment.” Edwards and McConnell learned this firsthand as they worked together at CoxHealth during the pandemic. This required ongoing communication with the public through social media and news outlets both in and outside of the Ozarks.

“In my mind, crisis communications is just a part of regular communications,” said McConnell. “Because it’s always about building the relationship and having that level of trust with your community and your constituents.”

Moxie Cinema hires new executive director, theater manager

Starting May 1, longtime film professor and nonprofit professional Joe Dull will take over as new executive director of the Moxie Cinema.

“Simply put, I love movies,” Dull said in a release. “Much of my life I’ve made movies, watched movies, and helpedothers to learn about them. Getting the chance to lead The Moxie is a dream.”

Dull is an award-winning filmmaker, educator, and social media director. He recently moved to Springfield from southern California, where he worked with local nonprofits to create video documentaries telling their stories. According to Stephanie Stenger, president of the Moxie Cinema board of directors, Dull was selected from a strong pool of applicants. He replaces Mike Stevens, who helped transition the Moxie to a nonprofit in 2010. Stevens will stick around to ensure the transition is smooth, but he says he is confident the theater will be in good hands.

The Moxie also promoted longtime staffer Shay Rainey to the newly created role of theater manager. Rainey has worked at the Moxie since 2013.

Dake Wells Architecture wins small business award from Chamber

Local architecture firm Dake Wells Architecture has been named recipient of the 2024 W. Curtis Strube Small Business Award by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Strube award recognizes outstanding small businesses within the Springfield Chamber. Chosen from a finalist pool including 417 Magazine, Ireland Architects, Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Event Center, and Volt Credit Union, Dake Wells Architecture impressed the judges with a unique approach to design, commitment to community engagement, and impressive growth trajectory.

“Founded in 2004, in a foundation of curiosity, ingenuity and a love for its craft, Dake Wells Architecturehas quickly grown into a respected leader in the Springfield architecture scene,” a press release says. The firm’s commitment to these core values is evident in its projects, which consistently push the boundaries of design whileremaining sensitive to the community’s needs.”

Kimberling City’s top cop named Outstanding Police Chief by Missouri Police Chiefs Association

Less than three years after being hired, Kimberling City Police Chief Todd Lemoine has been named 2024 Outstanding Police Chief of the Year by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association.

Lemoine was hired in 2021 after the entire police force in Kimberling City resigned, including the chief. According to a press release, the city faced a “dark time” without a police force. Lemoine was able to bring in a new police force within four months. It also says building back public trust for the department has been a challenge since 2021, but Chief Lemoine has helped accomplish this.

The release also says the department has seen many “firsts” since Lemoine came on as chief of police. He advocated for comparable salaries, properly training and outfitting officers, giving officers the tools they need to to their jobs safely, and focused on community outreach. He has also created a presence on social media and implemented programs such as Coffee Talk Thursdays (held once a month), National Night Out, Eye Watch, Neighborhood Watch, and Community Policing.

Mercy Springfield earns top safety grade for third time

Mercy Hospital Springfield has earned an A grade for spring 2024 from the Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit watchdog for patient safety, according to a press release from the health system.

This marks the third A grade in a row for Mercy Hospital Springfield. Leapfrog assigns grades to hospitals across the country based on more than 30 measures of errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. Grades are also based on the systems hospitals have in place to prevent errors, accidents, injuries, and infections.

Mercy Springfield was one of 14 hospitals in Missouri to receive an A grade from Leapfrog this spring. Nationwide, 29% of hospitals earned an A grade.

Rees joins OMB Bank compliance team as VP

OMB Bank announced Tuesday that Robin Rees has joined its compliance team as vice president and CRA Officer.

Rees has more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry. She began her career in 1992 as a teller for Empire Bank. In 1994, she joined the bank operations team at Peoples Bank of the Ozarks and, in 2004, rejoined the organization as vice president of marketing. In 2014, she was named marketing director at Southern Bank after its acquisition of Peoples Bank of the Ozarks. In 2015, she joined OakStar Bank in the same position. Most recently, Rees was vice president of CRA at OakStar, which she had held since 2018.

“Robin brings an incredible amount of experience and insight to our team, and we are thrilled to welcome her as our new CRA expert,” said Luke Hansen, chief risk officer. “With her decades of industry knowledge and her dedication to community reinvestment, Robin will play a crucial role in ensuring OMB continues to uphold the highest compliance standards while making a positive impact in the communities we serve.”

DMP creates new VP of cybersecurity role

DMP, a manufacturer of intrusion, fire, access control and cellular alarm solutions in Springfield, has introduced a new role, according to a press release: Vice President of Cybersecurity. The new role comes as the physical security industry and information systems security industry blend, creating a need for an individual to lead cybersecurity and mitigate cybersecurity risks for customers.

“Dave Roberts will be transitioning to a cybersecurity focus as our vice president of cybersecurity,” announced Rick Britton, DMP CEO. “Dave has completed his Master’s in Cybersecurity and brings that knowledge, as well as his understanding of our systems, to the cybersecurity role.

Roberts has worked for DMP for 34 years and the past 12 years as vice president of engineering, keeping hardware secure. In the new role, his focus will be toward software as a service and mobile platforms.

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