Newsmakers: Oct. 25-31, 2021

Posted online

Banking & Finance
Edward Jones financial advisers Weston Kissee in Springfield and Mitch Holmes in Branson were selected to attend the 2021 Edward Jones’ Financial Advisor Leaders Conference. Held virtually this year, the conference provides advisers with industry updates and best practices.

Education
Niche.com gave the Ozark School District an overall A rating and ranked it No. 1 in five categories: Best School District in the Springfield Area, Best Place to Teach in the Springfield Area, Best School District in Christian County, District with the Best Teachers in Christian County and Best School District for Athletes in Christian County. Ozark also was the 19th-rated school district in Missouri and 894th in the nation.

Nixa High School received the 2021 Gold College Success Award from GreatSchools.org. Recognized for its track record of preparing students for college, Nixa was one of 1,170 high schools in 26 states to earn the gold distinction.

Government
Gov. Mike Parson appointed Kasey Griffin, of Ash Grove, to the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. Griffin owns and operates Wilson-Griffin Funeral Homes, and with state licenses for funeral directors and embalmers, he has 17 years of experience in funeral services. Previously, he worked as human resources manager for Missouri Cooperage-Independent Stave Co.

Health Care
Citizens Memorial Hospital neuropsychologist Dr. Robert Denney received the National Academy of Neuropsychology’s Distinguished Service Award for 2021. The award recognizes Denney’s longstanding and exemplary career in the field. He works for CMH’s Neurology and Headache Center and the Missouri Memory Center in Bolivar and is certified in forensic psychology and clinical neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Fordland Clinic added five board members: Pam Capp, a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines; Harry Chapin, senior wealth officer at The Seymour Bank; Valerie Cochara, middle school teacher and gifted coordinator for Fordland Public Schools; Kendra Cunningham, branch manager for Home Pride Bank in Fordland; and Mike Dawson, executive director of instruction for Branson Public Schools.

Law
Branden Twibell, a partner and lawyer with Twibell Pierson Criminal Law, was named a 2022 Best Lawyer in America for Criminal Defense: White Collar by Best Lawyers. He’s served in private practice since 2013.

Media
Missouri Press Association elected Amos Bridges, editor-in-chief of the Springfield News-Leader, as second vice president of the 2022 board of directors. Bridges has worked at the News-Leader for 17 years and this year added the role of state news director.

Nonprofit
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Southwest Missouri received the Social Sector Award during the Gathering of Games Conference in Dallas. The award recognizes not-for-profit, education and government entities for their success in applying the Great Game of Business open-book management principles. Since implementing GGOB, CASA has recorded revenue growth of 46% as well as a net increase in volunteers of 98%, while serving an additional 150 foster children in the region.