Welcome new member Carrie Brown

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Andrea Bishop introduced Carrie on April 18.  Her cosponsor is Bonnie Keller.

Carrie is a certified public accountant and a partner at Elliott, Robinson and Companies, where she’s worked since 2012.  Her work includes income tax planning, and preparation of tax returns for individuals, companies, trusts, estates and gifts.

Carrie’s professional affiliations include Greene County Estate Planning Council, Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance, Missouri Society of CPAs, and the American Institute of CPAs.  Springfield Business Journal named her one of its Most Influential Women in 2023.  The Missouri Society of CPAs named her one of its Women to Watch in 2016.  She was honored by SBJ in its 40 Under 40 list in 2015 and by 417 Magazine in its 20 Under 30 list in 2010.  She’s a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class 31.

Carrie earned Bachelor’s and MBA degrees at Drury University.  She’s been in Springfield fo 35 years.  Her community service includes the boards of directors of Ronald McDonald House, Junior League of Springfield, Foundation for Springfield Public Schools, and Big Brothers Big Sisters; the Drury University Alumni Council; the CoxHealth Young Professionals Council; the Young Ambassadors at Ozarks Counseling Center; The Network; and Springfield Rotaract Club.   

Carrie and her husband, Jared, live in east Springfield.

Welcome new member Algerian Hart

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Brent Baldwin introduced Algerian on April 18.  His cosponsor is John Horton.

Algerian is Assistant to the President and Vice President for Inclusive Engagement at Missouri State University.  He’s been in Springfield since 2018, and served as a professor and associate dean of the MSU Graduate College before taking his present position in 2022.

Algerian previously worked at Western Illinois University, University of Nevada – Las Vegas, Seattle Pacific University and the Game Time Foundation in Seattle.
Algerian’s contributions extend beyond the university setting.  He’s served as the President and Chair of the Diversity and Conference Climate Committee for the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.  He also is the author of "The Student Athlete’s Guide to College Success" and co-author of "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Sport."

Algerian was a Sears All-American High School Track & Field athlete, ran competitively at Long Beach State, and later coached several track national champions and All Americans.   He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Long Beach State, and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Washington State University.

Algerian and his wife of 20 years, Michelle, are parents of two sons, Ahmias and Rowen.   They live in east Springfield.

Welcome new member Justin Herrell

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Tammy Mast introduced Justin on April 18.  His cosponsor is Ray Meyer.

For the past year, Justin has been executive director of the Pat Jones YMCA on Republic Road.  He retired after serving 31 years as an educator, including 26 years in the Springfield School District in positions such as director of before- and after-school programming, principal of Westport Middle School, a teacher at Central High School, leadership roles at Parkview and Hillcrest high schools, and in the district’s administrative office.

Justin's community service includes the boards of Ozarks Fighting Back, Ozarks Food Harvest, One Door, TriCounty Collaboration, and Community Partnership of the Ozarks.  He’s a past member of the National Association of School Administrators, Missouri Association of School Administrators, and the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals.

Justin earned Bachelor’s, Master’s and Specialist degrees at Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU), and a doctorate at Mizzou. 

Justin lives in east Springfield and has two children.
Create hope

2024 Volunteer of the Year

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              by Barbara Lucks

Please join me in honoring Gene Hartley as our Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast 2024 Volunteer of the Year.  As part of the celebration of National Volunteer Week, our club presented this award on April 18.

    This award – presented annually since 1999 except 2020 during the Covid pandemic -- is our club’s highest honor, recognizing community service rendered outside of Rotary activities.  Nominations are submitted by our club members and by community organizations, with the final selection being made by the Rotary Volunteer Committee.  This year’s committee members include Co-chairs Cindy Howell and Barbara Lucks, Tammy Mast and Dan Emrie.

    Gene is a stellar community leader and has been engaged in volunteerism for many years.  While living in Springfield for 29 years, he:
  • was a Boy Scout troop scoutmaster for 13 years;
  • led district and council BSA leader training courses;
  • served on the Ozark Trails Council BSA Board of Directors;
  • was a founding chieftain in the Tribe of Lone Bear program for older campers at the BSA’s Camp Arrowhead;
  • served extensively as a member of boards and committees in several other organizations;
  • played trombone in the orchestras of King’s Way United Methodist Church and Wesley United Methodist Church;
  • provided hands-on service by packing senior boxes at Ozarks Food Harvest and helping distribute food at Crosslines food pantry;
  • coordinated the United Way Day of Service projects at his place of work, KY3, for 20 years; and
  • became a Community Blood Center of the Ozarks Hall of Fame member for donating hundreds of units of whole blood, platelets and plasma after his first donation at a Rotary blood drive in 1994.

      Since retiring and moving to a farm east of Osceola in St. Clair County in May 2018, his service includes:
  • Osceola Optimist Club -- secretary since September 2019, keeping weekly meeting minutes, helping the president with communications about club projects, participating in many community projects and fundraisers;
  • Iconium Fire Protection District -- board secretary since May 2021, preparing monthly meeting notices, agendas, and minutes; filing registrations and reports with state agencies; and other administrative tasks for the volunteer department;
  • St. Clair County Food Banc -- helper since October 2018 and board member since August 2022; helping hand out food for five hours each Tuesday; and executive director since July 2023;
  • Bear Creek Community Church -- board vice president since January 2021;
  • St. Clair County University Extension Council -- an elected member from February 2020 to February 2024, including two years as council chair, overseeing finances and administration of the county Extension Office, helping promote Extension programs, and participating in hiring decisions for Extension faculty positions based in the county;
  • Ozark Trails Council BSA board member -- meetings every other month in Springfield to set policy and help guide the Council;
  • Heart of America Council BSA camp staff member -- serving two months each summer since 2018 at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation near Osceola, as well as helping at monthly work days in other months;
  • Lowry City Music on Main Street -- since 2019, serving as master of ceremonies at an annual all-day music festival for the Lowry City Community Betterment Association; and
  • St. Clair County Health Board -- since being elected in April 2023, overseeing policies and administration of the Health Department.

     In other words, wherever Gene is, if a need arises, he steps up and steps in to serve.  What a blessing he is to that community!  He says his guiding philosophy is a quote he heard many years ago that went something like: “Service to others is the rent we pay for living on this earth.”

     Gene Hartley, we believe your rent is paid!
Previous recipients are:
  • 2023 Brian McDonough
  • 2022 Judy Bilyeu
  • 2021 Mark Walker
  • 2020 No Award
  • 2019 Mark McNay
  • 2018 Charlie O’Reilly
  • 2017 Angela Smith
  • 2016 Irwin Cohen
  • 2015 Doug Nickell
  • 2014 Steve Rice
  • 2013 Gordon Elliott
  • 2012 Kirk Elmquist
  • 2011 Dennis Whaley
  • 2010 Gerry Lee
  • 2009 Rick Hughlett
  • 2008 Gary Deaver
  • 2007 Bob Hammerschmidt
  • 2006 Doug Pitt
  • 2005 Anne Brown
  • 2004 Todd Parnell
  • 2003 Joy Lamberson Klock
  • 2002 Steve Scott
  • 2001 Barbara Lucks
  • 2000 Mac McCartney
  • 1999 Bill Reser

Welcome new member Nathan Zoromski

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Travis Comfort introduced Nathan on April 11.  His cosponsor is Dave Bosso.

Nathan is a financial advisor in the Edward Jones office on East Republic Road.  He’s worked for that financial planning company for 17 years.  Nathan earned a bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University and a master’s degree at Missouri State University. 

Nathan was a member of the Springfield Rotaract Club from 2010 – 2014. His community service includes the board of Down Syndrome Group of the Ozarks, SWMO BBB board, Children’s Miracle Network, James River Church and Northpoint Church.

Nathan and his wife, Heather, live in Nixa and have three children.

Welcome new member Jordan Russell

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Brandon Welch introduced Jordan on April 11.  His cosponsor is Adam Reichert.

Jordan is a co-owner of Pillar Insurance in southeast Springfield, which he founded in 2016 with his brother, John.  Their brother, Jason, joined them in 2017 to open a second branch in Lebanon.  They specialize in commercial, property and casualty insurance, and high net worth personal lines.

Jordan grew up in Lebanon.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2014 at University of Missouri, and a master’s degree at Missouri State University in 2016.   He’s lived in Springfield for 10 years.

Jordan was a member of Springfield Rotaract Club from 2016 – 2019.  His community service also includes Have A Heart dog rescue and the Child Advocacy Center.

Jordan is an avid Mizzou football and basketball fan.  He’s a member of Hickory Hills Country Club, where he golfs, and Hill City Church.  He and his wife, Gabby, live in northeast Springfield with their 3-year-old daughter, Quinn, and enjoy traveling.
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Welcome new member Susan Herron

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Kimberlee Nevins introduced Susan on March 28.  Brent Baldwin is her cosponsor.

Susan has been in the real estate business since 2004.  She owns and manages Red Door Associates at Keller Williams in southeast Springfield.  It was known as Stowe Realty Group until three years ago, when she rebranded after she remarried.  In addition to being a broker, she stages homes to help them sell better.  She serves on the Keller Williams Agents Leadership Council.

Susan spent her childhood in South America.  She moved back to the states when she was 17 years old.  She attended Samford University and Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU).  She’s lived in the Ozarks for 24 years and is a member of the Nixa and Springfield chambers of commerce, Hill City Church, and Women’s Outreach.

Susan and her husband, Waylon, live in Nixa and have seven children, four sons-in-law, and two grandbabies.  Holidays are chaotic, loud and fun at her house.

As a former bakery owner, Susan puts her experience to work by taking goodies to teachers and first responders to thank them for loving our community, families, and children.  When she’s not working or baking, she powerlifts at a gym.

Welcome new member Vanessa Howe

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Joe Daues introduced Vanessa on March 21.  Her cosponsor is David Yancey.

Vanessa has owned Below Zero Cryospa, 1374 E. Republic Road, since it opened in November 2022.  She also has been a real estate agent for 25 years for Murney Associates and Carol Jones Realtors.  She formerly owned Athletic Performance Center in Ozark and was an independent sales representative for Silpada Jewelry.

Vanessa has a bachelor's degree in Textile and Clothing from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.  While in college, she did a summer internship at Paris Fashion Institute in France.

Vanessa has lived in the Ozarks for 33 years.  She and her husband, Todd Strickland, live in east Springfield and have three children.

Vanessa volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Women in Need Of the Ozarks, and Gathering Friends of the Ozarks.