Welcome new member Josh Hartman

Welcome new member Josh Hartman

David Pomerenke introduced Josh on March 1.  His co-sponsor is Bob Hammerschmidt.

Josh moved to Springfield from Chicago in 1979.  He attended Immaculate Conception Elementary and graduated from Springfield Catholic High School in 1981.

Josh attended University of Notre Dame, where he earned a BA in Communications and Philosophy.  He then attended the American Conservatory Theater’s Master of Fine Arts program, where he learned with multiple artists who have gone on to win Tony, Emmy and Oscar awards.

Josh worked at Merrill Lynch’s Office of General Counsel as a document editor and at Andersen Consulting as a change management consultant.   He then worked at Springfield Remanufacturing as he worked on his MBA; he says he learned open book management and how to use an impact wrench at SRC.  Josh has been in wealth management since 2007 and now works at Commerce Trust.

Josh has volunteered for several local organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, Notre Dame Club of the Ozarks, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, and Springfield’s Police and Fire Retirement System board.  Josh was selected for Leadership Springfield Class 21 and SBJ’s 40 under 40.  He also volunteers time at his church and children’s schools.

Josh is married to Dawna (Baker) Hartman, a former MSU golfer and a former head coach for women’s golf at Drury University.  They have two children, Kate, 6, and Charlie, 4.

Community Grants Award

Community Grants Award
Rusty Worley (right) posed with representatives from Sherwood Elementary School on Feb. 22.

Some needy children in Springfield will be able to experience the joy of the arts due to the generosity of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast.  Other students will improve their reading skills, take school field trips to learn about gardening and bees, get information and coaching on how to make their homes cleaner and safer, receive healthy food while they’re staying at a temporary home, and improve their art skills as they try to overcome homelessness.

Southeast Rotary Club makes grants totaling $5,000 to local nonprofit groups every six months.  The funds are from members’ annual donations with their club dues.  Rusty Worley, chair of the Community Grants Committee, announced the latest six grant recipients on Feb. 22.

The Springfield Public Schools Foundation received a $1,000 grant for 100 fourth- and fifth-grade students at Sherwood Elementary to take several field trips.  They include trips to the e-Factory to learn how to start a business, to a medical clinic to see how doctors and nurses treat patients and communicate effectively, to urban gardens to learn how to start one at Sherwood, and to an apiary to see how bees make honey.  (The photo above shows Tom Masterson, assistant to the principal at Sherwood); Southeast Rotary member Natalie Murdock, executive director of the SPS Foundation; Amber Howard, a Sherwood teacher; and Rusty Worley, Community Grants Committee chair.)

Springfield Victory Mission received a $500 grant for art supplies for its new Expressions of Victory art training program.  The program provides a means for artists experiencing homelessness to improve their craft and learn how to make money so they can become financially independent.  Victory Mission Executive Director Jason Hynson is a member of Southeast Rotary. 

Abilities First received a $1,000 grant for tuition scholarships for several Boys and Girls Club members and students with developmental disabilities to attend two five-week art classes and a 14-week storytelling/theater class.  In addition to learning creative arts, students work on social and communication skills, fine and gross motor skills, and pre-employment skills.

Champion Athletes of the Ozarks received a $500 grant to enroll 10 students in its reading program.  Champion Athletes helps children and adults with disabilities build self-esteem, self-confidence and social skills. It teaches decision-making skills, team skills, appropriate behaviors and the feeling of success through classes on reading, basic money, math, storm preparedness and physical fitness.

The Drew Lewis Foundation at The Fairbanks received a $1,000 grant for its Healthy Home Educator Program, which is part of The Northwest Project that helps people in Springfield overcome poverty.  The Healthy Home Educator Program provides monthly in-home environmental assessments, education, support for behavior change, and resources to help families eliminate unhealthy conditions in their homes.  The funds will pay for household cleaning supplies, lice treatments, bed bug covers, laundry soap, bleach and other cleaning items.

Isabel’s House received a $1,000 grant for its Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids program.  The program provides fresh fruits, vegetables and other perishable foods for children temporarily staying at Isabel’s House because of family crises.  The funds will also pay for educational field trips and learning opportunities for the children, such as trips to farmers markets and farms.

The Community Grants program is another way that Springfield Southeast Rotary Club is More Than a Lunch Club.

Rock'n Ribs BBQ Festival

Rock'n Ribs BBQ Festival

More than 80 barbecue teams from all over will compete on April 20 - 21, 2018, at Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in the 19th annual Rock 'n Ribs BBQ Festival.   The proceeds from the delicious, mouthwatering event benefit seven local Children’s Charities. 

This is an event sanctioned by Kansas City BBQ Society.  Thousands of people pay to enjoy chicken, pork and beef.  They also can enjoy 11 hours of live music, a Kids Play Zone and plenty of food and drinks.

This is the largest fundraiser for Springfield Southeast Rotary and the other Rotary clubs and Rotaract Club of Springfield.  The Festival has raised $1.8 million for these charities in the past 18 years. 


Event organizers need sponsors at levels of $100, $300, $500, $1,500, $2,500 and $5,000.  Go to https://rocknribs.com/support/ to see the perks of each level.

Organizers are also looking for volunteers for the three days before the event, the event itself, and the day afterwards.   Go to https://www.rocknribs.com/volunteer to see what shifts and positions are available.  More than 1,300 volunteers were at the event in 2017.

Our club's booth needs volunteers on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.  Contact Adrienne McCoy or Steve Gimenez to sign up to pass out samples to the public and have fun.   Volunteers here get a free ticket and parking pass. 

Welcome new member Ashley Walden

Welcome new member Ashley Walden

Bill Squires introduced her on Jan. 25.  Her co-sponsor is Bob Hammerschmidt.

Ashley was born and raised in Springfield.  She attended Glendale High School, where she played soccer, was a peer mediator, created artwork for the school’s art magazine, and received accolades in journalism and art.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration at Drury University, where she was active in Students in Free Enterprise and won the SIFE World Cup in 2003.  Ashley was also an Executive Committee member for two years in Pi Beta Phi fraternity.

Ashley served three years as Director of Operations for United Way of the Ozarks.  She became Executive Director of Springfield Ballet in early 2017 after former Springfield Southeast Rotary member Evan Bennett left that position for a job in another city.

Ashley enjoys volunteering for several organizations including Springfield Ballet Guild, Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Advisory Board, Sporting Springfield Soccer Club, Girl Scouts, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and Springfield Regional Arts Council.  She also was in Class 33 of Leadership Springfield.  She made her acting debut as the Maid in Springfield Ballet’s The Nutcracker in December 2016

Ashley and her husband, Amos, have three daughters and two pets.  They spend their weekends at soccer fields, a ballet studio, at home watching a movie or celebrating events with family and friends.

Welcome new member Meredith Bosso

Welcome new member Meredith Bosso

Nikki Holden introduced her on Jan. 18. Her cosponsor is Chelsey Bode.
Meredith is a native of Springfield who attended Glendale High School and Missouri State University. She earned a Master’s degree in accounting in 2009.
Meredith is a CPA and has been with KPM since 2015. She specializes in taxes as well as trusts and estates.
Meredith is a former member of Rotaract, where she spent seven years in various committee and board positions, including secretary and treasurer. She is on the board of Junior League of Springfield and Ozarks Counseling Center. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and playing with her dogs. She also enjoys traveling and cooking.

Welcome new member Ken Williams

Welcome new member Ken Williams

President Lori Barnes Miller introduced Ken on Jan. 11.  His co-sponsor is David Reid.

Ken is a financial consultant who is celebrating his 24th year of helping clients manage their accumulated wealth and meet financial goals.  Ken is a branch manager and vice president of Investments at Stifel, Nicolaus & Company.  He manages its branches in Springfield, Joplin, and Rolla.   He moved from Joplin to Springfield in April 2017 to serve in his expanded role with the company.

Ken's experience with Rotary began in 1994 as a member of Rotary Club of Odessa and continued with Daybreak Rotary Club of Joplin.   In Joplin Daybreak, he served in many capacities, including president in 2011-'12 as Joplin started its recovery from the devastating tornado in May 2011.   During that time, he helped build two Rotary Habitat for Humanity homes and Rotary Miracle Field of Joplin.  He also has been fortunate to be able to attend two Rotary International conventions in New Orleans and Bangkok.

In addition to Rotary, Ken serves the community as a board member and past president of the Children's Center of Southwest Missouri.

In his spare time, Ken enjoys spending time with his son, Connor, 20, and daughter, Anna, 17.  Ken is also a runner and tries to run three or more half-marathons each year.

Welcome new (former) member Judy Bilyeu

Welcome new (former) member Judy Bilyeu

Bill Squires introduced Judy on Dec. 21.  Her co-sponsor is Jason Brown.

Judy is is a prior 10-year member of Springfield Southeast Rotary Club who received our club's Lend-a-Hand Award in 2010.  She is corporate marketing director for Metro Appliances and More, an employee-owned company with nine stores in four states.  She's worked there since 2003.

Judy's hometown is Sikeston.  She studied public relations and marketing at Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU).

Judy also hosts "Dishing it Up with Judy Bilyeu," a cooking show featuring local chefs that airs on Medicacom cable channel 22.   She was honored in 2008 by Springfield Business Journal as one of the Most Influential Women of Springfield.

Judy has a special place in her heart for homeless people.  She's serving her sixth year on the Board of Directors of The Kitchen, Inc.  She's also a volunteer at The Gathering Friends, an organization that helps homeless people who may not qualify for resources offered through The Kitchen.  She previously served as president and board member for several years for the Regional Girls Shelter, which is now known as Ashley House.

Judy is a member of Springfield Design Association and serves on the church council of The Venues Church.

Judy has a son and a daughter, both married, and recently became a grandmother for the fourth time.