Photo by Brandon Alms
Chelsey Bode is not only president of an office technology provider but works with organizations like the Rotary Club of Springfield, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
On Almost Leaving Springfield
“I absolutely had the desire that I wanted to get out of town. I interned with a Kansas City company on the wholesale side… Then in interviewing in New York for some internship opportunities and looking at what that lifestyle would look like, what the pay scale would look like, I'm sitting there going ‘Am I being super-ignorant? A really great community where you can actually be something and make a huge impact is right under my nose and all I want to do is just get out of here and be in a little tiny office, hopefully with a window, that's 54 flights up. What am I thinking?’
“Springfield has been super-exciting from the time I was in my young twenties. The mentors were there. They want to see young people succeed. The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and other organizations are trying to put together the programs, trying to include you in Rotary groups and things like that because they see that those groups aren't sustainable if they don't have that good, diverse mix.”
On Giving Back
“Having grown up here, I knew it was very important for me, as much as I get from the community, to make sure that I’m giving as well… I choose three things that I want to be cognitive that, if I say ‘yes’ each year, I'm absolutely going to be making a difference in that organization. I'm not just checking the box to be involved for the sake of being involved… We created an internal nonprofit committee so, as an organization, we can do much more. There are several organizations that I may not personally sit on their board, but we're sending shifts of people and involving their families—we're cooking dinners for Ronald McDonald House or sending shifts to go organize cans for Convoy of Hope or we're doing clothing drives for Harmony House.
“I kind of approach everything, whether it's parenting, nonprofit work or running a business, with the same philosophy. I want to understand the purpose.”