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Biz 100

Biz 100 Power Plays

The individuals on this list have gone above and beyond in their fields of expertise. They contribute to their communities, make 417-land a more enriched place and are part of the 100 most powerful business leaders in the area.

By Katie Griffiths

Nov 19 2017 at 3:11 p.m.

Paula Adams
President, Penmac Staffing
University of Missouri–Columbia, B.S. in home economics
Paula Adams has worn many hats in her 22 years at Penmac Staffing, but it was one of her latest accomplishments as the company's president that stole the local media spotlight this June. Under the leadership of Adams, Penmac's Education Staffing division secured a contract to provide substitutes for Springfield Public Schools. This contract greatly expanded Penmac's footprint. Read Paula Adams' full Power Play here

Photo courtesy Wes Hamilton

Matt Miller
CEO, The Vecino Group
University of Missouri–Columbia, B.S. in political science and Russian area studies
As the CEO of a development company in the growing city of Springfield, Matt Miller has plenty of opportunities to expand his business. By choice, though, the Mizzou alum has been on board with The Vecino Group's mission from day one: It would serve a greater purpose. The company accomplished some of that this year. "We broke ground on deals across the country that should make the world a better place," Miller says. Read Matt Miller's full Power Play here

Robert Noble
Founder and Chairman, Noble Communications
Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU), B.F.A. in commercial art
When it comes to Springfield's advertising scene, Robert B. Noble's name has been in the spotlight for more than four decades. The founder and chairman of Noble, CultureWaves and The Food Channel played a huge part in putting southwest Missouri on the map in the marketing world. But this year he sold his non-food traditional agency business and moved his focus exclusively to food. Read Robert B. Noble's full Power Play here.

Andy Kuntz
President, Andy's Frozen Custard
Andy's Frozen Custard? Good. More (and more, and more) Andy's Frozen Custard? Great! That's the obvious mindset of all custard addicts as well as Andy's Frozen Custard President Andy Kuntz, who in February 2016 announced a plan to have 75 stores by the end of 2017. With the year coming to a close, we called Andy's HQ at press time to figure out how close the company was to achieving this goal. Read Andy Kuntz's full Power Play here.

Donald J. Babb
CEO, Citizens Memorial Hospital, Executive Director, Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation
U.S. Air Force, A.A. in medical technology Barnes Hospital, A.A. in radiology Ohio State University, M.A. in health care financial management
In October 2016, there was a whole lot of buzz in 417-land's health care scene: Citizens Memorial Hospital/Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation (CMH) and CoxHealth announced a letter of intent to combine their organizations. The two hospitals proposed a partnership that sounded ideal for both parties and 417-land—in a press release, Donald J. Babb, chief executive officer and executive director of CMH, said the partnership would further CMH's ability to make a difference in local communities. Read Donald J. Babb's full Power Play here. 

Steve Edwards
President and CEO, CoxHealth
Drury College (now Drury University), B.A. in political science Washington University in St. Louis, masters in healthcare administration
In October 2016, there was a whole lot of buzz in 417-land's health care scene: Citizens Memorial Hospital/Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation (CMH) and CoxHealth announced a letter of intent to combine their organizations. The two hospitals proposed a partnership that sounded ideal for both parties and 417-land—in a press release, Donald J. Babb, chief executive officer and executive director of CMH, said the partnership would further CMH's ability to make a difference in local communities. Read Steve Edwards' full Power Play here.

Richard Ollis
CEO, Ollis/Akers/Arney
Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU), B.S. in finance, minor in insurance
It seems there's always something happening at Ollis/Akers/Arney Insurance & Business Advisors. In fact, CEO and Chairman Richard Ollis says the company recently added 20 new employee owners to the team. And while this growth is something any company CEO should be proud of, the successes certainly don't stop there when Ollis is concerned. He's making things happen outside of his company's office as a Springfield City Council member, a position he's held since being appointed in May. Read Richard Ollis' full Power Play here.

Francine Pratt
Prosper Springfield Director, Community Partnership of the Ozarks
University of Phoenix, B.S. in Business Management.
Before she joined the nonprofit world, Francine Pratt worked for the state of California and held professional positions that came with corporate apartments, first-class flights, bonuses and other perks. But when the opportunity for a nonprofit career popped up, the University of Phoenix grad didn't even blink an eye at giving it all up—or taking a 50-percent salary reduction. Since then Pratt has moved to Springfield and held several notable roles in the community. Read Francine Pratt's full Power Play here.

Ken McClure
Springfield Mayor
Southwest Missouri State University and University of Missouri-Columbia
In April 2017, Ken McClure won Springfield's ultra-competitive mayoral race against opponent Kristi Fulnecky. Mayor McClure, who is a Mizzou and Missouri State University alum, brings decades of government experience with him in the new role. This includes positions as chief of staff to former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt and chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission. Read Ken McClure's full Power Play here. 

Johnny Morris
CEO and Founder, Bass Pro Shops
Drury College (now Drury University), Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in business
Another year has passed, and another list of lofty business moves have been made by Bass Pro Shops CEO and Founder Johnny Morris, a Drury College (now Drury University) alum. Big-time golfer Tiger Woods traveled to Branson in April 2017 and joined Morris in making an announcement: The first public golf course Woods is desinging in America will be a part of Big Cedar Lodge. Read Johnny Morris' full Power Play here.

Jack Prim
Executive Chairman, Jack Henry & Associates
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, B.A. in business administration Queens University, MBA
It was 40 years ago when Jack Prim first began a career in the financial industry as a sales representative for Burroughs Corp. Fast forward to today, and Prim is the executive chairman at Jack Henry & Associates Inc., which has acquired two companies in this past two years and was named to America's Best Employers List by Forbes in May 2017. Read Jack Prim's full Power Play here.