Community and Cocktails with Debbie Shantz Hart

Debbie Shantz Hart sat down with us to discuss the importance of community involvement over a couple drinks at Red Room at Flame.

By Jeff Houghton | Illustration by Heather Kane

Mar 2017

Debbie Shantz Hart

“I was raised by Depression era parents. In that age group, you just did what was the right thing to do. That was the expectation: If you’re going to live here, you’ve got to do your part to make it better.”

“I think you have to educate yourself on what the problems are first. We have so many people in Springfield that have good hearts and are good workers and are good at what they do. They need to figure out what’s out there, then they need to ask how to plug in.”

“Where I really saw somebody give back was when I was working with John Q. Hammons. He was very good about being forward-thinking and stepping up to the plate to do things that were positive for the community.”

“I ask myself the questions: ‘How does this help my community? Do I have the skill set to help them? And realistically, do I have the time to do it?’”

“One thing that’s been really positive is the awareness and the spotlight we’ve put on poverty so people do understand the problem.” 

“Springfield is the most giving community, and I think we take pride in solving our own problems, but you’ve got to tell people what they need to do, and it’s got to be manageable.”

“Sometimes we talk things to death as opposed to doing. We need less talking and a little more doing.”

“If we don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. I think that’s the whole thing. Everybody’s got to have a sense of responsibility and we can all work toward making it a great place.”