Women in Business

Meet These 18 Inspiring Female Springfield Business Leaders

These women are breaking barriers and confidently leading companies across Springfield, Missouri.

Mar 2024

It’s no secret that 417-land is full of female leaders guiding businesses to success. Learn how companies in Springfield, Missouri, are committed to building diverse leadership, empowering their employees and enriching our business community. 

Darla Stringer’s Counter Negative Focuses on Full Body Recovery and Wellness

Who leads the business:
Darla Stringer, the owner of Counter Negative Full Body Recovery & Wellness, is a passionate leader advocating for a holistic approach to health. Stringer and the Counter Negative team prioritize customer service, delivering a results-driven alternative healing approach that establishes Counter Negative as a premier wellness center. The center stands out for its comprehensive biohacking recovery and wellness programs, building connections within the community and collaborating with health and wellness leaders.

What they do: Counter Negative is a cutting-edge biohacking center dedicated to revitalizing well-being and managing pain through various healing solutions. Their mission is to promote vitality, recovery and overall well-being by offering advanced techniques for full-body recovery. 

What services they offer: Full body cryotherapy, red light, compression, oxygen, cocoon pod, infrared sauna, massage and dry float therapies are advanced techniques offered at Counter Negative. The center also provides cryo facials, body contouring and a full line of esthetic services.

What you can expect: Counter Negative is known for its membership program, offering discounted monthly access and personalized recovery through tiered programs. The center also provides access to state-of-the-art machines typically found only in larger cities. With a knowledgeable staff incorporating personal healing experiences, Counter Negative serves as a guiding light for true healing, affordability and empowerment in 417-land.

Erica Lea Hendrix of Erica Lea Studios in Springfield, MO
Photo by Starboard & PortErica Lea Hendrix

Erica Lea Design Studios Stands Out With its White-Glove Approach

417-731-4086 | 380 E. State Highway CC, Suite D 105, Nixa, MO | Ericaleadesignstudios.com

Who leads the business: Led by founder Erica Lea Hendrix, Erica Lea Design Studios’ interior design stands out with its customer-focused, white-glove approach. Each project is a tailored masterpiece, designed to resonate with the individuals who call it home.

What they do: At ELDS, they go beyond designing houses; they create havens that reflect the unique essence of the people who live in them, fostering family wellness for generations. In the world of home design, Erica Lea Design Studios (ELDS) believes a well-designed home is more than just a space—it’s a lasting legacy for families and the communities they reside in. 

The impact: Their commitment extends beyond home interiors. Working alongside a team of insightful female leaders, ELDS actively engages in pro bono projects with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Springfield HBA Board of Directors and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They’re dedicated to making a positive impact, both inside their homes and out in the community.

The goal: Whether crafting homes or contributing to community projects, the ELDS team strives to “enhance and elevate” the lives of those in 417-land. 

Get more info: Visit their website to learn more and join them on a journey where thoughtful design not only transforms spaces but leaves a lasting imprint on the lives of the people they serve.

Forvis is Powered by Women
Photo by Leah StiefermannFront row: Julie Bilyeu, Rhonda Christopher, Erica Smith, Camille Lockhart, Juli Pascoe, Gretchen Cliburn | Back row: Krystal Creach, Amber Popek, Jean Nyberg, Shari Hoffman, Christy Yoakum, Rachel Elsberry, Kristen Wannenmacher Bright, Brandy Buckler Purchase Photo

FORVIS Leads the Way in Providing Assurance, Tax and Advisory Services

417-865-8701 | 910 E. St. Louis St., Springfield, MO | forvis.com

Who they are: FORVIS is a professional services firm providing assurance, tax and advisory services. They are committed to delivering an Unmatched Client Experience™ and are proud to be ranked among the top 10 public accounting firms in the country. With over 6,000 dedicated professionals serving clients nationwide and globally, their forward vision drives them to excel in every aspect.

The Women Forward Inclusion Network: At FORVIS, they value diversity and inclusion, and their commitment is reflected through nine Inclusion Networks. These networks enhance the employee experience and contribute to the communities they serve. Among them, Women Forward stands out, fostering a culture of inclusion, equity and belonging. This network is dedicated to recruiting, retaining and advancing women while addressing the pertinent issues women face in the workplace and society.

In Springfield, their commitment to gender diversity is evident with 17 female partners and managing directors. The Women Forward Inclusion Network plays a pivotal role in nurturing this inclusive environment.

FORVIS measures success not just by numbers but by the impact they create. Women Forward has initiated mentorship programs, leadership development initiatives and community outreach efforts, positively influencing the workplace and beyond.

What’s next: FORVIS and Mazars, a leading international audit, tax and advisory firm, jointly will create a new, top 10 global network, effective June 1, 2024. The network will operate under a single brand worldwide, Forvis Mazars, and will further amplify their commitment to diversity and inclusion on a global scale.

Ashley Wells of Mid-Missouri Bank in Mt. Vernon, Missouri
Photo by Mark N PhotographyAshley Wells - Community President of Mount Vernon Mid-Missouri Bank

Mid Missouri Bank is Redefining Banking with Female Leadership

417-466-2163300 E. MT Vernon Blvd., Mt. Vernon | midmobank.com

What they do:
Mid-Missouri Bank is building the community bank of the future. Their vision encompasses solutions for both personal and business banking, anchored with an unwavering dedication to the best customer experiences. 

History: Although they were chartered in 1872, they still consider themselves just getting started as they continue to stay on the leading edge of security and technology while remaining the hometown bank of the Ozarks. With 13 locations throughout 10 Southwest Missouri communities, plus the various online and mobile services, Mid-Missouri Bank is dedicated to meeting the financial needs of local families and businesses in the Ozarks. And they always will be.

Who leads the business: There are many female leaders throughout the company, including Ashley Wells, who will be the new Community President of the Mount Vernon Mid-Missouri Bank beginning April 1. Additional women officers in the bank are Bank Manager Kim Leeper, Vice President Michelle Eck, Loan Assistant Michele Nelson and Personal Banker Anne Neely. Beyond leadership, Mid-Missouri Bank boasts a team of women in various supporting roles, contributing to the collaborative and empowering culture within the organization. Their commitment to diversity is not just a statement but a tangible demonstration that encourages other women in the community to pursue leadership opportunities.

Amber Munnik of Munnik Real Estate
Soch Media ManagementAmber Munnik

Munnik Real Estate Group RE/MAX House of Brokers is Reinventing the Real Estate Experience 

417-616-1782 | 3745 S. Fremont Ave. A, Springfieldmunnikrealestategroup.com

What they do:
Munnik Real Estate Group, a prominent player in the 417 real estate scene, stands out for its commitment to customer experience and its empowering principles, championed by founder Amber Munnik. Specializing in streamlining seamless transactions for both buyers and sellers, the company adds a touch of luxury to every interaction, making moving or selling in 417-land an unparalleled experience.

Who leads the business: Amber Munnik is the force behind the company. After raising three children as a stay-at-home mom, she re-entered the workforce three years ago. Amber’s resilience was particularly evident in the face of tragedy, having lost her middle child in a car accident last year. Despite the challenges, she remains an inspirational figure, emphasizing the importance of family amidst the daily grind.

What sets them apart: Munnik Real Estate Group distinguishes itself with a client-centric approach. The company takes pride in demystifying the real estate journey, offering educational resources and personalized buyer and seller guides that meticulously break down the process. Their focus isn’t merely financial success. While being high producers in the area, their ultimate goal is finding families a home they love. 

What matters most: Amber says her favorite thing is witnessing children’s excitement in a new home, emphasizing that clients are not just statistics but cherished individuals making big life decisions. Their clients are treated with care—like family.

Ozarks Elder Law is Powered by Women
Photo by Frank & MavenBack row: Mel Myears, Lisa Dewoody-Clark, Katherine Douglas-Johnson Front row: Tessa O’Donnell, Elyse Hartley, Lori Rook, Vera Moritz

Ozarks Elder Law Leads with Compassion and Expertise

417-868-8200 | 2832 S. Ingram Mill Rd #100, Springfield, MO | ozarkselderlaw.com

Ozarks Elder Law, led by Lori Rook, is more than just a law firm—it’s a testament to the vision of a woman determined to protect the aging population in Southwest Missouri.

Who leads the business: Ozarks Elder Law is distinguished not only by its expertise in elder law but also by its compassionate approach. Lori Rook and her team, affectionately known as the “Ladies in White,” understand the complexities and sensitivities involved in planning for the future. They’re not just legal specialists—they’re allies in securing a legacy that reflects their clients’ values. With a commitment to demystifying the legal process, they break down intricate matters into easy-to-understand terms, ensuring that their clients are well-informed every step of the way.

What they offer: As people age, contemplating their legacy and the well-being of their loved ones becomes inevitable. Recognizing this need, Lori Rook has made it her mission to ensure Ozarks Elder Law, a firm dedicated to assisting families with estate planning, Medicaid, probate and nursing home planning, is accessible with nine offices conveniently located in Bolivar, Branson, Joplin, Lebanon, Marshfield, Nixa, Ozark, Republic and Springfield.

What’s unique: They offer a free consultation to ensure everyone has the opportunity to receive guidance and peace of mind, ensuring that wishes are seamlessly executed. 

*The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Southern Bank in Springfield, MO
Photo by Josh KinghamLora Keim, Jerrica Fleming, Amber Mase, Kelly Lee, Jean Williams, Jamie Kehoe Purchase Photo

Southern Bank’s SBA Division Thrives under Female Leadership

417-883-0050 | 4803 S. National Ave., Springfieldbankwithsouthern.com

Who they are:
 Southern Bank’s Small Business Administration (SBA) Division is a vital resource for entrepreneurs and the economy, providing expert guidance and support throughout the lending process. With 137 years of service to the small business community, Southern Bank offers quick decisions with local approvals, competitive terms and personalized solutions to empower small businesses. 

How female leaders are moving the bank forward: Female leaders, including VP, SBA Division Manager Amber Mase and her SBA team, drive the bank’s success. In 2022, Mase spearheaded the establishment of a new SBA department, recognizing the importance of building a strong team across multiple locations. Her leadership philosophy emphasizes the significance of assembling the right people in the right roles to foster growth and collaboration. 

Recognition: Even spanning Springfield, Kansas City, St. Louis and Poplar Bluff, Mase led the SBA division to success, ranking #38 out of #158 SBA lending banks in Missouri for the 2023 fiscal year. This achievement reflects the dedication and hard work of Mase and the entire SBA team. In addition to her strategic leadership in establishing the new SBA department, Mase actively fosters a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, driving the division’s ongoing success.

Arvest Bank is Powered by Women
Photo by Leah StiefermannJami Dressler, Summer Massey, Liliana Lopez Garcia, Penny Lacy Purchase Photo

Arvest Bank Aims to Positively Impact the Springfield Community

417-885-7240 | arvest.com

What they do: Arvest operates across four states, but the bank stays true to its core values by maintaining local leadership in each market. Arvest empowers these local leaders to meet the needs of their customers and make an impact in their communities.

Who they are: Springfield’s team is made up of women who embody the bank’s mission—“People helping people find financial solutions for life.” Equipped with years of experience and the tools of a full-service bank, this team provides solutions for customers, including loans, deposit services, investments, succession strategies and treasury and cash flow management.

The impact: Whether it’s planning fundraisers for bank-led initiatives like Million Meals, helping educate future leaders in our schools, feeding families of medically fragile children, packing food at the local pantry or serving on nonprofit boards, these Arvest associates demonstrate through their actions what it means to be committed to the community. 

BluCurrent Credit Union is Powered by Women
Photo by Leah StiefermannCourtney Pruente, deAnna Downs & Hannah McCaig Purchase Photo

BluCurrent Credit Union Drives Success in Southwest Missouri

417-887-1983 | 1770 W. Sunset St., Springfield, MO | blucurrent.org

BluCurrent has been dedicated to moving you forward right here in the Ozarks since 1929. Today, the financial institution proudly serves over 23,000 members and currently has over $320 million in assets. BluCurrent may be one of the largest credit unions in southwest Missouri, but the team still excels at providing personalized, convenient service to every member.

Who leads the business: BluCurrent’s growth and success would not be possible without the female leaders that proudly represent the mortgage department: deAnna Downs, SVP of Mortgage Lending, Hannah McCaig, Director of Mortgage Lending, and Courtney Pruente, Mortgage Support Manager. Under deAnna’s direction, the mortgage team assisted 458 families in purchasing or refinancing their homes in 2022.

Equal Housing Lender. NMLS #459303. Member NCUA.

Brookline Doorworks Owner Working to Inspire Young Girls

About the owner: Christine Howell, owner of Brookline Doorworks, is opening doors in a predominantly male industry. Her goal is to teach young girls, like her daughter, that you can run any business you put your mind to.

What they offer: If you have a garage door, she is here to serve you! Brookline Doorworks has a fantastic showroom where you can see many different door options and even configure a custom door for your home. Most people use their garage door more than their front door, so they strive to get to every service call the same day or the next day—that is service you can rely on.

Jessica Harmison-Olson of Maxon Fine Jewelry in Springfield, MO
Photo courtesy of Maxon Fine JewelryJessica Harmison-Olson

Maxon Fine Jewelry Celebrates One Year with New Leadership

417-887-1800 | 2850 E. Battlefield Road, Springfield | maxonfinejewelry.com

Much like the clients they serve, Maxon Fine Jewelry is celebrating a milestone of its own this year! 

About the owners: Owners Jessica Harmison-Olson and Ryan Olson are proud to mark one year of leading the Maxon Fine Jewelry team. 

Community involvement: In addition to the strong leadership Jessica demonstrates in her business, she also generously supports the Springfield community, serving in leadership roles with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise, Care to Learn and others. With a history of excellence, commitment to community and as the only Official Rolex Jeweler in Southern Missouri, Jessica is proud to honor Maxon’s legacy and lead the way to a dazzling future.

Marie Moore of Mercy Springfield, MO
Photo by Josh KinghamMarie Moore - Chief Nursing Officer for Mercy Springfield Communities Purchase Photo

Mercy’s Marie Moore Leads with a Vision for the Future

417-820-2000 | 1235 E. Cherokee St., SpringfieldMercy.net

About Marie:
As Chief Nursing Officer at Mercy Hospital Springfield, Marie Moore understands that healthcare is evolving, and leadership has never been more important. She’s seen first-hand as a bedside nurse how healthcare presents unique challenges, which is why she focuses on being a leader who brings a vision of what the future of healthcare can look like. 

Marie combines her diverse leadership experiences with clinical knowledge to be a differentiator. “The female leader’s perspective is often needed,” she says. “Our experiences and points of view can bring a diverse perspective to the conversation, and that is critical to strong leadership.”

Numbers that make a difference: Supporting 20% growth in patients served year-over-year while also improving nursing retention and recruitment by over 8% are just a few of the outcomes that have resulted from a clear vision and leading an excellent team at Mercy. 

Dr. Sadaf Sohrab of Mercy in Springfield, MO
Photo by Josh KinghamDr. Sadaf Sohrab / Chair of Cardiovascular Service Line for southwest Missouri, Chief of Medical Specialties, and Physician Operational Leader Pulmonology Purchase Photo

Mercy’s Dr. Sadaf Sohrab Leads with Clarity and Honesty

417-820-2000 | 1235 E. Cherokee St., SpringfieldMercy.net

About Dr. Sohrab:
Dr. Sadaf Sohrab, a dedicated pulmonologist, serves not only as a busy medical professional but also as a passionate physician leader at Mercy. Mercy’s undeniable reliance on women in leadership stems from being founded by a resilient and visionary woman two centuries ago. Catherine McAuley started the Sisters of Mercy in 1831, and Sohrab is one of many women leaders who have followed in her footsteps. 

The goal: “I am committed to carrying forth Catherine’s legacy of leading our Cardiovascular service live with clarity and honesty,” Sohrab says. “This is a responsibility I take very seriously. My aim is to continue to work diligently, provide a clear vision for our physicians and lead them to better serve our community. I love what I do and hope to help deliver the absolute best cardiovascular and specialty care in the region.”

What they do: Perimeter, with a predominantly female-powered team, including CEO Alyssa Ingle, offers hope and transformation for children in acute crisis. 

Who leads the business: Ingle’s background bridges administrative and clinical aspects, ensuring quality mental health care. 

What they offer: The hospital’s updated design includes spaces like a gym, game room and library, fostering positive behavioral outcomes with settings that teach coping mechanisms with real-time feedback loops. Environments like their Sensory Room, provide controlled calm for emotional regulation during crises. Diverse therapeutic modalities and individualized care and discharge planning highlight their commitment to the well-being and transformation of children in crisis.

Viviana Writer of Prosperiti Partners
Photo by Katy St. ClairViviana Writer—partner, principal, developer and investor Purchase Photo

Prosperiti Partners’ Viviana Writer’s Journey of Leadership and Innovation

417-413-4687 | 1660 N. Campbell Ave, Springfield | prosperiti.com 

Who leads the business:
Whether serving as secretary for the National Association of Women in construction, helping develop policies for the new Commercial Real Estate Board of Realtors, building a client’s portfolio or leading over 15 current development projects, Viviana Writer is engrossed in real estate and development.

Writer combines her lifelong passion for serving the community with her career as a partner, principal, developer and investor at Prosperiti Partners and broker of Prosperiti Brokers.

Thanks to a childhood friend who pushed her to recognize her talents in a new way, she is helping people realize their dreams while creating the life she wants.

Quality Clean is Powered by Women in Springfield, MO
Photo by Josh KinghamBrittany Marler, Cindy Gibson, Kaylie Alejandro, Deidre Morris Purchase Photo

Quality Clean's Tailored Cleaning Solutions Stand Out

417-833-4250 | 2305 E. Olive Ct. A, Springfield, MO | myqualityclean.com

What they offer: Locally owned and family-operated, Quality Clean offers quality service, with a drive to elevate small businesses and serve the community. Quality Clean customizes their cleaning plans to the specific characteristics of each space to uniquely suit an office’s needs. Celebrating over 20 years in 2024, Quality Clean provides the quality results your business deserves!

Who leads the business: “Our business is here to grow and help others succeed,” owner Cindy Gibson says. “Small businesses are the core of the 417 area.” Quality Clean values teamwork. Managers Brittany Marler and Kaylie Alejandro help their team strive to be the best by keeping customers happy and earning clients’ trust.

The women of Springfield Symphony
Photo by Katy St. ClairBack row: Jennifer Cotner-Jones, Audrey Yeo, Hallie Schulz, Amanda Bullock Front row: Kaitlyn Pack , Tery O’Shell Purchase Photo

Female Leaders Shaping the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s Cultural Legacy

417-864-6683 | 411 N. Sherman Pkwy., Springfield | springfieldsymphony.org

Who they are:
Step into the harmonious world of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, where talented women play key roles in creating unforgettable musical experiences. Behind the scenes, these accomplished individuals bring their passion and expertise to every note, shaping the cultural landscape of our community. 

What they do: At the helm of symphonic administration, these women bring a visionary approach to their roles, setting clear goals, recognizing the importance of teamwork and collaboration in order to achieve organizational success. Their collective commitment elevates the symphony’s performances to new heights. Discover the stories of these remarkable women, each contributing a unique melody to the orchestra’s success. Celebrate the harmony of talent and dedication that resonates throughout the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, enriching lives with the timeless beauty of music.

The team at Ozark Greenways in Springfield, MO
Photo by Josh KinghamMary Kromrey, Cari Harrison, Alaina Grote, Sara Fields

Trailblazers Leads the Charge for the Ozarks’ Green Spaces and Community Connections

417-501-4674 | Springfield | ozarkgreenways.org

Who they are:
The cherished trails of the Ozarks find their driving forces in the remarkable women steering Ozark Greenways, Missouri Off-Road Cyclists (MORC), TrailSpring and Ozarks Transportation Organization (OTO). 

What they do: Their significant influence extends beyond the trails; they are deeply ingrained in activating local green spaces and fostering community connections. The extraordinary legacy crafted by these female leaders is rooted in a profound commitment to the Ozarks. Their pride resonates in creating a resilient future within our region, showcasing the impactful synergy of women at the forefront of trailblazing initiatives right here in the heart of the Ozarks.

Biz 417's Women Who Mean Business


When presented with challenges, these women don't back down. These five stories are about braving the unknown, conquering tragedy and pioneering the future. Meet the Biz 417 Women Who Mean Business.