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Welcome new member Steve Kirks

Anne Brown introduced Steve on Sept. 9.  His co-sponsor is Ray Meyer.

Steve has worked for Lumen Technologies, which used to be known as Century Link, for 13 years.  He now is a senior manager of fiber strategy for its subsidiary, Quantum Fiber, where he develops fiber expansion strategies for Midwest markets, including City Utilities of Springfield’s project to provide internet service.

Steve is a native of Clinton, Mo.  After high school, he served in the U.S. Navy for several years as a nuclear power specialist.   After leaving the Navy 29 years ago, he moved to Springfield, which is where he met his wife, Tammy, who is Anne Brown’s daughter.  They’ve been married for 25 years.

Steve has worked in computers and technology all his career, including leading sales teams.  He used to travel extensively throughout the Midwest for his job but now works exclusively in Springfield.

Steve volunteers with Ozark Public Television, and formerly served on the city’s Cable Advisory Board.  He is a graduate of Leadership Springfield.   He and Tammy are the caretakers of three incredibly spoiled cats.
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Welcome new member Jason Flores

Bill McNeill introduced Jason on Sept. 9.  His co-sponsor is John Horton.

Jason joined Central Trust last spring as a senior vice president and senior portfolio manager. He helps clients with investment decisions, financial planning and estate administration.

Jason was born in southern California.  His father was an immigrant from Mexico and a Vietnam War veteran.  His mother was from Arkansas, and his family moved there when he was 7 years old.  He grew up in a small town, and spent most of his days and nights fishing and playing sports.

Jason joined the Army the day after his high school graduation and served a four-year stint.  After a successful tour as a tank mechanic in the Mojave Desert in California, he says he knew he was prepared to take on the world, reasoning that if he could fix a tank in the middle of a desert with four tools, he could handle almost anything.

Jason moved back to Arkansas and became a Razorback, managing to graduate after just 10 years in college.  More importantly, he says, he met the love of his life, Stephanie, who is now his wife.

After a few jobs in sales and management, Jason moved into investing.  He completed courses to become a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, and to earn an MBA, all while he and Stephanie added three children to their family:  Jason, Addison, and Carson.
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Welcome new member Richard Baker

Sam Hamra introduced Richard on Sept. 2.  His co-sponsor is Brent Dunn.

Richard is an executive vice president and wealth advisor for Prime Capital Investment Advisors.  He moved to Springfield from Nixa in late 2020.  He’s been in the Ozarks for 12 years.  His company operates in 16 states and manages assets in excess of $13 billion.

Richard also is an Intentional Pastor for Hamlin Church in Springfield.  He helped save the church from closing, negotiated the sale of its former building and purchase of a new property, where it built a new building.   He also reorganized the church’s leadership structure, and transitioned the church’s former location into an inner-city mission called the Dream Center.

Richard was a successful commercial lender and relationship manager for Bank of America early in his career before moving to Prime Capital 25 years ago.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business at College of the Ozarks, and a Masters degree in Divinity and Doctorate degree in Leadership from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, where he served as a trustee and chairman of its Audit Committee.  He also was the Founding Pastor of The Bridge, a Southern Baptist church in Nixa.

Richard and his wife, Sara, have a daughter, Anna Grace, and a son, Micah.  He’s participated in more than 20 international missions or humanitarian trips to Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay.  He’s a member of the Baron’s Club, College of the Ozarks President’s Council, and Alongside Education Ministries.  He is a former member of the Aurora Rotary Club from 1988 – 2000.
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Welcome new member Andrea Bishop

Lisa Blumenstock introduced Andrea on Aug. 19.  Her co-sponsor is Lori Johnson Murawski.

Andrea is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been the executive director of the Betty and Bobby Allison Ozarks Counseling Center for 10 years.  The center is a nonprofit United Way affiliate that provides mental health services to everyone ages 3 and up, regardless of ability to pay. The clinic's 25-member staff provides more than 12,000 hours of service to 2,300 people each year, including more than 500 children and adolescents.

Andrea also teaches graduate-level classes in Missouri State University’s Counseling and Clinical Psychology programs.  She also has served on several education advisory boards, and has been involved in numerous volunteer organizations including the Springfield-Greene County League of Women Voters and the Junior League of Springfield.  She previously taught economics for many years in Drury University’s Evening College.

Andrea earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Southwest Missouri State University, then returned to Missouri State University in 2009 to earn a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.

Andrea’s daughter, Olivia, is a senior at Clemson University in South Carolina, and her son, Ian, is a freshman at William Jewell College in Liberty.

Andrea asked Randy Stout to a sorority dance at Drury in 1985.  He belatedly asked for a second date in 2016, and they got engaged in August 2021.  In her free time, she likes to sail, play board games, and travel.
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Welcome new member Marilyn Lopez

Marilyn joined Springfield Southeast Rotary on July 29. Her co-sponsors are Bob Hammerschmidt and Lori Barnes Miller.

Marilyn moved to Springfield from Chicago in February 2021 to work for Convoy of Hope, where her title is partner engagement manager. She’s responsible for cultivating major donors for the nonprofit agency. Prior to joining Convoy of Hope, Marilyn worked for the Boy Scouts of America for 12 years.

Marilyn was an active member since 2018 of the Rotary Club of Chicago, including serving on the Board of Directors and co-chairing its Public Relations/Marketing Committee. Marilyn previously was a member of Springfield Rotaract Club from 2002 – 2005 when she worked for the Ozark Trails Council, BSA. She also was a member of the Rotary Club of Rolla from 2009 – 2011 and has been in Rotary Clubs in Cumberland, Md., and Pittsburgh, Penn.

Marilyn earned a Bachelor of Arts at College of the Ozarks and a Masters of Science at Oklahoma State University. She also earned two Nonprofit Leadership Certifications from University of Notre Dame.

She is thrilled to be back in Springfield and closer to her brother and his family. During her free time, she enjoys volunteering at church, traveling overseas, visiting her grandmother in El Salvador, and spending time with her 11-year-old French bulldog.
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Shrimp Feed

Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast held our annual club assembly on Thursday evening, July 15, at the home of Kim and Patrick Harrington just east of Springfield. Members gathered for drinks and conversation at 5:00, then took a group photo and enjoyed a meal of Caesar salad, boiled shrimp, and toast.

Afterwards, we gathered in small groups for discussions about operations of the club so the board can make plans and priorities. Fortunately, the rain stayed away during the assembly.

It was good to be able to gather for the annual event, which was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. We name our assembly the John Simpson Memorial Shrimp Feed in honor of our late charter member who hosted the assembly at his home, and helped prepare the food, for nearly 50 years.

Dan Emrie took these 77 photos.

What "Rotary" Really Means

Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast 2017-'18 President Lori Barnes and 2018-'19 President Bill Squires discuss what people should know about Rotary and why it matters.