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See who the Chamber is backing on April 7

Posted by Maggie Kost on Mar 13, 2015

Election Day: April 7

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Springfield R-12 Board of Education

One critical component to the success of a community is the strength of its schools and the development of our talent pipeline. The Springfield R-12 school district is the largest accredited district in the state, and Springfield must continue to have a stellar public school system with well-rounded leaders at the helm. That's what the Chamber's board of directors believes these candidates represent.

Francine Pratt

“All of our students should be able to set and achieve their educational goals during the elementary and secondary years – but I also want them prepared to achieve for a lifetime.  My employment in the corporate sector and higher education has provided me insight about the importance of preparing students for success in the 21st century workforce.  I have a strong grasp of the workforce needs of the Springfield region, the nation and the global economy.”

Visit Francine's website!

- Executive director of Multicultural Programs at Missouri State University, previously served as executive director of Isabel’s House, a crisis care facility for children ages birth through 12, and has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors
- Served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Chamber and United Way boards, the Impacting Poverty Commission and as co-chair of the Every Child Promise subcommittee
- Pratt’s priorities include addressing funding challenges, evolving technology, quality teacher recruitment and retention and Springfield’s growing poverty level

Jill Patterson

“I worked as a Greene County Assistant Prosecutor for fifteen years and was constantly reminded that a significant portion of criminal defendants did not graduate from high school.  I have seen firsthand the outcome for children who are not motivated and supported to stay in school.  They will have fewer options as adults and will be less likely to be productive members of society.   I believe the role of the school board is to educate themselves about the needs of the school system to be effective in advocating for excellence in education.  The board must be good stewards of the public trust in the allocation of limited funds to provide a high quality education to students and encourage community support of the SPS vision.”

- Practicing attorney with Keck & Austin, LLC and has previously served as Greene County Assistant Prosecutor
- Active on countless community boards and served as co-chair of the Every Child Promise subcommittee, and was appointed to serve as a member of the statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Review board by Governor Nixon
- Patterson’s priorities include attracting and retaining high quality teachers, providing curriculum that improves student achievement, improving access to technology within the district and making programs accessible to all children


Bruce Renner

“I love education and I have seen what it can do for individuals and how it can change lives.  I believe a quality education opportunity is the most important gift a community can provide for their children.  A quality education experience is an ever moving target.  I want to help lead our district as we provide the experiences necessary for our children to compete and be successful in their lives.”

- Retired educator who taught special education and served as a counselor in the Springfield Public Schools for a combined 25 years
- Incumbent in his 21st consecutive year of service on the school board; past president of the board
- Renner’s priorities include addressing the use and support of technology in instruction, the increase of poverty among students in our schools, ensuring adequate resources to provide necessary updating of current school buildings


Springfield City Council

Strong civic leaders are an essential component to a thriving community. The following candidates have been endorsed by the Springfield Good Government Committee, a partnership between the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. We believe in their thoughtfulness, well-reasoned approach to city government and their ability to lead Springfield forward.

Bob Stephens – Mayor (Incumbent)

- Sworn in as Mayor in May 2012 after serving as an at-large City Council member since April 2009 and as Mayor Pro Tem since 2011
- Serves as a member of Sus Derechos, a committee of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association dealing with Hispanic issues and education, and was nominated by the Missouri House of Representatives for the Missouri Hispanic Business, Trade, and Culture Commission
- As a life-long resident of Springfield, Stephens’ professional career includes more than 35 years in human resources management for Litton Industries and 3M Company

Visit Bob's website!


Kristi Fulnecky – General Councilmember Seat C (City Wide)

- Attorney and president of Fulnecky Enterprises, LLC, a construction management company in Springfield
- Managed her own law firm, worked for the U.S. Congress and served as an attorney at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington D.C.
- A current board member of the Mercy Health Foundation, previous chair of Boys and Girls Town’s Child Abuse Prevention Month, an appointed member of the University of Missouri System’s Minority Business Enterprise/Woman Business Enterprise Advisory Council and on Missouri State University’s Diversity Advisory Committee

Visit Kristi's website!


Ken McClure – General Councilmember Seat D (City Wide)

- Vice president for Administrative and Information Services for Missouri State University, a position he has held since December 2008
- Served as chief of staff and transition director for former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, as associate general manager-administration for City Utilities and was appointed by former Missouri Governor John Ashcroft as a member and later appointed as chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission
- Former deputy director-administration of the Missouri Department of Economic Development as well as a budget analyst and staff director for the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee


Buck Van Hooser – Zone 2 Councilmember

- Longtime management, marketing and advertising specialist, helping businesses attract and keep their customer base while growing the economy
- Served as Pleasant View School PTA president, Hillcrest High School site council, Parent Advisory Board, Post-Secondary Success Task Force, chairman of North Springfield Betterment Association & Foundation, distinguished past president of Kiwanis of Ozarks Empire, chairman of OACAC Foster Grandparent Advisory Committee
- Moved away from Springfield to pursue a dream career, but chose to return to raise a family in a community he loves

Visit Buck's website!


Jerry Compton – Zone 3 Councilmember (Incumbent)

- Appointed to City Council to represent Zone 3 in May 2009, was elected in April 2011 and was sworn in as Mayor Pro Tem in February 2015
- Serves on the Ozarks Transportation Organization Board of Directors, Enterprise Zone Board, Convention Center Task Force, the Strategic Planning Committees for Transportation and Growth and Land Management Uses, and also served for more than 6 years on the Planning and Zoning Commission
- As a life-long resident of Springfield, Compton’s professional career includes more than 25 years as an architect, having opened his own architectural firm in 2003


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