20 Under 30 Class of 2010

417 Magazine proudly presents the next generation of 417-land leaders.

Check out photos from The 20 Under 30 Party of 2010.

This month, 417 Magazine is honoring the 20 most inspiring and impressive young men and women in 417-land. They may not have hit the big 3-0 yet, but they’re all big-time over-achievers. They’ve each made huge strides in their careers and in our community. So how’d we pick them? Their coworkers, bosses, friends and families nominated them on 417mag.com, and the 417 Magazine staff narrowed the nominations down to the top 20, based on their professional achievements and community involvement. Almost 150 nominations came our way, which made picking the 20 best quite an undertaking.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

 

 

Noah Alldredge, 27

Owner, Big Time Results, LLC

Not many people can say they opened a business just one year after graduating from college. But Noah Alldredge can. Noah opened BigTime Results, LLC in June 2007.

“I handle the nutritional component for clients,” says Alldredge, who’s a registered dietician. But this weight-training business isn’t the only thing Alldredge has going on. “I’m also in the ground works of starting my own non-profit,” Alldredge says. It’s called Springfield Food For Life, and its goal is to provide AIDS, cancer and hospice patients the option to choose their own food and have an option of how it’s prepared.—S.W.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Getting to know Noah Alldredge

How do you get your news?
“Yahoo[.com]”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Espn.com”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“A professional football player for the Redskins”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“A whole lot smarter with a lot more wisdom. I’m actually looking at expanding Big Time Results to other parts of the country. I’d like it to be a more established business, and have a bigger impact in the world in nutrition and fitness. Also, I’d like to see success with Springfield Food For Life. I just want to have more of a position impact in people’s lives.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“I don’t feel like a personal trainer/dietician anymore. I feel like a business owner. I wish I could go back to being a personal trainer… “

How do you define success?
“I would just say something that really changes people’s lives and has a positive impact. Being selfless and doing what’s best for others.”

Why do you like what you do?
“I’m a people person. I like to interact with people. What’s really exciting is seeing [my work] make a difference in people’s lives. It affects them, and then they get to affect someone else.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is _______
“When everybody is happy.”

Three words that describe your job are:
“Fun, rewarding, challenging”

What’s your dream job?
“The same thing I’m doing now, but more established. Not constantly stressing about being a small business.”

What is the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“I remember calling a co-workers sister and acting like I got her information from her husband for Weight Watchers and asking if she wanted to come in and lose poundage. She called her husband and cussed him out.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Patience and perseverance. You want to have a Fortune 500 company yesterday, but you have to be realistic and go through the growing pains as a small business owner. And learning things the hard way sometimes.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Tahiti."

 

Brent Davis, 28

Structural engineer, Toth & Associates, Inc.

Brent Davis has played an integral role in starting Toth and Associates’ structural engineering practice. His main tasks: Coordinating the construction of a number of 417-land schools and other public buildings. “I oversee the entire structural design of the project … resisting earthquake forces, wind loads, and day-to-day loads on the structure,” he says. Brent’s favorite project to date: A two-story addition to the historic Boone County courthouse in Columbia. It required a lot of retrofitting and new-code enforcement.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Getting to know Brent Davis

How do you get your news?
“On my iPhone and on the News-Leader’s website.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“ESPN.com.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“Probably a doctor.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“Here in Springfield, hopefully with a few kids and just enjoying life.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“If I had the talent I wanted to be a pro basketball player.”

How do you define success?
“Through your family. I think success is having a loving and caring family and being happy.”

Why do you like what you do?
“ I like being able to sit down and figure out how a building will go together; draw it on paper and see it built.”’

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“A day on the golf course.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
"Detailed, math, complicated codebooks."

What’s your dream job?
“Something involving working with a pro sports team; marketing or something.”

What is the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“Don’t know that I’ve ever been involved in a good one.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Defending my thesis in grad school was my toughtest; that or passing my PE [Professional Engineering exam].”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Sitting on the beach, not doing anything important.”

 

Jeanna Callahan, 25

Founder/president, Killuminati Foundation; Recruiting manager, Wyndham Resorts Branson

Callahan started Killuminati as a vet-bill-aid non-profit, but it has evolved into a rescue organization over the last year. Its major fundraiser is Project Puppy. Coming up: Speed-dating with your dog. Events like these are part of Callahan’s marketing plan, which focuses on differentiation in a competitive non-profit landscape. For her day job, she is chief recruiter for Wyndham Branson, which she calls a “diamond in the rough” of the Branson market, employing up to 150 sales staff at a time and generating $150 million in revenue last year.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Jeanna Callahan

How do you get your news?
“I listen to the radio in the mornings, and watch SportsCenter getting ready, and then get the News-Leader, read 417mag.com, and read my weekly SBJ.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“thekilluminatifoundation.org”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“I wanted to be the first woman president until I was about 16. I was campaigning as a toddler.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“Hopefully healthy and happy, and continuing the foundation.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would ou choose?
“Probably community relations, something with the NFL. Or, I’d do my foundation and not have money be an issue.”

How do you define success?
“I think it’s daily. It’s setting goals and achieving them, but you know; it’s a daily affirmation that you really have to adjust to new challenges and continue the pursuit. That mental toughness of getting back up once you fall down.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“Changing and saving lives.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
Rewarding, challenging, ever-changing

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“We actually hired a guy that looked identical to one of our directors, and had him come in and walk around and talk. It was pretty funny because if you’ve seen our director he’s one of a kind. He hikes his pants up and wears boots and gold. It was hysterical. It took him all day to figure out it was a joke.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“I think just being persistent.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Touring Italy, seeing some of the places that my family is from, experience the culture from a local standpoint as opposed to a tourist standpoint.”

 

Emily Church, 28

Owner/founder, Everything Kitchens LLC

Emily Church is a self-made woman. At age 19, with no money for college, she made a decision. “I told myself, I can’t work for what someone else thinks I’m worth. I have to prove what I’m worth.” So she did. Church started everythingkitchens.com. At the age of 20, with Church four months pregnant, the site went live. By the time her daughter was born, Church had replaced her monthly income and then some. Today, everythingkitchens.com has more than $8 million in annual sales, operates out of an 8,000-square-foot Springfield warehouse and sells name-brand products, including KitchenAid and Cuisinart, for bargain prices.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Emily Church

How do you get your news?
“I’m a single mom with 14 employees, so the most amount of news I ever get is through search engine articles.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“My website, everythingkitchens.com.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“A wife and mom.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I see myself happily married with one more child, and able to leave my company when school lets out.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“I’d either like to work for World Vision or be an attorney.”

How do you define success?
“By the relationships around me and the quality of them. How they view me as a person.”

Why do you like what you do?
“Because I like challenge and I like strategy. I have a whole boatload of that with what I do.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“Today I would like a stress-free day. I don’t know; probably a day where I feel like I’ve overcome some sort of management obstacle.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
Never the same, challenging, mentally rewarding

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“I had some employees send me flowers. They kept sending them to me from a ‘secret admirer’.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Any time I ever have to make a decision to fire someone. I hate doing that. I’m not a naturally mean person.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“One thing I’ve really watned to do was go visit some of my World Vision-sponsored children in Africa. But I don’t because it costs like $3,000 to go, and with [all that our dollars can do there], it feels like a waste of money.”

 

Kami Gollhofer, 28

Program manager, assistant director, Victory Trade School

Perhaps now more than ever, the work of people like Kami Gollhofer is making 417-land a more vital place to live. Victory Mission’s Victory Trade School helps indigent people develop skills in the hotel management and culinary arts fields. Kami’s focus the last three years has been to gain accreditation for Victory Trade School, which will ensure that credits earned there will be transferable to OTC, Missouri State and other two- and four-year institutions. Kami says she’s long taken a pragmatic approach to poverty-stricken people. “What can we do as a society to help people learn how to make different choices to better their circumstances?” she asks.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Kami Gollhofer

How do you get your news?
“On the way to work I listen to NPR, so I get a lot of world news.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“MSN.com. Facebook; I check that pretty often.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“I wanted to be an oceanographer. Now I’m terrified of the ocean.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I hope to have a family. We just bought and older home in Ash Grove. It’s definitely a project. I got some land, two acres and a pool … So really, my dream would be to still have my day job doing this, but also live off the land. Garden and teach my children basic values that I think aren’t taught to children growing up [right now].”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would ou choose?
“Just that: Live off the land. Can stuff and sell it, go to crafts and local markets.”

How do you define success?
“I think a successful person is always redefining what the word means. How can I help make this person/program/etc. better? Someone who continually seeks education and has and open mind about different attitudes, but has core beliefs they stick to.

Why do you like what you do?
“I like that I can take ownership of my job, use creativity. I like creating things and developing them and perfecting them, and then handing them off to another person.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“Being able to actually be in my office and check e-mail. I’m very organized, so I have a stack of things; I love to be able to get through that stack every day and leave knowing I have everything done.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
"Educational, fast-paced, Christ-centered."

What’s your dream job?
“I think I’m living it out. In all honesty. I love what I do and I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s wehre my strengths are.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Actually prove myself because of my age. People in general look at me for my age and not what I could provide. I think age is really just a number; I had to fight a lot of stereotypes from co-workers and supervisors.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“On a beach. Something all-inclusive, where you can eat as much as you want. Any selection of food, and just peace and serenity.”

 

Elizabeth Guillebeau, 27

Founder, EasyRiders drill team; Engineer, Springfield ReManufacturing Corp.

Elizabeth Guillebeau started riding horses at age 4, a passion she turned into a job at 17, when she began riding in the Dixie Stampede show in Branson. The following year, Elizabeth founded the EasyRiders drill riding team. Now an independent 501(c)3 youth development agency, EasyRiders has 20 members, age 8–18, from around 417-land. EasyRiders travels the country competing at shows and at rodeos. The group is three-time national champions in just four attempts. Professionally, Guillebeau is a five-year member of SRC’s signature work-rotation program. She’s done everything from sales to engineering to purchasing and back again.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Elizabeth Guillebeau

How do you get your news?
“I don’t watch TV, and don’t have Internet at home, so I get my news on my iPhone or via the Wall Street Journal at work, if I can snag it before someone else does.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Usually the Google news site.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“I told my riding instructor when I was four that I wanted to be a horse trainer. She looked at me and said ‘No you don’t’.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I want to have a bucket list that’s close to being done, then maybe I can focus on something long-term. There are a lot of things I want to do before I’m too old to physically do them.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would ou choose?
“Run the farm. That’s about it.”

How do you define success?
“The definition is up to the individual. You can’t compare one’s success to another’s … the definition of whether you achieved [your goals] is whether or not you did everything in yoru power to achieve them. You’ve got to be very honest with yourself.”

Why do you like what you do?
“Freedom. For me you can get on a horse and get out. If you’ve been good to your horse they’ll be good to you and carry you as far as they can.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“Wake up in the morning when I want, without an alarm clock. Fix breakfast with a loved one, and then ride a couple of good horses, not crazy ones. End with a dinner with friends and loved ones. What I do in between isn’t as important.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
Diverse, ever-changing, challenging

What’s the craziest practical joke you’ve ever taken part in as part of your job?
“We did have this one guy who was scared of snakes, and we put a real one on his four-wheeler one time. He didn’t even see it until he got on the four-wheeler. Then he came alive. Sometimes we decorate horses. One day a girl [in our group] woke up and her horse was pink; the stall was pink with pink balloons.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Put off doing the things I really love.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Location doesn’t matter as long as it’s warm.”

 

Elijah Haahr, 27

Attorney, McAnaney, Van Cleave and Phillips, PA

Professionally, Elijah Haahr is a civil-litigation attorney, working with small business owners to mitigate damages and keep settlement impacts on his clients to a minimum. His best skill: An ability to cooperate with other attorneys and judges while still aggressively defending clients. If you’re very hard-nosed on every case, you’ll never reach settlements,” he says. Haahr is also a member of the Greene County Environmental Advisory Board, which makes recommendations to government for eco-friendly practices, including the recent call to ban coal-tar sealants.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Elijah Haahr

How do you get your news?
“Primarily online.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“I’m kind of a political junkie. I check the Drudge Report and Politico; those are the two a check first thing in the morning.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“I wanted to be the third baseman for the New York Yankees. I’d do it for a tenth of what they pay A-Rod.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“That’s a long ways away, so it’s hard to say. If I could pick, I’d be at the point in my professional career to take time to do more public service and volunteer. As a young attorney, part of what you want to do is become better at your field, so there’s only a small amount of time to take a more active or leadership role [in the community].”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“Probably government, run for political office.”

How do you define success?
“There’s a Bible verse. It’s in Matthew, and it’s the parable of the master giving his servant something to do, and when he does it well he says ‘you’ve been faith ful in a few things, so I’ll put you in charge of many’. God, family clients; [success would be] if they can see me and think I’ve done well in small things and can put their faith in me in bigger things.”

Why do you like what you do?
“Because of the challenge. It’s a daily challenge and a daily unique challenge. No case, issue or day is the same.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“Successfully resolving a case; winning or reaching a settlement your client is happy with. The best thing to do is to take news to a client that you’ve had a successful result.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
Challenging, unique, rewarding.

What’s your dream job?
“Down the road, something in public service.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Taking the Bar exam. Man, it’s brutal.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“I’ve never been on a cruise, so I guess if I could pick somewhere it would be on a cruise. Maybe Europe. The best vacation I ever went on was a road trip with my brother and two friends from college, from Springfield to the east coast of Maine, touring famous horror movie sites [Amityville, New York; Helltown, Ohio].}”

 

Barron Hilton, 26

President/owner, Global Net Designs

When Barron Hilton was in eighth grade, an instant message from a friend urging him to check out his website set him on his career path. By the end of summer, Barron had learned to program his own sites. By the time he graduated high school, he was pulling down an adult’s full-time salary designing sites. Eight years later, his Global Net Designs is planning a move to a 6,000-square-foot facility in south Springfield, and designing for clients like Morelock-Ross Builders, Liberty Bank and more. With an eye toward Web 2.0, including smartphone apps and web-based software, Hilton and Global Net Designs are local leaders in this always-developing industry.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Barron Hilton

How do you get your news?
“Throughout the day from CNN headlines, and then from the world news at 5 p.m. Katie Couric delivers my news.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Honestly, I visit a lot of clients’ websites and talk with them about what’s going on.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“I probably didn’t have anything at 5. I think probably my first dream was to be an Olympic runner. Running and biking are a big part of my life.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“In 10 years time, I see us in probably 10-15 new markets, with a regional and possibly national presence. 10 years is a long time.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would it be?
“… A philanthropist. I’d go to Africa and start some non-profits to help people. A lot of people love to say that, but I have some concepts for businesses that can help those people out. I’d like to get involved in the Bill Gates Foundation and travel the world.”

How do you define success?
“Success in business, success in friendships and success in personal life, and spirituality as well … I would [decide] where I’m at and where I want to be on those things, and use that as my too for measuring success.”

Why do you like what you do?
“I love working with people and helping them solve problems. It is fulfilling for me to go to work every day and help anther company or person solve a problem, or start something new.”

A perfect day at work is… ?
“Sunshine and 75 degrees.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
"Fun, innovative, fast."

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“I’m in the same building as two brothers, and we’re usually joking around. But as far as a specific prank goes, I can’t remember.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“To be able to look at where we’re at and decide if that is in line with where we want to go … being able to look at myself and face the hard truth when times are good or bad and make adjustments as we need.”

What is your ideal vacation?
“I would say it would be going on a cruise to Europe, to see Spain and France and Italy. I haven’t done that, but I would like to.

 

Dr. Tom Hoff, DDS, 29

Dentist, Dental Care of Nixa

Since graduating in 2008 from the University of Missouri–Kansas City’s dental school, Tom Hoff (who did his undergrad at Drury University, where he played soccer) has been building a solid dental practice in Nixa. He’s big on promoting the fact that dentistry isn’t the factory of horrors a lot of people think it is and, with preventative care and advanced technologies is hoping to change perceptions. Flat-screens in every exam room don’t hurt, either, he says. Hoff works on the Ronald McDonald House’s Tooth Truck usually one day a week, and he helps coach soccer at Springfield Catholic High School.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Tom Hoff

How do you get your news?
“USA Today and the News-Leader. I get dental news from Dental Economics.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Sgfsoccer.com”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“I wanted to play soccer for Juventus.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“Still here in Nixa.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“Golf.”

How do you define success?
“Being happy and doing what you want to do.”

Why do you like what you do?
“I get to meet a lot of people and I get to talk to a lot of different people every day. My days go by really quickly.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“A busy day at work. Busy days go by real quick. Not too much stresses me out, as long as it’s been a full day it’s a perfect one.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
Laid-back, rewarding, fun

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“The girls in my office moved my car. I let it sit out and warm up in the winter, and they moved it to a place I couldn’t see and I thought it was stolen for 15 minutes.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Part I Dental Boards, my second year of dental school.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Sitting somewhere on a beach in the Caribbean for a week.”

 

Staci Holland, 27

Program director, Ronald McDonald House

Staci Holland has been involved with Springfield’s Ronald McDonald House since she was a sophomore in college, and today she coordinates volunteer activities for the House. Staci’s other major task these days is helping coordinate the opening of Springfield’s second Ronald McDonald House, inside St. John’s, which is slated to open by the end of 2011, but is already performing some tasks—including providing food and snacks for NICU and PICU patients and their families. Staci is also a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters. She’s been with her little sister for four years.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Staci Holland

How do you get your news?
“Facebook. I don’t pick up the paper like I should. I click on CNN when I can and try to watch the news if possible.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Cnn.com and Facebook.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“I wanted to be a neonatologist, a doctor, from the time I could talk.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I see myself here with RMH, though in what capacity is a good question. I know I’m doing a good thing and making a positive difference in one’s life. It’s rare that someone can say ‘I’m looking forward to going to work today’.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“Definitely in the medical field. Maybe not so much a doctor, but definitely a pediatric nurse of some sort.”

How do you define success?
“Success is when you’re completely happy with what you’ve done; you have no regrets and wake up every morning and feel good about what you’re doing.”

Why do you like what you do?
“A lot of it is the way I feel at the end of the day. There’s nothing like getting ready to leave work and having a family come up and hug you and say ‘thank you for being there’.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“When I actually feel like I’m caught up. It’s not a feeling I get very often.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
Fulfilling, humbling, perfect

What’s your dream job?
“I think I’m in it. It’s not just a job or a career, but a life choice.”

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“This was really bad… but someone MIGHT have run a red light in an RMH van and I made another employee think it was them. I confessed… but the look on her face…”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“It’s hard sometimes to watch families go home and wonder how they’re going to be. Learning to let go.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Definitely somewhere tropical with family and friends. Not anything other than taking in the moment.”

 

Nichole Lemmon, 29

Central Intelligence Adviser and communication arts teacher, Central High School

As the advisor of Central Intelligence, a student-directed, student-focused news program, Nichole Lemmon has led a team of Central High School media students to win national awards every year since 2003, in staff and individual categories, from the National Scholastic Press Association and Student Television Network. The streak of awards has culminated in first-place finishes for NSPA’s Best of Show in both 2008 and 2009, as well as a Pacemaker award in '09, which is only given to 10 schools nationally. “Winning Best of Show two years in a row would be our biggest accomplishment,” Lemmon says. “No school had ever done that before.” Lemmon is also the the Springfield Public High School Communication Arts Curriculum Development Committee chairperson.—S.W.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Nichole Lemmon

How do you get your news?
“Online. I’m on cnn.com all the time, and on Twitter. Twitter is also news, right? It’s the reliable source of all things that I need to know.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Besides 417mag.com? Facebook, and [Central Intelligence’s] website. I’m always making sure people haven’t made comments I need to take down.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“Mickey Mouse. And that’s the truth. My mom used to tell me I couldn’t be Mickey because he was a boy. That was really disappointing.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“The kids say they want me to be here. In a wheelchair. I think I’ll still be in education. I’m not sure if I’ll be in curriculum or this program, but I think I will always be doing something with schools. I really like it.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“I either want to own a bakery, or I want to be a real estate agent. I love buying houses, but [my husband] gets mad when we have to move too much. I think it’d be good to help others buy a house.”

How do you define success?
“I think that’s why I like this job. I like to see success through other people’s eyes. I think you’re successful when you help make others successful. Like I know I’m doing a good job when I see students winning awards, building their resumes and getting into good schools. That’s how I know I’m doing a good job.”

Why do you like what you do?
“I like it because it’s different everyday. I never know what’s going to happen when I walk in the door. You may think your day will go one way, but it will end up being completely different. And I like that. I wouldn’t want to be in a job where you have it all figured out.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is _______
“When my students make me laugh a lot."

Three words that describe your job are:
“Busy, stressful and wonky (I always say things are a little bit wonky around here).”

What’s your dream job?
“I feel like sometimes I kind of have it, in a way. I’m working with successful kids and running my own program. The only thing that could make it better if I had my Media 2 students all day long.”

What is the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“No pranks, really. But once I sent out an e-mail that I intended to send to the Central Intelligence staff, but instead I sent it to the Central High School staff. We called our principal The Snod (a nickname formed from his last name), but he didn’t know. I referred to The Snod in the e-mail. All my fellow teachers were teasing me. Now I’m really careful when I send emails.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“I think it’s really hard when you lose a student. We had a student pass away, and it’s really hard to help students understand death. You have to be the adult when you want to cry with them… Teachers deal with it all the time. It’s just hard.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Ahh. Puerto Rico. I went with (my husband) last summer. It’s just great. I think about it all the time.”

 

Nicole Lierheimer, 28

Senior PR manager, Noble

Being one of Noble’s top PR minds makes for a diverse and (frequently) on-the-road career. For instance, in February Lierheimer spent a week in Miami, planning a client’s sponsorship of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. In May, for the fifth year in a row, Nicole will conceptualize, coordinate and execute a major event for Oregon-based client Truitt Bros. called “Oregon in Chicago.” For The Food Channel, Lierheimer primarily promotes the iRaves and Raves and Faves sections of foodchannel.com. iRaves is a listing of restaurants across the country. Raves and Faves incorporates a social networking angle where foodies can “follow” their favorite restaurants. When she’s home, Nicole is a member of Rotaract and has taken on a sizeable local client: The Springfield-Branson National Airport.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Nicole Lierheimer

How do you get your news?
“Twitter. I follow sources and people. You learn quickly who’s interesting and who isn’t. There are so many sources, and Twitter vets it for me.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Cnn.com at least once a day, people.com for personal stuff.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“It changed every day. When I was five it was probably the standard doctor or lawyer. Though there was a time period when I wanted to be famous… I didn’t care how. And I wanted to be a brain surgeon.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I try to be open to wherever life takes me, but a couple of different ways I see it shaking out: If Food Channel continues to grow I’d like to be a PR/event person strictly for Food Channel … I can also seem myself picking up and moving to a city and doing straight for-restaurant PR.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“If I could just be paid to travel and write or blog my travels, and all the cool food and people I got to meet…”

How do you define success?
“Being happy in terms of a career: a career that keeps me challenged and motivated and keeps widening the breadth of my life and work experience.”

Why do you like what you do?
“Both at Noble and in Springfield I work with some of the smartest, most intelligent people I’ve ever met. I travel and me more interesting people. It’s fun, but it’s hard work. There’s something new every day.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“Traveling with co-workers, meeting new people, eating somewhere crazy-cool, and maybe throwing a ridiculously successful event.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
"Diverse, challenging, fun."

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“The biggest thing I give up is time. It’s an intense work environment, and there’s a lot going on and that’s what I love about this place. But it’s time-intensive.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Apparently my goal is to go to Peru in the next couple of years … I want to go when I’m young enough to hike Macchu Picchu.”

 

Josey McPhail

Community Relations and marketing specialist, Springfield Public Schools

Josey McPhail’s position with SPS’s district office is a powerhouse of PR and community activity. Already a PR and outreach vet, McPhail oversees the Partnership in Education program. McPhail’s other task is community outreach for the district, which includes kick-starting the Support SPS Run and Community Fair in June. She’s also overseeing the nomination, selection and promotion of the first-ever class of the Springfield Public Schools Hall of Fame. Josey is a member of Rotaract’s Casino Night fundraiser committee, as well as a member of the Global Perspectives subcommittee for the city of Springfield’s 2030 visioning process.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Josey McPhail

How do you get your news?
“I hit Yahoo! every morning and get a global perspective, but Twitter… I hate to admit this… is great. You can click through on the things you’re actually interested in.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Springfieldpublicschools.org. And I’m definitely a Facebook fan.

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“I wanted to be a country western singer. Well, you know, I don’t sing as much as I used to. I do a lot of talking.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I see myself still in public schools administration, in the communication end of things. I’d like to have my doctorate and overall balance in life between family and career.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“I always thought it would be fun to be an entertainment reporter, like Ryan Seacrest.”

How do you define success?
“I think it’s a good balance in your life.”

Why do you like what you do?
“Because I have a marketing background and my parents were both educators, it’s a good mix to meet my passion of helping kids and being an advocate, while also matching up with my skill set. It’s really cool to make a difference for students and teachers.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“A day I am able to have a mixture of getting out into schools and … meeting with business leaders, and they’re willing to hand over some money.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
Change-agent, rewarding, eclectic

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“It’s not easy to call up businesses and ask for money. That’s definitely the hardest. I’ve been able to overcome that because what I’m advocating is a very good cause.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Anywhere there’s a beach. I think it would be great to go to a real secluded island, where the beaches are white and the ocean is really clear and there’s nobody around, and not having to share the beach; just me and my husband and nothing on the agenda.”

 

McLean Middleton, 29

Owner, Middleton Homes

We don’t need to point out just how rough a time this has been for builders. Housing starts have flat lined, sales have plummeted. But McLean Middleton is one of a select group who, due to an emphasis on custom building and a trusted family name, has managed to weather the storm and seems poised to emerge energized from the recession. Not that it’s been an easy time. Middleton’s father, Ron, passed away recently, leaving McLean to run the 40-year business. Specializing in custom homes between $500,000 and $1 million, McLean puts an emphasis on reclaimed and recycled materials. “People will come to me and say ‘I want a brand-new home, but I want you to make it look 100 years old.’”—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know McLean

How do you get your news?
“I’m a big fanatic. My favorite is the world news. I get my 5:30 to 6, if the kids will allow it. No newspaper; I do get on the Internet, but very little.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“msn.com”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“A scientist. No particular kind. Just a scientist.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I hope I see myself doing exactly what I’m doing now, and that I follow in my father’s footsteps and slowly create a business that my kids—if they want to—would love to step into my shoes.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would ou choose?
“A golf instructor or pro, but not on tour.”

How do you define success?
“There are many ways. Everyone thinks finances … Success comes from true happiness—emotionally, family, kids that just put a twinkle in your eye. I might now have anything, but I’ve got my family to come home to; I’m truly blessed.”

Why do you like what you do?
“I like it because it’s a challenge. Every house is a challenge, and I learn it’s not a job that I come to and do the same thing over and over again. I learn something new every day.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“I get about a half dozen phone calls. And they’re excited and wanting me to build a house for them and start right away.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
"Stressful, delegate, all-responsible."

What’s your dream job?
“I’m living it.”

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever been a part of?
“We had a big picture frame window backordered, and we thought we had the framing just right. When they put it in I wasn’t there and my framer called me and said ‘McLean, the window’s too big.’ That creates a big hassle. But then he said ‘Naw’.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“It’s the life of a builder; when you get into a position that you have some spec homes and you have to move. When you think the house you’re living in will sell faster [than the spec home]. We’ve had to do that three times in the last 11 months. But by the grace of god, we’ve gotten rid of all my houses. That was draining for me, but we’ve been fortunate to find a good house that we are super excited to be in.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“I’d like to take almost a month and do a cross-country trip and hit the mountains and ski and go across Utah and see the Redwoods and come down the California coast. I’m not a big fan of staying in one spot.”

 

Jesse Nivens, 28

Web director, Schilling/Sellmeyer & Associates; freelance graphic designer

Jesse Nivens more or less stumbled into a designing gig for Grammy-nominated band Shiny Toy Guns after co-planning a concert at which they appeared in 2006. A week later he saw on MySpace that they were soliciting album designs. Nivens sent samples. Five years later he’s done the artwork for several STG albums and remixes, and a multitude of posters and T-shirts. With Schilling/Sellmeyer, a 417-land ad agency, Nivens works with clients to create clean, logical websites. The key to a good corporate site, he says, is strong content. “It needs to be well-written and integrate good marketing into the content and copy. Give the reader a reason to stay.”—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Jesse Nivens

How do you get your news?
“I sporadically watch the evening news, but mostly through the Internet, RSS feeds and stuff.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“wired.com”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“I think I wanted to be an airline pilot.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“Looking at my own interactive art exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“I think I probably would have been a painter.”

How do you define success?
“Probably just having general happiness. If you’re broke and penniless you’ll probably be unhappy, but if you’re super-rich and can’t trust anyone, you’ll probably be unhappy, too. So somewhere in-between.”

Why do you like what you do?
“It’s constantly changing, and I’m constantly having to learn. That process of teaching yourself and of discovery is absolutely addictive.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“More design, less maintenance.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
Dynamic, stressful, rewarding

What’s your dream job?
“Being a completely independent fine artist with a lifestyle completely supported by selling fine art.”

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“When I got my new intern on his first day, I told him beforehand that we had a Mac Powerbook for him. When he got here I told him there were some problems, and I had set up this Apple Mac Classic II from 1992, the kind where you had to slip in a floppy, and I had him go through the whole process, and I was laughing too much to keep the joke going.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Probably stay up all night to meet a deadline, or having to fix problems while in Hawaii or on any other vacation.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“I want to go to Rome and engorge myself on Renaissance painting and Roman era sculpture and architecture.”

 

Jessica Pearson, 28

Marketing and planning director, Jack Ball Architects, PC

Jessica Pearson helps drum up new business for Jack Ball Architects. But she also works to help communities pass tax and bond measures that keep her company’s architects in work, in the form of community and school-design projects in 417-land and beyond. Jessica is responsible for helping create community support for ballot initiatives. Her success rate: darn near 100 percent (only one measure she’s worked for in the last five years has failed). Jessica is also an active instructor in Parkview High School’s Junior Achievement program, a charter member of H.O.P.E. Sertoma, and a five-time team captain for the MS 150, a fund-raising bike ride.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Jessica Pearson

How do you get your news?
“From the News-Leader every morning and the SBJ’s daily updates.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Facebook. I created a company page, so that’s my excuse.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“An archaeologist.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“It doesn’t really matter as long as I have my health and my family.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“Something outdoors. Maybe move to the islands and be a resort critic.”

How do you define success?
“A good balance.”

Why do you like what you do?
“I love being a part of bringing these school districts into the 21st century, and knowing that my work will directly impact hundreds of kids and their educations. It’s rewarding, especially when a bond issue passes. The company gets the benefit of the work and the students and teachers benefit from the facilities.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“Finding out we were hired for a new project. It makes my day, week, month.”

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“When I left for my honeymoon, I returned to my office and EVERYTHING had been covered in Post-It notes. There are lots of pranks in my office; letters being moved around on keyboards.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“The hardest thing for me is night travel. At one point we were working on three different campaigns and I was on the road three nights a week not getting home until 11:30 or 12. It was rewarding, but it was difficult and trying.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Interlochen, Switzerland, in summer. Love to be camping, sightseeing, hiking…”

 

Dr. Molly Ramsey-Durham, 27

Associate veterinarian, Galloway Village Veterinary

Molly’s path to being a veterinarian started when she was five years old. Her first job, at 14, was cleaning kennels. She went to the University of Missouri in the year 2000; six years and a doctorate later, she took a job doing emergency medicine at a Springfield emergency vet clinic. That experience has made her the go-to emergency surgery vet for her current employer, Galloway Village Veterinary. She’ll take on pretty much anything but orthopedics. Ramsey also works with the Killuminati Foundation (run by a fellow 20 Under 30), doing at-cost work for rescue dogs. She also mentors young vets-to-be on a regular basis.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Molly Ramsey-Durham

How do you get your news?
“I get it online.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“VIN.com message boards” (Veterinary Information networks)

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“Really, it’s never changed, not as long as I can remember.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“Still with Galloway. It’s a fantastic practice with great new equipment, and I hope I will be here treating pets.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“A pharmacist. I like drugs. I find them so interesting.”

How do you define success?
“I think success is something you deal with every day; making sure patients are healthy and happy and their owners are informed about what’s going on. Little things rather than big ones.”

Why do you like what you do?
“I play with puppies and kitties. Who wouldn’t love my job? When people get a new puppy and they’re just excited, and the whole family comes and want to hear how to raise it. Those are by far my favorite times.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“When the patients do well. A healthy day for all pets I see.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
Challenging, fun, rewarding

What’s your dream job?
“Way down the road to be a partner or own a practice; right now I’m doing good just to be a vet.”

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“The staff loves to hide in boxes and jump out and scream at me. They take great pride in making me scream.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“It’s hard dealing with end-of-life with pets; you just want to save them and you can’t. That’s the hardest part of it.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“I just got married in Mexico. How much more perfect can you get?”

 

Terrie Reno, 29

Owner, PaperWorld/Complete Music/Complete Video

Terrie Reno always knew she wanted to be in the special events business. Originally she thought she’d be a party planner, but a gig with the KC Airport quickly taught her there wasn’t a lot of money to be made there. So, with an eye on the wedding industry, she took a job with KC-based Complete Music as a DJ. Fast forward five years. Terrie is one of 417-land’s wedding kingpins, owning not only the regional franchise of Complete Music, but also a sister videography company (Complete Video) and PaperWorld, an all-events stationery and invitations store on South Glenstone. She’s also the outgoing president of Special Events Marketing, which puts together two huge annual All About Weddings bridal shows.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Terrie Reno

How do you get your news?
"The Internet. Cnn.com [but don't tell my husband]."

What’s one website you check daily?
"Facebook, completemusicmo.com and paperworldstore.com."

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
"A teacher. I loved my teacher in Kindergarten. My first college major was education, but I realized I don't have the patience."

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
"Hopefully slowing dow. I have a baby due in June. I'd like to be more of a mother and maybe spending more time with my family. I'll still be a business owner, but more on ownership side and not day to day."

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
"I love working for myself, but sometimes I’d love to be a 9 to 5-er, go home and leave work at work. Probably event planning; the reason never went into it is there's not much money in it, but I love it."

How do you define success?
"Happiness. As long as you’re happy and you enjoy what you’re doing."

Why do you like what you do?
"Because I get to be my own boss, and I love being a part of people’s special days. A lot of what we do is weddings, a lot of joyous occasions."

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is _______
"Five deposits for Complete Music and Video."

Three words that describe your job are:
"Ever-changing, exciting, quick-paced."

What is the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
"In college I called into work sick (Applebee’s) and then showed up five minutes late."

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
"Make sacrifices... personal time."

Where’s your ideal vacation?
"On a beach with my husband and with no agenda."

 

 Nathan Shelton, 28

Special effects designer/actor/director/producer

Nathan Shelton has long been a special effects maestro of Springfield theater, and now he’s got some national credit to go along with it. He served as special effects designer for Winter’s Bone, which recently won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. He constructed gory effects for the film, including a set of severed hands and a rotting corpse. “It has made my IMDb page a lot more interesting,” he says. Shelton is also a screenwriter; a horror-comedy he wrote has been named a finalist at both the London International Film Festival and the HP Lovecraft Film Festival.—M.L.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Nathan Shelton

How do you get your news?
“NPR. My favorite show is Prairie Home Companion. It’s just the kind of old-style radio show that I find great.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“Facebook.”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“A stuntman. I started watching Thriller when I was a kid, the behind-the-scenes, and it made me want to be a spec guy and a stuntman.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“Working professionally in the industry, not having to work any side jobs anymore, doing what I love doing. I plan on directing, writing and acting for a living, very possibly within the next five years.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would ou choose?
“Police detective. I find that fascinating.”

How do you define success?
“Being personally happy with where you are, and getting to do the kind of work that you love doing with people that you love.”

Why do you like what you do?
“Because what I do isn’t just a job, more of a life. And it’s the best part of being an artist; you get to live what you work and work what you live. The difference between the two is very small.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is… ?
“Going home satisfied and exhausted.”

Three words that describe your job are… ?
"Difficult, fast-paced, fun."

What’s your dream job?
“Professional film actor.”

What’s the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“One time I faked a heart attack at work when I was the Opinion Center taking surveys. In the office we’d get so bored, me and this guy would get in arguments. One day I faked a heart attack and he freaked out and tried to call 911. He was [mad].”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Having to spend so much time away from my kids and family, but very often I have to leave them, and I hear my daughter saying ‘Well daddy hass to go to work.’ I work day and night, and don’t get to see my family a lot.”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Europe, around the United Kingdom.”

 

Carrie Winston, 24

Staff accountant, tax department, BKD LLP

Carrie Winston was originally a biology major at Drury University. “One day I was sitting and looking at cross-sections of leaves when I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Winston says. Winston changed her major to accounting and graduated from Drury University with an MBA in 2008. Then she started at BKD LLP. She’s also involved with the American Society of Women Accountants, where she will be treasurer next year. Within that organization, she started a financial literacy committee that works with Springfield organizations to teach basic business principles. Winston is a member of Springfield’s Junior League and Rotaract clubs and a volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters.—S.W.

Check out our behind-the-scenes video from the 20 Under 30 shoot!

Q&A: Get to know Carrie Winston

How do you get your news?
“The internet. My homepage is perezhilton.com, and I go to cnn.com a lot.”

What’s one website you check daily?
“News-eader.com”

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 5?
“An architect.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“Married with a family, and continuing on the successful career path in accounting.”

If you had to choose any other profession, what would you choose?
“Wedding planning.”

How do you define success?
“Feeling good about myself every night when I get home, and going to sleep knowing that I did something important that day.”

Why do you like what you do?
“It provides a good variety of work. It’s not monotonous. Everything you do is a little bit different.”

Fill in the blank. A perfect day at work is _______
“One that is not 12 hours long.”

Three words that describe your job are:
“Challenging, exciting and interesting.”

What’s your dream job?
“Wedding planner”

What is the biggest workplace prank you’ve ever taken part in?
“When I was out of the office one day, my coworkers hid all of my pink office supplies in a file cabinet. It took me an entire day to find it all.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career?
“Pass the CPA exam”

Where’s your ideal vacation?
“Vegas”

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