20 Under 30 Class of 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to meet the 2012 class of 20 Under 30.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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Weston Kissee originally planned to work in real estate with his father after graduating college. But after he toured the Edward Jones headquarters in St. Louis, he considered another option. “After hearing about how great of a company Edward Jones is, I decided to pursue my passion for the world of finance,” Kissee says. After graduating with a finance degree from Drury University in 2008, Kissee immediately started with Edward Jones. And he’s loved his job ever since. In 2010, Kissee had the opportunity to open his own branch office. “My passion comes from helping people,” Kissee says. He is also a member of Edward Jones regional leadership team and a collegiate recruiting leader for the company, the chapter president of Masterminds of Biz and the president of the Rotaract Club of Springfield.

417 Magazine: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
Weston Kissee: The freedom of running my own business with unlimited growth potential.

417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
W.K.: I started with Edward Jones right after college. I had planned to work in real estate with my father, but after hearing about how great of a company Edward Jones is, I decided to pursue my passion for the world of finance.

417: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
W.K.: My passion comes from helping people. Investments can seem complex and unreliable, but I focus on educating people about the finances and help them reach their financial goals.

417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
W.K.: I enjoy spending time with family and friends and traveling around the world. Caitlin and I are heading to Brazil in June and Iceland in July.

417: What charitable organizations are you involved in?
W.K.: Rotaract Club of Springfield, President; Redeemer Lutheran Church, Mission Work, Community Outreach, Usher; Supporter of the Ozark Empire Fair Foundation

417: What professional organizations are you involved in?
W.K.: Drury Alumni Council Member; Edward Jones Regional Leadership Team and Collegiate Recruiting Leader; Masterminds of Biz, Chapter President

417: How would you define the secret to success?
W.K.: I would define the secret to success as hard work, long hours and exceptional customer service.

417: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
W.K.: Having been born and raised in 417-land, the contacts I’ve made and long-term relationships I’ve built have allowed me to jumpstart and grow a successful business.

417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
W.K.: Study harder!

417: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
W.K.: A train conductor

417: List three traits that define a successful career:
W.K.: Respected by your peers; Sought after for advice; Ability to support and spend time with your family

417:  Why are you a 20 under 30?
W.K.: I’m a 20 under 30 because God has blessed me in more ways than I can count.

417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
W.K.: As a financial advisor, every day is different and I’m always excited to find new clients and create the right financial plan for them.

417: What completed project are you most proud of?
W.K.: I’m most excited that I was able to open my own branch office in January 2010.

Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:

My wife makes life worth living.

A day at work wouldn’t be complete without a cup of coffee. 

Ten years from now, I hope I’m living in my dream home with my wife and kids.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would start my own charitable foundation. 

The best part about being a 20 under 30 is being recognized for my achievements at an early age.


During her time at Truman State University, Kim Garwitz realized there was more to theatre than just performing, and she was good at the business side of it. After graduating, she took a year-long internship in theatre management at a professional theater company in Memphis, and in 2009, she saw an opening at Springfield Little Theatre. After spending almost three years working with at theater, Garwitz is leaving this month. She and her husband, Ben, are expecting their first baby in September, and she is going to stay home with the baby. “I’m also really excited that I’ll get to volunteer full-time with organizations I want to support,” Garwitz says. This includes volunteering at the Springfield Little Theatre, as well as with Junior League of Springfield, of which she is a member.

417 Magazine: What project are you most proud of?
Kim Garwitz: I would have to say the success of last season and our current season. In this hard economic time, we have experienced more season ticket holders, underwriters, and more sold-out shows than ever before!

417: How did you end up at your current job/profession? 
K.G.: In high school, I decided I wanted to major in theatre, so I went to college with my major declared and came out four years later with a degree. During my years at Truman, I realized that there was more to theatre than just performing, and that I was good at the “business” side of it. So, after graduating I took a year-long internship in Theatre Management at a professional theatre company in Memphis. When I moved back to Springfield in the summer of 2005, there weren’t any jobs in the arts open, so I stayed in the non-profit world and coordinated Relay For Life events for the American Cancer Society. I knew I always wanted to get back into working with the Arts, so I would occasionally look at job posting. One day in February 2009, I was looking at the AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) website, and saw the Director of Development position for SLT. It was seriously as if the heavens parted and angels sang.

417: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
K.G.: I love knowing that I am making a difference. It’s also something that I love (working full-time for the arts, and really, any non-profit). You have to.

417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
K.G.: I love to read, so I spend a lot of time with my nose in a book.  Last spring, I also started a sport for the first time ever! I took up tennis and LOVE it! I play with a group of women and it is so much fun.

417: What charitable organizations are you involved with? 
K.G.: I am a member of Junior League. Last year, I served as a member of the Kids Count Committee which volunteers at Isabel’s House. This year I am serving on the Education & Development committee, which coordinates trainings for League members. I am also a member of Rotaract and was one of the Social Chairs last year.

417: What professional organizations are you involved with?
K.G.: I am a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

417: How would you define the secret to success? 
K.G.: Being passionate about what you do and staying true to yourself along the way. You have to do what is ultimately best for you in the long-run.

417: What’s your favorite thing about your career? 
K.G.: I love being able to see the tangible results of what I do. Sold-out houses, busy phone lines at the box office, donor checks… It’s all great!

417: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land? 
K.G.: I love how giving this community is. It’s also amazing how interconnected everyone is.

417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? 
K.G.: To have more fun and not take high school quite so seriously.

417: What was your “dream job” at age 5? 
K.G.: I wanted to be an actress.

417: List three traits that define a successful career:
K.G.: Making a difference; doing something you enjoy; Leaving it better than when you started.

417: Why are you a 20 under 30? 
K.G.: I put my all into what I do, and I think people take notice of that.

417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about? 
K.G.: We open INTO THE WOODS featuring Kim Crosby on April 13. I am very excited about getting audiences in to the Landers to see one of the original Broadway cast members (and Springfield native) perform this musical with other local actors.

Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:

Family and friends make life worth living.

A day at work wouldn’t be complete without laughing—I work in probably one of the most fun offices in town.

Ten years from now, I hope I’m making a difference.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would donate some to SLT, of course.

The best part about being a 20 under 30 is still being in my 20s!

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