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.

(page 8 of 10)

Catie Neuber spent a lot of time soul searching while she attended Drury University. She debated several career choices, including doctor, lawyer, news anchor, FBI agent, speech therapist, audiologist, missionary and even a professional ninja. But she decided on none of the above. Neuber got a B.A. in Spanish from Drury University and then a master’s degree in teaching at Missouri State University. Today, she’s a Spanish teacher at Carthage High School and a photographer at the business she started, Catie Neuber Photography. Also, she and her friend Becca Brotherton recently founded The Hana Project, which empowers and equips a group of women in Asia to produce and market goods that will provide daily needs for their families. The project is currently supporting 12 families, but as demand for products increase, the number of families helped will also increase, Neuber says.  

417 Magazine: What completed project are you most proud of?
Catie Neuber: I am most proud of the philanthropy that my friend Becca and I have founded. Living in the United States, it’s really easy to forget what the quality of life is in other countries. To be able to help, even in the tiniest way, helps to remind me that the world isn’t all about me and my life.

417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
C.N.: I was hired by my then principals Ron Wallace and Jenny Bogle despite a first interview gone wrong. Their belief in me is what began my career in education, and I still teach today because of my students and the professionals I work with and for. My photography began when I bought a nice point and shoot camera in 2008 and began shooting everything! Friends began asking for sessions and wedding photography. Then Stacy Blackington, a client and friend who believed in my work, presented me a Nikon D90 body and gave me a talking to about following my heart and really utilizing my talent into a business. The Hana Project started while doing mission work in South Korea led by my church River Bluff Fellowship. Becca Brotherton and I heard about women in a specific country who make $5 a day. Often times they only eat one bowl of noodles a day. We had to help. Becca and I began working with some people there to figure out a way that we could help the women help themselves.

417: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
C.N.: My husband Patrick inspires me every day. He is the hardest working, most honest and sincere guy I know. He prides himself in his work and will drop everything to help a friend in need. He teaches me every day that if something is worth doing, do it right the first time. In teaching, my students are my passion. It’s amazing how smart kids are these days! They amaze me every day, and I strive to be my best for them.

417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
C.N.: This year, I’ve started a 365 project as a personal photography challenge. I have two knitting projects going, a quilting project and several paintings that have yet to be finished. I make jewelry, sing (even though my dog usually thinks I’m dying) and collect Chuck Norris jokes. And I’ve always got my rock climbing shoes ready to go.

417: What charitable organizations are you involved in?
C.N.: I love volunteering for the Developmental Center of the Ozarks. I believe their work is essential in our community, and they are so creative in how they raise support for their programs. Donating and volunteering has never been so fun. Another favorite place is the Potter’s House. I volunteered a lot in college, and that’s actually where I met my husband. It is crucial for college students to have a place to go and call “home,” and the Potter’s House provides exactly that place.

417: How would you define the secret to success?
C.N.: I believe everyone should stand by their convictions, pick their battles, and be grateful for the people who’ve helped shape who they are. There is no way I would be where I am today with the support of my church, my friends and my family.

417: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
C.N.: I love working with and meeting new people. The human element is what I love best about my careers. Through my photography and the Hana Project, I’ve met some of the most awesome people in Springfield. Teaching has given me hope for the future. Kids really are the best. Don’t let them fool you into thinking that they are not.

417: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
C.N.: I love the people and the sushi! No matter where I go in the world, the sushi never compares. Also, I couldn’t get through my morning commute without Kevin and Liz. I listen to their radio show every morning and I feel incomplete if I don’t. Shove your show!

417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
C.N.: I would tell myself to chill out and take as many different types of classes as possible. I was very indecisive about my major, and I spent a lot of time soul searching in college. Luckily, I had the best friends who supported me through my various (crazy) career choices: doctor, lawyer, news anchor, FBI agent, speech therapist, audiologist, missionary and professional ninja.

417: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
C.N.: I wanted to be the president of the United States, but I wasn’t born here, so then I wanted to be a doctor. I pass out pretty much every time I donate blood, so that career didn’t happen either.

417: List three traits that define a successful career:
C.N.: A conscience, a heart and a trusted friend to bounce ideas off of.

417: Why are you a 20 under 30?
C.N.: In every teachable moment I have with my students, or in every photo I take, I try to remember to put 115% of my heart and soul into it. Life is too short to wait for your big chance to be given to you. Keith, my father-in-law, always says “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.” I think this mantra is completely applicable to your work life as well.

417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
C.N.: Photography wise, more of my clients are requesting destination weddings or photo shoots. I love traveling, so this is a mix of two of my great loves in life. Teaching wise, I am honored to watch my kids become adults. They have much more talent than I, so it’s a privilege watching them pursue their dreams.

Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:

Chick flicks make life worth living.

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

Ten years from now, I hope I’m still coloring outside the lines.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would acquaint myself with the world.

The best part about being a 20 under 30 is the honor.

Isaac Cowart received his degree in exercise science from Truman State University in 2006, and in 2009, he received his doctorate of physical therapy from Rockhurst University. After graduation, Cowart returned to Springfield and worked as a physical therapist for two years. Then he heard that Athletic & Rehabilitation Center, based in Kansas City, was looking to expand regionally and was considering Springfield. “I was familiar with ARC, so I reached out to them,” Cowart says. “I felt that I could help with their mission of redefining excellence in healthcare in the Springfield market.” Cowart was selected to be the director of the company’s first regional clinic. He says he loves seeing the impact physical therapy can have on quality of life for individuals. He also loves the fact that he can be home by 6 p.m. every night to spend time with his wife, Amanda. At press time, the couple’s first son was expected to be born April 1.

417 Magazine: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
Isaac Cowart: The challenge. Every person and every injury is unique.

417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
I.C.: I moved back to Springfield upon graduating from Rockhurst and began work as a physical therapist. After two years at my previous employer, I heard that Athletic & Rehabilitation Center (ARC) was looking to expand regionally, and that Springfield was a location they were considering. I was familiar with ARC, based out of Kansas City, due to going to school there, and so I reached out to them.  I was really impressed with their growth in less than eight years and felt that I could help with their mission of “redefining ‘excellence’ in healthcare” in the Springfield market. After about a month of interviews, I was fortunate enough to have been selected to be the director of their first regional clinic. I chose physical therapy (PT) as a profession back in middle school–I was always fascinated with medicine and the human body. I knew I wanted to work in the field of medicine, but family (or future hopes of family) was an important value for me. I chose PT because it is a profession that allows me to balance both. I love treating people and seeing the impact physical therapy can have on the quality of life for individuals, but I also love being home by 6 every night to spend time with my family.

417: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
I.C.: Being able to positively influence people’s quality of life.  Injuries impact every aspect of someone’s day-to-day routine. ARC specializes in workmans’ compensation rehabilitation, which means I am often working with people who depend on their bodies to support their families. I see quality of life as not only improving the patients’ function and easing pain, but also getting them back to work so they can support their families.

417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
I.C.: Mountain biking, hiking, camping, brewing beer.

417: What charitable organizations are you involved in?
I.C.: For the last three years, I have been captain of “Slow But Inefficient,” which is a small team of family members and friends who ride in the MS-150. I also participate in a variety of 5K runs each year to support local charities.

417: Are you a member of any professional organizations?
I.C.: APTA–American Physical Therapy Association; ARC is member of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Safety Council of the Ozarks and I attend meetings/events with my role as Director.

417: How would you define the secret to success?
I.C.: There is no secret–it is about hard work and setting expectations for yourself. You have to establish a game plan, and work towards achieving your goals along the way. If you do not have an end result in mind of where you want to be or what you want to accomplish, it is impossible to define your success.

417: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
I.C.: The great thing about working in 417-land is living in 417-land.  Being able to have a successful career and live near family is great.  Also, the ability to leave town at 5 on Friday afternoon and be next to a roaring campfire in the woods by 7 is hard to beat.

417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I.C.: Work on your networking skills. I was fortunate to be born and raised in Springfield and have been introduced to a lot of amazing professionals along the way. I wish I had put more emphasis on the importance of networking, and establishing good professional relationships.

417: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
I.C.: To play for the Boston Celtics–I really thought I was the next Larry Bird.

417: List three traits that define a successful career:
I.C.: Being able to balance your career and a family; earning the trust and confidence of your colleagues; happiness–you have to enjoy what you do

417: Why are you a 20 under 30?
I.C.: I was fortunate enough to be selected by Athletic & Rehabilitation Center to be Director of their first regional clinic. When someone of my age is able demonstrate the leadership and clinical skills to run a physical therapy clinic, people stand up and notice. ARC has established itself as the premier workmans’ compensation provider for rehabilitation services in the KC metro area, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to both work for ARC and be able to introduce their service lines and expertise in workmans’ comp to the 417 community.

417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
I.C.: I am truly excited about everything ARC has to offer for the 417 community. Our “project” is simply getting out there and informing physicians and employers about what makes ARC different. I always go back to our mission statement–“To be a catalyst of change in the marketplace by redefining ‘excellence’ in healthcare.”

417: What completed project are you most proud of?
I.C.: Completing my training with ARC. ARC is committed to providing a consistent product and experience between each of their clinics–as part of my training, I actually traveled up to Kansas City Monday-Friday for 3 months to be fully immersed in the ARC culture. It required a big commitment by me and my wife, but I think the outcome was invaluable.  We want to recreate the success ARC has had in the Springfield marketplace and the culture of ARC is certainly a strong component we are looking to replicate.

Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:

Good beer makes life worth living.

A day at work wouldn't be complete without: a belly laugh from a patient.

Ten years from now, I hope I'm: expanding ARC’s presence in 417-land.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would: build an eco-friendly home.

The best part about being a 20 under 30 is: making my parents proud . 

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