In the past month, 417 Magazine and Biz 417 Publisher Logan Aguirre has stepped into her new role as Chairman of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. We spoke with Aguirre about the next 11 months and asked about her goals for the year to come.
On a defining moment since joining the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors in 2019:
At the beginning of last year, Aguirre testified in front of a committee under the Missouri House of Representatives regarding Springfield’s enabling legislation measure to help fund a convention center or tournament-grade athletic facilities. As a cheerleader for the region, Aguirre said this opportunity was an impactful moment for many reasons: “It was something that was important to me as a Chamber board member,” Aguirre says. “Also at the time, I was serving on the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau board. I love public speaking so the opportunity to do that in this kind of forum and knowing I was able to represent our region in the capitol meant a lot to me.” Aguirre testified shortly after Biz 417 published a cover story advocating for major community assets.
Since then, Aguirre’s had more opportunities to interact with the Missouri State Legislature, a part of the job she’s come to love. “The legislative exposure that I’ve been able to have on the Chamber board is not something I’d ever done in my career before,” she says. “It’s something that I’ve really learned to enjoy and respect, and I have appreciated any opportunity I’ve had to interact with our legislature.”
On her biggest life lesson and how she plans to carry that into her role as Chairman:
One of Aguirre’s mantras is “where your mind goes, energy flows” and she’s holding the saying close. “I work really hard to stay in the right mindset because it’s really easy for me to slip out of that and get anxious and worried and take in a lot of negative energy from social media or the news,” she says. “A lot of things can rattle you if you let yourself consume too much. So I try to limit as much of that in my life as I can.” She stays informed by listening to NPR’s Up First podcast and reading both Morning Brew’s daily e-newsletter and the Springfield News-Leader. After that, she stays disciplined in moderating her media consumption.
On where she wants to make the biggest impact this year:
First and foremost, Aguirre is focused on being a messenger for the small business community and moving back into thriving mode. Though large-scale projects are underway and the manufacturing sector is seeing an uptick, small businesses like yoga studios and restaurants are still burdened with capacity restrictions and Aguirre’s focus is to get local companies like these thriving again. “I am really passionate about making sure we’re moving out of this as fast as possible to get our businesses to where they need to be.” In addition, she also remains excited about positive ongoing initiatives like Forward SGF. “We have to keep our head in both things but I feel it’s important that I represent the small business community as best I can this year while we’re still trying to get to the other side.”