We are excited to gather again as Session II kicks off for the Class of 2024 on June 19 in Springfield. We had a wonderful Session I back in March which seems like so long ago! We welcome this chance to come back together and continue this journey.

The Greater MO Board of Directors sets learning objectives and goals for each session of the Challenge year. Session II is focused on cohesion of the Class cohort and learning more about urban issues, diversity & race relations: impact on urban renewal & economic development, the nonprofit community, and women in leadership. We will achieve these objectives by spending time in both Springfield and Branson. Our time in Springfield will be highlighted by exposure to diversity and race relations, local nonprofits & businesses, while our time in Branson will see us delving into women in leadership and learning more about their unique economic development strategies. As always it will be a packed agenda. We are appreciative of our planning teams and our sponsors for supporting this work.

Highlights of our Session II agenda include:

Welcome remarks by Dr. Grenita Lathan, Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools followed by a tour of the efactory led by Director Rachel Anderson 

An introduction to The History of the Region and “The Wealth Gap” Film by Darline Mabins, Executive Director of Multicultural Business Association, Past Board Member of GMLF, GMLC Class of 2016  

Tour of JVIC and Brewer Science Innovation Annex while learning from their women leaders

Introduction and tour of the Ozarks Food Harvest

Tour at Prime Trucking and Introduction to the Women in Trucking Highway Diamonds Program 

City of Branson Women Leaders in Government Panel

Women Shaping the Destination Panel
Delve into their inspiring journeys, successes, and strategies for advancing the tourism agenda. 
Moderator: Ann McDowell, Alumna 2019
Pam Yancey, BLAC&CVB President and CEO
Debbie Bennett, President Hospitality, Bass Pro Shops​
Janet Oller, Silver Dollar City VP of Marketing, Retired
Sheila Thomas, Table Rock Lake Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO 

Pink Jeep Tour of the Branson area with Dinner at St. James Winery to learn about the Missouri wine industry

Convoy of Hope Tour and Program

Poverty Simulation led by Evie Tackett Turner, Communications Director, Springfield Dream Center 

Panel Discussion: EmpowerHer: Women Leading Change
Winter Kinne, CEO of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks 
Kristal Simon, CEO of Care to Learn (invited) 
Jaimie Trussell, Council of Churches
Panel Facilitated by: Logan Aquirre – publisher of 417 Magazine