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President Spence to be honored with Lifetime Achievement in Business Award

June 1, 2012 | Chase Replogle

It was announced this week that Dr. Robert H. Spence, president of Evangel University since 1974, was chosen by an independent panel of judges to receive Springfield Business Journal’s “2012 Lifetime Achievement in Business Award.”

The award is one of several that will be presented at the annual Economic Impact Awards banquet, set for July 19 at Ramada Oasis Convention Center, 2546 N. Glenstone Ave.

Dr. Spence is the longest serving college president in the state of Missouri, and the second longest serving in the USA. During his tenure, Evangel has doubled enrollment, added nine master’s degrees, gained University status and totally transformed the campus with 12 major building projects.

Dr. Spence is active in civic and community affairs in Springfield, having served as chairman of the boards for City Utilities, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Springfield Branson National Airport. He has served as president of the board of directors of Cox Health and has been president of the Springfield Downtown Rotary Club.

Currently he serves as a member of the board of trustees of the Cox College of Nursing and Health Sciences and is chairman of the board of directors for Maranatha Village, a retirement community for the Assemblies of God.

In 2004, Dr. Spence received the Springfieldian Award, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s most acclaimed honor that recognizes outstanding community service and commitment to Springfield.

That year, being his 30th anniversary as president, Dr. Spence was also honored on the floor of the State Senate with the 2004 Missourian Award, which acknowledges the most accomplished citizens of Missouri.

Other awardees to be honored

Jim Morris Cos. will receive “Philanthropic Business of the Year” honors, and Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield will be recognized as the “Business Advocate of the Year” during the event.

Economic Impact honors also will be announced in four categories. Finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Complete Electrical Solutions LLC, Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. and Phoenix Home Care Inc., in the Knights category for companies in business locally for one to five years;
  • Everything Kitchens LLC, HealthcareFirst Inc. and Olsson Associates Inc., in the Bishops category for companies in business locally for six to 15 years;
  • Corporate Business Systems, Marlin Network Inc. and Warren Davis Properties, in the Rooks category for companies in business locally for 16 to 29 years; and
  • Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., CoxHealth and Missouri State University in the Kings category for companies in business locally for 30 or more years.

The Economic Impact Awards celebration and banquet begins at 5:30 p.m. July 19. Tickets are $65 apiece, available at SBJ.net/eia.

This year’s judges
Honorees and finalists for the 2012 Economic Impact Awards were chosen by an independent panel of judges. This year’s judges are:

  • Harold Bengsch, Greene County commissioner;
  • Sherry Coker, director of the Center for Workforce Development at Ozarks Technical Community College;
  • Sherry Cook, senior marketing instructor, Missouri State University College of Business Administration;
  • J. Howard Fisk, owner of J. Howard Fisk Limousines Inc.; and
  • Don Flatau, general manager of global operations and marketing, John Deere Reman.

Judges are asked to recuse themselves when there are potential conflicts, but it doesn’t hurt the applicants’ final scores.

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