• The first-ever, Stone County Economic Development Summit was held June 13th.  During the summit, presentations provided a snapshot of where Stone County economic data falls and how that measures up across Missouri.  Information was also provided on the state of Missouri's economic development efforts. 

    Summit Speakers:

    State Representative Brad Hudson 

    Rep. Hudson represents Stone, Christian and Taney Counties (District 138) in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2018.

    Rob O’Brian, President, O’Brian & Associates

    Mr. O’Brian has led Chambers of Commerce in economic development for more than thirty years.  As President of the Joplin (MO) Area Chamber of Commerce, Mr. O’Brian’s team developed a small business incubator; created a workforce training center in partnership with the local community college and developed and marketed of one of the premier business parks in southwest Missouri.

    Nick Thieman, Director at Gibson Technical Center

    Mr. Thieman has been in education for 29 years as a teacher, principal and now Director at Gibson Tech for the past eight years.  Gibson Technical Center, in Reeds Springs, serves ten area high schools in Stone and Taney counties and graduates approximately 150 seniors a year from its programs.  Mr. Thieman is an advocate for creating a strong, skilled workforce in the region.

    Luke Holtschneider, Deputy Director, Missouri Department of Economic Development

    Luke began his journey in economic development at the Department in 2008. In February of 2018, Luke became the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.  In this capacity, Luke focused of advancing the Department’s priority initiatives through strategic planning and performance management.  On August 2018, Luke was appointed Deputy Director to assist in carrying out the mission to make DED the Best in the Midwest!  

    Mary Rajek, Southwest Regional Manager, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Regional Engagement Division

    Ms. Rajek joined DED early this year having spent her career in the private sector, most recently providing consultant services in community and economic development to Cities, Counties and regional organizations across the Midwest.

    Sean Johnson, Vice President of Business Recruitment, Missouri Partnership

    Mr. Johnson’s responsibilities include leading marketing outreach efforts, vetting available sites and buildings, providing community and workforce information, communicating Missouri’s favorable tax climate, and working hand-in-hand with companies considering the state as a location to invest and create jobs.