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New initiative aims to make the transition from pupil to pulpit easier for Brittany McDonald-Null

COLUMBIA, Mo.— When embarking on a chosen career, the early months and years can be a whirlwind of chaos. The pressures to succeed, to fit in and to establish your own voice can take a toll. Imagine how daunting it must be for seminary graduates to begin vocational ministry, often in an unfamiliar town and in front of an unfamiliar congregation. Burnout is common, as roughly 40 percent of pastors quit ministry within the first five years.

To combat this trend, churches nationwide are beginning to consider pastoral residencies. The Serving Team at First Baptist Church in Columbia began exploring the idea of such a program in February 2015. After two years of planning and securing the necessary funding, First Baptist Church invited recent seminary graduates to apply for a two-year pastoral residency. An intensive and exhaustive interview process led them to Brittany McDonald-Null, whom the church will help transition into her pastoral career.

Brittany will be immersed in the full experience of pastoral life and practical ministry at First Baptist Church. Having spent the past eight years in the arid expanse of west Texas—she graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene in May 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s in Divinity—Brittany is enjoying the shift in scenery.

“Coming from a place where there aren’t really any trees or grass, this has been a wonderful change,” Brittany said. “First Baptist Church has been an incredibly welcoming family, and I love how I’ve already witnessed people coming together to worship ecumenically. To see children serving and women serving… it’s just not a context that I’m used to. It’s great to see equality actually represented in this church, much like the Gospels teach us.”

The plan is to give Brittany support, guidance and on-the-job experience as she learns to be a pastor. Up to 96 percent of ministers who go through a pastoral residency stay in ministry.

“I have had the good fortune of having good mentors,” says First Baptist Church pastor Carol McEntyre. “While I did not participate in a pastoral residency, I had the benefit of serving in large churches early in my ministry that had seasoned members on staff who served as mentors. These relationships were informal, but the knowledge, advice, emotional support and modeling they shared with me was transformative.”

In October 2016, First Baptist Church received an award of $25,000 from Indianapolis-based Pastoral Excellency Network to supplement their own financial investment in the pastoral residency program. It is First Baptist Church’s goal to raise funds to eventually endow the program and make a lasting impact over time.

“By mentoring young pastors, we have a chance to keep great leaders in the church,” McEntyre says. “What an incredible way to serve God by shaping those who will lead God’s church for years to come.”

Founded in 1823, First Baptist Church is a historic, vibrant community of faith located in the heart of downtown Columbia. Carol McEntyre has served as Pastor since 2012.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As mid-Missouri’s premier job placement and recruiting company continues to grow, JobFinders Employment Services occasionally needs to use its own resources and techniques to find the perfect candidates to aid its own expansion. To that end, JobFinders has tapped Anna Marie De Giorgio as Regional Operations Manager. De Giorgio has been an effective salesperson and recruiter in central Missouri for more than a decade, with experience in key JobFinders-centric areas like Columbia, Fulton, Jefferson City, Marshall and Sedalia.

“Over the course of 20 years of working in leadership positions, I have come to believe the best part of any team is the quality of the individuals you have working with you. We can never bring greatness to the table if you do not have greatness working alongside you,” De Giorgio says. “I pride myself in the development of those around me, leading and guiding them to tap into their unexplored potential.

“JobFinders is a woman-owned company, which I hold in high regard, but it is also an ethical company, having a strong foundation of always doing the right thing. We’re focused on finding the right position for the right job in the right companies. These attributes have made it my honor to be able to work with them.”

A mother of two daughters and grandmother of 10, De Giorgio enjoys fishing and golfing in her spare time.

Established in 1986, JobFinders Employment Services provides cost-effective staffing solutions for client businesses while affording solid career opportunities to employment candidates. Whether you seek temporary, contract-to-hire, healthcare or direct professional hiring, JobFinders is the expert source for matching the right people to the right jobs. JobFinders recruits talent for local to national job openings and has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the country for three consecutive years. In 2014, JobFinders was named a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Small Business of the Year.

Owned by Anne Williams, JobFinders is a Certified Women-owned Business (WBE) in Missouri, as well as a proud member of the American Staffing Association, Missouri Kansas Staffing Association, National Association Personnel Services and the Chambers of Commerce in Sedalia, Jefferson City, Mexico, Fulton and Columbia, Mo.

Columbia agency recognized for work with McDonald’s®, Columbia Public Schools, A1 Party and Event Rental, and Child Development Center

Columbia, MO – The Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts has awarded Visionworks Marketing Group four 2017 Communicator Awards for work on behalf of various clients across Columbia.

Visionworks received an Award of Excellence for a half-page magazine ad on behalf of McDonald’s® Restaurants of Columbia.  A1 Party and Event Rental’s radio commercial, Columbia Public Schools’ Spring Quarterly Connection, which is distributed to 68,000 homes in the Columbia school district, and a brochure for the Child Development Center also won Awards of Distinction.

The 2017 Communicator Award competition received more than 6,000 entries from across the U.S. and around the world, making it the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. In the past five years, Visionworks has won nine Communicator Awards for eight clients.

Celebrating 22 years of business, Visionworks has developed powerful and effective marketing strategies for clients across multiple platforms. The agency’s core competencies include strategic planning and consulting; creative services; audio production; and media planning and placement. Owner Lili Vianello leads a dynamic, creative team who craft engaging messages and strategic plans to make a difference for clients with local, regional, national and international interests.

For more information about Visionworks Marketing Group, visit Visionworksgroup.com or call 573.449.8567.

McDonald’s®  Corporation recognized McDonald’s® of Kingdom City general manager Dean Davis as an Outstanding Manager. Robyn Shire, the operations supervisor for the Kingdom City location, nominated Davis for the award based on his people skills, leadership and service to his restaurant and community.

The annual award commends the top 10 percent of restaurant managers across the nation in regards to sales, customer service and operations. In order to be eligible for the award, a general manager must have at least one year of experience and be a graduate of Hamburger University®, McDonald’s® global operations training and leadership development program.

“Dean is a great brand ambassador that truly cares about his customers and team,” Shire said.  “He’s a positive role model that really goes the extra mile to assure everyone feels like they’re part of a team.”

Davis became the general manager in Kingdom City in June 2014 and has been with the company for 11 years. His store’s 2016 customer-service scores ranked well above regional and national numbers, as his team has embraced table service at a busy highway location with vigor. Davis also provided a steady hand during a hectic major remodel process in December 2015.

“Dean and his team represent outstanding hospitality in taking care of their guests,” Shire said.  “He is a champion manager and it shows in his results.

McDonald’s® is the largest and best-known global foodservice retailer, with more than 30 stores in the Columbia-Jefferson City area. More than 85 percent of McDonald’s® restaurants in the United States are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women. The Kingdom City location is owned and operated by Mark and Kate Mehle. It is managed by Dean Davis and supervised by Robyn Shire.

SEDALIA, Mo. – JobFinders Employment Services recently expanded into Pettis County when it opened an office in Sedalia. Today, JobFinders is pleased to announce the hiring of Nancy Grey as District Manager, which includes Sedalia and Jefferson City.  Cathy Schlup has been hired as an Administrative Associate.  

 

Established in 1986, JobFinders Employment Services provides cost-effective staffing solutions for client businesses while affording solid career opportunities to employment candidates. Whether you seek temporary, contract-to-hire, healthcare or direct professional hiring, JobFinders is the expert source for matching the right people to the right jobs. JobFinders recruits talent for local to national job openings and has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the country for three consecutive years. In 2014, JobFinders was named a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Small Business of the Year.
Owned by Anne Williams, JobFinders is a Certified Women-owned Business (WBE) in Missouri, as well as a proud member of the American Staffing Association, Missouri Kansas Staffing Association, National Association Personnel Services and the Chambers of Commerce in Sedalia, Jefferson City, Mexico, Fulton and Columbia, Mo.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – If all goes well, a pair of local high-school basketball players may gladly forfeit thoughts of a warm-weather Spring Break for the lingering winter chill of Chicago.

Rock Bridge High School seniors Elle Brown and Madison Treece were nominated to be considered for the 16th annual McDonald’s All-American® Girls Game, a prestigious honor for prep basketball players around the country. The list of nominees will be pared down to a 24-person team on Sunday, Jan. 15 on ESPNU, airing at 9:30 p.m. central time.

Nominations were gathered from Sept. 6-Dec. 1, 2016 from approved nominators, including high school principals, athletic directors and head varsity basketball coaches. Brown and Treece represent two of the five girls from Missouri that were chosen for consideration. Brown is a 5-foot-10 shooting guard who has committed to play collegiately at the University of Missouri beginning in 2017. Treece is a 6-foot-4 post player who received many offers but ultimately chose to play college ball at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

The finalized team will participate in a game in Chicago on Wednesday, March 29, which will air nationally on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. central time.

McDonald’s® is the largest and best-known global foodservice retailer, with more than 30 stores in the Columbia-Jefferson City area. More than 85 percent of McDonald’s restaurants in the United States are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women. The Rock Bridge store in Columbia is owned and operated by Mark and Kate Mehle.

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Over the years, Visionworks Marketing Group has had plenty to say -- writing explanatory articles and doling out marketing advice for area publications since the late 20th century. Those ancient scribblings from yesteryear can be found here, in our archive. Thanks for stopping by.

Local enterprise plans series of events to celebrate three decades and counting

COLUMBIA, Mo.—Thirty years ago, job searches were conducted on foot. Hands were shaken. Envelopes stuffed with resumes and references were handed over. Not so much anymore. Although the ways we find work have changed dramatically, one local company in particular has been able to constantly adapt to the shifting climate and help mid-Missourians establish rewarding careers.

This month, Columbia-based JobFinders Employment Services turns 30 years old. To commemorate, the company has events planned at its three central Missouri locations (Columbia, Jefferson City and Mexico) and will unveil a newly design website in conjunction with the anniversary.

“It’s a milestone we’re proud of because it speaks to the countless people who have contributed to making JobFinders a success over the years,” owner Anne Williams says. “To be able to help so many people find and establish rewarding careers—and so many businesses fill their open positions with quality candidates—has been a thrill. We look forward to many more years.”

Established in 1986, JobFinders Employment Services provides cost-effective staffing solutions for client businesses while affording solid career opportunities to employment candidates. Whether you seek temporary, contract-to-hire, healthcare or direct professional hiring, JobFinders is the expert source for matching the right people to the right jobs. JobFinders recruits talent for national job openings and has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the country for four consecutive years. In 2014, JobFinders was named Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year by the Small Business Association’s St. Louis District Office for the Eastern Missouri district.

Owned by Anne Williams, JobFinders is a Certified Women-owned Business (WBE) in Missouri, as well as a proud member of the American Staffing Association, Missouri Association of Professional Services and the Columbia, Jefferson City, Mexico and Fulton (Mo.) Chambers of Commerce.

The McDonald’s ® Restaurant in Ashland reopened its doors Thursday, July 28 after undergoing a complete rebuild this summer to improve the customer experience.

The renovations include a number of features.

 The new restaurant no longer shares space with the gas station/convenience store and is a standalone location with its own restrooms.

 The updated lobby features modernized seating for up to 60 guests, a dramatic increase from the 25-seat limit previously in place.

 The single drive-thru lane was replaced with a dual drive-thru, which will help serve customers quicker. In the old configuration, the single drive-thru window acted as the place where customers paid for and received their orders. That single window was

replaced with three windows – one for payment, one for order pick-up and a third window for overflow traffic when orders take longer to complete, which will improve wait times.

 The restaurant features a fresh and vibrant décor, a flat-screen TV and free WiFi.

 There are new digital menu boards, which will make for an easier ordering experience for dine-in customers.

McDonald’s ® is the largest and best-known global foodservice retailer, with more than 30 stores in the Columbia-Jefferson City area. More than 85 percent of McDonald’s restaurants in the United States are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women. The Ashland location is owned and operated by Mark and Kate Mehle. It is managed by Matt Warne and supervised by Robyn Shire.

Columbia, MO – Visionworks Marketing Group has received a 2016 Communicator Award presented by The Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts for work on behalf of First Baptist Church.

The work for First Baptist Church included a foldable “cross” brochure which was a part of their “Unity without Uniformity” campaign. The brochure found its success in attracting new members to the church as well as informing members of the community about First Baptist Church. 

The 2016 Communicator Award competition featured an incredible pool of more than 6,000 entries, making it the largest and most prominent award of its kind.

Celebrating 21 years of business, Visionworks has developed powerful and effective marketing strategies for clients across multiple platforms. The agency’s core competencies include strategic planning and consulting; creative services; audio production; and media planning and placement. Owner Lili Vianello leads a dynamic, creative team who craft engaging messages and strategic plans to make a difference for clients with local, regional, national and international interests.

For more information about Visionworks Marketing Group, contact info@VisionworksGroup.com or call 573.449.8567.

The McDonald’s® Restaurant at 602 E. Broadway in Ashland is excited to announce that renovations this summer will allow the restaurant to better serve the community and improve the customer experience. The store will be closed for a short period, although dates have not yet been determined.

Several updates will be incorporated into the new store, including:

  • The new restaurant will be a standalone location, no longer sharing space with the gas station/convenience store. The restaurant will now gain its own restrooms.
  • The updated lobby will feature modernized seating for up to 60 guests, a dramatic increase from the 25-seat limit currently in place.
  • The single drive-thru lane will be replaced with a dual drive-thru, which will help serve our customers quicker. The current single drive-thru window, which acts as the place where customers pay for and receive their orders, will be replaced with three windows – one for payment, one for order pick-up and a third window for overflow traffic when orders take longer to complete, which will improve wait times.
  • The restaurant will feature a fresh and vibrant décor.
  • New digital menu boards, which will make for an easier ordering experience for dine-in customers.

It’s anticipated that the new restaurant will require the hiring of 20-30 additional employees.

McDonald’s® is the largest and best-known global foodservice retailer, with more than 30 stores in the Columbia-Jefferson City area. More than 85 percent of McDonald’s restaurants in the United States are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women. The Ashland location is owned and operated by Mark and Kate Mehle. It is managed by Matt Warne and supervised by Robyn Shire.

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