Celebrating Business Today and our 'Newsmakers'

Monday, August 24, 2015

Business Today, the monthly publication reporting notable news about business and business owners in Southeast Missouri, is celebrating 25 years. On this silver anniversary, the Southeast Missourian reflects on a statement we made all those years ago, in 1990, when we reported that the paper "grew out of a series of interviews with area businesspeople."

One of the most anticipated editions of Business Today is its annual Southeast Missouri Newsmakers edition. We always look forward to this one, as it pays homage to individuals in the area who have made a mark across various spectra.

This year's winners range from those in the health care profession to city officials to small-business owners and even busy retirees; newsmakers come in many different-sized-and-shaped accomplishments. This year's Newsmakers are Jim Bailey, Emily Blattel, Ed DeGaris, Stacy-Busch-Heisserer, Molly Hood, Jeanette Klobe, Jay Knudtson, Debbie Leoni, Brandy McIntire, Lyle Randolph, Rhonda Robert, Carisa Stark, Jimmy Wilferth, Denny Ward, Rachel Crader and Darren Burgfeld.

While every 2015 Newsmaker is a star in our eyes, we'd like to highlight a couple, one who tends to the physical needs people have and the other who tends to the needs of our animals.

Jimmy Wilferth transitioned into a career as executive director of the foundation at Saint Francis Medical Center after an ATV accident and a fall of 300 feet in Swaziland, Africa. "I thought I was going to die on that mountain," he said. He survived, and he hasn't slowed down. At the time of the accident, he was president of U.S. operations for Heart for Africa, but he came to realize that there are many ways to engage in ministry. His ministry now is touching the "many hurting people walking the halls" of the hospital. Among other things, he is also a husband, a father, a teacher at Lynwood Baptist Church and a Mission Fest volunteer.

Whereas Wilferth found a new field, Stacy Busch-Heisserer has remained in the field that she said has "always been in [her] blood." Clearly, "it's a dog's life" for her, as they say. We all love our fur babies, and this Newsmaker put her love for animals to work as she opened an online store in 2008 and then opened a brick-and-mortar store in Cape just two years later. The store provides everything from food, toys, pet clothing and "everything a pet owner could look for." Stacy volunteers with the SEMO Food Bank, which provides food for pet owners in need, Cape Canine Cruisers, the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri and the Southeast Missouri Kennel Club.

We will be holding a special event for our Newsmakers, if you would like to come meet them.

First Midwest Bank, the sponsor of the 2016 Business Today Newsmakers, will host a reception on Sept. 2 at their Cape Girardeau location, 1820 N. Kingshighway. If you want to attend the reception, RSVP to Debbie Pensel by Aug. 26 at dpensel@fmbcape.com or 335-3682.

Congratulations to all the 2015 Newsmakers, and hats off to Business Today for 25 years of success.

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