School of Business
Plaster Hall

Marion Receives Governor's Award

JOPLIN – Longtime Missouri Southern State University professor Terry Marion is the recipient of the 2013 Governor's Award for Excellence in Education. Marion will receive the award on April 3 at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Marion was recommended for the award by the vice-president for academic affairs together with the president and deans. The award is based on effective teaching, innovative course design and delivery, effective advising, service to the University community, commitment to high standards of excellence and success in nurturing student achievement. Marion is a professor of business management. 2013 marks his 46th year of teaching and 36th year at Missouri Southern.

"Terry Marion is considered as being 'student focused' by his colleagues," said Dr. Pat Lipira, vice president for academic affairs. "His care for the students and his accommodating spirit were the primary reasons for his recent 'Outstanding Advisor Award'.  He is an outstanding faculty member, not only in the Plaster School of Business, but on the entire campus."

Marion has doctoral hours from the University of Arkansas and has additional graduate hours from Oxford,  University of Missouri, Purdue and Kansas State.  He received his education specialist degree and master's degree from Pittsburg State University and his  bachelor's degree from Missouri State University. He has worked in the retail, construction and real estate industries. He served as the Director of Human Resources at Eagle Pitcher Technologies in Joplin.

Marion is a member of the Tri State Human Resources, a chapter of Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and is the sponsor for MSSU's student SHRM club. He also works through the Small Business Technology and Development Center (SBTDC) to provide organizational seminars and training. Marion has served on the MSSU Promotion and Personnel Committees and was a Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Faculty Advisor from 1978-94, winning several national awards.  Marion received the first MSSU Advisor of the Year Award, the Outstanding Teacher Award and the SOBA Advisor of the Year.

PBL Club Earns Honors at State Conference

JOPLIN, MO (SNS) - The Missouri Southern State University Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) club sponsored by the Robert W. Plaster School of Business (PSB) in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center earned several state honors at the 54th Annual State Leadership Conference (SLC) held March 22 in Columbia, Mo. PBL, the collegiate equivalent of Future Business Leaders of America, is an educational association of postsecondary student members preparing for careers in business. There are over 11,000 active members in the United States including 350 members with 20 chapters in Missouri. The conference featured competitive events for individuals and teams with students attempting to qualify for the National Leadership Conference (NLC) to be held June 22-25 in Anaheim, Calif. Each student was allowed to compete in up to two events.  The MSSU PBL chapter, sponsored by Stu Dunlop and Megan Douglas, was very successful with14 students qualifying for the NLC.

Three students, Ryan Prisock (senior, Joplin), Curtis Shields (senior, Harrisonville), and Cassie Smith (sophomore, Savannah) were state champions in two events. Raycee Thompson (sophomore, Joplin) was elected State PBL Treasurer for the 2013-2014 academic year. Stu Dunlop, MSSU instructor of marketing, received the Adviser of the Year award.

The following students placed at the PBL SLC:

State Champions
Curtis Shields (senior, Harrisonville)—Accounting for Professionals and Cyber Security
Brook Gipson (sophomore, Joplin)—Business Law
Billy Eigenmann (senior, Carthage)—Digital Video Production
Andrew Frost (senior, Joplin) and Ryan Prisock (senior, Joplin)—Economic Analysis and Decision Making                            
Ryan Prisock (senior, Joplin)—Financial Concepts           
Cara Gooch (sophomore, Bolivar) and Cassie Smith (sophomore, Savannah)—Hospitality Management     
Cassie Smith (sophomore, Savannah) and Kyle Prisock (junior, Joplin) —Human Resource Management
Tricia Coleman (junior, Carthage)—Marketing Concepts

2nd Place
Billy Eigenmann (senior, Carthage) and Mandi Higgs (senior, Exeter) —Desktop Publishing
Hailey Manion (junior, Carthage) and Kyle Prisock (junior, Joplin)—Emerging Business Issues
Cara Gooch (sophomore, Bolivar)—Job Interview

3rd Place
Habison, Xiong (senior, Pierce City)—Accounting Principles and Telecommunications
Tiffannie Roberts (junior, Webb City)—Client Services
Jacob Harp (sophomore, Roscoe, IL)—Macroeconomics and Microeconomics
Raycee Thompson (sophomore, Joplin)—Public Speaking

4th Place
Beth Ernst (sophomore, Joplin)—Business Law
Josh Lowry (sophomore, Moundville)—Contemporary Sports Issues                
Sagan Graskemper (senior, Carl Junction)—Financial Concepts
Jacqueline Brown (senior, Cassville)—International Business
Kara Sheppard (sophomore, Poplar Bluff)—Impromptu Speaking
Whitney Koch (junior, Carl Junction)—Marketing Concepts and Retail Management
Tiffannie Roberts (junior, Webb City)—Sales Presentation

5th Place
Zach Brasher (senior, Shell Knob)—Contemporary Sports Issues
Beth Ernst (sophomore, Joplin)—International Business
Austin Metts (junior, Joplin)--Macroeconomics
Brook Gipson (sophomore, Joplin)—Retail Management

Stu Dunlop
(417) 625-9702

MSSU-ONMU Memorandum of Understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding between Missouri Southern State University and the Odessa National Maritime University (Odessa, Ukraine) was signed on Wednesday, Jan.16. The signing took  place in the office of Missouri Southern President Dr. Bruce W. Speck. The MOU results from Missouri Southern's participation in an International Business competition (Ukraine National 'International Logistics' competition)  in April 2012 that took place in Odessa.  The MSSU team took first in the Case Analysis section of the competition. 
"This Memorandum is the first step so that MSSU and ONMU can work together in areas such as student exchange, faculty exchange, joint research and other collaborative efforts," said Dr. J. Chris Moos, Marketing & Finance department head.
Dr. Moos said Odessa National Maritime University  has two areas that match well with MSSU: The school has a Management program that fits with MSSU's Management program and it teaches International Transportation, Logistics and Port Management which fits well with Southern's International Business program.

ONMU is a versatile educational institution which prepares experts of all educational-qualifying levels for full maintenance of personnel requirements for maritime and inland waterways administration. It was established in 1930 as the Odessa Institute of Water Transport Engineers. The University was awarded national status by the Decree of the President of Ukraine in 2002 in consideration of its national and international significance and activities.

 The university is a member of the European Association of Universities and the Southeast European Association of Transport Researches (SEATREF). ONMU has prepared staff for maritime fleets of foreign countries since 1950. In that time more than 1,350 experts have been trained for 72 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

D.r J. Chris Moos
(417) 625-9703

MSSU SBTDC Aids in Transforming Area Businesses

In late January 2013, two local Joplin businesses received Excellence in Business Awards at the Annual BDP Conference. The theme for this year’s conference was “Transforming Missouri Business.” The recipients of the award have transformed their businesses: Dewey Sheets, owner of Furniture Rescue, and Karalee Laney, owner of Joplin 3D4D Imaging Center, LLC. These businesses were two of 22 winners throughout the state of Missouri.

Furniture Rescue

Furniture Rescue was founded in 2002 as a furniture retailer. Kenneth Surbrugg and Karen Bradshaw, business development specialists, and Lisa Robinson, director of the MSSU SBTDC, helped Sheets with more effective marketing suggestions, writing a business plan, financial projections and loans. After a few lean years, Sheets grew his clientele and has a portfolio filled with unique furniture restoration jobs. The SBTDC also worked with Sheets to analyze financial records, deposit credit card payments and use QuickBooks to the firm’s best advantage.

Then the May 2011 tornado hit Joplin and the destroyed the company’s building. Sheets salvaged what he could and put equipment in storage in a warehouse on Fourth Street. Then the warehouse burned. Ironically, the business experienced a windfall from the tornado. After moving, settling in and purchasing replacement equipment, the business was overwhelmed with customers looking to get furniture restored in the aftermath of the storm. Sheets was able to obtain a loan and, today, Furniture Rescue owns its building, staffed by six employees, and revenue has grown from zero to nearly $250,000 in 2011. Furniture Rescue’s slogan is “Saving furniture one piece at a time” because, Sheets says, furniture often carries immense emotional value. “When a loved one dies and the only thing they [the family] have left is a chair their dad sat in behind his desk for twenty years, it’s priceless,” said Sheets.

Joplin 3D4D Imaging Center, LLC

Laney perceived a gap in affordable diagnostic medical ultrasound exams and baby gender scans. With 32 years of experience in the medical field doing x-ray, CT exams, and ultrasound exams, Laney had the expertise to start her own company. She had heard so many requests from expectant parents for three-dimensional ultrasounds that she approached the MSSU SBTDC about starting her own business. With the assistance of Lisa Robinson, director, and Karen Bradshaw, business development specialist at the MSSU SBTDC, Laney opened Joplin 3D4D Imaging in early 2010. Robinson helped her analyze start-up costs, write a business plan and make cash flow projections, resulting in an SBA-guaranteed loan. Bradshaw helped Laney with researching her market, marketing strategies, and promotional literature.

During her first year of operation, Laney’s sales were negligible, but her hard work and diligence had paid off. Sales revenue increased to $45,000 in 2011. Laney has had to overcome huge obstacles. The deadly 2011 tornado that tore through Joplin also destroyed Laney’s home. She was buried in the rubble for 45 agonizing minutes. She had broken ribs and lacerations but was back at work after just a few days’ rest. It took several months to completely recover from her injuries. Laney has since relocated her business to the Gryphon Building on South Main Street in Joplin, a far more traveled location that’s resulted in climbing sales. Her expertise draws clients who travel from all over the four state area. Laney reciprocates. “I don’t know how I would have succeeded without the help of Lisa and Karen,” she says. “They are so helpful and informative about all aspects of business.”

With the assistance of the MSSU SBTDC both of these companies have been able to transform their businesses.

Sherry Noller
(417) 625-3128

Collegiate DECA Wins Honors at State Conference

 The Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) Collegiate DECA (C-DECA) club, sponsored by the Robert W. Plaster School of Business (PSB) located in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, battled the wintery weather to garner several prestigious honors at the C-DECA State Leadership Conference (SLC). The event was held Feb. 21-22,  at the Lodge of the Four Seasons in Lake Ozark. The award winners have qualified for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) and along with other club members will represent MSSU in the national C-DECA competition. The ICDC will be held April 17-21, 2013 in Anaheim, Calif.

 This year's MSSU team, led by outgoing State President, Cara Gooch (Soph., Marketing and Management, Bolivar), was awarded the State Community Service Award for their work with Show-Me Hunger: Unite the Fight Campaign which is the state C-DECA service initiative. Individually, nine MSSU students received awards which were highlighted by Ryan Prisock's (senior Finance and Economics major, Joplin) achievement of the state championship in Corporate Finance. The team of Venus Day (junior General Business major from Lamar) and Raycee Thompson (junior Accounting major, Joplin) placed third in Business Ethics and Kyle Prisock (junior Undeclared major, Joplin) was the third place award winner in Travel and Tourism.

Also, the following students received Proficiency Awards:

* Cara Gooch (sophomore Marketing and Management major, Bolivar) in Retail Management;

* Cassie Smith (sophomore Management major, Savannah) in Human Resource Management;

* Raycee Thompson (junior Accounting major, Joplin) in Accounting;

* Tiffannie Roberts (junior Marketing major, Webb City) and Kara Sheppard (sophomore Marketing major, Harviell) in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing;

 *Jacqueline Brown (senior International Business major, Cassville) and Cara Gooch (sophomore, Marketing and Management, Bolivar) in International Marketing.

 Also, co-sponsor Megan Douglas, Instructor of Management, received the state Advisor of the Year award. Her nomination was submitted by the MSSU C-DECA chapter.

C-DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

Stu Dunlop
(417) 625-9702

VITA Offers Free Tax Assistance

If you're in need of assistance and make less than $51,000 as an individual or family, free help is just around the corner. Dr. David Smith, head of the Accounting & Finance Department at Missouri Southern State University, says a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) team from MSSU will be available on Saturdays starting in February 2016 to help Joplin area residents fill out their tax forms.  

The forms will be prepared from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturdays in the computer labs on the third floor of  Plaster Hall at Missouri Southern.
Another group is partnering with the VITA team to make the experience as helpful as possible. The Missouri Southern Spanish Club will provide Spanish language interpreters. "If you make up to $51,000, we can complete your federal 1040 or 1040A return and file it electronically, including Schedules A and B (interest income and itemized deductions), child credit, child care credit, education credits, and EIC (Earned Income Credit)," Smith says. "We can also prepare and file your Missouri, Kansas and/or Oklahoma tax forms electronically," he adds.

Smith says it has been nearly ten years since VITA was offered by MSSU students in Joplin. "There was huge demand for it," Smith says. "We wanted our students and community to know we are here to help." Twenty junior and senior accounting majors have enrolled to participate in the VITA program. All have passed three required Internal Revenue Service tests.

Ann Wolfe, senior Accounting and Computer Science major, who has led the revival of VITA at MSSU, was a VITA site coordinator at University of Missouri-Kansas City. She will be the site coordinator at MSSU and will be in charge of the assistance center each weekend. Wolfe says the volunteer aspect of VITA is a valuable experience for students. "I volunteered at a homeless shelter while attending another school several years ago," she says. "I love how it feels to do good for others.  It makes me like who I am."
Smith says the VITA service will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. The team will be able to complete approximately 50 income tax returns each Saturday. "We will be able to do about 50 returns each day," Smith says.  "Everything will be handled on a first come-first serve basis."
The VITA program cannot file Schedule C (Business Income) or Schedule D (capital gains and losses, including sale of real estate), certain types of self-employment income, or the Foreign Income Tax Credit Forms will be filled out online and submitted electronically for the convenience of the clients. Smith says those wanting to utilize the VITA service will need to bring tax paperwork, Social Security cards for everyone in their family, Drivers' Licenses and a cancelled check or routing number. He says the goal is to assist those who might feel overwhelmed at tax time.
"We want to help people," he says. "We have very talented students who want to use their skills and education to make this time of year a little easier."

Dr. David Smith
(417) 625-3012


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