Three Receive "Outstanding Alumnus Awards"

September 17, 2012
Lee Elliff Pound
JOPLIN, MO (SNS) – Walmart executive Mike Moore, television personality Carol Parker and Investment Manager Bryan Vowels will receive the “Outstanding Alumnus 2012 Awards” from the Alumni Association at Missouri Southern State University.

They will be honored during the “Celebrating 75 Years of Lion Pride” Homecoming reception the evening of Friday, Oct. 5 and at the Lion Pride Brunch, scheduled for Saturday, Oct, 6.

Reservations can be made for both events and can be obtained by calling 417.625.9355.  
This year, in honor of the 75th anniversary of Missouri Southern, three graduates were chosen for awards. One each was chosen from the first, second and third quarter centuries of MSSU’s existence.

Their achievements will be recognized at halftime at the Missouri Southern Homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 6.

michael s. mooreMike Moore

Michael S. “Mike” Moore is executive vice president and president of Walmart Central, leading the central geographic business unit of Walmart U.S. He is responsible for operations, real estate, supply chain and merchandising in the Mississippi River Delta, Central Plains, Texas and Midwest divisions.

Moore began his Walmart career in 1988 as an assistant manager in Carthage, Mo. Since that time, he has held many successful leadership roles as co-manager, store manager and district manager in Oklahoma and Nebraska. He led south Texas and south Florida as regional vice president and in 2004 was promoted to senior vice president of operations for the west division. He received the Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005.

In 2010, Moore assumed the role of senior vice president of merchandising and was responsible for the stationery, crafts, fabric, sporting goods, automotive, hardware and paint categories. He later was promoted to lead the north business unit of Walmart U.S. as executive vice president and president, overseeing operations in 19 states.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Technology from Missouri Southern State University in 1987. Moore serves on the executive committee and chairman of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) National Advisory Board.
Moore resides in Rogers, Ark. with his wife Susan and children, Derek and McKenna.
carole parkerCarol Parker
Carol Parker was born and raised in Joplin. Parker was a cheerleader and a 1954 graduate of Joplin Junior College and then went on to attend University of Arkansas, majoring in Elementary Education.
After graduation, Parker went on to an amazing career in television. Having worked in Hollywood she signed a contract with Twentieth Century Fox.  She soon appeared in the movie There’s No Business Like Show Business with Marilyn Monroe, Ethel Merman, and Donald O’Connor.  However, she got homesick for Joplin and, after taking a vacation back home, never returned to Hollywood.
Parker has hosted the The Carol Parker Show on KSNF since 1973. The public affairs program features guests, celebrities, cooking, and taping on location in the Four-State area.  She has taped many shows in the Branson area with nationally-known stars. Silver Dollar City took her to New York City several times to tape the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. While there, she taped segments with Al Roker and Matt Lauer of NBC’s Today Show.
She has published three cookbooks which feature chefs, friends, and celebrities and their recipes. She enjoys doing cooking shows on the “Tasty Tuesday” segment of Living Well  on KSN.  She has also done business showcases and many commercials.
She has been involved with the Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Salvation Army, March of Dimes, Area Agency on Aging and Red Cross. She presently is on the board of the Joplin Little Theatre. Parker also worked on the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon each year.
Her honors have included Honor Chair for Mother’s March of Dimes; “Carol Parker Day” by the Galena Fire Department; Soroptimist International of Joplin Woman of Distinction Award; Ozark Area Girl Scout Council “Outstanding Community Service Award”; and Joplin Women’s Connections “Joplin Wonderful Woman Award.”  For her extraordinary contributions to the field of broadcasting she received the Missouri Southern State University Pioneer Broadcaster Award and an award from the Missouri House of Representatives for contribution to broadcasting.

Parker loves promoting the four-state area, great people she meets, her job and her co-workers.

Her family includes her late husband, Jack, and three grown children: Douglas Parker, ’79,  Stephen Parker and Dianne Schramm. She has eight grandchildren. Jack was a Joplin Junior College graduate in 1943 and all three of her children attended Missouri Southern. 
bryan vowelsBryan Vowels

Bryan Vowels graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 1992 with an Economics and Finance degree.  While at Missouri Southern, Vowels served as President of the Student Senate and received the Outstanding Graduate Award in 1992.   

After graduation, Vowels worked in the banking industry for 10 years, working as a National Bank Examiner for the U.S. Treasury Department and serving as Senior Vice President for The Bank of Fayetteville in Fayetteville, Ark.  While working in the banking industry, Bryan earned his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and received his MBA from the University of Arkansas.  At the University of Arkansas, he received the Sam Walton Achievement in Excellence in Leadership Award.  He also holds the Certified Financial Planning (CFP) designation. 

In 2001, Vowels moved back to Joplin with his family and changed careers to the investment and financial planning industry.  He joined A.G. Edwards and in 2002 became manager of the Joplin office.  Vowels now has four members on his team including two Missouri Southern graduates and leads 16 advisors and staff in the office.  His team focuses on comprehensive wealth management for individual clients, retirement plans and investment management for non-profits and foundations, with clients located around the country.  In 2012, Bryan was named by On Wall Street magazine as one of the top 100 Branch Managers in the country. 

Vowels stated he is blessed to have a career he loves but his true joy comes first from his relationship with God, his family, and being in a position to serve in the community.  Vowels is the husband of Leticia, ‘93, and the father of Kendall, Landon, and Jensen.  His parents, Max,’59 and JoAnn and two sisters Sheri, ’85 and Debi, ’84, both MSSU graduates, have been big influences in his life. 

Vowels has been blessed to have the time to work in the community.  In addition to serving on the MSSU Alumni Board and School of Business Advisory Board, Vowels and his wife Leticia started a Single Parent Scholarship Program in the area five years ago.  The scholarship has given away just under $100,000 in their first five years.  Vowels also helped co-found Rebuild Joplin after the tornado in 2011 and serves on the Bright Futures, USA Board.  He is past President of the United Way of Southwest Missouri and the Joplin Business and Industrial Development Board.  In 2010, Vowels received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the United Way.