News Flash

2022 City News Releases

Posted on: March 28, 2022

City Council to interview Zone 1 applicants April 12


City Council will interview the five applicants for the vacant Zone 1 seat 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, April 12. The applicants are:

Karen Banta, self-employed

On her application, Banta listed her previous employers and positions as:

“Parents as First Teacher and screening rep for the Lamar School District and Golden City School Districts, as well as a Head Start family resource specialist for the Lamar School District and manager/owner for a retail store and family farm for 35 years.”

Banta’s special qualifications for the Zone 1 seat are:
“A wide experience base, early childhood training, training in critical conversations and communications, training in conflict resolution and assisting people reach their goals.”

Educational background
 “Lockwood, Missouri Southern State University, University of Chambery – France, continuing education – Parents As First Teachers and Head Start family resource specialist, Elijah School of Prayer and Counseling, Language/Mission School – Albertville, France.”

Community activities and offices held

“School room mother, Cub Scout leader, baseball coach, PTA president and member, small group leader, youth group leader, blood drive coordinator, election poll worker, mentor, mission trips in the U.S. and seven countries, GOP Central Committee member, Vision Center developer.”

Amy Blansit, Drew Lewis Foundation Inc. CEO and senior kinesiology instructor for Missouri State University 

On her application, Blansit listed her special qualifications to fill the Zone 1 seat as: 
“I work daily to advocate for residents in Zone 1. I was heavily involved in the Zone 1 Blitz and the implementation of education and programming based on those findings. I understand the business aspects of Zone 1 as a result of the Fairbanks, the headquarters for DLF being in Zone 1. I understand and work with collaborative and collective impact models that are required for both the public and private sectors to come together to better serve the residents. I have great conflict resolution skills. I have worked with the City on rezoning, CDBG funds and EPA/Brownfield projects for blighted real estate. I also teach community development and building blocks for improving social determinants of health at MSU.”

Educational background
“Doctorate in health sciences with emphasis in adult education. I maintain certification in the American College of Sports Medicine. My education focused on community and global health; assessing and developing community building blocks for improved health outcomes and business/hospital management. My research focuses on the social determinants to health and those effects on different socioeconomic groups. Although not learned in formal education, I have also launched and manage a successful nonprofit that provides services to Zone 1 residents. It also partners with for-profits and government programs to increase efficiency and effectiveness of resources. I also have background in construction and have led a team to renovate not only the Fairbanks, but 12 homes in the Grant Beach neighborhood and one home in West Central.”

Community activities and offices held
“Prosper Springfield cabinet, previous member of community initiatives: Childhood Obesity 2014-2016, MSU Public Affairs Conference keynote in 2016 and panelist in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, CoxHealth women’s health event keynote speaker in 2019, Springfield Community Gardens advisory board member, Grant Beach Neighborhood Association business member, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Organization Committee.

Monica Horton, self-employed

On her application, Horton listed her special qualifications to fill the Zone 1 seat as:
“Teaching required coursework necessary for DE&I certification and my work on the Springfield Inclusion Study producing recommendations to address the welcome deficit qualifies me to provide additional support and counsel regarding citywide DE&I efforts. My high degree of civic engagement and awareness in Springfield-Greene County (in multiple domains including poverty) certainly qualifies me to serve Zone 1 residents and make significant contributions to municipal governance and public policymaking necessary to make Springfield an extraordinary place for all to live, work and play. And finally, my analytical/research/evaluation skills can provide insights into City Council deliberations, consensus building and the decision-making process.” 

Previous employers and positions
“As a self-employed person for the past 11 years, Lenica Consulting has subcontracted with Center for Music Therapy and Wellness as a geriatric music specialist for four years; and began contracting with Drury University in 2016 as an adjunct instructor for Drury students earning degrees in music therapy and certification in diversity, equity and inclusion. Lenica Consulting has secured business contracts with Pratt Consultants as a data curator; Community Partnership of the Ozarks as a program evaluator and researcher and Missouri State University as a contributing researcher to the Springfield Inclusion Study funded by Community Foundation of the Ozarks.”

Educational background
“Master of public administration, Missouri State University – completed a master’s thesis entitled ‘The Effect of Student Characteristics on Leading Indicators of Academic Success.’ Results and policy recommendations were presented to SPS Superintendent John Jungmann and many policy recommendations were implemented by the school district.

Master of music therapy, Florida State University – ‘The Effect of Stepping as a Group Music Therapy Intervention on Group Cohesion’ and Positive Oral Statements of African-American Females Attending an Educational Treatment Center;’ the degree of group cohesion and positive statements were statistically significant demonstrating stepping as a useful tool to promote prosocial behavior among adolescent females considered to be at risk. 

Bachelor of arts in psychology, Tuskegee University – graduated summa cum laude.”

Community activities and offices held
“Since 2018, I’ve served on the Greene County Senior Citizens’ Services Fund Board serving as treasurer of the $2.9 million tax levy for two of those years. In 2019, I was appointed to the Mayor’s Commission for Children by Mayor McClure and City Council; and also during 2019 I began serving as Ujima Language and Literacy’s founding board president while at the same time beginning a three-year appointment serving on Leadership Springfield’s board of directors. 

From 2017-2020, I served on the advisory council and the performance measures and data management workgroup for Prosper Springfield.

But I can go back as far as three months after moving to Springfield in 2013 volunteering as a guest guide at Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ annual Hope Connection being assigned to an unsheltered person to build rapport and help them navigate through service providers. Then just a few months later, I co-produced the Hope Connection’s survey data results report and presented the report to CPO’s Continuum of Care team. And being the analytical creative that I am, I participated as a survey volunteer during CPO’s Point in Time count of homeless persons in our area.”

Kathy Hubbard, retired

On her application, Hubbard listed her special qualifications to fill the Zone 1 seat as:
“Thirty-five years’ experience in Springfield. Well-read.”

Previous employers and positions
Mercy Hospital, 31 years as a registered nurse. Five years as co-owner of Red Top Oven, LLC selling jams, relishes, etc. at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.”

Educational background
“Diploma, registered nurse degree and about two years of extra college, no degree.” 

Community activities and offices held
 “Missouri State Founders Club member.”

Stephen Sexton, retired 

On his application, Sexton listed his special qualifications to fill the Zone 1 seat as:

“I am a native of Springfield, having been born and raised here in the ‘50s and ‘60s. When I retired, I bought my parents’ house and now live in the house I grew up in. Although all of my school friends and neighbors have moved elsewhere, I moved into the now very different neighborhood I grew up in. Since I want to leave the house to my grandkids, I want to improve Zone 1 to be a safe and desirable place to live. 

In early 2020, I bought a neglected property on Robberson. After going through the demo permitting process, all at my expense, I sold half the lot to the neighbor on the north and the other half to the neighbor on the south. This was a win-win for the neighborhood, as a neglected property was cleaned up and two neighbors increased their property values. I have put my money where my mouth is. I believe one should lead by example and I also believe that these experiences give me a unique insight into the challenges and possibilities for Zone 1.” 

Previous employers and positions
“U.S. Army staff sergeant/SP6 – electronic maintenance. Various locations, including West Berlin; self-employed – sales, design, repair and installation of electronic systems and equipment; custodian – Ozarks Technical Community College, Missouri State University and Drury University; Northrop Grumman – Diego Garcia satellite field engineer for the International Space Station; Raytheon Technologies in Germany and Bulgaria – assistant program manager for mobile electronic shelters; field engineer at Russian missile facility as part of the SALT II Treaty; installed and maintained electronic security systems as a lead field engineer at various airports.”

Educational background
“Mesa Community College – electronic engineering degree and Arizona State University – electronic engineering degree.”

Community activities and offices held
Board member and vice president for Woodland Heights Neighborhood Association. Currently attempting to help revive the Moon City project located within the WHN. Organized the Adopt-A-Street City program in WHN working with Tina Stob in Public Works. Started a WHN tool lending library working with Community Partnership of the Ozarks – built shed and acquired tools. I have been involved with several trash day events through WHN sponsored by WHNA, Habitat for Humanity and the City. Literally tons of trash have been removed during these events. I have participated in other community organizing events in WHN and Zone 1 pocket gardens that I feel will help provide a path forward to provide food for our neighborhood. Highway 13 Adopt-A-Highway program through MODOT. Doing Senior Center and Cox North – delivered Meals on Wheels. Volunteer as an election judge in Greene County. Involved in the Neighborhood Advisory Council and NAC’s Positive Action Committee.”

For more information, please contact Anita Cotter at 417-864-1651.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in 2022 City News Releases

Update: Cold Weather Shelters

Posted on: December 20, 2022

Festivities on the square begin at 6 p.m.

Posted on: November 19, 2022

Oct. 31 City Council meeting canceled

Posted on: October 6, 2022