The Network for Springfield’s Young Professionals hosted its annual kickoff event New Year, New Leaders on January 10. Members had the opportunity to hear from Joselyn Baldner, Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors and Bryant Young, Committee Chair for The Network in 2023.
To begin the program, Mark Harrington, Founder and CEO of Old Missouri Bank, spoke with the young professionals in attendance to share his organization’s passion for supporting the mission of The Network, which is part of why his organization has chosen to be the annual program presenting sponsor since 2017. “You all are going to go out and change the whole community,” Harrington said. “It’s important to us to develop young professionals, and that’s why we love being part of this. This organization has made a difference in our bank, and I know it will in every business and across the whole community.”
Megan Buchbinder, The Network’s 2023 Committee Vice-Chair, facilitated the interview with Joselyn and Bryant. Megan’s questions focused on allowing YPs to learn more about each leader on a personal level, as well as hearing about lessons they’ve learned throughout their professional journeys, and how YPs can get involved in our community.
Joselyn Baldner, President and CEO of Central Bank of the Ozarks, explained her professional journey as unconventional, having worked her way up through the retail side of banking. She also described early moments in her career that set her on a path for success by sharing, “Early on, I gave more than I took. I gave without an expectation that it meant a promotion or a raise. I took a lot of increase in responsibility without a bump in pay because I truly wanted to have an impact on the organization.”
Bryant described himself as “a firm believer in jumping in and being enthusiastic.” He continued by encouraging Network members to be more than “just a name on the roster” because Springfield is full of opportunities for young professionals to get involved and ultimately make an impact in the community.
Additionally, Bryant shared that the best piece of professional advice he has ever received came from his dad’s motto “It is what it is,” meaning to control the things you can and not worry about those you can’t. He explained that this reminder has helped him stay grounded in his business while also being ambitious in his career.
Joselyn echoed the value of that saying but also encouraged young professionals to remember, “When you get a seat at the table, believe that you should be there.” She described her own struggles believing this idea as a young professional but shared with attendees that “When you believe that you deserve to be at the table, it makes a significant difference in how you perform.”
Ultimately, this event was a great way to start 2023 with The Network, leaving our young professionals engaged and inspired to shape our community’s future.