April Member News

Member News is a monthly blog post dedicated to sharing Chamber members’ upcoming events or major news. If you have something to share, email the Chamber’s Director of Communications and Marketing, Samantha Chandler, at Schandler@ColumbiaMOChamber.com.

Top Volunteers from First Mid Give Back to the Community

Mattoon, IL (April 1, 2024) As a community-focused financial organization, First Mid is dedicated to having a positive impact in all the communities they serve. The company encourages employees to volunteer and give back to local organizations and causes. First Mid employees recorded over 19,000 volunteer hours in 2023. In addition, the company annually recognizes their top five volunteers for their contributions. Each volunteer is presented with the opportunity to choose a local organization to receive $500 from First Mid on their behalf.

Amy Beals is the Executive Assistant, located at Mattoon Corporate. She chose to donate to Newton Community High School’s Theatre Department, whose purpose is to provide a creative and inclusive space where students can explore their passion for the performing arts. Through collaboration and hard work, they aim to produce high quality productions that entertain and enrich their community. They believe in fostering a culture of respect and empathy where every student is valued and supported in their artistic pursuits. Their ultimate goal is to ignite a lifelong love of theater in their students and create a lasting impact on their community through the transformative power of the arts.

Sarah Calhoun is a Teller, located at the Carbondale Main banking center. She chose to donate to DeSoto First Baptist Church Youth Group, whose goal is to bring kids aged 12-18 together and give them a safe space to be themselves while enjoying fellowship and a weekly home-cooked meal. The group also participates in a summer vacation bible school for all ages and a community fall fest on Halloween.
Eric LeFlore is a Commercial Lender, located at the St. Peters banking center. He chose to donate to Legacy Sports Foundation, whose mission is to champion the youth of the community by providing comprehensive support, resources, and opportunities for growth. Through athletic programs, mentorship, and community engagement, they strive to foster confidence, resilience, and a sense of personal responsibility.

Barb Cooper is a Trust Administration Officer with First Mid Wealth Management, located at the Decatur N. Main banking center. She chose to donate to Bethel #49 Job’s Daughters International®, whose mission is to create confident young women, respect tradition, and shape the future. Their members learn invaluable skills that increase their confidence and prepare them to lead.

J.P. Piper is the Information Security Administrator, located at the Paris banking center. He chose to donate to El Shaddai Emmaus of West Central Indiana, which seeks to inspire, challenge, and equip leaders for Christian action in their homes, churches, communities, and places of work.

About First Mid Bancshares, Inc.: First Mid Bancshares, Inc. is the parent company of First Mid Bank & Trust, N.A., First Mid Insurance Group, and First Mid Wealth Management Company. First Mid is an $7.6 billion community-focused organization that provides financial services including banking, insurance, wealth management, brokerage, and ag services through a network of locations in Illinois, Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin, and a loan production office in Indiana. Together, our First Mid team takes great pride in providing solutions and services to our customers and communities and has done so since 1865. More information about the Company is available on our website at firstmid.com. Our stock is traded in The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC under the ticker symbol “FMBH”. Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender.

Logboat Wins Best of Rural MO

Logboat won 2nd best in the Winery, Brewery, Distillery category!! 
Best of Rural Missouri 2024 | Rural Missouri

The Central Workforce Development Board CWDR Welcomes Kalynn Ramsey of EquipmentShare to the Board

Rolla, Mo., March 18, 2023 – The Central Workforce Development Board (CWDB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kalynn Ramsey as its newest board member. Ramsey brings a wealth of experience in workforce development and a passion for ensuring people find fulfilling professional roles.

Currently, Ramsey is the Apprentice Program Manager at EquipmentShare, connecting with secondary and post-secondary schools to create a pipeline of skilled employees. Her background includes previous work as the director of member engagement and professional development for the Missouri Community College Association.

“I am thrilled to join the CWDB to play my professional part in making Central MO a better place to live by making people’s occupational dreams come true,” said Ramsey.

EquipmentShare is a construction technology company that provides equipment rentals, fleet management solutions, and digital tools to simplify construction work for contractors nationwide.

Ramsey’s passion for workforce development stems from her desire to find solutions and serve as a resource for others. She is married, has three young boys, and enjoys an active lifestyle. She is often found supporting her children’s sporting events.

The Central Workforce Development Region encompasses 19 mid-Missouri counties, including Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Howard, Laclede, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski, and Washington.  It also offers four full-service Missouri Job Center locations in Columbia, Jefferson City, Rolla, and Lebanon, satellite operations in Fulton, Fort Leonard Wood, Osage Beach, and Potosi, and three additional access points in Mexico, Vienna, and Boonville.

For more information about the Central Workforce Development Board, visit cwdregion.com

Bluebird Network Announces NTIA Grant Route Open Request for Proposals

The 500-mile fiber build will connect major metros from St. Louis to Tulsa and deliver connectivity to underserved communities across Missouri and Oklahoma

St. Louis, MOMarch 13, 2024 Bluebird Network, a communications infrastructure provider and operator of more than 11,000 miles of fiber and two data centers, is seeking bids from vendors to complete the Engineering Design and/or Environmental Assessments associated with the project.

Vendors are invited to visit the Bluebird RFP submission website to submit a proposal associated with the fiber build, supported by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Middle Mile Grant award. RFP responses are due no later than April 4, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. CDT. Vendors can download the RFP Template, KMZ layer of proposed fiber route, Master Construction Agreement and Professional Services Agreement as well as a collection of live Frequently Asked Questions at BluebirdNetwork.com/open-request-for-proposals/. A contract will be awarded based on RFP evaluation criteria including the ability to meet slated requirements, customer references, solution approach, price and additional factors detailed in the RFP and other supporting documents.

The fiber build will have uniformly placed Point of Presence (PoP) locations along route corridors and is planned to span 330 miles through Missouri and 164 miles through Oklahoma.

“These projects will extend middle-mile infrastructure to unserved and underserved areas and promote broadband resiliency by creating new and alternative connections across the Midwest,” said John Nolan, Bluebird Network’s Chief Development Officer. “These projects will also increase competition, reduce costs and spur the rapid deployment of last-mile services in rural areas.”

Nolan added that the new routes have the potential to grow and strengthen fixed wireless and cellular connectivity, including advancements in new wireless technologies that are supported by fiber.

To learn more about Bluebird Network, visit www.bluebirdnetwork.com.


About Bluebird Network

Bluebird Network is a communications infrastructure provider and data center operator. Since 1999, Bluebird Network, headquartered in Missouri, has provided internet and transport services, via its fiber infrastructure, to Carriers and Enterprise customers in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, and the surrounding states. Bluebird owns two data centers: an underground facility in Springfield, MO, and a facility in the Quad Cities. Bluebird operates more than 11,000 fiber route miles of high-speed broadband and fiber-optic connections with over 82,000 on-net and near-net buildings and 163 Points of Presence (PoP) sites spanning the Midwest, including the major cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield (MO and IL), Tulsa, Peoria, Rockford, Bloomington, Normal and the Quad Cities.

To learn more, please visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and X.

“Sponsor a Row” and help Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture grow & feed our community!

Peggy Ojo Receives Dorothy Jacob Customer Service Award

COLUMBIA, MO – Peggy Ojo, Assistant Branch Manager at Woodrail, was honored with the Dorothy Jacob Customer Service Award at the Central Bank of Boone County (CBBC) Annual Consumer Banking Awards last week. The award is presented to someone who exemplifies customer service from the heart, a trait exemplified by the late Dorothy Jacob who spent more than 50 years at the bank and was the first female bank officer in Columbia.

“I have had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand the exemplary service and dedication that Peggy consistently provides to her customers. Peggy is committed to going above and beyond to meet and exceed customer expectations. She works hard to ensure her customers feel valued in each interaction. Peggy remains calm and composed when dealing with difficult situations and effectively provides solutions for her customers.” says Amanda Chaney, Branch Manager of Woodrail. Peggy has been with CBBC for seven years, and is extremely deserving of the Dorothy Jacob Customer Service Award.

Central Bank of Boone County is a division of The Central Trust Bank. The Central Trust Bank is headquartered in Jefferson City, Missouri, and has been serving businesses and customers since 1902. The bank is built on a strong foundation of people, community service, and technology.

The Central Trust Bank is a $20 billion Missouri state-chartered trust company with more than 250 locations in 78 communities. For more information, visit www.centralbank.net. For more information on this specific topic, contact Mary Wilkerson at 573-874-8534 or mary.wilkerson@centralbank.net.


300 S Providence Rd
PO Box 1016
Columbia, Mo 65205