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Local businesses infusing economic vitality in Springfield, Missouri

Askinosie Chocolate Springfield MO.jpeg
Tom Wilmer
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Shawn Askinosie demonstrates chocolate processing equipment at Askinosie Chocolate Company in Springfield, Missouri.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer in Springfield, Missouri where he visits with key players in the business community who are propelling economic vitality throughout the region.

Askinosie Chocolate Factory in downtown Springfield is our first stop where we visit with Shawn Askinosie who gave up a successful law career to follow his passion for creating world-class chocolates. Askinosie shares profits with his small-scale family run cocoa bean growers in Ecuador, the Amazon, Tanzania and the Philippines.

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Alexis Bowlby
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Sally Hargis, VP/Chairman at Ozarks Coca Cola-Dr. Pepper plant in Springfield, MO.

Next up is a visit with Sally Hargis, VP/Chairman of the 100 year-old family-run Ozarks Coca Cola-Dr. Pepper bottling operation-serving Missouri and Northwest Arkansas.

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Alexis Bowlby
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Springfield Underground is a 3.2 million square-foot storage space in a limestone cavern.

Springfield Underground is a unique 3.2 million square-foot industrial park housed in a mammoth underground limestone cave. Join John Griesemer, President and CEO of the 3rd generation family run operation. Clients include Kraft, Vital Farms and the Meta Data Center. More than 600 hundred truck-and-trailer rigs shuttle in and out of the limestone caverns every day.

Blake Adams (left) Dayle Duggins (center) with Tom Wilmer at Finley Farms Ozark MO.jpeg
Alexis Bowlby
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Blake Adams (left) with Dayle Duggins (center) at Finley Farms in Ozark, MO chat with correspondent Tom Wilmer.

The heart of 40-acre Finley Farms is the circa-1833 Ozark grain mill. The modern incarnation of the farm was the vision of noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops, Johnny Morris. In addition to farm tours where visitors learn about the farm’s organic practices, the riverside destination is a multi-purpose event destination for weddings and much more. We’ll meet up with Dayle Duggins and her miller, Blake Adams.

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Alexis Bowlby
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Robert Randolph, Executive Director at Robert Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Ozarks Technical College in Springfield, Missouri.

Located within the Ozarks Technical Community College, the Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing serves as a regional hub for all advanced manufacturing and technology-related education and training. We’ll meet up with Executive Director Robert Randolph, for an insider’s tour of the cutting-edge facility.

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Alexis Bowlby
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David Cameron (right), City Administrator with the City of Republic, Missouri visits with Tom Wilmer

David Cameron, the town of Republic’s City Administrator, shares his passion for engaging the citizenry while propelling economic development and environmental compliance. Republic is a small town just outside Springfield.

Funding for Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer is provided by the Foundation at Hearst Castle

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Foundation at Hearst Castle
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Conserving the past to inspire future generations of dreamers and preserving the legacy of Julia Morgan. Experience authentically curated historical events that recreate what it was like to be a guest of William Randolph Hearst—click here to learn more about becoming a supporting member of the Foundation at Hearst Castle.

You are invited to subscribe to the six time Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryApple Podcast, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com and more than twenty other podcast hosting sites including iHeartRadio

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Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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