Penmac Staffing’s branch in West Plains is experiencing a year of transition. In October, Penmac was heartbroken by the sudden loss of Regional Manager Deanna McNew, who the company said personified Penmac’s philosophy of “We Place People First” for over 25 years.

She most recently served as regional manager, overseeing offices in West Plains, Houston and Poplar Bluff; and Brainerd, Wadena, and Hackensack, Minn.

Earlier this year, McNew expressed her enormous pride in her team at the Penmac office in West Plains. In January, Matt Owens was promoted to branch manager.

“He is an outstanding employee,” McNew said at the time. Owens has worked for Penmac for more than a decade, and is known across the company for his exceptional customer service and work ethic. President of the West Plains Sunrise Rotary Club and a West Plains Chamber Ambassador, Owens is passionate about his community. Penmac promoted Owens to senior staffing specialist in 2014, and to assistant branch manager in 2018. Owens will now become area manager to oversee Penmac offices in West Plains, Houston and Poplar Bluff.

“Deanna wasn’t just my boss; she was my best friend and I will miss her more than I can express,” Owens said. “She has big shoes to fill, and I hope to make her proud.”

This fall, after less than a year of being branch manager, Owens and the team in West Plains were named as one of Penmac’s top branches. McNew was extremely proud, and gave all the credit to the outstanding staff. Of 32 Penmac offices, the West Plains branch stood out for exemplifying all of the People First Award criteria — communication, team development, financial stewardship and compliance and procedures. The honor is named after Penmac’s motto, “We Place People First,” which emphasizes the importance Penmac places both on strong relationships with businesses and job seekers, as well as filling positions and finding employment quickly.

McNew opened the office in West Plains in 1994, as Penmac’s ninth office. For two and a half decades, she was committed to helping individuals find employment, businesses find outstanding employees and improving the communities she worked in. More than that, McNew taught her Penmac family how to truly “place people first,” which is a lesson the West Plains team has taken to heart, and will to internalize as they continue to serve their neighbors.


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