Missouri Community Betterment, an organization that has been connecting small town development for over 58 years, held its first conference in two years on State Tech campus, Monday, March 28, which included a successful silent auction.

Attendees from several Missouri communities, including Versailles, Lamar, Houston, Steelville, Linn, Salem, Mexico, Maysville and Louisiana, gathered to share ideas and hear from speakers that focused on resources available for development and coming back from pandemic related slowdowns and setbacks. 

The keynote speaker was Andrea Sporcic Klund, director of the Missouri Film Office, who shared experiences from her career and role in facilitating the development of movies and Netflix hits like Winter’s Bone, Gone Girl and Ozark.  She also shared with participants the ways in which film development can enhance economies around the state and how to submit locations and other resources to databases that producers and directors search for their upcoming projects. 

Other speakers included Sarah Traub, University of Missouri; Dr. Devin Burns, Missouri S & T; Mary R. Hinde, Community Foundation for Northwest Missouri; Judy Cantoni, Community Foundation of the Ozarks; and Kaylee McFarland, Community Foundation serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.

This year, the winner of the MCB Adult Leadership Award was Melody Metzger and the winner of the MCB Youth Leadership Award was Andrew Shelton – both are from Lamar.  Additionally, Houston Community Betterment Y.O.U.T.H. received a grant-in-aid financial award for their work with foster children.  Ron Hopkins, Mexico, was designated the 2022 Missouri Community Betterment Ambassador.

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