Hollie Westring - 05/02/2015

Hollie Westring spent her childhood in southern Illinois, attending high school in Hale, Mo. She later received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Central Missouri. She now lives in Kansas City, Missouri and has gone on to become a successful author and freelance editor. She enjoys baking and exploring historical locations around the mid-west.

Susan Hiland- 05/02/2015

Susan Hiland went to Oak Park High School. A love of storytelling in high school led to theatre, announcements, broadcasting, and journalism. She grew up in an age when the storytelling methods and technology were very different from what is prevalent now. Social media has been a game changer in journalism, allowing quicker response times. A web department is a four-person operation whereas ten years ago- completely unexpected. Now exclusivity of reality is the new reality. Susan Hiland went to Missouri State and got a radio internship at a station in Springfield.

Pat Stidham- 05/02/2015

Pat Stidham was born in Longview, Texas in 1954. At the age of five, his family moved to the West Texas town of Kermit. Pat graduated in 1973 before attending Rice University on a football scholarship. He married and welcomed his daughter into the world during his years in college. Pat spent the first 26 years of his career in sales and marketing before making a career switch in 2002 when he decided to earn a Masters in Teaching from CMSU. He has spent the last 12 years as a teacher, which was his first career choice.

Jasen Ballenger- 05/02/2015

Jasen Ballenger is a wildlife biologist with degrees from Missouri State and Baker Universities. He has varied experience working for the Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Clay County parks, among others. He is a plant geek and an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting, fishing, and caring for Ozarks streams.

Larry Franklin - 05/02/2015

Larry Franklin has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry and an MBA. He worked for 5 years as an Analytical Chemist before moving into Information Technology. He has worked 30 years in the IT field and 20 years as a database administrator. He was manager over the It department. He spent 12 1/2 years working at Cerner.

Melissa Brown - 05/02/2015

Melissa Brown was born in Kansas City, Missouri on May 14, 1970. She lived in the Kansas City area for 18 years until she married her husband, Hollis Brown, and moved to Parris Island, South Carolina. The lived there for 3 years and gave birth to their first son, Hollis, just before returning to Kansas City in 1991. Their second son, Zach, was born in 1995. Melissa spent several years at home with her sons until they entered school. Melissa first joined the Mid-Continent Public Library Claycomo branch in 2001.

Dan Schepis - 05/02/2015

Dan Schepis has been conservation agent for the past 3 years. He discovered this position while obtaining his Masters in Biology. Dan finds mixing his love for the outdoors and law enforcement within his job duties each day endlessly rewarding. Although his primary job duties include enforcing the wildlife code of Missouri, he takes great pride in helping the citizens of the state to explore and enjoy Missouri's natural resources.