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Chrystal Irons named Missouri State Star
Southwest Missourian named state's outstanding business counselor for contributions to local business growth
By: MSU SBTDC
"Chrystal is outstanding in every way," said Greg Tucker, MO SBTDC interim state director. "She regularly exceeds all goals in helping new businesses get off the ground, boosting existing businesses' profitability and ensuring all area economic stakeholders work together to achieve regional prosperity and stability. It's no exaggeration to say she has been instrumental in southwest Missouri's continued economic success, and I expect even greater things from her as director."
The state star award follows Irons' recent promotion from MO SBTDC business development specialist for Christian and Taney counties to MSU SBTDC director.
Irons will receive official state star recognition at the ASBDC national conference in Orlando, Fla., this September. The award is given annually to a small business and development counselor in Missouri who shows a strong commitment to business and makes a significant contribution to the economic health of the region and state.
Irons is regularly recognized for excellence. In 2015, she won the Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Industry Award, which recognizes faculty and staff whose educational programming supports the economic viability of Missouri businesses.
Over the past two fiscal years, Irons exceeded all her economic goals. Her goal of increasing sales for area companies was $6.5 million, and she achieved $10.6 million. In the same period, she helped create or retain more than 200 jobs and start 16 new businesses.
She has partnered with the city of Hollister, Taney County Partnership and Missouri Enterprise, among others, to obtain grant funding to start a farmers' market in Hollister. She has also partnered with the Branson Chamber of Commerce and Taney County Partnership to celebrate SBA's National Small Business Week in the Taney County area in past years, as well as bringing new educational programs to area small businesses.
Irons is also a business owner and entrepreneur in a family business, A-1 Walls & Landscaping, Ozark, Mo. She earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and an MBA from Drury University.
The MO SBTDC is a program of the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program (BDP), a statewide network which helps businesses succeed in every stage from concept to startup, growth to renewal, maturity to succession through a variety of programs. MO SBTDC counselors are located statewide providing education and individualized assistance on a variety of issues.
From 2013 through 2015, the BDP assisted thousands of Missouri firms create or retain 24,180 jobs, increase sales by $439 million, acquire new investments of $419.6 million and win government contracts of $1.4 billion. The BDP is a solid return on investment, creating $119 of economic impact for every $1 invested and creating one job for every $930 in total funding.
For more on the BDP, please visit www.missouribusiness.net to find the center nearest you.