By Dustin Henggeler
Former Maryville Mayor Jason McDowell and Northwest Missouri State University Associate Provost Dr. Greg Haddock were two of the “50 Missourians You Should Know” from Ingram’s Magazine, a leading business publication in both Missouri and Kansas.
Ingram’s designates the criteria for its prestigious honor to be “highly accomplished yet colorful residents who give the Show-Me state a unique flavor. It should be someone who has made significant contributions to the state, their communities or their businesses and whose character best exemplifies what it means to be a Missourian.”
Individuals are nominated and then reviewed by a committee before selection.
According to Ingram’s, Haddock is a Washington, DC, native who graduated from the University of Idaho before moving to Northwest. Since 2010, he has been a member of the university’s administration key in growing the international student population by 84 percent, degree-seeking graduate students by 58 percent and the online student population by over 358 percent.
Haddock fell in love with the Northwest community because he said it reminded him of Fredericksburg, VA, where he completed his undergraduate degree.
“I appreciate working in an environment that makes decisions based on information and strives to continuously improve every single year,” Haddock said of Northwest. “I have never felt that any of the last 23 years were a repeat of the previous year.”
As former Maryville mayor, Northeast Nodaway Principal and acting NEN Superintendent, Ingram’s chalked McDowell’s dedication to his community as one with much investment. McDowell has served as a city councilman since 2015 and was elected mayor a year later. He was instrumental in the development of the Mozingo Lake Conference Center.
“My intent has always been to better my community,” McDowell said of his service and job in NW Missouri. “I have been passionate about several initiatives over the years with the goal of progress for the City of Maryville.”
McDowell has been aware of the publication’s history of selecting people with a passion for their communities. He recalls seeing a number of former Bearcats along with several high-ranking citizens, like Governor Mike Parsons and Springfield Superintendent John Jungmann. More locally, Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel and Northwest Campus Police Chief Clarence Green have made the list in the past. To be among them is an honor for McDowell.
“I was really surprised to receive this honor,” he said. “I’m sure there were others more deserving. Whenever you get recognized for the effort that you’ve put into you career and community service, it makes you take a step back and look at the body of work so far.”
Earlier this year, McDowell received honors related to his role in education, including being named the Missouri Exemplary New Principal in the region by the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals.
As for as being recognized for his role as a city council member, McDowell passes the success of the community to his fellow council members and the city staff which do much of the leg work. McDowell hopes the projects for which he has been recognized continue to have a positive impact for the community.
For the many people who continuously go unnamed for their service to the community, McDowell commends those individuals who do what they do because their hearts are for others. He made note of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the New Nodaway Humane Society, Lions Clubs, the Nodaway County Senior Center, city councils and school boards among a long list of others which help make their hometown better. He encourages those who are not a part of these and other organizations to step up if they have the opportunity.
“The hardest part is making the first move,” he said. “But you’ll be glad you did it.”