A Missouri native, Larry Stock moved from the Kansas City area to Springfield in the late 1970s and started Queen City Roofing and Sheet Metal. Founded when there were already four other competing companies, Queen City Roofing and Sheet Metal has grown in tandem with the city.
Larry was one of Leadership Springfield’s first Signature Class program members. He has since been an active alumnus and current board member. “I was with Leadership Springfield when it started, and it’s evolved quite a bit since then.” Stock believes Leadership Springfield’s decision to move forward as a fully staffed independent entity is a step in the right direction toward better serving the area. In fact, Larry took the opportunity to attend the two-day Access Class program in May, which he found to be “quite informative” as a fast-paced refresher on area industries and face time with local leaders.
Stock emphasizes the importance of civic engagement, both for individuals and the overall community. Leadership Springfield programs all offer “an insider’s look at some of the other important institutions and areas that are important to the community such as health care, government, education, and not-for-profits.” Through different sectors, participants learn the significance of what they do through a close-up view from leaders in various fields.
Larry believes in the value of personal leadership growth and expanding one’s viewpoint by being growth-oriented instead of goal-oriented. He adds, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change, and I think that it’s very important. The more we can come to know things about other people and organizations, the better citizens we can become.”
When asked how Springfield has changed throughout the decades, Stock identifies one of the city’s strengths is being less prone to economic ups and downs. The population has grown significantly over the years, both locally and in the surrounding areas. It has also been interesting to see the rise of suburban school districts, but we want to make sure that we do not have a decaying urban school district. People will move to areas where their children can get a good education. Springfield is at the forefront of understanding the significance of preschool education in order to prepare them for kindergarten. He has also seen growth and support for groups and says, “Companies are starting to realize the importance of trying to embrace the vibrancy of the younger people. There has been a real push to grow diversity here and the impact of millennials in the decision-making process.”
Leadership Springfield works within collaboration with many other local organizations to increase retention. Leadership Springfield programs continue to help develop and engage leaders to serve the community. With an alumni network of more than 2,000 graduates, alumni members with more than three decades have been plugged in, with the power to make a lasting impact in our community.