Award Information

MCB Awards and Recognition are the icing on the cake for all the great things MCB Communities accomplish during the year.  

To honor the work of Gene Speichinger with the Missouri Community Betterment program, and his expertise in community development spanning his 40 years of service to the organization, the MCB Board of Directors have chosen to name the annual Community Award Grand Prize Winner the Gene Speichinger Community of the Year Award.  

The Missouri Community Betterment J.C. Smith Youth Group of the Year Award is given annually to the community that demonstrates an outstanding commitment to developing future community leaders, teaching responsibility, and mentoring youth. J.C. Smith was one of MCB’s original Ambassadors who gave so much time, talent, and effort to his local Community Betterment Organization in Clinton, and to Missouri Community Betterment as a board member for almost 20 years. MCB chose to honor him by renaming this annual Award in his honor.

Other Community Awards & Youth Group Awards are given by population size based on a set judging criteria.  A project report must be submitted for the process.  Up to 5 community projects and 2 youth projects may be submitted by each community.  During a week in September two judges travel to all the communities is a specific category (based on population).  The Award are all announced at the annual MCB Conference held in October of each year.  The awards are given to celebrate planning and use of resources available to each community.

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Year Category Community Recipient Award
1996 MCB Ambassador Awards Mr. Mike Schicker
2001 MCB Ambassador Awards Mr. Lenard Johnson
2001 MCB Ambassador Awards Ms. Lee Langerock
2004 MCB Ambassador Awards Jack Briggs
2004 MCB Ambassador Awards J.C. Smith
2005 MCB Ambassador Awards Gene Speichinger
2007 MCB Ambassador Awards Jerry Craig
2009 MCB Ambassador Awards Janie Dunning
2010 MCB Ambassador Awards Mark Dawson
2010 MCB Ambassador Awards Mike Heimericks
2011 MCB Ambassador Awards Ann Crume
2011 MCB Ambassador Awards John M. Robinson
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“The Missouri Partnership frequently works with companies looking in Missouri for potential locations to set up new operations.  We firmly believe that communities that invest in continuous improvement and ‘quality of place’ enjoy a competitive advantage in their efforts to attract new jobs and investment.  Companies searching for a new home will always favor a community that takes pride in itself and strives to better itself every day, and the Missouri Community Betterment program helps communities across the state to do just that.” Christopher Chung, CEO, Missouri Partnership

“Missouri Community Betterment is a tremendous association that recognizes the efforts and achievements of our state’s rural communities. As a former youth member, community member and State Board Member I am a product of the leadership development promoted by the association.” - US Congressman Jason Smith

“The MFA Oil Foundation’s mission is to support and invest in communities where we do business, to assure their continued prosperity. MCB’s mission is to provide assistance to many of those same communities to help them with improvement projects. With similar missions it seems only fitting that our Foundation should support MCB with the work that they do. As a MCB board member I have been very impressed with the dedication of many of the local community leaders as they attempt to make their town the best it can be”.  - Ken Caspall, MFA Foundation

The MCB conference provides networking for youth groups to learn what other communities have done and an opportunity to develop new plans for projects in their own home towns.  Developing leadership capacity and confidence in their abilities to work with adults gives the MCB youth participants great preparation for college and beyond. - Dave Garnett, Hawthorn Bancshares

MCB has helped me develop skills to be a leader in my school and community. Through my involvement in the youth program I have gained confidence and communication skills. The three MCB conferences I attended were fun and motivating. Having the opportunity to hear what others were doing to help their community has helped me bring new ideas to my town. Community Betterment has motivated my entire youth team to improve our community throughout the year. - Kenna Roland, Senior 2014, Lamar (2013 MCB Youth Leadership Award Winner)

“As a MCB board member I have had a chance to observe first hand, how enthusiastically some of the MCB participating community’s youth become engaged in the projects they initiate in their communities.  These youth are the leaders of tomorrow and the leadership skills demonstrated in the local projects they under take can be exemplary.   Youth leadership recognition and civic engagement  is just another reason why the MFA Oil Foundation is a willing MCB Sponsor”. - Ken Caspall, MFA Oil Foundation

"Missouri Community Betterment and the Missouri Community Betterment Conferences have been a blessing to the youth in Steelville. The sessions and guidance given during the MCB conferences has allowed us to improve our community in many various ways." - Libby Wynn, Steelville Youth Group 

"The Missouri Community Betterment Program is one of the best values a rural community can invest in to access professional assistance in community planning, development and technical expertise." - Kelly Smith, Missouri Farm Bureau

"MCB has provided our rural community with resources and opportunities to implement projects and help grow community support.  MCB allows our youth an avenue to be involved on a much larger scale in the growth and development of our community.  I have been involved with MCB for 25 years and the experiences I have been able to share with the youth of our community have truly been priceless.  Being involved with MCB, has opened many doors for our community, but the greatest reward for me has been the positive impact on our youth and the leadership opportunities provided to them." - Jodie Cottrell, youth group leader , Steelville

“We invest in Missouri Community Betterment because we see firsthand the success the program is having in rural communities throughout the state. While across the Midwest we are seeing Main Streets close up shop, MCB communities continue to grow and provide a better quality of life for Missourians.” - Mark Woodson, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.

“Founded by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Missouri Community Betterment has provided outstanding technical assistance to Missouri’s rural communities for more than 50 years.  The support, energy, and success of the MCB program has continued to give participating communities the opportunity to thrive in today’s economy and make Missouri feel like home to growing businesses.” - Mike Downing, Director of Missouri Department of Economic Development

"Our Youth are just in awe of everything they did at conference and are ready to undertake all sorts of new challenges.  I was so proud or Kirk, who spoke at at a grant acceptance ceremony on Wednesday (week after the 2015 conference).  He spoke to 30 adults and stayed calm as a cucumber  and was the hit of the show.  Without the leadership skills he learned at the conference, I don’t know if he would have been so sure of himself.  Thanks is not enough, but the only word in English we have available." - Connie Johnson, Galena

Missouri Community Betterment Educational Fund Inc.,
P.O. Box 105997, Jefferson City, MO 65110
Phone:660.383.1034 Fax:660.383.1202