“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

In my opinion MCB has helped communities in our region by giving them a sense or organization/structure to go about improving their community on their own.  They have access to resources and a network to assist them in achieving their goals and it keeps community development in front of them all the time by having this nucleus active in the community.
Jackie Soptic, Assistant Director, Green Hills Regional Planning Commission

Due to their involvement with MCB and our local LCB organization, Louisiana now has a new basketball court in one of our city parks that is a large benefit to many of our residents. Encouraging our youth to be involved in their community now will help to ensure that there are those willing to step up to carry on in a volunteer position as they move into adulthood. It also helps the youth take a fresh look at where they live and take ‘ownership’ of their surroundings.” Diana Huckstep, Louisiana.

“MCB has had a great impact on the South Iron Community Betterment Association. They motivate us to ‘keep on keeping on!’ We are thankful for all that MCB offers and for the inspiration it gives us from year to year.”  Geri Simpson, South Iron/Annapolis

“MCB provides a partnership between so many communities big and small. The sharing of ideas thoughts and resources is endless. Lamar has received 382 MCB awards in the past 50 years. That is outstanding, but the best reward we can get is when another community has implemented a project in their community because of the partnership created through MCB.”  Elaine Davis, Lamar

“Community Betterment is made up of volunteers in collaboration with the local area youth. These individuals put in countless hours to make their communities a better place to live and raise a family. Community Betterment is the heart and soul of our rural communities, and provides many opportunities for its residents.” 
Representative Paul Fitzwater, District 144

“Ten youth and six adults attended enlightening sessions on entrepreneurship, positive ways to improve our town and networking. An idea for helping our town with house numbers originated from another community.” Elaine Campbell, Houston

“In my opinion MCB has helped communities in our region by giving them a sense or organization/structure to go about improving their community on their own. They have access to resources and a network to assist them in achieving their goals and it keeps community development in front of them all the time by having this nucleus active in the community.” Jackie Soptic, Assistant Director, Green Hills Regional Planning Commission

“I moved away from Albany for 26 years but kept up with my hometown through my friends, parents, and the local newspaper.  I read and heard about “Community Betterment” all those years believing it was a wonderful idea and a real benefit to the town.  In 2000, when I learned Albany was the Grand Champion for the whole state of Missouri, I was elated and boasted endlessly to my St. Louis friends…much to their chagrin!  When I moved back “home” to Albany in 2004, the first organization I wanted to join was Albany Community Betterment.  I was welcomed with open arms and have proudly remained active with our group since that time.  It has been so rewarding to see what we have accomplished for our community, to see our youth become involved, to hear folks from other towns ask “how does Albany do that?”  For 53 years, Albany has benefited from Community Betterment, and Community Betterment, I truly believe, has benefited from Albany’s participation!” Connie Worden

“Thank you for all the mentoring, encouragement, and recognition you have given us over the past year.  I wanted to make sure you knew what an impact the Missouri Community Betterment (MCB) involvement has had on our community.
When we won the Community of the Year Award (Gene Speichinger Award), it turned out to be so much more than just the fun of recognition and winning – it changed us.
Calling it “What Is” has great power.  It gave our community self-esteem and transformed our culture in ways that can’t be measured.  Most importantly, it set us on a totally different trajectory, and sparked a momentum that we will work hard to increase.
Thank you again for your patience and encouragement as we celebrate big and small victories.  
We can’t wait to see what happens next!”  Sue Dyle, Buffalo Community Betterment


The 2019 Ambassador Award Recipient is Greg Batson.   Greg served as an MCB Board member from 2013-2019 and was MCB Board President during 2018-2019.  Greg has played an integral part in the success of the MCB program over the years and has gone above and beyond to serve those in rural Missouri. Greg’s service, leadership and commitment to Missouri communities around the state is exemplary.

An MCB Ambassador is recognized and honored by Missouri Community Betterment as a person who has given years of service to a community betterment organization and has gone above and beyond the expected level of participation in a community betterment organization. 

The MCBEF Board has the ability to select up to two new Ambassadors annually. The decision to make this award is dependent upon the Board deciding that there have been worthy candidates nominated during that year. The Board can choose to award none, one or two new Ambassadors in any given year.

Nominations should be submitted as a short (two page maximum) narrative description on why the person is being nominated for this award. 

The description should outline the extraordinary services that the nominee has made either to their community betterment organization or to the MCBEF Board.  Please include your name and contact information to assist us if more information is needed.
Nominations can be submitted by MCB community leaders, partner agencies, MCB staff and MCBEF Board members.

Nominations are due to the MCB no later than July 31, 2023.  Nominations can be mailed to the MCB Office or Emailed to the MCB Board of Directors.

Mrs. Viola Blechle, Perryville…1971...D 
Mr. William D. Hayter, Jefferson City…1972
Mrs. Ron Pettinger, Nevada…1973
Mrs. Annette Epperson, Sumner…1974
Mrs. Frankie Phillips, Hughesville…1976
Mr. Glen Smith, Mountain View…1976
Mrs. Marge Stolz, Warrensburg…1977
Mrs. Donna Thomas, Nevada…1978
Mr. Ray Slater, St. Louis…1978...D
Mrs. Harriet Beard, Kirksville…1979
Mr. Jerry Halsell, Arkansas-MO Power Co…1979
Mr. Joe Vogel, Graham…1980
Mr. Lou Atherton, Kansas City…1980
Sister Marie Charles Buford, Crondelet, St. Louis…1981
Ms. Sue Benage, Lebanon…1983
Mr. Gib Keith, Cameron…1983
Mr. Everett Van Matre, Mexico…1984...D
Mr. John C. Wright, Jr., Neosho…1984
Mr. Everett Lee, Raytown…1985
Mr. Bennie Lewis, Kansas City…1986
Mr. Vincil Warren, Lamar…1988
Mrs. Georgia Houghton, Tarkio…1988
Mrs. Muriel Akers, Caledonia…1988…D
Ms. Carolee Hazlet, Moberly…1988
Mr. Ed Owsley, Rolla…1988 
Mrs. Charlene Boyd, Clarksville…1988
Mr. Keith Bowden, Birch Tree…1989

Mrs. Elender Barrett, Albany…1993…D
Mr. Pat Ryan, Kansas City…1994
Mr. James Boettcher, Jefferson City…1994…D
Mr. Mike Schicker, St. Louis…1996
Mrs. Lee Langerock, Maryville…2001
Mr. Lenard Johnson, Salem…2001
Mr. Mark Woodson, Springfield…2002
Ms. Pat Marble, Houston…2002
Mr. J.C. Smith, Clinton…2004
Mr. Jack Briggs, Cameron…2004
Mr. Gene Speichinger, Columbia...2005...D 
Mr. Jerry Craig, Salem...2007 
Ms. Janie Dunning, Columbia...2009
Mark Dawson, Lee's Summit ...2010
Mike Heimericks, Jefferson City...2010
Ann Crume...2011 
John Robinson, III, Caledonia...2011 
Ernie Simon, Branson West...2011 
Elaine Campbell, Houston...2012 
Debbie Roach, Grant City...2012 
Avis Parman, Albany...2013
Jason Smith, salem...2013
Geri Mills, South Iron/Annapolis...2014
Ken Caspall, MFA Oil Foundation...2014
Gordon Ipson, Palmyra...2015
Judy Apperson, Salem...2017
John Gulick, Jefferson City...2018
Greg Batson, Columbia...2019

Ron Hopkins....2022




Missouri Community Betterment
P.O. Box 842, Mexico, MO 65265