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About Us

The Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) focuses on the four county (Laclede, Phelps, Pulaski, and Texas) region directly surrounding Fort Leonard Wood. We are a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2012, as a result of the Initial Integrated Strategic Sustainability Plan (ISSP). The plan created six long-term strategic goals; one of the goals called for full and effective community engagement. The SOP has put together a strategic plan with our own goals that allow us to focus on attaining the community engagement goal set forth by the ISSP. Our four primary goals are:

    1. Gain positive recognition for the region. Achieve state and national recognition for the region as an excellent place for people to live, work, and play and for businesses to prosper.
    2. Strengthen the region. Be a catalyst for positive change for citizens, businesses, and governments throughout the region to improve the quality of life, and grow a diverse, sustainable economy.
    3. Strengthen Fort Leonard Wood. Ensure that FLW continues to be an enduring installation, with opportunities to grow with expanding or new missions.
    4. Ensure the viability of the SOP. Improve SOP efficiency and operational effectiveness so it can successfully support the region and Fort Leonard Wood.

    Our vision is:

    Regional communities, citizens, governments and organizations, Fort Leonard Wood (FLW), and state and federal enablers working together as stakeholders to make the region an ever better place to live, work and play, while enabling FLW mission success and advocating FLW mission sustainment and growth.

    Our mission is:

    Coordinate and facilitate growth of a diverse, sustainable economy for the region and publicize regional consensus while respecting individual interests of the members, function as the central point of contact for regional partners, foster the region’s continuing commitment to national defense, and advocate for local and regional development initiatives, as well as Fort Leonard Wood sustainment and growth.

    Staff listing:

    Kent Thomas, Executive Director
    Dorsey Newcomb, Technical Program Manager
    Bob Chapman, Administration
    Ron Selfors, Consultant
    Erin Kaberline, Communications Consultant

    Executive Committee/Board Members:


    Chair: Dr. George Lauritson, Mayor, City of St. Robert

    Vice Chair: Steve Ehrhardt, Co-Owner, Ehrhardt Properties

    Treasurer: Bill Ransdall

    Past President: Dr. Brian Henry, Superintendent, Waynesville School District

    Anthony Bamvakais, Senior Aide, Office of the Missouri Adjutant General

    Randy Becht, Pulaski County Growth Alliance  

    John Buchanan, Staff Member, Energy Div., Missouri Department of Economic Development

    John Casey, County Commissioner, Texas County

    Linda Conner, Executive Director, Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments

    John Denbo, President, Phelps County Regional Medical Center

    Joe Driskill, Missouri Military Advocate

    Mike Dunbar, President, Security Bank of Pulaski County

    Honorable Luge Hardman, Mayor, City of Waynesville 

    Bruce Harrill, City Administrator, City of Waynesville

    Anita Ivey, City Administrator, City of St. Robert

    Lori Laughlin, Director, Mercy Clinic, St. Robert

    Rick Morris, Director of Operations. Ft. Wood Hotels

    Johnny Murrell, Executive Director, South Central Ozarks Council of Governments

    Bonnie Prigge, Executive Director, Meramec Regional Planning Commission

    Keith Pritchard, CEO, Security Bank of Pulaski County

    Angie Rolufs, Missouri S&T

    Harold Selby, City of St. James

    Larry Sexton, Pulaski County

    Fred Stenger, County Commissioner, Texas County

    Phil Tackett, Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce

    Ben Tipton, Phelps County Bank

    Steve Tupper, Phelps for the Fort

    Brenda Wilbers, Chief of Energy Policy Program, Energy Division, Missouri DNR

    Honorable Dennis Wilson, Mayor, City of St. James

    Matt Woessner, Investment Realty

    Dalton Wright, President, Lebanon Publishing Company

    Ex-Officio Members:

    Kimberly Bittle, District Forest Ranger, Mark Twain National Forest

    K. Lercher, Chief of FLW Commanding General's Initiatives Group

    Bryan Parker, Director of Plans, Analysis and Integration, Garrison Command, FLW 

Strengthening the Fort Leonard Wood region