By Emily Laurie, Director of Marketing at Hogan Land Title and Kyle Drenon
Photos by Ashley Hughes
Love is in the air. As Valentine’s Day approaches, we thought we’d introduce you to some of Springfield’s most active and influential couples. These folks are doing some amazing things in our community, both professionally and personally. They’re “Power Couples.” Each pair features equally impressive individuals.
Let’s meet them!
Ethan and Sara are both news anchors for the Ozarks’ number one television station. Both have hauled in tons of nominations and awards including 417 magazine’s best TV personality (both have won the award), Midwest Emmys, and lots of other awards and recognitions. You can find Ethan online asking Ozarkers to help decide his weekly “Great Debate” and Sara covering breaking news and candid moments of their three children.
They call it “the place to be.” It’s certainly true for us! We met at KY3. Sara began working there in February of 2005. Ethan started at KY3 in August of 2005. Not too long after that, we began dating & were married in 2007.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and most of it is small stuff. Sure it’s cliche, but it’s a concise and easy way to sum up a legitimate truth. On a seriousness scale of one to ten, unless it’s a nine or ten, it’s not worth making an issue of it. Agreeing on the ‘big’ stuff, however, is key to long lasting peace and that’s something you should know before exchanging vows.
God has blessed us with a schedule that works for our careers and for our family life. We have a rule: when we’re not working, we don’t talk about work. When we’re home and with family, we’re fully home and with family. We’re fortunate to have jobs that don’t require a lot of work from home. Sure, we have to keep up with the news but, most of the time, we don’t have a lot of work to do while we’re away from work.
For us, nothing beats just hanging out with our three kids. Our favorite thing to do – when the weather permits – is to play out in the yard. The kids love to ride bikes and race in the driveway. We love to sit and watch them with a coffee or sweet tea — so come on spring!! We also enjoy taking drives through the country.
We’re celebrating 10 years of wedded bliss in April! We can’t believe how quickly the time has passed & how our lives have changed for the better since we met! We’re grateful to God for his hand of blessing on our lives and we know the best is yet to come!
Clif Smart is the president of Missouri State University and Gail is the co-founder of the Well of Life Food Pantry with Center City Christian Outreach. They have Arkansas roots, but are Springfieldians through and through now. They have two sons, Murray and Jim. You can always find Clif on Twitter in awesome videos, usually with Boomer (the Missouri State Mascot) and on Facebook. You can catch Gail speaking at charity functions and events for Springfield Public Schools.
We met in law school. One of Gail’s friends who was married to a classmate in Clif’s class introduced us. Our first date was lunch at On the Corner Restaurant in Fayetteville.
We go to many university events together including those out of town. We also try to leave town together at least once a quarter to get away from all the activities and commitments. We also try to save at least one evening a week just to ourselves.
Our favorite thing is to escape to our second home in Florida to walk on the beach, watch the sunsets and just relax.
Our friends and our neighborhood (Meadowmere Place). After living in the older part s of town for 24 years, we have great friends and neighbors.
One of the most creative couples in the city, Randy and Shannon Bacon are the operators of Randy Bacon Gallery in downtown Springfield. They’ve been showing us the beauty inside Ozarkers for decades and have taken their art into advocacy over the past few years. Randy and Shannon are the organizers behind 7 Billion Ones, an artistic movement centered on telling the story of people from all over the world, one story at a time.
Shannon: Don’t get married until you are 30 (those are words from my dad). I am not sure if that is the magic age, but don’t rush into it. I obviously didn’t listen to him though, ha ha. But, it’s a good idea to get a firm grip on who YOU are as an individual before marrying, I think. And, NEVER shove what’s on your mind under the rug. It gets extra dirty under there.
Randy: I agree with Shannon. Also, learn to walk side-by-side together through the myriad of life experiences…and don’t have blinders on, because the saying ‘for better or worse’ will come into play many times with any marriage. But sticking together and working through the challenges will reap the blessing and the beauty of the relationship.
Shannon: You have to learn what is really important for you as an individual, as well as a couple. I have to say “no” and take time for self care, and for me, to “be still”. I need time to be alone, paint, and know I am still an individual without
Randy. This did take me some time to learn though, and I am almost 50!
Paul and Hannah Catlett are the owners of the two most popular hair care businesses in Springfield. They operate Hudson Hawk Barber and Shop, a modern take on the classic barber experience and Studio 417, a full service boutique hair salon. Both of these businesses took Springfield by storm over the past years, quickly becoming synonymous with looking good in the Queen City. They have two sons, Link and Hawk, who also keep them busy at their Springfield home.
We met at Studio 417! Downtown at 7 am for my first color appointment with Paul.
Paul: Don’t confuse boredom with being content.
Hannah: Put as much effort into your marriage as you do your career.
Paul: You make time for what matters.
Hannah: Balance is relative. Our balance is different than others’ but it includes putting our kids and each other first, and everything else falls into place.
Paul: The four seasons of weather.
Hannah: Our support system (our team) of family, friends, coworkers and clients. They want us to be successful in work and marriage and that is so special.
Paul: Raising two boys. Stay tuned.
Hannah: If one tenth of our Pinterest boards pan out, we will be hiring lots of help:)
Communication is key in any relationship, but for Stephen and Trysta Herzog, it’s what brought them together. Since they met taking journalism courses at Missouri State, Trysta has become the Communications Director for Greene County and Stephen has become the Engagement Editor at the Springfield News-Leader. They’re both very involved in the community and have a daughter with whom they spend their time with when they’re not telling the stories of people in the Ozarks.
Technically we were aware of each other in Dr. Andrew Cline’s photojournalism class at Missouri State, but didn’t actually get to know one another until we were working at the student newspaper together (Stephen as editor; Trysta as reporter).
Being “in love” may attract you to one another, but it isn’t what creates a lasting relationship. Empathy, forgiveness, mutual respect and communication. That’s what will carry you through good times and bad.
We spend a lot of time at the library with our daughter, but when we have a night off from her you can probably find us at RSVPaint in downtown Springfield.
It has a little bit of everything, and it’s pretty easy to find free or cheap things for our family to do. We love the variety of parks, the museum and all the arts – live theater, symphony and ballet. You can get a pretty good “entertainment sampler” in Springfield.
We’re both passionate about community issues like domestic violence prevention, homelessness solutions and civic engagement. You’re likely to see us attending or organizing events with those missions at the heart.
High school sweethearts? Psh. Try Junior High School sweethearts. Jenny and Jeremy Mhire found each other early in life and have been enjoying their journey together here in Springfield for many years. Fitness is central to their lives. They both work as trainers at CrossFit, an intense interval-based training gym on the west side of town.
We met at Cherokee Middle School in 7th Grade and began “going out” in 8th grade. This year we will celebrate 14 years of being very happily married!
You’re on the same team: Be selfless, work together, take ownership of your mistakes, and extend the same grace towards your spouse that the good Lord has extended toward you.
We love weekend trips and getaways, dinner dates, live music, sporting events, or a quiet night in watching Netflix or playing Nintendo.
Everything. Springfield is a great blend of a small town and a big city. The people in SWMO are kind and welcoming and always seeking to encourage and support one another.
In general, we love to support non-profits that benefit our veterans or that help individuals or groups in our community in need. Almost all of the events and competitions we spearhead are centered around contributing to these types of initiatives. We’re extremely grateful to the members of CrossFit Springfield for always demonstrating a willingness to serve others first.
It’s tough to get any more Springfield than Jeremy and Rachael Snow. They’ve both been involved in the inner-workings of the city for several years and have helped to foster the growth of business community and infrastructure. Rachael does Economic Development Marketing for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Jeremy is a client manager and environmental consultant at Environmental Works, Inc.
Mutual friends set us up while Jeremy was home on leave from a deployment in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.
Jeremy: It takes more than just LOVING each other; you have to LIKE one another too.
Rachael: A couple that prays together stays together.
Open communication when it comes to our schedules is the key. But it also takes a lot of compromise, support, and team work to keep everything moving. At the end of the day though, we have to choose to prioritize “us” over everything else. Our goal is to never stop dating each other.
What’s this downtime you speak of? Just kidding … we really enjoy traveling together. Getting off the beaten path and exploring new places is our favorite. We’re never worried about getting lost because it’s all a part of the adventure.
We love the “sense of place” Springfield has. The city has a very rich and interesting history, but a progressive culture that is constantly changing. There’s never been a better time to be in Springfield!