Board President Doyle Privett of Kennett, Mo.; Board Vice President Kendra Neely-Martin of St. Louis; and Jay Knudtson of Cape Girardeau were named to the list published in the June edition of Ingram’s, the business magazine of Kansas City.
Ingram’s publishes the annual list as a “tribute to the people whose careers, companies and core values are changing not just their communities, but the state—and, in some cases, the world,” according to the article. Those featured, the article says, give “the Show Me State its unique flavor as a place to live, raise a family or to work or operate a business. Their individual stories reflect the passion, hard work and integrity that are hallmarks of successful businesses in the state.”
Privett was appointed to the Board of Regents in April 2009 by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to serve a six-year term expiring Jan. 1, 2015. Privett was elected president of the Board of Regents in December 2012.
He received his Bachelor of Science in accounting from Southeast Missouri State University in 1973. Privett is a certified public accountant who currently serves as chief financial officer for Kennett National Bank. He previously served on the Board of Regents from 1995 to 2003.
Privett is a member of the Missouri Society of CPAs and served on the group’s board of directors from 1987-1988 and 1993-1996; he also served as president of the Southeast Chapter of CPAs in 1988. He is also a member of the board of directors of Kennett National Bank and serves as chairman of the advisory committee of the Southeast’s regional campus in Kennett.
In the Ingram’s listing, Privett is quoted as saying, “My goal is to ensure that everyone who wants to get a college degree has access to an affordable institution.”
He has been married to his wife, Bonnie, since 1974; they have two children, Brian and Brooke, who are both also Southeast graduates.
She is a pharmaceutical sales specialist with Astrazeneca. She was the recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service recognizing significant contributions to her local community through volunteerism. She was recognized for her work with at-risk girls in St. Louis through Delta Sigma Theta (DST) Sorority. Serving as a mentor for at-risk African American girls, she has worked tirelessly for the sorority for two decades. As chair of the educational development for the St. Louis Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter of DST, she oversees the Delta Academy, a national program created to provide health and wellness training as well as instill the values necessary to build a solid community.
For these efforts, she has earned the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service and earlier this year, she received the ‘Unsung Heroine” Humanitarian Award from the St. Louis chapter of the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., in St. Louis. She was also the recipient of the 2012 St. Louis American Young Achiever Award.
In the Ingram’s article, Neely-Martin is quoted as saying, “I work with African-American females to help them understand the things that put them at risk, number one, but also to build self-esteem” and steer them onto an educational path that leads to college.”
Neely-Martin graduated from Webster University with a Master of Arts in marketing and Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
She is the mother of a daughter, Olivia.
Knudtson, former mayor of Cape Girardeau and a 2006 recipient of Southeast’s prestigious Vandiver Show Me State Award, is executive vice president of First Missouri State Bank and a member of the executive team that launched the bank in 2002. He currently serves as the chief lending officer and bank board director. He previously served for nearly 12 years as senior vice president of Bank of America in Cape Girardeau. Knudtson was born and raised in Minnesota and has spent most of his professional career living and working in Cape Girardeau.
Ingram’s notes in its “50 Missourians You Should Know” listing that Knudtson is the only non-native ever elected mayor of Cape Girardeau.
Knudtson has attended the Graduate School of Banking in Boulder, Colo.; the Graduate School of Real Estate Finance in Dallas, Texas; and the University of Minnesota.
He serves on the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce and is past treasurer and executive board member of the Cape Girardeau Chamber. He is a trustee of SoutheastHEALTH and a member of the Cape Girardeau Noon Lion’s Club, Elk’s Club and LaCroix United Methodist Church. He also is chairman of the Transamerica Corridor, past chairman of the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Board, and past member of the Easter Seals Board. He served as chairman of the Cape Girardeau Area Magnet Board of Directors and on the Homeland Security Committee for the State of Missouri.
Knudtson and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of a son, Gunnar.