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Ben A. Parnell, Jr. has a long and distinguished record of leadership in his professional career as a banker, and in service to a wide variety of community organizations. Born in Branson, Mo., Parnell attended Drury from 1935 to 1937 before receiving his bachelor's degree in economics and business administration from Louisiana State University in 1939. Following five years in the U.S. Navy, he returned to the family retail business in Branson. By the mid-1950s, however, he had entered the banking profession, where he would remain until his retirement in 1990.
As a banker, Parnell helped establish Peoples Bank of Branson, now Ozark Mountain Bank, and also has been president, chairman of the board, or director of Bank of Taney County, Forsyth; Citizens State Bank, Nevada; Bank of Kimberling City; Liberty Bank, Springfield; Springfield Trust Co.; and The Bank, Springfield. He played a key role in the development of Branson's tourist industry, making early loans to Silver Dollar City and the Baldknobbers, and urging legislators in Washington, D.C. to construct Table Rock Dam. In 1974 he served as president of the Missouri Bankers Association.
On his retirement, Parnell's friends praised his ability to help people work together. That side of his life is especially evident in his service to organizations such as the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, The Missouri State Chamber of Commerce, Ozarks Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Springfield Symphony, Springfield Airport Board, and Council of Churches of the Ozarks, to name a few. He was named Springfieldian of the Year in 1996, and received the Missourian Award in 2002. In 1988 He received a Drury Distinguished Alumni Award. He has served on the Drury Board of Trustees from 1964 to 1971, and from 1983 to the present. In 1995 he was named a Life Trustee.
Mr. Parnell was unable to attend the 2006 induction ceremony and luncheon; click here to see Dr. Wyatt presenting Mr. Parnell with the Hall of Fame medallion on April 6.
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Jerry B. Poe, D.B.A., M.B.A., professor emeritus of finance at Arizona State University, was Director of the Breech School of Business Administration from 1968 to 1974. A native of Mountain Grove, Mo., he graduated from Drury in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics. He earned the Master in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis in 1957, and the Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard University in 1963. His work at Harvard was supported in part by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
Following a brief time on the faculty of Boston University, Poe joined the Breech School in 1961 as assistant professor, rising to the rank of professor in addition to his service as director. In 1974 he was appointed chairman of the finance department at Arizona State University, where he has been ever since. In 2000 he became professor emeritus of finance.
As an author, Poe wrote or co-wrote three texts: An Introduction to the American Business Enterprise, Cases in Financial Management: an Integrated Approach, and Essentials of Finance.
While the majority of his professional career has been as a university professor, Poe also has experience in the private sector. He was an industrial engineer for McDonnell Douglas, and consulted with Trans World Airlines, the Small Business Administration, Ridewell Corp. and Zenith, among others.
Poe is a member of Kappa Alpha Order and Beta Gamma Sigma. He and his wife, Carol, have two children, Cheryl and Jennifer.