Southern’s ‘Man of Distinction’


Savanah Mandeville | Contributor

Bob Harrington gives a speech after being recognized during the Joplin Regional Business Journal’s Regional Men of Distinction ceremony Nov. 3 at Missouri Southern.

Bob Harrington, the director of Missouri Southern’s physical plant, was recognized at the Joplin Regional Business Journal’s Regional Men of Distinction Ceremony Nov. 3 at Connor Ballroom on campus. Harrington was one of 15 men from the area honored at the journal’s second annual ceremony.

Larry and Mikell Warren, owners and publishers of the JRBJ, began the Men of Distinction ceremony after purchasing the publication in 2013. The Warrens said the journal had been presenting the Most Influential Women award for years, so they thought there should be a recognition dedicated to the men of the area to highlight their civic, philanthropic and professional attributes.

“It’s all men that give of their time and talents to better the community and the region,” said Larry Warren.

The Regional Men of Distinction ceremony included a dinner and live music, as well as the reading of short bios for each of the honorees and the presentation of a hand-crafted vase as an award.

“It was neat to hear everybody’s stories,” said Harrington. “I guess it’s nice to be recognized by the community for work that you’ve done.”

In addition to his 15 years at Southern and 20 years as vice president at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Harrington spent many of his years serving on various community boards. His involvement includes the boards of the United Way, The Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Joplin Family Y, Main Street Joplin, Joplin Museum Complex and many other organizations.

Harrington said he has always had a strong interest in volunteer work in the community.

“So many of the organizations depend on volunteers,” he said. “They depend on people that care and are willing to spend the time to put the effort in to help the community grow and to make some of these organizations grow. It’s something I’ve always had a place in my heart for and been very involved with.”

Harrington said community service is important to his family, as well. His wife Crystal and daughter Cameo have both been recognized for their service, receiving the Most Influential Women recognition by the JRBJ, and he says he is very proud of that.

Harrington and the 14 other Men of Distinction award recipients are featured in the JRBJ Nov. 3-16 issue with bios and information about the award.