Rob O’Brian
President, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce

Rob O’Brian, president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications, and minors in journalism and political science.

His civic/business activities include president of the Joplin Business and Industrial Development Corporation, vice-president of the Joplin Industrial Development Authority. He also serves on the regional Medical School Alliance and Connect2Culture boards.

Statewide, O’Brian is a current board member of the Hawthorne Foundation, the private-sector foundation supporting economic development. He is a board member and Past-President of the Missouri Economic Development Council and a board member and past-president, Missouri Economic Development Financing Association and past-president of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Missouri. O’Brian was a member of Gov. Blunt’s State Government Reform Commission and was instrumental in writing the Enterprise Zone and Quality Jobs Act legislation.

Since the May 22, 2011 tornado that devastated one-third of Joplin, O’Brian has been at the forefront of the recovery efforts by amassing resources for the business community to ensure that businesses can rebuild and thrive in the community.

His recognition includes:

  • Certified Economic Developer (CEcD),
  • 2005 Missouri Economic Developer of the Year,
  • 2007 Missourian Award,
  • 2007 National Distinguished Eagle Scout,
  • 2012 Governors Award for Economic Development Career Service.

Rob and his wife of 30 thirty years have made their home in Joplin since 1995 with their daughter Toni who is a recent graduate from Kansas University and now working in Lawrence.

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