Recipient of the honorary Doctor of Public Affairs
Speaker at the 5 p.m. ceremony on May 15, 2015
M. Elise Crain is a native of Ozark, Missouri, and has enjoyed a career in the construction industry.
She lives in her childhood home, graduated from Ozark Schools and received a B.S. degree from Drury University. She worked on construction projects in Arkansas; Florida; Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt; and Missouri. She was Project Manager on a tunnel project at Missouri State University. She was the Project Manager for the Gillioz Theatre restoration and the first above-ground green building, the addition to the Discovery Center.
In the 90’s, she helped found and served as executive director for Ozarks Technical Community College’s Project CREW (construction readiness for women), educating long-term unemployed and under-employed women in the construction trades. She opened the door for decorative concrete in the Springfield area. She served as vice president for two commercial contractors in the Springfield area.
Always an energetic woman, and a promoter of other women; she served the National Association of Women In Construction at the local and national level; represented the Seventh Congressional District on the Missouri Human Rights Commission; served Springfield and Ozark on their Planning and Zoning Commissions, and elected to Ozark City Council. She is the fourth generation of Crains to be elected to public office in Christian County. She served on the board of directors for Ozarks Public Television, EarthShare Missouri, Scenic Missouri, Missouri Preservation and other not-for-profits.
Current public service is membership as board of directors for Christian County Family Crisis Center, Women In Need of the Ozarks, and Finley River Community Foundation (one of the founding members) (an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks). She chairs the City of Ozark Public Funding Corporation. She is working to renovate the WPA building on the Ozark Square for the Christian County Museum.
Elise is a member of Metropolitan National Board of Directors where she has served since 1997. She chairs the Missouri Utilities Shareholders Association.
The Springfield Business Journal and the Springfield News-Leader have included her on their editorial boards; she attended the Army War College.
The Missouri Women’s Council recognized her as “Distinguished Women of the Year,” the Southwest Missouri Chapter of the National Association of Women In Construction recognized her with a lifetime achievement award; she was on the first class of Springfield Business Journal’s Most Influential Women and Greater Missouri Focus on Leadership; the Ozarks Alliance of Professional Organizations recognized her as “Outstanding Achievement in Community Leadership on Behalf of Women” in 2014. She was the Ozark Citizen of the Year in 2011.
Elise brings to the table: energy, a collaborative spirit, a positive attitude and the willingness to complete a project right and right NOW!