Community Trailblazers

Model citizens, community superheroes, trailblazers, each of these names suits them well. These four individuals were recognized as more than just residents of Jefferson City. These four individuals were recently awarded the Chamber’s most prestigious awards for their service to the community and the Chamber. Let’s get to know them better!

Fast Forward Award Winner

Charlie Christiansen

Shelter Insurance

The Fast Forward Award recognizes a young person who exhibits outstanding leadership skills and is making valuable contributions to our community which will make a positive impact on our community’s future.

Charlie’s community involvement snapshot

  • Owner, Shelter Insurance – Christiansen Agency
  • Owner, West Main Pizza
  • Co-Owner, Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar
  • Owner, River Park Office Suites
  • Founder, Capital City Connections
  • Supporter of Capital City Diaper Bank
  • Supporter of United Way of Central Missouri
  • Supporter of the Special Olympics
  • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Young Professionals Member

Do you have your sights set on any projects for the future?

No sights set right now. Due to parking, we did purchase the building located at 711 W McCarty, commonly referred to as the Berlin Wheeler-Building. I anticipate that having some small renovations done over the next year as we try to bring back some new life to it as well!

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

The advice I would give to inspiring entrepreneurs would be: Work hard and believe in yourself. You have to take action if you want to make something happen. No one is going to do it for you or give it to you. Be confident but humble, patient but persistent, keep your head up and believe in yourself. GO FOR IT! And remember you can’t do everything on your own. Teamwork makes the dream work!

What are you most proud of in JCMO?

I am the proudest of how JCMO is so supportive of local businesses. I appreciate how you can really get a community feel here and you feel like what you do actually means something to people. I have been amazed by the amount of people who have reached out and shared their thoughts about our building.

Lastly, thank you all for the recognition. I would like to thank you for the award and all of the help the Chamber has given me throughout this project. Thanks to Darren Heckman with High 5 Communications for being one of our first tenants to say “I DO.” All of our tenants! Mid America Bank for believing in us. My mom for all her love, support and hard work. My wife Jessica and my dad Charlie for being awesome partners. My father-in-law Greg. And especially God our Lord and Savior who allows us to wake up each day and live our lives to the fullest!

Meritorious Civic Service Award Winner

Ann Bax

United Way of Central Missouri

The Chamber Meritorious Civic Service Award honors an individual who is passionate about making a positive contribution to Jefferson City and has gone above and beyond expectations in their service to the community. The recipient of this award truly exemplifies the ideals of civic service in all areas of their life.

Ann’s community involvement snapshot

Past Involvement:

  • 10-year President/CPO of United Way of Central Missouri
  • St. Joseph Home and School Association
  • St. Joseph Church Capital Campaign Co-Chair
  • St. Joseph Cathedral Distinguished Graduate
  • Helias Catholic High School Foundation Board
  • Helias Catholic High School Annual Fund Drive Chair
  • Samaritan Center Christmas Adopt a Family Co-Chair
  • Helias Catholic High School Hall of Fame
  • Vitae Foundation
  • Capital Region Medical Center Board of Governors


    Roles through work with United Way of Central Missouri:

    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce “Chamber Champions” Committee
    • United Way of Missouri Chairman
    • Community Health Needs Assessment Committee Member
    • Cole and Miller County Long Term Recovery Committee Co-Chair
    • Zonta Yellow Rose Honoree
    • City Magazine Most Impactful Executive Director Award
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce Meritorious Civic Service Award

    How did you first get involved with the United Way?

    Growing up, I volunteered with several United Way partner agencies, and I was the United Way campaign coordinator for Modern Business Systems, my employer after college. When I heard about the position with the United Way, I felt called to apply—it would be an amazing opportunity to combine my passion to serve with my profession.

     It’s hard to imagine the amount of stress you endured after the tornado. How did you manage to keep a positive attitude during all this?

    On May 23, I felt this overwhelming sadness about what had happened to our beautiful city, the lives that had been devastated and how the United Way needed to respond. My father-in-law’s home was destroyed by the storm, and being worried about him and what he had gone through was also consuming my thoughts. It was heartbreaking. But I knew, as did my United Way team, that it was critical that we model courage, perseverance, resiliency and hope. We wanted to show the community that we believed it was going to be okay—we believed our community would work together to recover and rebuild. So heartbreaking turned into heartwarming in the days and weeks to follow, as the phone started ringing and people were coming in the door of the United Way at a pace that we had never seen… so much so that Central Bank sent five team members to our aid to help manage the phones, disaster survivor requests for help and volunteer and donation requests for the first several weeks. There was an amazing sense of calm amidst the chaos that could accurately describe our office, because we felt the love of our community. We always knew there were people and businesses we could call who would provide the help needed… and if we made a call and that person couldn’t help, they would help us find the person or business that could help. It is something I will never forget. It was caring, compassion and selflessness at its best.

    You obviously have the heart of a servant, what inspired you to want to serve our community in this way?

    My parents, Don and Ruth Ann Schnieders. They never really talked about service, they just modeled it by leading committees, raising their hand to volunteer when they saw a need, and selflessly giving of their time, talent and treasure. They instilled this passion and understanding in me and my six siblings to step forward and serve because it’s the right thing to do.

    William W. Quigg Award Winner

    Sharon Naught

    Naught-Naught Agency

    The William W. Quigg Award is awarded to someone who has provided a lifetime of service to the community.

    Sharon’s community involvement snapshot

    • Founding member of the Boost BBQ
    • Donor for the American Cancer Society
    • Donor for the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center
    • Donor for Relay for Life event
    • Capital Region Medical Center Board
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce Cole County Communities Committee Member
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Membership Drive Committee Member
    • Donor for the Bicentennial Bridge to Adrian’s Island
    • Supporter of the Veteran’s Council
    • Supporter of Operation Bugle Boy
    • Supporter of East Side Business Association’s Freedom Corner Project
    • Supporter of the Salute to America celebration
    • Supporter of K9’s on the Front Lines
    • Supporter of Capital Arts
    • Founding Member of Arise (a non-denominational Christian Women’s Group)
    • Award nominee for the Zonta Woman of Achievement Award
    • Award recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Senior Service Award

    How did you react when you were told you won the William W. Quigg Award?

    I was very honored and humbled by receiving the Bill Quigg Award. I contribute to many organizations, not to be recognized, but to give back as I have been so blessed.

    In serving your community, what causes are you most passionate about?

    With many relatives in our family being affected by cancer, we are very passionate about our Boost BBQ. Also, we are proud of helping veterans who protect our freedom. We work with Operation Bugle Boy to provide a Thanksgiving dinner in November to thank them for their service. We also help with K9’s on the Front Line who provide veterans suffering from PTSD and other things to receive help from a service dog. It is a tremendous organization.

    What are you most proud of in JCMO?

    We love this community and are so proud to live here. It is a beautiful city with our downtown area and our beautiful Capitol. Soon we will have access to the riverfront and renovation of the Missouri State Penitentiary which brings many tourists each year. We thank our leaders for their vision to make Jefferson City better and better.

    Chairman’s Award Winner

    Jason Otke

    Dick Otke Construction Co.

    The Chairman’s Award recognizes a Chamber member who has provided outstanding volunteer service to the Chamber during the past year.

    Jason’s community involvement snapshot

    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      2019 Treasurer of the Board of Directors
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Board of Directors Executive Committee Member
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Young Professionals past member
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Leadership Class of 2011 graduate
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Ambassadors Committee Member
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Treasurer’s Club Committee Member
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Chamber BBQ Committee Member
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Membership Drive Committee Member
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Civic Progress Committee Member
    • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
      Millbottom Redevelopment Committee Member

    What caused you to initially become involved with Chamber and continue to serve in many different roles over the past 16 years?

    My friend suggested that I get more involved as we discussed our passion for our community and how to impact it. I enjoy being involved with the business leaders in the community and wanted to serve.

    Can you tell our readers what it is like to serve on the Chamber Board and Executive Committee?

    It is a team effort of community leaders from all aspects, really getting to lead, guide, and get input from the board at an impactful level. You really feel like you can make a difference in the direction of so many things in our community that will last for generations to come.

    What are you most proud of in JCMO?

    The people. So many are driven to succeed and are helpful in seeing others toward success. When this community bands together as a whole… there is nothing we can’t accomplish!