Leading the Way: Heather Hardinger

Heather is a workforce and economic development consultant for CAEL (Council for Adult & Experiential Learning), a national firm focused on adult educational and career achievement.

Heather’s background spans the public and nonprofit sectors, from city government to politics to community affairs. She spent the last five years as a workforce strategist for the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Taney County Partnership where she specialized in implementing workforce development and talent attraction strategy, advocated for the development of affordable workforce housing, and served as a community advisor on equity, diversity, and inclusive workplace policies.

Heather calls Springfield, Missouri home and is active in her local community. She was appointed to the City of Springfield Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations in 2017 where she served two terms, was appointed by Governor Parson to the Missouri Census 2020 Complete Count Committee, and currently serves as Vice Chair of the board of directors with Bread for the World, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to advocating for a world without hunger. She is also currently running for Springfield City Council, General Seat A.

Ms. Hardinger holds a BA degree in International/Multicultural Studies from Evangel University and a MA degree in Political Science with an emphasis on Public Policy.

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Candidate for Springfield, MO City Council, General Seat A
  • City of SGF - Mayor's Commission for Human Rights & Community Relations | Chairperson
  • Bread for the World Board of Directors (Washington, D.C.) | Vice Chair (2020), Leadership Committee
  • U.S. Census Complete Count Committee Member, Appointed by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Business Leads Fellow
  • Springfield Chamber of Commerce’s “The Network” | Leadership Council Member
  • CoxHealth Young Professional Council
  • Biz 417 Advisory Board Member
  • Springfield Police Department Citizens Advisory Group

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