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COMO Business Times - The 20 Under 40 Issue - May 2024
Monday, April 15, 2024
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Shawn Barnes

Director of Business Development, Williams-Keepers LLC – Age: 38

In 1989, after attending Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo., Shawn Barnes left the small town of Desloge, Mo., where he was raised, to attend the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He fell in love with the city and obtained his master’s degree in education at MU in 1995.
In 2002 Barnes joined Williams-Keepers as the marketing manager, and he took his current position, director of business development, in 2005.
A graduate of the Leadership Columbia program, Barnes supports the local business community by serving on the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Committee. He also works with the Columbia Metro Rotary Club; the Columbia Area United Way; the Columbia Public Schools Partners in Education pre-school reading program; Boys and Girls Town of Missouri; and Columbia’s city-wide visioning process’s economic-development topic group.
“The City of Columbia’s visioning process is the most important public involvement program that has been undertaken during my time in the community and will yield valuable information that will shape the community and its growth for years to come,” said Barnes. “It is critical for community leaders like myself to participate in active dialogue with city officials and ensure visioning information results in sound, measurable activities that will continue to make Columbia a great place to work and live.”
Barnes is an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoys home-improvement projects, movies and spending time with his family. He is a big fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, the MU Tigers and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a public relations intern for the Chiefs during their 2002 season.
Barnes is single, much to his mother’s dismay, and has resided in Ashland since 2001. He has lived and worked in or near Columbia for 15 years and formerly worked as a sports reporter for the Columbia Daily Tribune, from 1991 to 1994.

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