A Visionary Leader:
The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed Toby Teeter as its new president November 29. SMTO’s Savanah Mandeville visited with Teeter to learn a little bit about his background, his goals for the Chamber and why he’s so dedicated to seeing Joplin grow.
What first interested you in becoming president of JACC?
I love Joplin, and I love the great game of business. I saw this position as a great opportunity to apply my business, community development, government affairs and economic development experiences and to help the Joplin business community compete in the 21st century. During the interview process, I had the opportunity to share by vision and blueprint for attracting and maintaining young, diverse professionals who value quality of life, an active lifestyle, a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and a keen sense of community.
Briefly take us through your career history. How will your past experience help you lead the Chamber?
Previously, I was the founder of LocalRaces.com and co-founder of Mr. Bigg, an Amazon Marketplace agency and brand accelerator. I was also the lead investor and developer of the Gryphon Building redevelopment. Prior to that, I was president, general counsel and founder of Litmus Media d.b.a. ValidClick, a $27-million online ad network based in Kansas City. After Inuvo acquired ValidClick, I served as Inuvo’s VP of strategic partnerships and corporate counsel, heading mergers and acquisitions. Prior to ValidClick, I was a business development manager and corporate attorney at Adknowledge, an online behavioral marketing pioneer. The balance of my career includes stints as a lobbyist, litigation attorney and a corporate attorney. I earned a B.S. in Insurance & Risk Management from Missouri State University and a J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law.
What are some of your personal goals for the Chamber?
I want to open private equity opportunities, assist large employers with expansion and acquisitions, lobby for our share of state resources, re-establishing Joplin’s regional identity post-tornado, educate local retailers about omni-channel distribution opportunities (thereby flipping our region’s online purchasing to online sales differential), help local educational institutions understand the changing needs of our business community, and turn Joplin into a center of innovation and entrepreneurship.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I’m very pragmatic. I want to refocus our programs and limited resources to more directly apply them to our mission of improving the economic prosperity and quality of life of the Joplin area while more efficiently advocating for and providing services to our business community.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy volunteering at my wife’s running events she produced, including the Joplin Turkey Trot, Joplin Ugly Sweater Run, St Patrick’s Day 5K/15K, the Nighttime Summer Racing Series, and the Wizarding Run.
Do you have a unique hobby or talent?
I’m an endurance junkie. I have competed in both triathlons and marathons, including the Chicago Triathlon, Chicago Marathon, Boston Marathon and NYC Marathon. I have also bicycled from Joplin to New Orleans with the JOMONOLA group, and I’m preparing for my second Katy Trail end-to-end bike trip across Missouri with my twin 12-year-old daughters.