Find it Fast!

 59th Annual Missouri Community

 Betterment Conference 

  Coming in October 2023!

Missouri Community Betterment 2023 Awards

1.      The project year will follow the calendar year beginning in 2023.  All member ship fees will be due by March 1, 2023.  Projects that will be evaluated in 2023 will be projects completed from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022.  We would like you to consider sections of the MAP Tool which fit your project.  We hope that your projects will fit the categories of people, plans of action, financial, infrastructure, assets and quality of life.

2.      Communities may submit 1 to 5 projects to be judged. Similar to pre-covid guidelines, projects will be submitted to MCB. Judging will take place through a Zoom meeting with an hour and a half to showcase your submittals.

3.      Award to be given at the conference will follow the MAP suggestions.  Scores from judging sheets, Project reports and  Judges recommendations will be combined to determine Award winners.

a.      People Category:  Best Youth-led Project; Most Community Involvement; Best Use of Volunteers

b.      Planning Category:  Best Planning Process; Most Engaged Community

c.      Resource Category:  Best Project on a Budget; Most Creative Fundraising Effort, Best Use of Community Assets

d.      Quality of Life Category:  Most Heartfelt Project; Most Unique Community Activity; Community Event:  Good Neighbor Day, (week of September 28)

4.      Timeline will be

a.      Participation Forms due June 30, 2023

2023 Project Report Guidelines

2023 MCB Permission Slip

2023 Community Entry Form

2023 Youth Group Entry Form

b.       Project reports and leadership nomination due July 31,2023

2023 Community Summary Outline (one for each project, (up to 5)

2023 Youth Group Project Summary Outline (one for each project, up to 2)

2023 Adult Leadership Nomination Form

2023 Youth Leadership Nomination Form

c.      Grants in Aid due July 31, 2023

Four Adult grant requests ($250 each)

Two Youth grant requests ($250 each)

d.     Judging by Zoom September 12-16

e.      Fall Conference October on a Monday (dependent on site)

5.       Using the scoring from Project submissions, Community presentations and judges scoring, we will award the Speichinger Community of the Year and J.C. Smith Youth Group of the Year awards.

6.       MCB membership, sponsorships, and donors are welcome.  As our economy shifts and creates both challenges and opportunities for our communities, businesses, and organizations, Missouri Community Betterment is adapting its operations to continue serving communities across the state.

Thank you for being a Missouri Community Betterment Community! MCB has had some struggles in recent years, but I am happy to report that we are working towards a bright future. We have a great board and an assistant that are dedicated to supporting our rural communities across the State of Missouri.

In continuing our mission to provide services and support to our members, I would like to share with you some MCB wins in 2022:

        Spring Conference held at Linn State Tech

        Online Auction and started the Better Together Fund

        Communication with members through the Monthly Newsletters, FB Page, Monthly Lunch & Learns, and started a YouTube Channel.

        Awarded four - $250 Community Grants – Lamar, Linn, Houston, & Versailles

        MCB website Updates

        Added new Board Members and a Board Assistant

Looking toward 2023 we will continue the monthly newsletters, the Lunch & Learns, website updates, and engagement through our Facebook page. With the help of our assistant, Cece Spink, we will be working to connect with members, provide resources and services to members and building our membership base. In 2023 we will also focus on Youth Involvement and Services; specifically, increasing youth engagement and community involvement. We firmly believe that youth play an important part in a community. We want to support our future leaders.

We will continue working to build a diverse board to ensure increased community representation across the state. We will also be working to reconnect with MCB Partners and inviting new partners that support our mission to join us. Our endowment committee is diligently working on building our Better Together Fund to help us in providing member services and community grants.

Vice President Diana Huckstep is leading a committee in planning our 2023 Fall Conference and Silent Auction. I hope you will join us at the conference as we celebrate member successes, learn from informative speakers, and networking with your counterparts across the state. Included will be the community competition with new categories.

We are optimistic about the future. With your continued support we will make a difference in rural communities just like yours across Missouri. I am looking forward to working with you in the coming year. Let’s be Better Together!



Tanya Watson

President, Missouri Community Betterment


“The Missouri Partnership frequently works with companies looking in Missouri for potential locations to set up new operations.  We firmly believe that communities that invest in continuous improvement and ‘quality of place’ enjoy a competitive advantage in their efforts to attract new jobs and investment.  Companies searching for a new home will always favor a community that takes pride in itself and strives to better itself every day, and the Missouri Community Betterment program helps communities across the state to do just that.” Christopher Chung, CEO, Missouri Partnership

“Missouri Community Betterment is a tremendous association that recognizes the efforts and achievements of our state’s rural communities. As a former youth member, community member and State Board Member I am a product of the leadership development promoted by the association.” - US Congressman Jason Smith

“The MFA Oil Foundation’s mission is to support and invest in communities where we do business, to assure their continued prosperity. MCB’s mission is to provide assistance to many of those same communities to help them with improvement projects. With similar missions it seems only fitting that our Foundation should support MCB with the work that they do. As a MCB board member I have been very impressed with the dedication of many of the local community leaders as they attempt to make their town the best it can be”.  - Ken Caspall, MFA Foundation

The MCB conference provides networking for youth groups to learn what other communities have done and an opportunity to develop new plans for projects in their own home towns.  Developing leadership capacity and confidence in their abilities to work with adults gives the MCB youth participants great preparation for college and beyond. - Dave Garnett, Hawthorn Bancshares

MCB has helped me develop skills to be a leader in my school and community. Through my involvement in the youth program I have gained confidence and communication skills. The three MCB conferences I attended were fun and motivating. Having the opportunity to hear what others were doing to help their community has helped me bring new ideas to my town. Community Betterment has motivated my entire youth team to improve our community throughout the year. - Kenna Roland, Senior 2014, Lamar 2013 MCB Youth Leadership Award Winner

“As a MCB board member I have had a chance to observe first hand, how enthusiastically some of the MCB participating community’s youth become engaged in the projects they initiate in their communities.  These youth are the leaders of tomorrow and the leadership skills demonstrated in the local projects they under take can be exemplary.   Youth leadership recognition and civic engagement  is just another reason why the MFA Oil Foundation is a willing MCB Sponsor”. - Ken Caspall, MFA Oil Foundation

"Missouri Community Betterment and the Missouri Community Betterment Conferences have been a blessing to the youth in Steelville. The sessions and guidance given during the MCB conferences has allowed us to improve our community in many various ways." - Libby Wynn, Steelville Youth Group

"The Missouri Community Betterment Program is one of the best values a rural community can invest in to access professional assistance in community planning, development and technical expertise." - Kelly Smith, Missouri Farm Bureau

"MCB has provided our rural community with resources and opportunities to implement projects and help grow community support.  MCB allows our youth an avenue to be involved on a much larger scale in the growth and development of our community.  I have been involved with MCB for 25 years and the experiences I have been able to share with the youth of our community have truly been priceless.  Being involved with MCB, has opened many doors for our community, but the greatest reward for me has been the positive impact on our youth and the leadership opportunities provided to them." - Jodie Cottrell, youth group leader , Steelville

We invest in Missouri Community Betterment because we see firsthand the success the program is having in rural communities throughout the state. While across the Midwest we are seeing Main Streets close up shop, MCB communities continue to grow and provide a better quality of life for Missourians.” - Mark Woodson, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Founded by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Missouri Community Betterment has provided outstanding technical assistance to Missouri’s rural communities for more than 50 years.  The support, energy, and success of the MCB program has continued to give participating communities the opportunity to thrive in today’s economy and make Missouri feel like home to growing businesses.” - Mike Downing, Director of Missouri Department of Economic Development

"Our Youth are just in awe of everything they did at conference and are ready to undertake all sorts of new challenges.  I was so proud or Kirk, who spoke at at a grant acceptance ceremony on Wednesday (week after the 2015 conference).  He spoke to 30 adults and stayed calm as a cucumber  and was the hit of the show.  Without the leadership skills he learned at the conference, I don’t know if he would have been so sure of himself.  Thanks is not enough, but the only word in English we have available." - Connie Johnson, Galena

In my opinion MCB has helped communities in our region by giving them a sense or organization/structure to go about improving their community on their own.  They have access to resources and a network to assist them in achieving their goals and it keeps community development in front of them all the time by having this nucleus active in the community.
Jackie Soptic, Assistant Director, Green Hills Regional Planning Commission

Due to their involvement with MCB and our local LCB organization, Louisiana now has a new basketball court in one of our city parks that is a large benefit to many of our residents. Encouraging our youth to be involved in their community now will help to ensure that there are those willing to step up to carry on in a volunteer position as they move into adulthood. It also helps the youth take a fresh look at where they live and take ‘ownership’ of their surroundings.” Diana Huckstep, Louisiana.

“MCB has had a great impact on the South Iron Community Betterment Association. They motivate us to ‘keep on keeping on!’ We are thankful for all that MCB offers and for the inspiration it gives us from year to year.”  Geri Simpson, South Iron/Annapolis

“MCB provides a partnership between so many communities big and small. The sharing of ideas thoughts and resources is endless. Lamar has received 382 MCB awards in the past 50 years. That is outstanding, but the best reward we can get is when another community has implemented a project in their community because of the partnership created through MCB.”  Elaine Davis, Lamar

“Community Betterment is made up of volunteers in collaboration with the local area youth. These individuals put in countless hours to make their communities a better place to live and raise a family. Community Betterment is the heart and soul of our rural communities, and provides many opportunities for its residents.” 
Representative Paul Fitzwater, District 144

“Ten youth and six adults attended enlightening sessions on entrepreneurship, positive ways to improve our town and networking. An idea for helping our town with house numbers originated from another community.” Elaine Campbell, Houston

“In my opinion MCB has helped communities in our region by giving them a sense or organization/structure to go about improving their community on their own. They have access to resources and a network to assist them in achieving their goals and it keeps community development in front of them all the time by having this nucleus active in the community.” Jackie Soptic, Assistant Director, Green Hills Regional Planning Commission

“I moved away from Albany for 26 years but kept up with my hometown through my friends, parents, and the local newspaper.  I read and heard about “Community Betterment” all those years believing it was a wonderful idea and a real benefit to the town.  In 2000, when I learned Albany was the Grand Champion for the whole state of Missouri, I was elated and boasted endlessly to my St. Louis friends…much to their chagrin!  When I moved back “home” to Albany in 2004, the first organization I wanted to join was Albany Community Betterment.  I was welcomed with open arms and have proudly remained active with our group since that time.  It has been so rewarding to see what we have accomplished for our community, to see our youth become involved, to hear folks from other towns ask “how does Albany do that?”  For 53 years, Albany has benefited from Community Betterment, and Community Betterment, I truly believe, has benefited from Albany’s participation!” Connie Worden

“Thank you for all the mentoring, encouragement, and recognition you have given us over the past year.  I wanted to make sure you knew what an impact the Missouri Community Betterment (MCB) involvement has had on our community.
When we won the Community of the Year Award (Gene Speichinger Award), it turned out to be so much more than just the fun of recognition and winning – it changed us.
Calling it “What Is” has great power.  It gave our community self-esteem and transformed our culture in ways that can’t be measured.  Most importantly, it set us on a totally different trajectory, and sparked a momentum that we will work hard to increase.
Thank you again for your patience and encouragement as we celebrate big and small victories.  
We can’t wait to see what happens next!”  Sue Dyle, Buffalo Community Betterment

Missouri Community Betterment
P.O. Box 842, Mexico, MO 65265