The Springfield Chamber of Commerce has announced the winner of their 2020 Springfieldian of the Year is businessman Louis Griesemer.
The award is given yearly at the end of the Chamber’s annual meeting and is given to an individual the Chamber leadership feels “exemplifies outstanding community service, excellence in his or her field, and dedication to improve the quality of life for Springfield and its citizens.”
“Louis is the kind of leader that exemplifies this award,” David O’Reilly of O’Reilly Auto Parts said in a statement. “He always approaches whatever he’s doing in a very informed way.”
Griesemer began his career in his family’s business in 1977 after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis. He was named president of Springfield Underground in 1994 and remained in that position until 2017. He is still Chairman of Erlen Group, which includes several businesses other than Springfield Underground including Joplin Stone and the Frisco Building.
“He has been at the helm of a family business and has led that organization through periods of dynamic expansion to the point where this business has become one of the most significant assets of our region,” Ann Marie Baker, president of UMB Bank, said in a statement. “(Springfield Underground) really does set us apart in many ways from other areas of the country.”
The Chamber also cited Griesemer’s work raising funds for Springfield Catholic Schools and outreaches of the Catholic Church, his volunteering for the city of Springfield’s Traffic Advisory Board, and the Boy Scouts.