Michele Kiser showed us the way in so many ways. First and foremost, she doubled as a wife and mother, setting the bar high by attending almost every one of her son’s events. In her 20s, she created her own business and found the way to a successful blueprint.

Thus, Michele’s company, Advertising Plus, is the 13th John Q. Hammons Founder’s Award winner of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. The award is given to someone who plays a significant role in the advancement of sports in the state of Missouri and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Michele was a true friend of the Hall. Springfield-based Advertising Plus has been a corporate sponsor of the Hall of Fame for almost 15 years and participated a number of different ways. For example, Advertising Plus sponsored the Women’s Golf Clinic of the annual Price Cutter Charity Championship, which the Hall of Fame manages.

Michele also served on the PCCC’s board of directors the past two years and was instrumental in helping the tournament reach record success in 2014. The PCCC raised a record $1 million-plus for 46 Springfield-area charities.

Advertising Plus also sponsored the Celebrity Golf Classics, the Sports Enthusiasts Luncheons and has been an associate sponsor of the annual Enshrinement Ceremony.

The former Lebanon High School track standout, daughter of Gerald and Wanda Carr Knight, earned an associate’s degree from Southwest Missouri State University in the early 1980s, and her first job after college was selling promotional items for a local Springfield company.

Michele parlayed her passion for the industry – and her knowledge about suppliers and her savvy in selling – into creating her own company. Advertising Plus opened in January 1989, doing so in a “little bitty” office in the Landmark Building in downtown Springfield.

Advertising Plus’ prosperity throughout the years has allowed Michele the great opportunity to give back to the community.

Michele served on the board of the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks and donated to various charity events to raise awareness for breast cancer. In addition, Michele supported numerous local charity events, schools and sports teams.

She also was a member of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, where she received the W. Curtis Strube Small Business of the Year Semi Finalist Award in 1999.

Springfield Business Journal listed Michele as the Largest Promotional Products Company, in the Book of List, in 2010. Three years later, she was recognized by the Better Business Bureau with the Principles of Trust Award in 2013. She also was a member of the Branson Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Professional Women.