Johnny Morris, founder/CEO of Bass Pro Shops, will be the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Business Award, to be presented by Ozarks Technical Community College on Thursday, March 24. The award ceremony will be held from 7:30–9 a.m. at the White River Conference Center in Springfield.
The event will feature an exclusive conversation with Johnny Morris. Reservations are $25 and include a gourmet breakfast. Limited seating is available. Visit otc.edu/eib or call (417) 447-2651 to reserve tickets.
Morris, a Springfield native, founded Bass Pro Shops in 1971 when he began to sell premium fishing tackle in his father’s liquor store. By 1974, Morris had printed and mailed the first Bass Pro Shops catalog. In 1978, he introduced Bass Tracker, the first boat, motor and trailer package designed exclusively for anglers. Tracker has remained America’s No. 1 selling fishing boat for more than 35 years. Today, Bass Pro Shops is America’s leading outdoor retailer with stores across the United States and Canada.
Morris, a conservation advocate, supports numerous initiatives including fish and wildlife habitat improvements, conservation and outdoor skills education, and lake and spring water quality improvements. In addition to Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine Group, Morris owns Big Cedar Lodge, Integrity Hills, Dogwood Canyon Nature Park and Top of the Rock.
Recipients of the Excellence in Business Award are selected based on the following criteria: leader of an Ozarks regional business, entrepreneurial success, innovative business growth, ability to overcome challenges with integrity, supporter of educational development, customer-driven quality, and community achievement. Past recipients of the award include Jeff Schrag, Jim Anderson, Paul Sundy, Jack and Peter Herschend, Sam Hamra, Carol Jones, Bill Turner, Jack Stack, the O’Reilly Family, and John Q. Hammons.