Our Team

Lance Kettering

Executive Director

Lance Kettering was named the Executive Director of the Springfield Sports Commission and Sports Sales Manager for the Convention & Visitors Bureau in March 2010.

Kettering and the Sports Commission team position Springfield as a quality destination for sporting events by actively soliciting new and repeat sports events for the city. Kettering is responsible for the management, marketing and operation of the Commission.

Since 2010 and Kettering and staff have signed the National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships to consecutive three-year commitments (2012-2017), signed and brought two Premier Baseball National Championships to Springfield annually from 2012-current.  Kettering and staff created the 1 Awards, the Sports Commissions annual recognition event for Ozarks area athletes. Other accomplishments include the development of a new website, new logo and the production of a new membership sales program as well as working with numerous local sports entities in the bidding and securing sporting events for the community. Kettering also served as Tournament Director for the 2010 NCAA Division II Women's Golf Super Regional at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield.

Prior to being named Executive Director of the Sports Commission, Kettering spent twelve years at Missouri State University, serving most recently as Director of Corporate Relations and Marketing from 2007-2010, Assistant Director of Athletics Development from 1999-2007. Kettering also served as Logistics Coordinator for the 1996 Summer Olympics Games at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. Kettering obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing Management from Missouri State in 1996 and Master of Business Administration from Missouri State in 1997.

From 2007-2010, Kettering served as the Director of Corporate Relations and Marketing with the Missouri State athletics department. Kettering oversaw the corporate sponsorship and marketing program, including the transition of the sponsorship program from Hammons Student Center to JQH Arena.

Kettering oversaw the video board production team and elements at athletics venues including Hammons Field, Plaster Sports Complex and JQH Arena. He coordinated marketing projects and game-day operations for athletics, including the popular BearFest Village. Kettering also served as the trademark licensing coordinator for Missouri State University.

From 1999-2007, Kettering served as the Assistant Director of Athletics Development. Kettering coordinated marketing and promotions efforts, print projects, sponsorship sales, sponsorship activation and fulfillment. Kettering was part of the team that coordinated the opening of Hammons Field in 2004. Kettering has also volunteered at numerous NCAA Basketball Championships with the Missouri Valley Conference.

From 1998-99, Kettering started his career with Missouri State as the Assistant Director of Athletics Development/Hammons Student Center and Plaster Sports Complex. In addition to sponsorship sales duties, he worked as the assistant facilities director at Hammons Student Center and Plaster Sports Complex.

In the summer of 1996, Kettering worked fulltime with the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Kettering served as a Logistic Coordinator at the Georgia Dome, the home venue of gymnastics, basketball and team handball.

Kettering obtained his Master of Business Administration from Missouri State in 1997 while working as a Graduate Assistant at Hammons Student Center. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing in 1996 also from Missouri State, while working in the athletics department as a student.

What is your favorite Springfield Sports tradition?

Year after year, I am most impressed with the support and interest in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. This annual basketball showcase is truly a Springfield tradition that generations of fans mark their calendar for each year!

What is your most memorable moment in Springfield Sports?

I could mention quite a few, but one was the fan fervor of the 2001 Missouri State Women's Basketball Final Four Season. You couldn't script it any better, MSU had the nation's all-time career scoring leader in Jackie Stiles. The Final Four was held just 3 hours up the road in St. Louis. It was a very exciting time.

Most inspiring sports experience in Springfield?

Recently, I have had the opportunity to be involved and witness the Special Olympics State Summer Games. The opening ceremonies are very inspiring. It is rewarding to watch these athletes compete in the true spirit of sports.

What is your favorite Springfield sports activity?

This is an easy question! I enjoy coaching my son's youth baseball team at one of Springfield's youth baseball complexes! Our weekly challenges on the mini-golf courses are also fun! I also enjoy watching my son learn how to skate and play hockey at Mediacom Ice Park.

What would you say are your most rewarding work experiences?

As a general statement, I would have to say that developing relationships with all of those in our community over the years. I have been blessed to meet and work with so many great business and athletics leaders in the community. Springfield has a strong community of sports minded and supportive individuals.

As far as a specific Springfield experience, I would have to say being a part of the team at Missouri State that planned and opened Hammons Field in 2004. A lot of hard work and dedication went into the planning of the facility and the events of that season. I will never forget the long hours and detail we spent working to make it memorable event for Springfield and Missouri State.

One of my favorite work experiences was working at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games at the Georgia Dome, in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a phenomenal experience to be a part of the world's largest celebration of sports. The experiences and people I met are too numerous to mention. The spirit of the games and the melting pot of different cultures and nationalism was amazing.

Most prized piece of sports memorabilia?

2003 College World Series ring. By far this is my most prized possession! Nothing compares to the experience that I garnered in 2003 working with the coaching staff of Keith Guttin, Brent Thomas, Paul Evans and Director of Athletics Bill Rowe. Traveling and following the 2003 baseball post-season run for those three weeks with my friends and family in June 2003 rank as one of my favorite moments in sports.

What sports items do you collect?

I have a pretty good collection of Olympic Pins, most of which are from 1996, but I do have some from 1984 and 1980, including, what I understand is a rare Sam the Eagle Coca-Cola bottle pin.

What is your favorite sports movie?

Miracle. Someday, I would like to take a tour of Lake Placid and play the YouTube video of Herb Brooks' (from the movie Miracle) inspirational speech that he gave in the locker room before the game vs. the Soviet Union.

Excluding Sports in Springfield, what are some other sports related activities you enjoy?

Although, I have lived in Springfield all but six months since 1992, I still have some "upper Midwest" in me! I am a big fan of the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. I also enjoy attending the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

Katie Johnson

Assistant Director

Katie Johnson was named the Assistant Director of the Springfield Sports Commission in November 2016. Johnson is enthusiastic about working for an organization that can be a strong economic driver for the community, while at the same time bringing multiple athletic events to town for residential and guest enjoyment.

At the Sports Commission, Johnson's concentration is to work on membership sales and retention, event implementation and marketing. Working to enhance the visibility of the Springfield Sports Commission and assisting the Executive Director with event development are also primary goals. Johnson also coordinates the annual Sports Commission Awards. The Sports Commission Awards, held annually in June is conducted in partnership with the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. The awards celebrate and honor our local high school athletes in southwest Missouri.

Johnson is a Springfield native, graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in History from Missouri State University. After graduating, Johnson joined AmeriCorps Vista and worked with the Missouri River Communities Network and, more specifically, with the Hermann, Missouri tourism department. After returning from her year of service, Johnson eventually secured a position as the sales assistant for the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau where she worked for 5 years.

Johnson and her husband, Tim have two terrific kiddos who always keep them on their toes!