At Great Southern Bank, we believe in volunteerism and the impact it has on the overall health of our communities. Our associates' actions reflect our Company's charitable spirit. Our bankers are more than just bankers. They are mentors, spending their lunch hour tutoring second graders; they are board members, offering their leadership and experience to local nonprofit organizations; they are advisors, attending Chamber meetings working to bring more jobs to their town; they are educators, offering tips to seniors of how to safe guard their hard-earned money.

We are proud of our associates and support their efforts to strengthen our communities, making them better places to live, work and do business.

Bill and Ann Turner Distinguished Community Service Award

Great Southern Bank’s annual Bill and Ann Turner Distinguished Community Service Award was created to emphasize the importance placed on volunteerism at Great Southern Bank by honoring one outstanding associate who demonstrates excellence in volunteer service to their community. Associates throughout the Company have the opportunity to nominate coworkers they believe are worthy of this honor. A committee comprised of community leaders review the nominations and select an annual recipient. On the winner’s behalf, Great Southern Bank donates $1,500 to their charity of choice.

2024 Award Recipient: Brenda Yakle

Brenda Yakle is an active community member who always strives to do what is right. With an unwavering dedication to her neighbors, she advocates for domestic violence survivors and fosters growth in Lebanon, Missouri. Possessing an innate understanding of her community's needs, Brenda approaches her volunteerism with grace and positivity, utilizing her unique talents to uplift those around her. 

As a testament to her commitment to domestic violence advocacy, Brenda has served on the board of directors for COPE, a local domestic violence center, for many years. Her leadership skills and financial expertise are put to use as she currently serves as their treasurer. She is driven by her belief in the fundamental right to safety within one's own home.
Looking towards the horizon with optimism, Brenda lends her support to various endeavors to bolster economic development and propel her city forward. Serving as both treasurer and President-elect (for 2021) of Lebanon REDI, she actively shapes the direction of the lead economic development agency, focusing on key areas such as Business Retention and Expansion, Business Attraction, Community Development, Workforce Development, and Corporate Development. Additionally, she serves as a board member and loan committee participant for the Lebanon Community Development Corporation.
An advocate for the revitalization of Lebanon's downtown area, Brenda's influence extends to initiatives like the Lebanon Downtown Revitalization Project, where she has been instrumental in securing the bank's sponsorship for events aimed at attracting businesses and enhancing the vibrancy of the locale. Her unwavering dedication to the betterment of her community serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who are fortunate enough to benefit from her tireless efforts.

Brenda Yakle, 2024 Award recipient 

Past Distinguished Community Service Award Recipients:

2023 Award Recipient: Kelly Dostart

2022 Award Recipient: Mary Dunavant

2021 Award Recipient: Avi Suri

2020 Award Recipient: Terry Framke

2019 Award Recipient: Eric Mitchell

2018 Award Recipient: Lynn Hinkle

2017 Award Recipient: Pam Sherrill

2016 Award Recipient: Brian Davies

2015 Inaugural Award Recipient: Andrea Brady