Dake Wells Architecture wins 2024 Chamber Small Business Award – Springfield Daily Citizen

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The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce announced Dake Wells Architecture as the 2024 winner of the W. Curtis Strube Small Business Award.

Founded in 2004 by Brandon Dake and Andrew Wells, the firm impressed judges with its approach to design, commitment to community engagement and its growth trajectory. The award was announced May 1.

“Dake Wells Architecture exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that drives our local economy,” Springfield Chamber President Matt Morrow said in the press release. “The commitment to creating not just beautiful spaces, but also spaces that enhance the lives of Springfield residents, is truly commendable.”


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In Springfield, Dake Wells, located at 134 Park Central Square, Suite 300, has been part of important community projects, like Jarrett Middle School, Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Ozarks Technical Community College, the Davis-Harrington Welcome Center at Missouri State University (MSU) and more, according to the company website.

“Embarking on a design and construction project can be a very scary and risky thing to do,” Andrew Wells, co-founder of the architecture firm, said at the award ceremony, which was held at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, located at 2546 N. Glenstone Ave.

“We are so grateful to those clients who have trusted us to work with them to help strengthen our community with good design.”

Dake Wells continues to the work in Springfield and surrounding cities

imageMatt Morrow, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President, speaks at the 2024 Small Business Award ceremony. (Photo by Ryan Collins)
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Matt Morrow, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce president, speaks at the 2024 Small Business Award ceremony. (Photo by Ryan Collins)

In February 2024, the architecture firm was hired by MSU’s Board of Governors to design a new alumni center to be named after the university’s outgoing president, Clif Smart, according to previous Springfield Daily Citizen reporting. A few months later, the firm was hired to design improvements to the Midtown Carnegie Library.

The company has extended it project-footprint beyond Springfield to cities including Kansas City; West Plains; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Shawnee, Kansas and more, according to the company website.

With a breaking voice, Wells accepted the award by first thanking everybody at the firm.

“I want to thank our team for the incredible effort they put in to all the incredible work that we do,” Wells said. “For us, architecture is a team sport, and please forgive my bias, but I think we have the best team around.”

On top of the Dake Wells architecture firm, the pool of finalists for the small business award included 417 Magazine, Ireland Architects, Ozark Empire Fairgrounds and Volt Credit Union, according to the press release.

The Springfield Chamber of Commerce has given the award annually since 1992, recognizing the role small businesses have in the local economy. The award is named after Dr. W. Curtis Strube, the late director of the Breech School of Business Administration at Drury University. In 2023, the recipient was KARE Health and Wellness, a south Springfield functional medicine clinic, according to past Springfield Daily Citizen reporting.

More than 80% of Springfield Chamber of Commerce members are small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, according to the press release. Written applications were considered and scored by an independent panel of judges, including previous award recipients, local business experts and volunteers, according to the press release.

“Small business is a hard gig,” Morrow said at the award ceremony, which had about 360 people in attendance. “It takes other members of the community, people believing in one another who are willing to invest in one another, for small businesses, even the very best of ones, to get off the ground and soar.”

image2024 Small Business Award
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About 360 people attended the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2024 Small Business Award. (Photo by Ryan Collins)

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About 360 people attended the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2024 Small Business Award. (Photo by Ryan Collins)


Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins is the business and economic development reporter for the Springfield Daily Citizen. Collins graduated from Glendale High School in 2011 before studying journalism and economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously worked for Bloomberg News. Contact him at (417) 849-2570 or [email protected]. More by Ryan Collins

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