Downtown Springfield Association
Craig Wagoner poses with his Tom Billionis lifetime achievement award, standing between Michelle Billionis and Vance Hall.
News Stories

Big surprises make 2020 Downtown Awards a night to remember

February 07, 2020

The 2020 Downtown Awards, the Downtown Springfield Association’s night of celebration, included a pair of big surprises.

The biggest came courtesy of Central Bank President and CEO Russ Marquart. After Craig Wagoner, of Brentwood Management, received the Tom Billionis Lifetime Achievement Award, Marquart took the microphone in the Hotel Vandivort ballroom to say a few kind words to his longtime friend.

Marquart also announced Central Bank is donating $20,000 to the Downtown Council of Champions. That money will be earmarked for a special project, or projects, selected by Wagoner and the McQueary family.

John and Karen McQueary, and Allison and Billy McQueary won Developer of the Year, presented by Central Bank, at the Downtown Awards. Vantage Rooftop Lounge & Conservatory, part of their V2 expansion of Hotel Vandivort, was named the New Hospitality of the Year. That award is presented by SGC Foodservice.

Wagoner has been a vital part of downtown revitalization. He has renovated many buildings over the last two decades, including well-known landmarks like the Seville, Ozark Camera, Kresge, Central Shoe and Yellow Bonnet. Wagoner has served the community as a DSA board member and is the longtime treasurer for the Downtown Springfield CID.

Cricket Fries, of A Cricket in the House, was honored as Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by BluCurrent Credit Union. Fries had been told the award was going to Brina Thomas, of 5 Pound Apparel.

Fries and husband Mark have operated A Cricket in the House for nine years. She has been an important member of the Downtown Springfield Association. She has not only served on the DSA board, including serving as the secretary, and has been a vital member of the downtown retail scene.

Guests at the awards dined on appetizers from The Order as well as desserts from Amycakes Bakery, European Cafe and the Traveling Chef. Live music was provided by Abbey Waterworth, while painter Emily Million did a live painting.

The DSA handed out a total of 11 awards. Seven of them were open to an online public vote. The awards committee winners in the remaining four categories.

New Office of the Year: Fight Colorectal Cancer

New Hospitality of the Year, presented by SGC Foodservice: Vantage Rooftop Lounge & Conservatory

New Retailer of the Year, presented by Oak Star Bank: Queen City Soda & Sweets

New Downtown Event of the Year, presented by City of Springfield’s Department of Public Information & Civic Engagement: Coffee Fest

Good Neighbor Award: Addison & Katie Jones

Downtown as a Destination Award: The Historic Gillioz Theatre

Urban Legend-in-the-Making Award: Megan Buchbinder, Springfield Little Theatre

Developer of the Year, presented by Central Bank: John & Karen McQueary and Allison & Billy McQueary

Business of the Year, presented by Biz 417: Hold Fast Brewing

Tom Billionis Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Central Bank: Craig Wagoner, Brentwood Management