Greg Burris


President and CEO, United Way of the Ozarks 



Greg Burris served as the City Manager for Springfield from September 15, 2008 – the day the Great Recession started – through June 30, 2018.  In that capacity, he had the privilege to lead the most functionally diverse organization in southwest Missouri, with direct responsibility for 2,300 employees, a $366-million annual budget, and over $1.3 billion in assets. 

Greg was the recipient of the 2008 O. Franklin Kenworthy Award for Outstanding Leadership, Leadership Springfield’s highest honor.  Greg was also the recipient of the 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Public Affairs by Missouri State University, and was inducted into the Missouri State University “Wall of Fame” class of 2018.  He served as President of the Missouri City Managers Association during 2017-2018. 

After an eight-day retirement, Greg joined United Way of the Ozarks as that organization’s first-ever Executive in Residence and the Executive Director of the Give 5 Program, a first-of-its-kind program that matches retired and retiring Baby Boomers with key volunteer opportunities in our community.  The Give 5 Program has been awarded the 2019 “Innovation Award” by the Missouri Municipal League, and an article about the Give 5 program was recently published on the PBS Next Avenue and Forbes web sites.  In August 2019, Greg was appointed to be the organization’s President & CEO and he continues to drink from a fire hose.

Greg married up, was born on Halloween, is a recovering computer programmer, once hosted an intervention for Ted Danson in a Washington D.C. elevator, formerly worked as a custodian and a lumber stacker, was a professional musician with limited talent for 12 years, worked for 25 years at Missouri State University, where he was in charge of the design and construction of JQH Arena, has a passion for great customer service, once made a half-court shot 24 seconds before halftime in the State high school basketball championship game, pole vaulted for a school that had neither a pole nor a pit, and enjoys French Silk Chocolate Pie (typically, alone in a dark corner).