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University of Missouri

Covering New Ground

Young alumnus forges his own path.

Chris Simmons

Chris Simmons is a senior publisher development manager for LockerDome. Photo courtesy of LockerDome.

Chris Simmons moved from Ferguson, Missouri, to Mizzou in 2006 with a pioneering spirit, and not just because Columbia was the farthest west he had ever been.

I remember standing in front of Jesse Hall as my mom and dad drove off,” says Simmons, BA ’11. “It was a sunny day, and I looked up at the sky and thought, whew — this is it. I’m on my own.”

His mother, a teacher, instilled the importance of education and self‐motivation. So when journalism didn’t immediately light his fire, he blazed an interdisciplinary trail that focused on marketing and communication.

Now, Simmons is a senior publisher development manager at the social media company LockerDome. It’s a job he landed by literally knocking on the St. Louis business’s door, résumé in hand.

Back in McCluer High School, I had three jobs at the same time,” says Simmons, who lived in 10 different houses during his childhood. Although his dad was a part of his life, Simmons grew up in a single‐parent household with his mom and twin sisters. “I had to grow up quickly.”

As a Mizzou student, in addition to working an internship with Learfield Sports, Simmons started an entertainment company that rented venues for talent shows, dance parties and concerts.

LockerDome began as a sports‐themed network and transformed into an interface for a variety of media and topics, but Simmons is familiar with transformation.

When I graduated, my original plan was to go out West where I have family in California,” says Simmons, who loves the creativity and camaraderie at his job. “At LockerDome, if I have a suggestion for the direction of the team, my voice will be heard — our CEO sits a few feet away.”