Missouri State granted its 14th honorary doctorate to Shawn Askinosie, founder of Askinosie Chocolate, during spring commencement. Askinosie received the Doctor of Public Affairs to recognize his contributions as a community leader, an entrepreneur, a role model and an inspiration to students and others.
Following a career as a successful lawyer, Askinosie founded Askinosie Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer that sources 100 percent of its beans directly from farmers in places including Ecuador, the Philippines and Tanzania. Askinosie’s factory is on Commercial Street in Springfield.
Askinosie Chocolate has several outreach programs, including Cocoa Honors, an 18-month-long cooperative learning project for high school juniors who learn about the bean-to-bar philosophy and gain exposure to different cultures and global business experiences.
In addition, women from the Victory Mission Women’s Shelter, a shelter and educational program housing women in need, are employed by Askinosie Chocolate. They use the money for field trips and projects to help others in need.