What’s Happening In The Region
November 30, 2010
RCGA Board Adopts 2011 Legislative Agenda: The RCGA Board of Directors adopted a set of 2011 Missouri, Illinois and Federal legislative priorities to enhance the economy, business climate and quality of life of the bi-state St. Louis region, at their Thursday, November 18th meeting.
The process for development of the 2011 Legislative Agenda began in September, and was undertaken over the past two months by the 60-member RCGA Public Policy Council, chaired by Ted Powers, Regional Director of Government Affairs for Anheuser-Busch Cos., and Gordon Reel, Assistant Vice President of Government & Public Affairs at Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
RCGA Board Chair for Public Policy Tom Campbell, Managing Partner at Gallop, Johnson & Neuman, presented the proposed 2011 Legislative Agenda to the RCGA Board. Jan Holloway, Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and Community Relations at Monsanto, is Board Vice Chair for Public Policy. Ted, Gordon, Tom and Jan make up the 2011 RCGA Public Policy Leadership Team.
Tom described the 4 main sections that reflect the overall business interests of our large and diverse membership:
Due to continuing budgetary challenges, this will once again be a difficult year for legislators in Missouri and Illinois. The RCGA agenda focuses on policies to improve the regional business climate and grow our economy while reflecting current fiscal realities. Below are our top legislative priorities in Missouri and Illinois.
The RCGA's top legislative priority in Missouri this year is to restore balance and strengthen the State's employment laws, which have been adversely affected by numerous court decisions over the past decade.
Second, while the RCGA recognizes that the Missouri Legislature must make difficult choices to balance the State budget, we will continue to aggressively support and protect proven programs that stimulate employment, jobs, and leverage private investment.
RCGA also supports coordinated policies and programs to spur high-tech entrepreneurship in Missouri and the creation of stable and sustainable sources of funding for scientific research, innovation and investment in growing industries like biotechnology and IT.
The two top priorities in Illinois are restoring State fiscal stability and addressing the Mississippi River levee situation. There has been a growing recognition in the business community that the lack of fiscal responsibility that led to the State's $13 billion structural deficit has begun to threaten economic growth in Southwestern Illinois. RCGA will work with legislators and State leaders to identify ways of balancing the State's budget and creating revenue growth that do not place undue burdens on the business community, impede job creation, or unduly reduce the effectiveness of essential State programs. RCGA is also committed to supporting State, local and federal efforts to fix the levee system and to protect economic development opportunities in the Metro East.
As has been the case for the past decade, the RCGA will also support and collaborate with its Forward Metro St. Louis civic partners - Civic Progress, RBC, St. Charles Partners for Progress; and Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, in pursuing companion Forward Metro St. Louis critical regional issues.
For more information about the RCGA's Public Policy initiatives, please contact RCGA Senior Vice President for Public Policy Chip Casteel, at (314) 444-1107, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 29, 2010
Walter Metcalfe, Jr. To Receive Right Arm Of St. Louis Award At 174th RCGA Annual Meeting And Dinner On Thursday, January 20th: The 174th RCGA Annual Meeting and Dinner will be held on Thursday evening, January 20th, at the Chase Park Plaza, where lawyer and long-time regional civic leader Walter Metcalfe, Jr., of Bryan Cave, will be presented with the Right Arm of St. Louis Award, the RCGA's most prestigious honor, and presented annually since 1975 to a person or persons who have made outstanding contributions to the St. Louis region.
Walter represented the St. Louis NFL group in the establishment of legislation and financing for the construction of the Edward Jones Dome expansion of the St. Louis Convention Center. He helped to organize Grand Center, Inc., the developer of the arts and entertainment district in St. Louis, and represented the Missouri Botanical Garden, Monsanto Company, the University of Missouri and Washington University in the organization, funding and construction of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur.
He has been a key leader in a host of business and civic initiatives over the past three decades and his service continues to this day. He was the lead attorney in the organization of Kiel Center Partners, the financing and construction of the new Scottrade Center, and acquisition and operation of the St. Louis Blues.
Walter and his civic colleagues continue to provide great leadership to The City + The Arch + The River 2015 Foundation, presenting to the RCGA Board twice this year on the Arch Grounds International Design Competition. He has often noted that completing the project is critically important to the St. Louis region's future in terms of connecting the region together, stimulating additional investment, bringing visitors to St. Louis, and making the region a more informed and fun place to be.
The Right Arm of St. Louis Award has been presented to a diverse and legendary group of St. Louisans, from Washington University Chancellor Dr. Mark Wrighton last year, to 2008 Award recipient John Bachmann, Senior Partner of Edward Jones; Andy and Jack Taylor; Dr. Blanche Touhill; Bill and Jack Danforth; Tony LaRussa, Bill DeWitt, Jr. and Walt Jocketty; and Dr. Peter Raven, to the late Jack Buck and Bill Maritz.
The evening program will include a state of the region, as well as a salute to outgoing RCGA Chairman Bob Reynolds, welcoming incoming Chairman Tom Voss, highlights of the new regional economic development campaign by RCGA Board Chair for Economic Development Danny Ludeman, as well as a salute to the RCGA Board of Directors and inauguration of 2011 officers, and other RCGA volunteers.
We invite you and your company to share in this unique regional celebration by participating as a Dinner Sponsor of this special evening. Sponsorships are $2,900 and entitle you to preferential seating for a table of 10, recognition throughout the dinner in the audio/visual presentation and print program, recognition on the RCGA's website and in St. Louis Commerce Magazine, special table signage, and a special VIP sponsor reception.
Formal invitations to the January 20th RCGA Annual Meeting and Dinner will be mailed very soon to the entire RCGA membership. To become a Dinner Table Sponsor, please call Mary Barbeau at the RCGA at (314) 444-1103, or email her at email@example.com.
November 25, 2010
RCGA And St. Louis Commerce Magazine Join In Once Again Sponsoring St. Louis Arts Awards On Monday, January 24th: The RCGA and St. Louis Commerce magazine are pleased to once again serve as sponsor and print media sponsor, respectively, of the 2011 St. Louis Arts Awards Dinner on Monday evening, January 24th, at the Chase Park Plaza. Presented by the Arts and Education Council since 1992, this 20th annual celebration salutes individuals and organizations who achieve a legacy of artistic excellence, and businesses that enrich the St. Louis region's arts and cultural community.
The St. Louis Arts Awards Dinner is co-chaired by Ameren Corp. Chairman, President &: Chief Executive Officer Tom Voss and his wife, Carol. My wife, Sarah Smith, and I are pleased to once again serve as co-Chairs of this year's gala event.
Here are the 2011 St. Louis Arts Award recipients:
- Lifetime Achievement in the Arts - Mae Wheeler
- Excellence in the Arts - Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
- Arts Innovator - Paul Reuter
- Champion for Literary Arts - Karen Duffy
- Excellence in Philanthropy - Christian Peper
- Corporate Support of the Arts - Wells Fargo Advisors
- Art Educator of the Year - Wayne Salomon
For reservations and more information about the 2011 St. Louis Arts Awards, please contact the Arts and Education Council at 314.289.4003 or visit www.keeparthappening.org.
November 24, 2010
RCGA's Steve Johnson Promoted To Executive Vice President For Economic Development: I was pleased to share with the RCGA Board of Directors on Thursday morning that we have promoted Steve Johnson to the new position of Executive Vice President for Economic Development, from Senior Vice President, in keeping with the enhanced responsibilities that we have asked him to assume in the new multi-year RCGA economic development campaign that officially launches in January.
I was pleased to recruit Steve to the RCGA in 2004, at the outset of the now-concluding current economic development campaign. Steve had formerly served as Executive Vice President for Economic Development and Senior Vice President for Business Development, respectively, at the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC), Kansas City's economic development counterpart to the RCGA.
His 25-plus years of regional economic development experience include 11 years with KCADC; he also previously served as Director of Economic Development for the Mobile, Alabama Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, he was Director of Economic Development for the Jefferson City, MO Area Chamber of Commerce, where he worked under Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jim Anderson.
The new RCGA economic development campaign, called Greater St. Louis Inc., will focus on 5 areas. The overall effort is being led by Economic Development Board of Trustees Chair and RCGA Board Chair for Economic Development Danny Ludeman, President & CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors.
The Strategic plan is organized into these 5 priority areas:
- Support and grow key industry sectors
- Target marketing and business recruitment in competitive fields
- Increase the rate of start-up ventures
- Address regional talent as a strategic imperative
- Leverage all regional transportation assets
November 23, 2010
2010 United Way Campaign Raises More Than $68.07 Million, Again Surpasses Its Ambitious Goal: The United Way of Greater St. Louis celebrated its just concluded 2010 campaign victory at the Edward Jones St. Louis headquarters, announcing that the region has raised $68,070,527 in gifts and pledges, surpassing its goal of $68 million. United Way will invest more than $1 million each week in quality nonprofits in 2011 to help one in three local people. Even amidst a continuing challenging national economy, the St. Louis region's business community and the more than 200,000 individual contributors to United Way have once again demonstrated the level of generosity that helps to define St. Louis.
United Way Board Chair Doug Yaeger
United Way Campaign Chair Jim Weddle
While St. Louis is the 18th largest metro area of 361 metros, United Way funding here is the 5th largest in the nation, notably ahead of several much larger regions, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Support by the region's corporate community is a major factor in St. Louis' performance. St. Louis is #1 in the percent of the St. Louis campaign that comes from corporate giving.
Congratulations to United Way Board Chair Doug Yaeger, Chairman, President & CEO of The Laclede Group, Inc., and 2003-2005 RCGA Board Chair, and to 2010 United Way Campaign Chair Jim Weddle, Managing Partner of Edward Jones.
Special thanks also to Emerson Chairman, President & CEO David Farr and to his spouse, Lelia, for co-Chairing a very successful Alexis de Tocqueville Society giving effort, which raised more than $10.8 million.
Thanks also to Ameren Senior Vice President of Customer Operations Richard Mark for Chairing the Charmaine Chapman Society, the premier African-American Leadership initiative in the nation. The Charmaine Chapman Society raised more than $1.8 million this year.
Additional thanks to SBC Missouri Vice President of External Affairs Deb Hollingsworth, who Chaired the Women's Leadership Society, which ranks 5th in the nation in women's leadership giving, and raised more than $5.4 million.
The RCGA's campaign, which was coordinated by RCGA Director of Government Affairs Christine Snively, was selected as a winner of the United Way's Keys to Campaigning contest. There were only 5 winners chosen in the St. Louis region. The other winners are Alton Memorial Hospital, Ceridian Employer Services, Covidien, and Edward Jones. We congratulate Christine on an outstanding job.
November 22, 2010
FBI, National Criminal Justice Journalists Association, U.S. Conference Of Mayors, American Society Of Criminology, St. Louis Region, Again Roundly Pan So-Called Crime Rankings: Once again, the FBI, Mayor Francis Slay's office, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the American Society of Criminology, the Metropolitan Police Department of St. Louis, the National Criminal Justice Journalists (a national professional association of over 200 crime reporters), and the RCGA have debunked the annual so-called city crime rankings, which were released on Sunday evening. These rankings are compiled each year from the FBI's data in a book published by Washington, D.C.-based CQ Press.
The purpose of the rankings and promotion of them are little more than to generate headlines for the publisher and to sell their $70 per copy book each year; it is certainly not to give anyone any useful information not already publicly available from the FBI and other public sources, and the FBI has noted that the annual CQ book and the attendant sensational publicity to promote it actually gives a misrepresentation of crime rates and the FBI's data.
The rankings are based on the previous year's crime statistics, published by the FBI. The Bureau itself warns the data should not be used for city-to-city comparisons because cities compile statistics differently. For example, New York doesn't count thefts of items worth less than $1,000. Last year, the City of Chicago, and the metropolitan areas of Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis-Saint Paul and many others were not even included in the rankings, because they did not meet the FBI criteria for reporting their crimes.
As it has in the past, CQ Press gives no standard definition of “city.” The purely arbitrary matter of where the boundary lines between “city” and “suburb” (and the geography of municipalities within a region) are drawn greatly influences what “cities” have a “high crime rate” and what cities don't. Cities that are geographically small and that contain a relatively small percentage of the metropolitan area's population will likely have higher "crime rates" than cities with expansive boundaries, which encompass neighborhoods that in the smaller cities are suburbs.
Therefore, if communities must be ranked by crime at all, independent criminologists and the FBI note that the only fair way to compare them is as metropolitan areas. As a metro area, St. Louis tends to fall in the middle of the pack (141st out of 331 in 2008, 153rd out of 335 in 2007, per the very same CQ Press).
The truth about the City of St. Louis is that the vast majority of neighborhoods in the City are safe. In fact, according to Police Department data, crime was down 15% in 2007, 9% in 2008, 2% in 2009, and 7% year to-date in 2010.
The FBI and criminologists have opposed these rankings for several years now -- especially the city-versus-city rankings - because they don't only mislead, they do real harm, especially to cities that can least afford the damage. The rankings influence perceptions. It's impossible to quantify, but we think these perceptions in turn affect tourism, the convention business, and, in some cases, economic development. They also affect the self-image of the communities involved.
Last year, most media reports on the rankings reflected the criticism cited above, and more. We hope that journalists this year will at least again report what the experts call them - a bogus and destructive way for an irresponsible publisher to make money on an overpriced book.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch certainly got it right when, in an editorial published in November 2008, they warned librarians about wasting their money to buy this report, noting that, “all the data in the CQ Press book are government statistics available online for free, and the way the book uses these numbers renders them worthless.”
Suggestion: buy a copy of Mark Twain's long-awaited 700-page autobiography for $19.95 instead and save the other $50.
November 18, 2010
RCGA Sponsoring ULI St. Louis “Emerging Trends Outlook 2011” On November 30th: RCGA and St. Louis Commerce Magazine are pleased to co-sponsor the Urban Land Institute St. Louis District Council (ULI St. Louis) annual real estate trends and forecast meeting, Emerging Trends Outlook 2011, at the Missouri History Museum from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., on Tuesday, November 30th. This event will feature a presentation on the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2011 report—a publication from PricewaterhouseCoopers and ULI.
Bringing the focus closer to home, the program will also feature a panel of leading area real estate investors and experts, providing their outlook for St. Louis region.
Emerging Trends in Real Estate is a trends and forecast publication with a 32-year history, and is the most highly-regarded and widely-read forecast report in the real estate industry. Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2011, undertaken jointly by PricewaterhouseCoopers and ULI, provides an outlook on U.S. investment and development trends, real estate finance and capital markets, property sectors, metropolitan areas, and other real estate issues. The report draws on formal and informal surveys of real estate executives, investors, developers, and market experts around the U.S., including survey responses from over 500 real estate executives and personal interviews with over 125 industry leaders.
Emerging Trends Speakers
Senior Vice President and Executive Director
ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate
Urban Land Institute
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Real Estate
Washington University in St. Louis
Senior Vice President
Assistant Vice President and Economist
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Vice Chancellor for Workforce & Community Development
St. Louis Community College
For more information on this program and to register online, please go to www.StLouis.uli.org. The deadline to register is Tuesday, November 23rd.
November 17, 2010
Jai Nagarkatti: 1947 – 2010:
Dr. Jai Nagarkatti
The RCGA and the entire regional business community are saddened by the sudden death on Saturday of Dr. Jai Nagarkatti, chairman, president and CEO of Sigma-Aldrich Corp. Jai died unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack. He was 63 years old.
Featured on the cover of the May/June 2009 St. Louis Commerce Magazine, [http://www.stlcommercemagazine.com/archives/may2009/cover.html] Jai began his career with the company in 1976 as a development chemist in the Milwaukee, Wis. office. In 1987, he became president of the Aldrich Chemical Company, a position he held until 2000 when he transferred to St. Louis to lead the company’s Fine Chemicals Division. He was named president of the Scientific Research Division, the company’s largest business unit in 2003, and was promoted to president and COO in 2004. In 2006, he was named CEO.
Sigma-Aldrich's Board of Directors has elected Rakesh Sachdev as President and CEO. Rakesh most recently served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, and Senior Vice President of the International business. He has also been elected to the Sigma-Aldrich Board of Directors as of Saturday.
The Board also has elected Barrett Toan as Chairman as of Saturday. Barrett served as Chairman of Express Scripts from 1996 to 2006 and as CEO of Express Scripts, Inc. from 1989 to 2005. He has served on the Board of Directors of Sigma-Aldrich since 2001 and, with his appointment as Chairman, served as the Board's Presiding Director. In that role he presided over independent directors executive sessions at the Board meetings and acted as a liaison between the Chairman and independent directors in matters relating to the Board.
Deepest sympathies to Jai’s wife, Susan, daughter Shanti, and the entire Nagarkatti family.
November 16, 2010
Greater St. Louis “Top 50” Draws One Of The Largest Crowds In Gala's 15-Year History: The Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront Hotel was filled with over 650 guests and CEOs from the Top 50 awardees on Thursday evening to celebrate the success of the honorees at this year's Greater St. Louis Top 50 Awards Gala.
|RubinBrown LLP Chairman Jim Castellano, right, presents the 2010 Spirit of St. Louis Technology Award to Express Scripts Senior Director of Project Management Paul Acker.
||Ameren Missouri President & CEO Warner Baxter, left, presents the 2010 Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award to Peabody Energy President & Chief Commercial Officer Rick Navarre.
The 2010 Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award was presented to Peabody Energy and was accepted by Peabody Energy President & Chief Commercial Officer Rick Navarre. Express Scripts was honored with this year's Spirit of St. Louis Technology Award. The award was accepted at the dinner by Express Scripts Senior Director of Project Management Paul Acker. To view the Top 50 videos about Express Scripts and Peabody Energy, please click on these links: Peabody video, Express Scripts video
As part of this year’s application, the RCGA and RubinBrown asked the Top 50 nominees what they thought were the most significant issues facing growing companies in the St. Louis region today. The #1 response was the need for our region to recruit and retain a skilled and educated work force to meet the current and future needs of businesses.
A very close #2 in this survey was the need to see improvement in the national and global economy, as this challenging environment makes it difficult for companies to plan, budget and meet staffing needs.
Number 3 was the need for access to capital, and tightened credit markets are issues that affect the attraction and retention of businesses, particularly smaller and entrepreneurial start ups.
Number 4 was the need to have better transportation options, particularly air transportation. Some respondents noted that it has become increasingly difficult to travel efficiently, both nationally and globally.
And, #5 was the need for more affordable health care, insurance and health care services, and providing these offerings for the less fortunate.
This is the 15th year that the St. Louis top companies were honored in what has become an annual civic tradition dating back to the inaugural program in 1996, which the RCGA and RubinBrown LLP were pleased to co-present, in cooperation with Ameren, Edward Jones, M & I Bank, and Thompson Coburn LLP. The media partners for the awards were the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, StLToday.com, NewsRadio 1120 KMOX and St. Louis Commerce Magazine.
November 15, 2010
Region Hosts Chinese Business Delegation In Latest Step In St. Louis “Big Idea China Project”: The Big Idea stands on two legs. One is the Midwest cargo hub, and the other is developing the bi-state St. Louis region into a Midwestern Commercial and Business Hub for China. To that end, this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the RCGA hosted a 40-person delegation of Chinese high-level business executives, in cooperation with our area economic development partners. The industries represented in this latest Chinese business delegation to visit the bi-state region --- the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) --- included alternative energy, biotech, agri / food processing and real estate. ACFIC is China’s national chamber of commerce with over 2.6 million members nationwide.
|Mayor Francis Slay greets ACFIC Vice Chairman Zhuang Congsheng, center right, and Madam Xiaoming Ouyang, ACFIC Director General of Economic Development, at the RCGA Friday morning. At far right is Roger Shapiro of London Export.
||Chinese Airline and Aviation delegation at Missouri Botanical Garden during week-long delegation visit to St. Louis, week of November 1st.
|Armstrong Teasdale Partner Steve Cousins, RCGA’s general counsel, addresses the ACFIC delegation Friday afternoon at the law offices.
||Mark Twain impersonator entertains ACFIC dinner guests at the Whittemore House on the Washington University campus Friday evening.
One week before, the RCGA joined the Midwest China Hub Commission, Lambert International Airport, and the World Trade Center in hosting a delegation of China’s top aviation officials and airlines to focus on the Lambert Cargo Hub. While here in St. Louis, the China Air Transportation Association (CATA) / Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), and China’s airlines delegation met with regional transportation and business leaders, as well as State and local elected leaders, and visited some of the region’s leading shipping, freight forwarding, manufacturing, technology and biotech institutions to discuss air cargo and backhaul opportunities.
This is all part of the strong, region-wide effort to make the St. Louis region a cargo and commercial hub for China, strengthening business-to-business and economic ties with the Chinese to provide new markets for Midwestern goods in China and vice versa. Back in March, RCGA hosted a delegation of industry leaders from Weihei, China (China’s center for medical device manufacturing) for 2 days, and then 25 Chinese biotech leaders in April for 3 days, including China’s top life sciences venture capitalist. Just last month, we hosted a week-long visit by another of China’s top venture capital leaders.
November 11, 2010
RCGA Co-Sponsoring Saint Louis University’s “Challenges & Opportunities Growing Globally” Conference On Wednesday, Nov. 17th: RCGA continues its partnership with The Boeing Institute of International Business at Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business, as it hosts the "Challenges and Opportunities Growing Globally" conference, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 17th, in the Wool Ballroom at Busch Student Center, 20 N. Grand Blvd.
The conference begins at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast, as well as networking opportunities and exhibitor displays.
The morning session features 5 experts who will address various aspects of the global business spectrum:
- The Bull Market and Feeding a Hungry World: Gary Blumenthal, president and chief executive officer, World Perspectives, Inc.
- Managing the Global Perishable Food Chain – A Systematic Approach: William Sekkel, Latin American president, Ingersoll Rand Climate Solutions
- Impact of the Global Financial Environment: Hans Olsen, chief investment office, J. P. Morgan Private Wealth Management
- Challenges and Opportunities in the Global Healthcare Industry: Steven Miller, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, Express Scripts, Inc.
- Enterprise Holdings – Industry Leadership and Global Strategy: Greg Stubblefield, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Enterprise Holdings
The noon luncheon session, moderated by Dr. Ellen Harshman, will feature Dr. Leonard Guarraia, chair of the World Agriculture Forum. Guarraia will discuss Three Billion More People: The Global Challenges.
To register, please visit http://www.slu.edu/x17145.xml. For additional information, please call the Boeing Institute of International Business at 314.977.3898. Registrations must be received by this Friday, Nov. 12th.
November 10, 2010
Greater St. Louis Top 50 Awards Gala Toasts Area Business/Civic Leaders This Thursday Evening, November 11th: Join us as the RCGA and RubinBrown LLP present the 2010 Greater St. Louis Top 50 Awards Gala this Thursday evening, November 11th, at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch Hotel, beginning at 6 p.m. The Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award will be presented to Peabody Energy and Peabody Energy, accepted by Peabody President Rick Navarre, for Peabody’s demonstrating the highest corporate standards and citizenship, and for their commitment to the St. Louis region. In addition, the Spirit of St. Louis Technology Award will be presented to Express Scripts in recognition of the company's commitment to both technology and the St. Louis region.
Over 600 guests have already RSVP’d for Thursday evening’s dinner; if you would like to join the join us, please contact RCGA Vice President for Membership Services Colin Stahlhut today, at 314.444.1145, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional corporate and media sponsors of the Top 50 program are: Ameren; Edward Jones; M&I Bank; Thompson Coburn; the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; STLtoday.com; NewsRadio 1120 KMOX; and St. Louis Commerce Magazine. Please click here to view this issue – www.stlcommercemagazine.com
Our annual special edition of Commerce Magazine, now on newsstands throughout the region, announces the 2010 Greater St. Louis Top 50 award recipients. Growth in the number of employees; revenue growth; acquisitions and expansion of facilities; and their overall contributions to the St. Louis regional economy were the criteria used to select the 50 St. Louis-based companies.
Speaking of Commerce, this 140-page “mega-issue” encapsulates several themes that spell good news for our region. First, the cover story examines the latest chapter in St. Louis civic planning and entrepreneurship; namely, the just completed international design competition to revitalize and reconnect the 91-acre Gateway Arch grounds. The goal is to better connect the Arch expanse with downtown, the riverfront on both banks, and to enhance the historic role of the Arch as an iconic global symbol of St. Louis. The cover story focuses on the competition’s winning team, MVVA, and an in-depth interview with Walter Metcalfe, leader of the CityArchRiver2015, which is spearheading the redesign and its execution.
This issue of Commerce also presents the 2010 Construction Roundup and State of the Industry Report, as well as a story about 4 companies that are reversing a trend of leaving the city center. Four professional services & technology companies have decided to move their headquarters into downtown.
Related to development and construction, the recently-completed Regional Economic Development Strategy, led by Danny Ludeman, President & CEO at Wells Fargo Advisors, is moving aggressively forward with refinement of the region’s industry clusters that were identified as targets for our future growth back in 2000. This issue has a special section that includes a prospectus of the new Regional Economic Development Strategy and Capital Campaign.
As we do each month, we spotlight key area leaders who continue to move the region forward. This month our “Day in the Work Life” story highlights former Armstrong-Teasdale attorney John Nations, the new president of the Metro transit system. Our “Business Portrait” features veteran radio executive and civic leader, John Beck, senior vice president and general manager for Emmis Communications. We also spotlight Kevin Demoff, executive vice president of football operations and chief operating officer of the St. Louis Rams, just as the football franchise experiences resurgence.
November 9, 2010
RCGA Joins Federal Reserve In Presenting “Expanding Access To Capital & Credit” Conference This Wednesday, Nov. 10th: Please register today for this Wednesday’s “Expanding Access To Capital & Credit For Businesses In St. Louis” conference, at the Federal Reserve Bank, downtown, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. RCGA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, are joining in presenting this half-day program.
This is a two-part session to address two unique sources of growth capital – debt AND equity finance. The first session from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. outlines the elements of the Small Business Act driving the SBA and private banks to make traditional loans at a much improved pace by the end of this year. The second session immediately following is a “speed dating” session with over 20 participating banks making themselves available for appointments.
Session topics include:
- Overview of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010
- Update on Missouri State Loans and Incentive Programs
- New programs for Equity Investment
For those who see equity capital as a catalyst, RCGA Vice President for New Ventures and Capital Formation Jay DeLong, will moderate a panel from 2:15 to 4:30 p.m., focusing on the new seed capital and co-investment program of the Missouri Technology Corporation, as well as executives from two of the nation’s best seed stage investing programs: Innovation Works of Pittsburgh and Jumpstart of Cleveland.
A reception will follow. Both programs and the reception are free of charge, but you must register in advance through Jodi Shelton at the RCGA, at email@example.com, or phone her at 314.444.1112 by Wednesday morning.
November 8, 2010
Chinese Airline Delegation Concludes Week-Long Visit: “We Expect The Big Idea China Project To Become A Reality”: Four-and-a-half days of meetings with regional business, transportation leaders, State and local elected leaders, and visits to some of the region’s leading manufacturing, technology and biotech institutions to discuss air cargo and backhaul opportunities, made a very favorable impression on a delegation of representatives of 3 leading Chinese airlines and China’s lead aviation authority this past week. RCGA worked closely with the Midwest China Hub Commission, Lambert International Airport, and the World Trade Center on this crucial mission as part of the effort to establish a Midwest China Cargo and Commercial Hub in the St. Louis region.
In an extended interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday, delegation Chair Luo Chao Geng, vice chairman of the China Air Transportation Association (CATA); deputy delegation chair Li Jiangming, deputy general of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), and Chinese Consul General Yang Guoqiang and other Chinese leaders had the following observations:
- All the key infrastructure elements are in place for a successful China Cargo Hub at Lambert International Airport;
- The Chinese Embassy and the Consul General place “high value” on the St. Louis Big Idea, and the CAAC will “spare no effort to make the Big Idea a success;”
- The Chinese airlines and aviation leaders see the clear competitive advantages of Lambert for a cargo hub over seriously-congested existing U.S. cargo hubs;
- The Chinese delegation noted how impressed they were with the “concerted effort” by area governmental (our U.S. Senators, the Governor, Mayor, County Executives, Legislators), business, civic, and aviation leaders in articulating the Big Idea;
- The next step in the process will be for the visiting delegation to review their findings and determine a single Chinese airline which will then pursue negotiations with Lambert.
|China Air Transportation Association (CATA) / Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) delegation Chair Luo Chao Geng, Vice Chairman of CATA, fourth from left, and Deputy Chair of the delegation Li Jiangming, Deputy General of CAAC, respectively, interview with St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Tim Logan at the RCGA during this week's 4-1/2 day visit to St. Louis. Pictured left to right are: Chinese Consul General Yang Guoqiang, Mr. Li, Mr. Luo, Midwest China Hub Commission Chair Mike Jones, Tim Logan, and Roger Shapiro of London Exports.
|The Hub Commission brought the delegation together at the RCGA offices to meet with major shippers and freight forwarders who are the heart of the market and to hear directly from them about the opportunities that they see in the cargo hub here in St. Louis.
|Mayor Francis Slay presents a Blues jersey to Consul General Yang Guoqiang at the Blues vs. Sharks game on Thursday evening at Scottrade Center.
The Chinese delegation toured Lambert International Airport, Emerson headquarters, Sigma-Aldrich headquarters, Caterpillar Corporation’s distribution facilities in Peoria, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, as well as being hosted by Gov. Jay Nixon, Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, Hub Commission Chairman Mike Jones, Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Missouri Department of Economic Development Director David Kerr, Missouri Partnership Chairman Chris McKee, World Trade Center-St. Louis Executive Director Tim Nowak, and the RCGA.
Following a reception hosted by the Missouri American Asian Bar Association, the delegation was introduced to American hockey at Scottrade and toured the Arch before departing St. Louis on Friday.
The Hub Commission brought the delegation together at the RCGA offices to meet with major shippers and freight forwarders who are the heart of the market and to hear directly from them about the opportunities that they see in the cargo hub here in St. Louis. The delegation wanted to see the infrastructure for themselves, as well as learn how the planes would be filled with St. Louis and Midwestern products heading back to China.
The next step is for one of the Chinese airlines to step forward and negotiate a deal with Lambert Airport officials. While there's no precise timetable for making the cargo hub happen, if negotiations go well, we’re hoping -- as Sen. Kit Bond and Sen. Claire McCaskill recently noted -- flights could be arriving at Lambert in 2011.
Delegation Of 40 Chinese Business Leaders Visits St. Louis This Week: On the heels of this successful air cargo visit, the RCGA is ready to receive a 40-person delegation from the All China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) that arrives this Thursday evening. ACFIC is China’s national chamber of commerce with over 2 million members. This particular delegation represents over 30 businesses in the following industry groups: biopharma, agri/food processing, alternative energy, and real estate development.
|Members of the China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) delegation meet with Mayor Francis Slay in his office this past April. At right, Dr. Jun Ren, president of Shanghai Newsummit Biopharma Group, and a member of the CIPA delegation, speaks at the RCGA.
We are finalizing plans for a day-long series of meetings, company tours and industry-specific roundtables to thoroughly brief the delegation on the investment opportunities in Greater St. Louis. Over 20 different St. Louis area businesses, from start-ups to established Fortune 500 companies, will take part in this visit and work to promote the region.
November 4, 2010
11th Annual Salute To Excellence In Business Awards Luncheon Will Honor Region’s Top 25 African-American Businesses: The St. Louis American Foundation, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and the RCGA will partner once again to present the Annual Salute to Excellence in Business Awards Luncheon. The 2010 event is on Wednesday, November 10th, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, beginning at 12 noon. Harris-Stowe State University’s Anheuser-Busch School of Business is also a presenter this year.
Awards Luncheon. The 2010 event is on Wednesday, November 10th, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, beginning at 12 noon. Harris-Stowe State University’s Anheuser-Busch School of Business is also a presenter this year.
This 11th annual program will salute the St. Louis region’s Top 25 African-American business leaders for 2010. In addition, the 2010 Corporate Diversity Award will be presented to United Way of Greater St. Louis; the Corporate Executive of the Year Award will go to June Fowler, Vice President of Corporate and Public Communication at BJC Health Care; the Non-Profit Executive of the Year honor will be presented to Roderick Jones, President & CEO of Grace Hill Settlement House; and Michael Kennedy, Sr., Chairman & CEO of KAI Design & Build, will receive the 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Dr. Benjamin Akande, Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University, will be the luncheon keynote speaker. KMOX NewsRadio 1120 anchor Carol Daniel will once again serve as emcee of the luncheon program.
Dr. Benjamin Akande
Since 1999, the American, the Urban League and the RCGA have joined in the Salute to Excellence in Business Awards Luncheon to spotlight the best and brightest of the St. Louis region’s African-American business community.
For reservations and more information about the luncheon, please call 314.533.8000, ext. 305, or RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
November 3, 2010
RCGA Co-Presenting “Expanding Access To Capital And Credit” Symposium At Federal Reserve On Wednesday, November 10th: St. Louis area entrepreneurs and small businesses are invited to explore financing and discuss ideas on how to build a stronger regional economy at "Expanding Access to Capital and Credit,"from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., on Wednesday, November 10th, at the Federal Reserve Bank downtown.
This free, inaugural event will bring together interested business owners, economic development professionals, small business counselors, banking officials, approved SBA lenders, and many more. Sponsors are the RCGA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
A general session will address the business credit crunch and issues affecting the business climate; the newly-passed Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, changes in SBA loan programs to provide help for exporters, and the Missouri State loan and incentive programs.
Concurrent sessions will run in the afternoon. “Lender and Business Matchmaking” will enable business owners to meet individually with more than 20 loan officers from SBA participating lenders in a speed dating type format. Another session, “Tapping New Sources and Exploring New Models for Business Capital Formation,” will focus on developing a new finance system in the St. Louis region for start-up and high-growth science and technology businesses.
Dennis Melton, district director of the St. Louis SBA office, encourages businesses to bring copies of a business plan and financials for the lender-borrower matchmaking sessions, which are designed for business owners to share their strengths and needs and build relationships with one or more of the lenders. Exhibiters will share information on banking, business counseling opportunities, and capital formation.
All participants must register by next Monday, Nov. 8 at http://missouri.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action, or call 314.241.1511 for the event to be admitted to the Federal Reserve Bank Building. Please contact Nicki Massie at email@example.com, or 314. 539.6600, ext. 229 by tomorrow to arrange accommodations for persons with disabilities.
Exhibit space is available by contacting Larry Cresswell at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 314.539.6600, ext. 236.
November 2, 2010
“Big Idea China Project” Momentum Continues, Chinese Airline Executives And Officials Delegation Visiting St. Louis Region All This Week: In what is the latest chapter of the 3-year effort to establish a Midwest China Cargo and Commercial Hub in the bi-state St. Louis region, another delegation of Chinese officials is visiting St. Louis this week through Friday. This delegation is a group of representatives of China’s aviation and air cargo industry. RCGA is working closely with the Midwest China Hub Commission, Lambert International Airport, and the World Trade Center on this most important mission.
|St. Louis regional leaders welcome officials of the China Air Transportation Association (CATA) / Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) at Lambert Airport Sunday evening. In addition to Luo Chaogeng, other key delegation members are Li Jiangmin, Director General of the CAAC, and Duan Kaihong, Vice Secretary-General of the CATA.
While here in St. Louis, the China Air Transportation Association (CATA) / Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), and China’s airline companies delegation will be meeting with regional transportation and business leaders, as well as State and local elected leaders, and visiting some of the region’s leading manufacturing, technology and biotech institutions to discuss air cargo and backhaul opportunities, such as Lambert Airport, Emerson headquarters, Sigma-Aldrich headquarters, Caterpillar Corporation’s distribution facilities in Peoria, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, as well as being hosted by Gov. Jay Nixon, Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, Hub Commission Chairman Mike Jones, Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Missouri Department of Economic Development Director David Kerr, Missouri Partnership Chairman Chris McKee, World Trade Center-St. Louis Executive Director Tim Nowak, and the RCGA.
Following a reception hosted by the Missouri American Asian Bar Association, the delegation will also be introduced to American hockey at Scottrade Center and tour the Arch before departing St. Louis on Friday.
The visiting Chinese delegation follows St. Louis delegations to China led by Mayor Francis Slay and 48 Group Chairman Stephen Perry this past March, to meet with Chinese airline executives and CAAC officials, and by Senators Bond and McCaskill last month to meet with CAAC and Chinese businesses. At the conclusion of the September trip led by the Senators, CAAC and Lambert International Airport signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pursue the China Cargo Hub at Lambert. This week's China delegation is part of that agreement.
|Chinese aviation officials at the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) and China Air Transportation Association (CATA), including CATA Secretary General Duan Kaihong, sign a joint agreement with Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge in Beijing in September 2010, as part of Senator McCaskill’s and Senator Bond’s delegation.
|In advance of this week's visit to St. Louis by Chinese aviation leaders, I traveled to Chicago on behalf of the Hub Commission to brief China's new Consul General Yang Guoqiang, prior to his joining the China delegation this week in St. Louis. Also joining the briefing were the Chinese Consul General's staff and Hub Commission Executive Director Jason Van Eaton.
|Emerson President and COO and St. Louis Shippers Council Chairman Ed Monser joins Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, delegation Chairman Luo Chao Geng, and Consul General Yang Guogiang at reception last evening.
|At the reception last evening for the Chinese aviation delegation at the Four Seasons Hotel, Hub Commission Vice Chair Rich McClure, President of UniGroup, and Energizer CEO Ward Klein.
RCGA To Host Upcoming Chinese Business Delegation: The Big Idea stands on two legs. One is the Midwest cargo hub, and the other is developing the bi-state St. Louis region into a Midwestern Commercial and Business Hub for China. To that end, on November 11th, 12th and 13th, the RCGA is hosting a 30 to 40-person delegation representing a mix of Chinese government officials and high-level business executives, in cooperation with our area economic development partners. The industries represented in the latest Chinese business delegation to visit the bistate region --- the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) --- include alternative energy, biotech, agri / food processing and real estate. ACFIC is China’s national chamber of commerce with over 2 million members nationwide.
This is all part of the strong, region-effort to make the St. Louis region a cargo and commercial hub for China, strengthening business-to-business economic ties with the Chinese to provide new markets for Midwestern goods in China and vice versa. Earlier this year, the RCGA hosted a delegation of 25 Chinese biotech leaders for 3 days, including China’s top life sciences venture capitalist. Just last month, we hosted a week-long visit by another of China’s top venture capital leaders.
For information on the upcoming B2B delegation, please contact Steve Johnson, senior vice president for Economic Development at the RCGA at 314.444.1140, or email@example.com.