What’s Happening In The Region
May 31, 2011
10-Day Tribute To Vincent Price Emphasizes St. Louis’ Deep Literary And Cultural Roots: St. Louis entrepreneur Joe Edwards established a wonderful set of remembrances with the founding of the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 1988, recognizing famous St. Louisans in a wide variety of fields, emulating the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This past Friday would have marked the 100th birthday of one such St. Louis native, Vincent Price. Celebrating the many talents of this famous St. Louisan, “long time Vincent Price fan” and film buff Tom Stockman produced a remarkable 10-day Vincentennial, the Vincent Price 100th Birthday Celebration, in partnership with Cinema St. Louis.
The Vincentennial program noted, born on May 27th, 1911, iconic actor Vincent Price retained a special fondness for his place of origin, and that love was reciprocated with the 10-day tribute to the man and his works with this celebration of his 100th birthday in his hometown. Fittingly, on what would have been his 100th this past Friday evening, Price’s daughter, Victoria Price, presented an insightful, entertaining and touching several hour-long multimedia presentation on her father to a standing-room-only audience at the Missouri Historical Society. While the audience was heavily from St. Louis, Vincent Price buffs from throughout the nation and around the world attended (including attendees from Scotland, England, Germany and China).
The festival further noted, Price’s long career stretched over 55 years, beginning in 1938 at the height of classical Hollywood cinema, reaching its apex with his legendary horror films in the 1960s and 1970s, and concluding in his later years with abundant voice work and capstone performances in “The Whales of August” and “Edward Scissorhands.”
The Vincentennial producer further noted, “Price was not only a notable St. Louisan, but one of the 20th century’s most remarkable men.” To do full justice to the range of his accomplishments, Vincentennial featured not only at 10-day film festival at the Hi-Pointe Theater, Missouri History Museum, Washington University, and the MUNY, but also a pair of exhibits --- a stage production and illuminating discussions by Price experts and film historians. Bookending the Vincentennial were special appearances by legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, who received a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award, and the previously mentioned Friday presentation by Victoria Price, author of “Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography.” The Sheldon Art Gallery exhibit on Vincent Price runs until August 6th in the Ann Lee and Wilfred Konneker Gallery. The festival concluded on Saturday night with an outdoor screening of Price’s last film, “Edward Scissorhands.”
A graduate of St. Louis Country Day School, it was fitting that the title sponsor for Vincentennial was MICDS, his proud alma mater. Please click here to “Vincent Price 1911-1993.”
Price’s legacy is a vivid reminder of St. Louis’ rich and deep roots.
May 27, 2011
St. Louis Commerce Magazine Receives National Award: We are pleased to report that St. Louis Commerce magazine has won another national publishing recognition, this one being the Gold Award for Communications Excellence by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), in the category “Member and Community” publications. RCGA submitted the July/August and September/October 2010 issues. Also, the 2010 Roster issue of St. Louis Commerce was awarded a Bronze Award, in the category “Special Publications.”
The Gold Award will be presented in August during the Awards Show at the ACCE Convention in Los Angeles.
May 26, 2011
Lindbergh Anniversary Recalls St. Louis Chamber’s Major Role In Historic Flight: 84 years ago -- May 20th-21st, 1927 to be exact – Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic Ocean nonstop from New York to Paris in 33½ hours. This stunning achievement forever enshrined Lindbergh as a Legend among Legends. Looking back at this shining period in our nation’s history also reminds us of the instrumental role that the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce -- the RCGA's predecessor organization – played in this dramatic event that helped to launch the commercial air travel industry.
Charles Lindbergh addresses a crowd estimated at 100,000 on June 18, 1927, at Art Hill after returning from his famous New York-to-Paris flight.
My predecessor, then-Chamber President Harold Bixby, convened a dinner of Chamber leaders at the Racquet Club here in St. Louis in 1927. Bixby and a group of 10 area business leaders, who established the “Spirit of St. Louis Committee” of the Chamber, met with the young aviator to commit St. Louis businesses’ underwriting of Lindbergh's adventure with $15,000. In return, the Chamber of Commerce asked Lindbergh to name his plane, "Spirit of St. Louis."
In an interesting parallel to that history, the RCGA joined civic entrepreneur Dr. Peter Diamandis, the late Al Kerth, then-St. Louis Science Center President Doug King, and lawyer/civic leader Walter Metcalfe, Jr., in March 1995, in convening the founding members at the same Racquet Club in what we called the “New Spirit of St. Louis Committee,” which recruited and funded the X Prize Foundation to St. Louis and eventually raised the $10 million X Prize, which was won by SpaceShipOne developer Burt Rutan for undertaking to privately fund sub-orbital manned space flights.
May 25, 2011
“Best Of Show”: Citygarden Receives National Praise As 2011 Winner Of ULI Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award: Citygarden emerged as the winner in the final round of a national competition for the prestigious Urban Land Institute Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award for 2011. Citygarden competed with two projects from Portland, Ore. and two others from Houston.
The Amanda Burden award, announced this past Thursday, "recognizes an outstanding example of a public open space that has enriched and revitalized its surrounding community," award officials noted. Citygarden, the 2.9-acre richly landscaped sculpture garden and park, is a national example of a well-used public open space that has helped to enrich and revitalize the surrounding area. Earlier this month, Amanda Burden, New York City’s planning commissioner, who endowed the award, and Mark Johnson, founder of Civitas, a Denver-based planning firm, took a tour of Citygarden led by representatives of the Gateway Foundation, which conceived and financed the garden, and from Warren Byrd, a principal in Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, which designed it.
Rodney Crim, executive director of the St. Louis Development Corp., accepted the award on behalf of the foundation and the City at the just-concluded national Spring Meeting of the ULI in Phoenix.
May 24, 2011
Aerotropolis Noted As The Single Biggest Current Job-Producing Opportunity St. Louis Region & Missouri Have: The Sunday Post-Dispatch (May 22nd) editorial was a compelling case for why we still need to find a way to enact the Aerotropolis legislation and related aspects of the State economic development initiative (along with MOSIRA, the Sports Commission Initiative, and Data Center Incentives) that came painfully close to passing on May 13th as the Missouri Legislative session concluded.
The Post editorial noted, “Both the House and the Senate passed a version of the so-called "Aerotropolis" bill that would help turn Lambert-St. Louis International Airport into a hub for foreign cargo. Both chambers passed a bill pushed for years by the business community that would give tax incentives to upstart high-tech businesses in a state that has the potential to be a leader in the animal and plant sciences.”
“The Aerotropolis proposal in particular has the potential to be transformational to the future of St. Louis, making the region a hub of worldwide economic activity by taking advantage of all of the transportation options — air, land and water — that helped make this a Gateway City.”
The RCGA and its civic partners involved in Aerotropolis are continuing to work with leaders at the State level in determining the best course to pass this legislation, and remain strongly committed to accomplishing this important legislative priority.
RCGA And St. Louis Commerce Magazine Co-Sponsoring 4th Annual Trailnet Livable St. Louis Conference On Friday, June 3rd: Metro President & CEO John Nations, former Amtrak CEO Tom Downs, Kirwan Institute Executive Director John Powell, and Portland’s Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller, are among the speakers at the 4th Annual Trailnet Livable St. Louis Conference On Friday, June 3rd, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Eric P. Newman Education Center at the Washington University Medical Center, 320 S. Euclid Ave. This full-day conference, co-sponsored by the RCGA and St. Louis Commerce magazine, features an outstanding line-up of national and regional speakers on a range of topics related to creating livable communities.
With the theme Linking Local and Regional Solutions, the 2011 Conference will spotlight successful approaches at all scales—from benches, to blocks, to neighborhoods, to the region—and how the various approaches can be coordinated to build on one another to create a more livable region. The Livable St. Louis Conference will serve as a kick-off event for the St. Louis region’s $4.6 million HUD Sustainable Communities planning grant.
Along with the speakers named above, many other regional and national leaders will be presenting in breakout sessions on 6 topics, including:
- Effective Strategies For Shifting Behaviors
- The Connection Between Land-Use And Transportation Policy
- Revitalizing Retail Corridors
- Racial And Economic Equity
- Low-Cost Innovations
- Food Policy
These sessions will include speakers from Portland; New York City; Nashville; Dallas; St. Paul; and Oakland.
We invite you to join us on June 3rd to learn, share and engage yourself in the growing livable communities movement in the St. Louis region. Please click here to register: REGISTER NOW.
May 23, 2011
Two-Day Ag Innovation Showcase Kicked Off This Morning, St. Louis BioBelt In The National/International Spotlight: Commercial investment opportunities and scientific advances from around the world in ag-bio, food and nutrition, biofuels, sustainable materials, clean-tech, IT and animal health, are front and center at the 3rd Annual Ag Innovation Showcase today and tomorrow at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. RCGA and St. Louis Commerce magazine are pleased to be sponsors of this program once again this year.
This two-day conference includes opportunities to:
- Highlight up-and-coming entrepreneurial companies with solutions to the most pressing challenges facing agriculture
- Originate strategic deals, partnering opportunities, and collaborative business ventures between participants
- Connect a prime network of entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and investors in the ag space
The Ag Innovation Showcase is a joint effort of BRDG Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center, Larta Institute, St. Louis County Economic Council, Missouri Biotechnology Association (MOBIO), RCGA, and the Missouri Technology Corporation.
The CEO of the global biotechnology company whose products will facilitate genomic innovations in agriculture and the CEO of one of the world’s leading innovators in creating algae-based fuel are the keynote speakers.
Jason Pyle, MD, PhD and CEO of Sapphire Energy, Inc., addressed the new compelling challenges and opportunities associated with the looming crisis of global oil shortages in the next 9 years. San Diego-based Sapphire Energy was founded with one mission in mind; namely, to change the world by developing a domestic source of energy that benefits the environment and hastens America’s energy independence. Since its founding in 2007, Sapphire Energy has developed breakthrough technologies to produce fungible, drop-in transportation fuels --- including 91 octane gasoline, 89 cetane diesel, and jet fuel --- all out of algae, sunlight, and CO2, or what they like to call “Green Crude.”
Gregory Lucier, Chairman & CEO of Life Technologies Corp. will present tomorrow morning’s breakfast keynote, addressing key issues in the rapidly changing area of agriculture, ranging from biofuels to food production.
In addition to the keynote addresses, the Ag Innovation Showcase annually highlights deal presentations by some 21 up-and-coming entrepreneurial companies. Attendance last year at the 2nd Annual Showcase increased 28% more than the first highly successful event, with attendees from India, Malaysia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and across North America.
The 2011 Ag Innovation Showcase also features a number of panel presentations and discussions, including a Global Ag Economic Forum plenary session, featuring a panel of prominent international ag economists. RCGA Executive Vice President Steve Johnson kicked off a panel today on the subject, Strategic Partnerships: From Investment to Acquisition, composed of Dan Broderick, president and founder of Global Ag Investors Network; Spencer Maughan, vice president of Venrock; Derek Rapp, CEO of Divergence, recently-acquired by Monsanto; Dan Tomso, manager of BioScience Technology & Licensing for North America for Bayer CropScience LP; and Sharon Berberich, Licensing & Commercialization Leader for Dow AgroSciences.
For more information about the Ag Innovation Showcase today and tomorrow, please visit www.agshowcase.com.
May 20, 2011
“St. Louis. Louis BioBelt” Once Again In The National Spotlight At Upcoming “Ag Innovation Showcase”: Commercial investment opportunities and scientific advances from around the world in ag-bio, food and nutrition, biofuels, sustainable materials, clean-tech, I T and animal health, will be on center stage at the 3rd Annual Ag Innovation Showcase on Monday and Tuesday, May 23rd and 24th, at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the world’s largest independent plant science research institute. RCGA and St. Louis Commerce magazine are pleased to be sponsors of this program again this year.
The two-day conference will include opportunities to:
- Highlight up-and-coming entrepreneurial companies with solutions to the most pressing challenges facing agriculture
- Originate strategic deals, partnering opportunities, and collaborative business ventures between participants
- Connect a prime network of entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and investors in the ag space
The Ag Innovation Showcase is a joint effort of BRDG Park at Danforth Plant Science Center, Larta Institute, St. Louis County Economic Council, Missouri Biotechnology Association (MOBIO), RCGA, and Missouri Technology Corporation.
The CEO of the global biotechnology company whose products will facilitate genomic innovations in agriculture and the CEO of one of the world’s leading innovators in creating algae-based fuel will be keynote speakers.
Gregory Lucier, Chairman & CEO of Life Technologies Corp. and Jason Pyle, MD, PhD, and CEO of Sapphire Energy, Inc., will address the new challenges and key issues in the rapidly changing area of agriculture, ranging from biofuels to food production.
In addition to the keynote addresses, the Ag Innovation Showcase annually highlights presentations by up-and-coming entrepreneurial companies with solutions to the most pressing challenges facing agriculture. Attendance last year at the 2nd Annual Showcase increased 28% more than the first highly successful event, with attendees from India, Malaysia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and across North America.
The 2011 Ag Innovation Showcase will also feature a number of panel presentations and discussions, including a Global Ag Economic Forum plenary session, featuring a panel of prominent international ag economists.
For reservations and more information about the Ag Innovation Showcase on Monday and Tuesday, May 23rd and 24th, please visit www.agshowcase.com.
May 19, 2011
Citygarden Receives Visit From Judges For Urban Land Institute Award: Citygarden, the marvelous blend of nature, art, water and stone in downtown St. Louis, received a visit last Friday from two of the judges for the national Urban Land Institute (ULI) competition in which Citygarden is one of five national finalists. The competition is for the Amanda Burden Urban Land Institute Open Space Award, which recognizes public spaces that enrich and revitalize their surrounding communities. Visiting the garden were Amanda Burden, New York City’s Planning Commissioner, who endowed the award, and Mark Johnson, founder of Civitas, a Denver-based planning firm.
Citygarden as seen from above. Pictured at right is ‘Eros Bendato’, a 1999 bronze by Igor Mitoraj. Photos by Robert Cohen of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The visitors received a tour of the garden from representatives of the Gateway Foundation, which conceived and financed the garden, and from Warren Byrd, a principal in Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, which designed it. They then had conversations with Barbara Geisman, former deputy Mayor of the City of St. Louis, and Rodney Crim, executive director of the St. Louis Development Corp.; Jill McGuire, executive director of the Regional Arts Commission; and Bob Duffy, associate editor of the St. Louis Beacon, the online daily newspaper. Geisman and Crim described the impact the garden is having on downtown’s current and future economic development; McGuire discussed how it has helped popularize public art throughout the region; and Duffy described how it has enhanced the community’s sense of itself and its possibilities.
Citygarden is competing for the award with two projects from Portland, Ore. and two others from Houston. The winner will be announced this Thursday, May 19th.
May 18, 2011
Inventor, Author & Eureka! Ranch Founder Doug Hall Is Featured Speaker At Innovation Engineering Leadership Institute May 23rd – 25th In St. Louis: RCGA is pleased to partner with Missouri Enterprise as it presents its Innovation Engineering Leadership Institute, a three-day business improvement workshop designed to transform the way your company does business now and in the next generation, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23rd through 25th, at the St. Louis Airport Hilton Hotel, 10330 Natural Bridge Rd.
This workshop will teach participants how to achieve three key aspects of the “innovation puzzle”:
- Create: How to lead the creation of ideas for more profitable products and services
- Communicate: How to lead the communication of ideas to customers, investors and partners more efficiently and effectively
- Commercialize: How to lead the commercialization of more profitable innovations to market faster, cheaper and more successfully.
Doug Hall, internationally recognized innovation expert, creator of the Innovation Engineering system and founder of the Eureka! Ranch Consulting Group, is the featured presenter. Eureka! Ranch is an “invention & research think tank” that specializes in creating new products and services for corporate clients, some of whom include American Express, Ford Motor Co., Nike, Inc., and The Walt Disney Company.
RCGA members receive a 50% discount off the cost to attend the workshop. To access the discount code, please e-mail email@example.com.
May 17, 2011
Anatomy Of A Deal: Business Retention/Expansion Win Is Strong Testament To How Effective Our Region Can Be When It Works Together On Economic Development: It’s been said that effective economic development must be highly collaborative. Such is the case with an important economic development retention success that was publicly announced last week; namely, Gallus Biopharmaceuticals.
Last May, Monsanto Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant contacted the RCGA regarding a former Genzyme executive, Mark Bamforth, who he had learned was interested in purchasing and expanding the Centocor Biologics facility in Berkeley. Mark had become familiar with the facility during his time with Genzyme. His plan was to establish a contract manufacturing facility that could produce biologics for a variety of customers worldwide.
After an initial meeting with RCGA Vice President for Business Recruitment Jim Alexander and me, the RCGA worked closely with our economic development partners at the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the St. Louis County Economic Council. Working through a number of intensive meetings throughout the summer months of 2010 with our partners, a viable deal began to take shape. Project financing became the critical step to success. Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. worked closely with Mark and the economic development community to identify investors and close the deal.
As a result, Gallus Biopharmaceuticals will make a $71.5 million investment to purchase the Centocor facility from Johnson & Johnson, retaining 180 high tech jobs and creating another 135 new jobs. This successful project is further evidence of the strength of the workforce, facilities and resources available in the St. Louis BioBelt.
Congratulations to Mark and to our partners at the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Missouri Technology Corporation, the Missouri Development Finance Board, the St. Louis County Economic Council and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., and thanks to Hugh Grant for introducing Mark to the community.
May 16, 2011
Missed Opportunity For Major Economic Development Bill In Missouri: Beyond the obvious disappointment of the Missouri Legislature’s failure to pass the Aerotropolis legislation on Friday was the broader fact that the last time Missouri passed any game-changing economic development legislation was in 2005 with the creation of the Quality Jobs program. As I noted in my reply to Post-Dispatch economic development reporter Tim Logan’s question mid-day on Friday, it’s hard to imagine that we as a region and a state want to go another year with nothing happening on comprehensive economic development legislation. Noting what competing states have done in new economic development tools in recent years, the rest of the country is eating our lunch.
As a result, not only does this inaction jeopardize the fulfillment of the documented tens of thousands of Aerotropolis-related jobs and $22 to $34 billion in new economic activity, conservatively projected for the Multi-Modal Logistics Cluster and, of course, a long-term sustainable Lambert Cargo Hub, but failure to pass this legislation precludes the successful recruitment of major sports events by the St. Louis Sports Commission, such as the NCAA Final Four. It also means another year of inaction on MOSIRA (Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act) as a key statewide tool for realizing Missouri’s job-producing plant and life sciences potentials.
Missouri Legislature adjourns this past Friday evening.
The failure to pass the overall Economic Development bill was not a function of legislative disagreement on Aerotropolis, the Sports Commission initiatives or MOSIRA, but rather was a debate over final details of recalibrating existing historic preservation and low income tax credit programs. In fact, it was suggested by several legislative insiders that had the session lasted another 48 hours, an agreement on the overall legislation could have happened.
Regarding the level of support for the above mentioned key elements of the overall bill, in the case of the Aerotropolis, it was overwhelmingly supported in separate votes on versions of the bill in both chambers: 9-0 in the Senate Committee on Jobs, Economic Development & Local Government; 20-0 in the House Economic Development Committee; by a 32-2 margin in the full Senate; and 142-14 in the House on their version of the legislation.
When we started, we knew that our challenge went beyond advancing a new economic development concept in Aerotropolis, but we were also faced with breaking a multi-year log jam on almost all issues related to economic development in the Senate. At the end of the day, not only did the advocates for new economic development tools such as Aerotropolis succeed in garnering overwhelming support, but it also broke the historic impasse on economic development issues in the Senate --- leaving only several philosophical issues to be reconciled between the House and the Senate, when the clock ran out.
The margin of this support -- and the stakes of ultimately moving forward -- begs for resolving these issues as soon as possible. As I noted in the media over the weekend, pretty soon we're going to have to show an ability to do this deal or we're going to lose the customer. It would really be a shame.
RCGA Breakfast With The Gazelles Tomorrow, May 17th, Features Centene Corp. CEO Michael Neidorff: For a unique perspective on business by the leader of one of the St. Louis region’s most successful companies, please plan to join us tomorrow morning, May 17th for RCGA Breakfast with the Gazelles featuring RCGA member, Michael Neidorff, Chairman & CEO of Centene Corp., at the RCGA offices, beginning with registration at 7:15 a.m.
Michael will speak on, “Where Your Personal Health Is Headed.”
For more information about tomorrow’s and other upcoming RCGA Breakfast with the Gazelles programs, sponsored by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, please contact RCGA Vice President for Membership Services Colin Stahlhut today at (314) 444-1145, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
May 12, 2011
Dietrich Lockard Group, Inc. President Dorothy Lockard Is SBA Winner: Congratulations to RCGA Leadership Circle member Dorothy Lockard, President of Dietrich Lockard Group, Inc. on being named Women in Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
RCGA and St. Louis Commerce magazine are pleased to sponsor Small Business Week again this year, which kicked off this morning.
Small Business Week is a nationwide celebration and recognition of small business owners, small business champions and government contractors, hosted and sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and celebrated at the district, state, regional and national levels. It culminates every year with the national celebration in Washington, D.C., where the national award winners are recognized.
Left to right: Don Barnes, Chair, Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri 2011; Rick Palank, St. Louis County Economic Council/Financial Services Champion of the Year; Bob Peters, Dungy, Peters and Associates, LLC/Minority Small Business Champion of the Year; Dorothy Lockard, Dietrich Lockard Group, Inc./Women in Business Champion of the Year; Dennis Melton, St. Louis District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration; Elizabeth Pecha-Poelker, PrintFlex Graphics Inc./Small Business Team of the Year; Derek Weber, goBRANDgo!, SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Brandon Dempsey, goBRANDgo!, SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Winners not pictured: Steve Baum and Jeff Feeney, PrintFlex Graphics Inc./Small Business Team of the Year; Suzanne Lunnemann, Lunnemann Accounting Services, LLC/Home-Based Business Champion of the Year; Jeremy Amick, U.S. Department of Labor/Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year.
Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri, Inc. is a not for profit organization established to assist the U.S. Small Business Administration with the planning and execution of National Small Business Week in the SBA’s St. Louis District, which encompasses the eastern half of Missouri.
This week of events in St. Louis is widely recognized at the national level as one of the top district celebrations of Small Business Week in the country. It is the only district in the nation that hosts a full week of events, as well as the only district with a not for profit arm in place to assist the SBA in its efforts surrounding Small Business Week.
For more information about Small Business Week, please call 314.746.WEEK (9335) or email email@example.com.
May 11, 2011
RCGA Breakfast With The Gazelles On Tuesday, May 17th Features Centene Corp. CEO Michael Neidorff: For a unique perspective on business by the leader of one of the St. Louis region’s most successful companies, please plan to join us on Tuesday, May 17th for RCGA Breakfast with the Gazelles featuring RCGA member, Michael Neidorff, Chairman & CEO of Centene Corp., at the RCGA offices, beginning with registration at 7:15 a.m.
Michael will speak on, “Where Your Personal Health Is Headed.”
For more information about May 17th’s and other upcoming RCGA Breakfast with the Gazelles programs, sponsored by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, please contact RCGA Vice President for Membership Services Colin Stahlhut today at (314) 444-1145, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
May 10, 2011
“Perspectives Of Professionals In Career Transition” To Be Held This Thursday, May 12th: Join us this Thursday morning, May 12th, when BounceBack St. Louis presents “Perspectives of Professionals in Career Transition in the St. Louis Market,” from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at IT Enterprises, 4633 World Parkway Circle, off Natural Bridge between I-170 and Lambert Airport.
BounceBack St. Louis is a regional partnership comprised of the RCGA and other groups that provide individuals going through job transition and St. Louis companies seeking qualified talent a forum to network, share information, identify common resources and take advantage of opportunities.
Blair Forlaw, Regional Talent Development at the RCGA, noted that BounceBack St. Louis received 397 responses to our recent month-long survey of professionals who lost their jobs in the Great Recession. The findings have implications for talent retention and re-engagement in St. Louis.
Below are highlights of the May 12th program:
30 Days of Good Ideas:
- Results of a Survey of 397 St. Louis Area Professionals Making Big Changes
(Thanks to the Great Recession)
Insights on the economy, the job search experience, and recommendations for the region
We Hear You:
- Responses from a Panel of BounceBack Supporters and Partners
Cyd Dodson, Right Management
Frank Alaniz, Missouri Career Centers and SLATE
Pat Smith-Thurman, RCGA Talent Council
Bob Rouse, Society for Information Management, Gateway to Innovation (invited)
Barbara Brinkman, Innovate St. Louis
- Voices from the Initiative for Creative Comebacks
Coached by Ed Reggi, Paper Slip Theatre
There is no charge to attend, but pre-registration is required at www.bouncebackstl.org
Speaking of career development, the St. Louis Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), together with the Kansas City and Nebraska chapters, are offering the inaugural 2011 Mid-America Corporate Growth Conference in St. Louis this Wednesday and Thursday, May 11th and 12th, at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. This Conference will feature:
- Extensive networking opportunities with C-level executives from many middle market operating companies
- Opportunities to network with more than 40 private equity funds at the “Capital Connection”
- Thought-provoking presentations from prominent keynote speakers
- Panel discussions and sessions focused on topics of interest to corporate executives
The keynote speakers are: Jeffrey Henley, Chairman of Oracle Corp.; Richard Garriott, entrepreneur and astronaut; and Robert Chapman, Chairman & CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Cos.
Please visit http://www.macgc.org for more information.
May 9, 2011
Aerotropolis Legislation Provides Missing Piece In Region’s Multi-Modal Transportation System: A recent front page USA Today Aerotropolis article noted that development projects next door to airports are back in vogue in the U.S., as cities look to attract export-oriented and high-tech businesses amid uncertain economic recovery.
The Aerotropolis bill, now before the Missouri Legislature, is about providing the missing piece of a multi-modal transportation system that’s been sorely missing from our region and State for decades --- about bringing new business and industry, and tens of thousands of manufacturing and assembly jobs to the St. Louis region that aren’t here today. It’s about development of an industry cluster on a scale we don’t currently have --- about generating vital new revenue streams for Lambert International Airport to better attract new passenger traffic. It’s all about St. Louis’ recapturing global relevance as an international center of commerce and trade.
RCGA commissioned an independent economic evaluation by Princeton-based BLS and international logistics authority Institute St. Onge, both widely considered to be among the most knowledgeable in the field of logistics and economic development in the nation, to quantify the incentive that is the heart of this legislation.
This analysis documented that, if the State invested the entire $300 million as part of the Aerotropolis measure in facility tax credits over the next 15 years, over 13,800 new permanent jobs and 23,000 construction jobs would be created, with total economic output of $22 billion. That’s comparable to the current economic impact of Scott Air Force Base. Further, taxpayers receive the accountability that credits will not be granted until AFTER these jobs are created and operations are up, running and employing people in the region and State.
St. Louis has had a history of being bold at times – such as funding Charles Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight back in 1927, and the bold move to construct the Arch in 1965. Sadly, St. Louis also has stumbled in the midst of other great civic opportunities in the past. In the 1860s, the naysayers of the time said NO to the railroads’ request for a bridge across the Mississippi River. St. Louis ended up building the Eads Bridge far too late in the game to matter for winning the railroad hub. That lack of foresight gave this momentous opportunity to Chicago.
Bottom line, once again history beckons. Successful passage of this Aerotropolis legislation has the potential to change the course of Missouri’s economy for the next 100 years. It’s a transformational opportunity we cannot afford to pass up.
KWMU St. Louis Public Radio will air RCGA’s commentary on Aerotropolis tomorrow morning at 5:35 a.m. and 7:35 a.m., on 90.7 FM.
Shanghai Delegation At RCGA This Morning, Is Part Of Next Steps In The Big Idea: RCGA and the World Trade Center-Saint Louis presented a business forum this morning at the RCGA offices featuring leaders of the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board (www.fid.org.cn). The delegation is here in St. Louis today and tomorrow.
The RCGA and World Trade Center-St. Louis jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board back in January of this year. The primary objective of their visit to St. Louis today and tomorrow is to identify tangible means of enhancing the cooperation between our regions, as called for in the MOU.
RCGA and the World Trade Center-Saint Louis hosted leaders of the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board this morning in the Regional Collaboration Center at the RCGA.
Left to right at the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board meeting this morning are: Michael Wang of London Export Corp.; World Trade Center-Saint Louis Executive Director Tim Nowak; Dong Tao, assistant president, Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board; Dick Fleming and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
The Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board presented a preview of an international business forum they are hosting in Shanghai later this month titled, “Stimulating Consumption by Commercial Innovation.” Increased consumption throughout China is a national priority and will lead to many new business opportunities.
May 6, 2011
Susan Stauder, RCGA Vice President For Infrastructure & Public Policy, Announces Her Retirement: After nine years of outstanding service at the RCGA, Susan Stauder, Vice President for Infrastructure and Public Policy, will be retiring on May 20th.
Initially recruited to the RCGA back in 2002 from Bi-State Development Agency (Metro), where she was deputy executive director, Susan brought to the job more than 25 years of diverse infrastructure and public policy experience and a strong working relationship with the transportation and public policy leaders throughout the St. Louis region.
During her tenure at the RCGA, Susan’s efforts helped contribute to the success of the Mayor’s Business Task Force on Lambert Airport, supported strong business involvement in the long process of getting the new Mississippi River Bridge off the ground, fostered the active participation of businesses in getting behind the I-64 reconstruction project, and encouraged public and private sector collaboration to begin to address freight issues in the region. Susan’s work has led to better understanding and more effective involvement on the part of the business community in “all things infrastructure.”
She plans to be very busy this summer traveling with her husband, Gerry, to visit children and grandchildren in Vermont and Yorkshire, England, and vacationing in the Rocky Mountains.
Susan also currently serves as Chair of the St. Louis City Planning Commission and Chair of the City’s Downtown Economic Stimulus Authority.
We wish Susan well and thank her for her many civic contributions to the bi-state region.
May 5, 2011
RCGA Talent Leaders Coalesce Around College Completion: Members of the RCGA’s Talent Council had the benefit of expert advice this past week, as they launched an initiative to increase college completion rates in the St. Louis metro area. Hadass Sheffer, Executive Director of Graduate! Philadelphia, was the Council’s guest in a lively dialogue about regional collaboration as a tool to “move the needle” on college outcomes on Friday at Enterprise Holdings’ HQ. The percentage of adults with post-secondary degrees is considered to be one of the most important indicators of a competitive workforce in today’s knowledge-based economy.
Graduate! Philadelphia is one of the nation’s first successful programs bringing business, higher education, government, private foundations, and community groups together to help adults finish college. Started in 1995, G!P operates at the programmatic and policy levels to promote college completion in Greater Philadelphia. Among its key features is a public messaging campaign that encourages adults who started college but dropped out before finishing getting back into school and completing their degree.
RCGA Board member Lee Kaplan, senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Enterprise Holdings (right) welcomes members of the Regional Talent Council to Friday’s working session with Graduate! Philadelphia Executive Director Hadass Sheffer. Council chairman, Doug Koch, senior vice president, Brown Shoe and Mary Atkin, chief administrative officer at Wells Fargo Advisors, are pictured in foreground.
According to the 2009 American Community Survey, 451,000 adults aged 25 and older in the St. Louis metro area fall into this category. With 32% of our adult population of working age having bachelor's degrees or higher, St. Louis is slightly better educated than the U.S. as a whole, but ranks below several competitor metros, including Research Triangle, Minneapolis, Denver, Atlanta, and Kansas City.
Hadass applauded research on this topic that the RCGA recently published under the title “Making the Case for a Campaign to Increase College Completion Rates in Greater St. Louis.” She also affirmed the importance of the Talent Council’s expressed vision for St. Louis “to be a growing community known for our diverse talent; a community with college graduates and other skilled individuals available to meet current and future employment needs; and a community with vibrant collaboration among employers, educators, civic groups, government agencies and individuals so that employment opportunities are created and realized.” One of the four action priorities supporting this vision is to “design and implement an action plan to increase the percentage of the region’s adult population with college degrees.”
Last Friday’s meeting was chaired by Talent Council Chair Doug Koch, Chief Talent Officer for Brown Shoe, and hosted by Lee Kaplan, Chief Administrative Officer for Enterprise Holdings, Inc. It was attended by Talent Council members and representatives of Ameren, Brown Shoe, Sigma Aldrich, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Enterprise Holdings, Wells Fargo Advisors, Great Circle, Inc., AdamsGabbert, and the RCGA.
This past Thursday afternoon, nearly 60 representatives of business, higher education, government, foundations, and community groups came together in the RCGA’s Regional Collaboration Center to hear the Graduate! Philadelphia story and engage in dialogue with Hadass about the “nuts and bolts” of successful adult college completion efforts.
Detained en route by a series of air travel problems, Hadass participated in this gathering by speaker phone from a corner of the Pittsburgh airport, thereby demonstrating very effectively three of the key attributes of an effective collaboration: flexibility, resourcefulness, and persistence.
May 4, 2011
St. Louis Region Posts Largest Monthly Job Growth In Two Decades With 13,100 New Jobs: The announcement on Wednesday that the St. Louis region added 13,100 jobs in March is its largest one-month gain in more than 20 years, according to just-released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The unemployment rate dipped to 8.8%, its lowest point since January 2009.
The gains in March were focused on a few sectors. Retailers in the region added 2,300 workers compared with March 2010. The leisure and hospitality sector - such as restaurants, hotels and casinos - added 4,400 jobs from last year.
May 3, 2011
New Book Highlights Three Centuries of St. Louis Architecture: New York Times writer Robert Sharoff and Times photographer William Zbaren have produced a new book spotlighting St. Louis architecture, featuring our classic courthouses, Romanesque train stations, Art Deco office buildings, Mid-Century schools and museums. The book was made possible through generous civic underwriting by Centene Corporation chairman Michael Neidorff, Clayco chairman Bob Clark, and U.S. Equities chairman Bob Wislow.
American City: St. Louis Architecture Three Centuries of Classic Design with text by Sharoff and 140 color photographs by Zbaren, is stunning. The book is the first large-format book on the city’s architecture since the 1920’s, and traces the evolution of St. Louis’ built environment.
Quoting from the book, “From its early days as a frontier fur-trading post in the 1700s, St. Louis grew into ‘Paris on the Mississippi,’ a bustling city of elegant hotels, offices and government buildings that was one of the marvels of 19th-century America. More than just about any city in America, St. Louis embraced the imposing forms and lush ornamentation of the Beaux Arts tradition. Indeed, one can make the argument that in the United States, only Washington, D.C. has a more impressive collection of Classically inspired structures.”
This book is the second in their American City series. The first was Detroit. Upcoming volumes will look at Chicago and Savannah.
Sharoff penned an outstanding article back in February about St. Louis’ unique information technology (IT) infrastructure. His article, “Data Centers Offer Hope for St. Louis Office Market,” was published on February 8th.
The RCGA had pitched Sharoff several months ago through our national media relations team at Fleishman-Hillard, inviting him to consider doing this story following the region’s successful recruitment of Unisys’ new Center of Excellence and the expansion of such companies here as Contegix and Xiolink. This “national media pitching” is part of the RCGA’s ongoing national media and branding effort to support the region’s economic development initiatives.
This was the 3rd article Sharoff has written in the New York Times about St. Louis in the last several years. His first, in 2006, was about the revitalization of downtown. When he came here to research that piece, he was awed by the architecture he found throughout the community and decided, with Zbaren, to create a book about it.
A several month long photo exhibition, by Sharoff and Zbaren will open on June 10th at the newly renovated Ridgeway Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden, displaying 70 large photos from the St. Louis book. Following the exhibit at the Garden, the show will tour both Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Sharoff's book is available at left Bank Books.
May 2, 2011
Missouri Senate Takes Important Step Forward Toward “The Big Idea” This Afternoon: Late this afternoon, the Missouri Senate approved a comprehensive economic development bill that includes the Aerotropolis Trade Act, a key next step in The St. Louis Big Idea China project. The Missouri House has also passed its own version of the Aerotropolis bill, so now it is essential that the two chambers come together in the final two weeks of the legislative session to finalize what could be one of the most important economic development tools ever adopted in the State in several decades.
Following a Senate session lasting until nearly 1 a.m. last Thursday morning, Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale), lead sponsor of the Aerotropolis measure, broke the good news of the full Senate's initial approval to the RCGA's Board of Directors meeting some seven hours later at 7:30 a.m.
HB 840 sponsor
Rep. Caleb Jones
SB 390 sponsor
Sen. Eric Schmitt
Sen. Schmitt, along with Emerson President & COO Ed Monser, Mayor Francis Slay, Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, David Barklage of the Barklage Co., RCGA Executive Vice President for Economic Development Steve Johnson, and I participated in a panel discussion at the Board meeting.
The St. Louis region and the State of Missouri have been working on the St. Louis Big Idea China project for the past 3 years. The two aspects of the Big Idea are Air Cargo and Business-to-Business. In the case of Aerotropolis, these two issues join together. The Business-to-Business and economic development sides of the Big Idea embodied in this measure create the building of a sustainable logistics cluster that would grow demand for the cargo hub and build the entire opportunity.
Emerson President & COO Ed Monser, left, presents at the April 28th RCGA Board meeting, joined by RCGA Board members Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge and Mayor Francis Slay.
Mayor Francis Slay addresses RCGA Board members. Seated from left to right are other panel members: David Barklage of The Barklage Co.; RCGA Executive Vice President for Economic Development Steve Johnson; and Mayoral Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford.
To that end, earlier this year, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, and the Midwest China Hub Commission asked the RCGA to commission an independent economic evaluation focused on quantifying the incentive for “qualified gateway facilities” that is the heart of this legislation. The goal was to determine what such incentives, if fully subscribed, would “buy” for the State of Missouri with regard to construction jobs, permanent jobs and overall economic growth.
The Aerotropolis measure would provide up to $300 million over 15 years in incentives for companies to construct “qualifying gateway facilities.” The economic impact analysis, conducted by Biggins Lacy and Shapiro (BLS) of Princeton, N.J. and Institute St. Onge, the York, PA-based international logistics advisory firm -- experts that are widely considered to be among the most knowledgeable in the field of logistics and economic development incentives -- have completed this aspect of their study and are now publishing it.
The results are extremely impressive. The study projects that the $300 million in incentives, if fully subscribed, would generate more than 23,000 construction jobs over the 8-year construction period, at least 13,800 new permanent full time jobs, and a minimum of nearly $22 billion in net new economic output for the region and State over the term of the incentive. Putting these numbers in context, this $22 billion Total Economic Output number compares to the annual budget of $23 billion for the entire State of Missouri. Annualized, the estimated Aerotropolis yearly economic output number of $2.4 billion compares to a $2.2 billion annual economic output of Scott Air Force Base, as vital an economic driver as that institution is.
Over the 20-year period -- recognizing that the incentive would be stimulating growth beyond the term of the actual legislation - the impact grows to $33.8 billion.
Permanent Full Time Jobs
|Total Combined Economic Output Over 15 Years
|Total Combined Economic Output Over 20 Years
Source: “Estimate of Potential Economic Impact Associated with Aerotropolis Legislation and an International Freight Hub at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport,” April 2011
Below is a listing of the region’s largest employers:
|Boeing Defense, Space & Security
|Washington University in St. Louis
|SSM Health Care
|Scott Air Force Base
|Schnuck Markets Inc.
|Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
|Archdiocese of St. Louis
|Sisters of Mercy Health System
|AT&T Communications Inc.
|United States Postal Service
|Saint Louis University