What’s Happening In The Region
September 28, 2011
Peabody Opera House Opening Night Gala This Saturday, Oct. 1st, Will Benefit MS Center: Following a $78.7 million restoration, the Peabody Opera House (formerly the Kiel Opera House) re-opens this weekend with performances on Saturday evening by Aretha Franklin and Tonight Show host Jay Leno. The evening is titled "An Encore 77 Years in the Making," will benefit the John L. Trotter Multiple Sclerosis Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. For sponsorship information, please contact Marissa Morton, at (314) 622-2536, or e-mail email@example.com. Individual tickets are also available for purchase online through Ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster's automated phone line at 800-745-3000.
Blues CEO Mike McCarthy hosted the RCGA’s September Board meeting at the Opera House. Optimus Development President Chris McKee , developer of the project, conducted an extensive tour of the 3,100 seat theater in the heart of downtown St. Louis.
Originally opened in 1934, the Peabody Opera House stage has welcomed some of entertainment’s greatest performers, including Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. This historical gem has been restored to its original splendor and undergone state-of-the-art upgrades.
Peabody Opera House developer Chris McKee conducts a briefing for RCGA Board members in the Peabody Opera House on Sept. 15th.
Kiel Auditorium and the adjoining Opera House were built between 1932 and 1934, originally as the city's Municipal Auditorium and Community Center Building. The auditorium was demolished starting in 1992 and replaced with what's now Scottrade Center, which opened in 1994. The Opera House was closed in 1991.
Since 2006, Dave Checketts’ SCP Worldwide, the New York-based sports, media and entertainment investment group, has been overseeing the renovation. SCP bought the St. Louis Blues Hockey club that year and obtained leases for both city-owned Scottrade and the Peabody, renamed last year after Peabody Energy bought naming rights.
Congratulations to Dave Checketts and to the entire Peabody Opera House Team on restoring this great civic treasurer back to its original glory.
September 27, 2011
Pittsburgh Ready To Welcome RCGA Leadership Exchange Delegates: A delegation of 40-plus St. Louis area CEOs and civic leaders -- a sampling of whom include RCGA Board Chairman Tom Voss, Chairman, President & CEO of Ameren; Energizer Holdings CEO Ward Klein, President of Civic Progress; and Bob Reynolds, Chairman, President & CEO of Graybar Electric -- will be in Pittsburgh for 3 days of meetings with some 30 of their Pittsburgh counterparts, as part of the 13th Annual RCGA Leadership Exchange on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, October 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
Confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, which form the Ohio River.
Through these annual Leadership Exchanges, we have advanced issues over the years here in St. Louis as diverse as center city revitalization; the proactive pursuit of the St. Louis BioBelt Plant and Life Sciences strategy; the development of the CORTEX (the Center of Research, Technology and Entrepreneurial Exchange); and various St. Louis venture capital initiatives; and many “best practices” examples of bi-state economic development – to name a few.
Among the speakers from our host region are: Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl; PNC Financial Services Group Chairman & CEO Jim Rohr; Allegheny Conference on Community Development CEO Dennis Yablonsky; and a host of others.
|Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, left, and PNC Financial Chairman & CEO Jim Rohr.
During the past 15 years, Pittsburgh has transformed itself from a ‘steel city’ to one that hosted the G-20 Summit in 2009 to international accolades and coverage. Among the issues that we’ll explore are:
- Agents of Change - Pittsburgh's Transformational Journey
- Pittsburgh's efforts to work with and combine the services of several of its 130 municipalities
- Efforts to Subsidize Direct Flights to Paris
- How the Arts have revitalized Downtown Pittsburgh
- Pittsburgh's Energy Economy: The Engine of Innovation driving the Transformation of the Regional Economy
- Waterfront Development
- Championing Regional Sustainability
September 26, 2011
Chinese Officials Launch Inaugural St. Louis/Shanghai Service: St. Louis regional business, civic and elected leaders celebrated the inaugural flight of China Cargo Airlines this past Friday, Sept. 23rd, marking the establishment of a link between China's financial hub of Shanghai and the U.S. central heartland. This also was Lambert-St. Louis International Airport’s first all-cargo flight direct from China with the landing of the Boeing 777F. The new route will also be served by 747-400F aircraft.
Officials celebrate the arrival of the first flight of China Cargo Airlines at Lambert Airport on Friday. From left: Counselor He Xiangdong from the Chinese Embassy in Washington; Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge; St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley; St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay; CAAC Deputy Administrator Xia Xinghua; Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation Susan Kurland; Chinese Consul General Yang Guoqiang; and Midwest China Hub Commission Chairman Mike Jones.
The aircraft landed with loud applause from more than 100 local, state, federal and international dignitaries. A water cannon, with the flowing arcs resembling St. Louis' landmark Gateway Arch, greeted the aircraft which was carrying between 80 and 100 tons of cargo, including high value Chinese manufactured goods. Outbound cargo was scheduled for an immediate return trip to Shanghai with a load of cargo from the Midwest, including compressors manufactured by St. Louis-based Emerson.
“Instead of being connected to the rest of country, we’re here connected to rest of the world,” noted Mayor Francis Slay. “We’re starting small, but together we can build something big.”
China Cargo, and parent company China Eastern Airlines, signed a two-year lease for cargo space at Lambert. The current schedule will bring one flight a week from Shanghai to St. Louis. Chinese government and aviation leaders at the landing celebration expressed hope this service will grow immediately.
With the trade value of the two countries reaching nearly $400 billion, “One. Two. Three multi-air cargo hubs are not enough. We need more,” commented Yang Guoqiang, Chinese Consul General, Chicago. “We need Lambert to be the new China Cargo hub.”
“Together we will nurture and grow this route. The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) will render support in both policy and financial gain for this route,” said Xia Xinghua, Deputy Adminstrator of the CAAC. “Let's work together for the advancement of our countries and closer ties between the United States and St. Louis.”
Airport Terminal Services (ATS) in partnership with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has won the aircraft ground handling and cargo warehouse handling contract for China Cargo Airlines.
In a post-ceremony interview with the official Chinese Xinhua News Agency, I expressed the hope that St. Louis' new connection to China would extend beyond the economic realm. We think this is the beginning of what could be a flourishing relationship, not only in aviation and cargo ... but also in a blossoming of commercial and cultural and educational relationships, as well.
Yang Guoqiang, Chinese Consul General, Chicago, speaks at the ceremony at Lambert Airport. From left: Chinese flight crew of the Boeing 777; Jeff Aboussie, Executive Secretary of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council; St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley; and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
Earlier in the day this past Friday, Emerson President & COO Ed Monser spoke at the annual World Trade Center luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton. Making a strong pitch for the China Cargo Hub legislation still pending in Jefferson City, he urged timely passage of the bill, noting, “China is the fastest growing, economic powerhouse and is looking to expand its share of the global freight air traffic from 12% to 50% and has earmarked about $250B to make it happen. This is a country that bucked the global recession in 2008 and 2009 and continues to grow strongly. After three years of outreach by many here, China is looking seriously at St. Louis but we face significant competition. It will just be the beginning. Once a gateway is created, it will be only a matter of time, before the other economic engines of the world -- Latin America, Africa, India can start using St. Louis as a port to move cargo in and out of the United States,” he noted.
September 21, 2011
Join Us For RCGA Business After Hours At The 360 Lounge On Tuesday, Sept. 27th: The September RCGA Business After Hours will be held on Tuesday evening, September 27th, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the new Three Sixty Lounge, at One South Broadway, downtown. We are expecting a larger than normal turnout, so please get your reservations in early.
This spectacular new venue in St. Louis is already drawing rave reviews, providing a stunning 360 degree view of downtown and surrounding areas. RCGA Business After Hours are business networking events, informal gatherings held at member companies.
For more information and reservations, please contact Lori Meier at the RCGA at 314.444.1147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 20, 2011
RCGA Sponsoring SLU Awards Program Saluting Emerson President & COO Ed Monser And Botanical Garden’s Dr. Peter Raven: Emerson President & Chief Operating Officer Ed Monser will receive the Saint Louis University Boeing Institute of International Business Globalist Award, and Dr. Peter Raven, president-emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden will accept the International Visionary Award on Thursday evening, October 6th, at the John Cook School of Business, at the annual International Business Awards Ceremony & Reception beginning at 5 p.m. RCGA is pleased to co-sponsor this event once again.
Ed Monser, left, and Dr. Peter Raven
Joining the RCGA in sponsoring this program are: the U.S. Department of Commerce; the World Affairs Council; the World Agricultural Forum; and the World Trade Center-Saint Louis.
This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required and can be made at this website: http://www.slu.edu/x17553.xml. For more information, please call the University at 314.977.3898 or email at email@example.com.
September 19, 2011
Let’s Not “Blink” Again And Experience Another Missed Opportunity: If the State of Missouri were to turn away this week from the possibility of creating an Aerotropolis at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, it unfortunately wouldn’t be the first time such a great civic opportunity was missed. In fact, both the region and the State have passed on several similar opportunities before.
The St. Louis region and the State now have reason to regret those mistakes. Specifically, St. Louis was the first choice of FedEx and UPS nearly 25 years ago to build a cargo hub at Lambert. For a variety of reasons, including a lack of runway capacity, cleared land and congestion, St. Louis took a pass. At that time, St. Louis was the congested TWA national passenger hub that could not easily accommodate air cargo operations. Now St. Louis HAS the capacity, has the runway, and has available land. In addition, St. Louis has the customer in the fastest growing economy in the world --- China, which intends to make a global shift in its cargo distribution from the present 12% to 15% being shipped on Chinese airlines, to 50% in 5 years. To do so, after studying their options for 3 years, China has designated Lambert International Airport as the preferred location.
After considerable study and evaluation here in Missouri, experts in the field have affirmed the logic of this choice, assuming that the necessary multi-modal cargo facilities and infrastructure will be built at Lambert. Thus, the Aerotropolis economic development incentive package.
Looking to the past, Memphis now has the FedEx hub, Louisville has the UPS hub, and Indianapolis has recently built a brand new, billion-dollar passenger terminal, in part because Indianapolis has such a robust revenue stream from their cargo operation to support the cost of the rest of their airport.
Talk about opportunity lost for St. Louis in the past! Now, we have another chance.
However, other regions, such as a partnership of Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati, and Denver are standing by as potential alternatives for the proposed China Hub. In fact, Denver’s new Mayor, Michael Hancock, presented his State of the City address several weeks ago, noting he intends to develop an aerotropolis in conjunction with Denver International Airport as a centerpiece of the city’s economic strategy.
So, while some in Missouri may be skeptical and are even trying to kill State legislation to help create an export platform in St. Louis for Missouri, the rest of the nation sees this opportunity as a very real economic development prospect. If Missouri doesn’t come through with the long term incentives to get this done, our competition certainly will jump in.
The Chinese have announced that they will start the inaugural flight between St. Louis and Shanghai this Friday from Lambert. This is a great step, but the State incentives are needed to grow and sustain a lasting international cargo hub in St. Louis.
Today at 4 p.m. the House Economic Development Committee will have a hearing on the comprehensive economic development legislation (passed by the Senate last week), which contains many important new job-creation tools, including the Aerotropolis Trade Incentive Act, the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA), and incentives for amateur sporting events, data centers and job retention.
While we are pleased with the forward progress of these measures, we are disappointed the Senate did not include all of the Aerotropolis incentives agreed to by Senate and House leaders this summer. The complete package includes both the incentives needed to attract freight forwarding to promote exports, as well as the incentives needed for development of facilities in support of a true transportation and logistics hub around Lambert Airport.
Please click on the links below for more information and talking points about the bill:
September 14, 2011
RCGA Co-Sponsoring Saint Louis University’s “Why Asia? Why Singapore? Why Now?” Conference This Friday, Sept. 16th: Speaking of opening up the State and region to new global markets for exporting Missouri goods and products, RCGA continues its partnership with The Boeing Institute of International Business at Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business, in this case as it hosts the “Why Asia? Why Singapore? Why Now?” conference, featuring U.S. Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman, from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., this Friday, in the Busch Student Center, 20 N. Grand Blvd.
Ambassador David Adelman
Ambassador Adelman’s presentation will be followed by brief presentations by 5 guests representing Singapore and U.S. business interests:
- Boon Ho Toh is the Director of International Enterprise Singapore based in Los Angeles. IE Singapore is an agency under the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry spearheading the development of Singapore's external economy. The mission of the organization is to promote international trade and the overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises.
- Weisheng Lee is Regional Director for the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) based in New York. He oversees the EDB's operations in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Brazil.
- Patrick Santillo is the Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore. He leads the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service team that is responsible for one of the most dynamic U.S. export promotion programs in the world.
- Steve Winkler is Director of International Alliances at Boeing Defense, Space & Security. He is responsible for cultivating strategic alliances and leading expansion into key global regions through investments, partnerships and joint ventures.
- Claudio Torres is based in Singapore and serves as the PANSEA (Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia) Regional Lead for Monsanto Seeds & Traits.
RCGA is pleased to partner on this program with the U.S. Department of Commerce; the World Affairs Council; the World Agricultural Forum; and the World Trade Center Saint Louis.
To register for “Why Asia? Why Singapore? Why Now?,” please e-mail the Boeing Institute of International Business at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314.977.3898.
September 13, 2011
RCGA Hosting Forum On Philanthropic Investing This Wednesday, Sept. 14th: This Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the RCGA is hosting a forum in the Regional Collaboration Center (13th floor at Metropolitan Square) on philanthropic investing. This event, which is part of Social Enterprise Week in St. Louis, focuses attention on businesses working to make a positive impact in the world. Social Enterprise Week is being presented by The Mission Center and the St. Louis Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance; the Mission Center is a St. Louis-based social enterprise.
John Tyler, vice president and corporate secretary at the Kansas City, Mo.-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship, is the featured speaker. This program will also have presenters from the Deaconess Foundation, a faith-based grant making organization devoted to promoting healthy and hope-filled futures for children growing up in the St. Louis region; and Justine PETERSEN, a St. Louis-based company that assists individuals and families in developing, maintaining and increasing their financial assets.
As the Kauffman Foundation’s general counsel, secretary, and chief ethics officer, John manages all legal aspects of the Foundation’s operations, including governance, intellectual property, employment, investments, and compliance with applicable State and federal regulations.
For more information about this program on Wednesday morning, please contact Jody Shelton, Project Coordinator - New Ventures and Capital Formation at the RCGA, at 314.444.1112.
September 12, 2011
Missouri Economic Development Bill Would Establish Important New Job-Creating Tools: While much attention has been placed on the Aerotropolis portion of the overall economic development legislation now before the Special Session of the Missouri Legislature, given the magnitude of the economic benefit and the transformational impact, another significantly transformational component of this legislation was highlighted over the weekend in an in-depth piece by Post-Dispatch business reporter Tim Logan. Please click here to read the entire article.
The article focused on the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA) portion of the legislation. Like Aerotropolis, which stimulates jobs and private investment for the Multi-Modal Supply Chain industry cluster, MOSIRA would be a significant new economic development tool for the entire State of Missouri, for the Plant and Life Sciences industry cluster. Back in 2000, the Battelle Memorial Institute concluded in a landmark study that St. Louis, Kansas City and the overall State of Missouri could be a “top tier life science player in the new economy”, but as it related to plant sciences and ag tech, Battelle concluded that our region and our State can be the best in the world in “plant sciences and ag tech” if we marshal our economic development and applied research resources to fulfill that potential.
Subsequently, both economic development strategies in St. Louis, Springfield and St. Louis, as well as the Governor’s recently-completed Statewide Economic Development Strategy, have concluded that these 2 industry clusters are among the most promising job-creation opportunities both near term and long term.
In many ways, the MOSIRA legislation represents a major step in fulfilling that potential for Plant, Ag & Life Sciences.
Therefore, it is no accident that Aerotropolis and MOSIRA are the centerpieces of the statewide economic development legislation now before the Missouri Legislature. Ironically, while the MOSIRA legislation has been enthusiastically supported by St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and statewide over the past 4 years --- the legislation did not move forward. It was not until the regular session of the Legislature this year that MOSIRA was joined with the Aerotropolis proposal, incentives for data centers and major sporting events, along with overall tax credit reform --- that a comprehensive economic development bill has ultimately emerged. It is this package on which the Senate and House Leadership announced an agreement on July 20, 2011, and for which Gov. Nixon called the Special Session.
Passage on these critically needed economic development tools are urgently needed to create jobs and new private investment in Missouri. For an in-depth summary and analysis of the legislation, please click here.
We urge you to call and e-mail your Senator and Representative today to urge timely passage of this entire legislative package.
To access the contact information for your individual Senator or Representative by your home zip code, please click here.