What’s Happening In The Region
June 27, 2012
Economic Impact Of The Arts Grows, Despite Recent Recession: While our nation was steeped in a recession, the economic impact of St. Louis arts and culture increased by 4% to $582.3 million and employment in the sector grew by 14% to support 10,046 full-time equivalent jobs*, according to Arts & Economic Prosperity IV.
This comprehensive study, which compares results from 2007, was conducted by the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) in partnership with Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and was released yesterday in conjunction with the RCGA. It was underwritten in St. Louis by Wells Fargo Advisors.
Wells Fargo Advisors President & CEO Danny Ludeman, RCGA Board Chair for Economic Development and Chair-elect of the RCGA, said, “A strong and diverse business community is critical to our region’s economic growth, and this important study shows in a compelling way nonprofit arts are a significant part of that community. Not only do vigorous arts organizations create jobs and contribute to our financial wellbeing, they play an important role in the revitalization of our neighborhoods. Any way you look at it, the arts mean business in St. Louis.”
RAC Executive Director Jill McGuire, noted, “The results are dramatic. Very few industries can boast of improved performance during the last five years. To achieve growth during this challenging time is proof that the arts are an important economic driver in the region.” Nationally the arts have a $132.5 billion economic impact.
The successful regions of the future will be those that attract the migration of talented, educated people. In the competition for talent, a region’s quality of life and its vibrant arts organizations are key distinguishing factors for competitive regions. We believe a thriving arts and cultural community – one that is well-supported, as this study reveals – enriches the quality of life for residents and visitors and, in doing so, inspires new thinking, spurs innovation and accelerates the creativity of the region. Our region’s world-renowned arts amenities constitute an important component of the RCGA’s overall economic development efforts.
Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, which is strictly about nonprofit organizations, was conducted in 182 cities, counties and states. In St. Louis, 137 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations participated, providing detailed financial and event attendance information. Additionally, attendees at cultural events were surveyed about their event-related spending.
For a copy of the regional study, please visit www.art-stl.com, and for the national study, please visit
June 26, 2012
Laclede Group President & CEO To Present At RCGA Breakfast With The Gazelles Tomorrow: Please plan to join us tomorrow morning, June 27th, for RCGA Breakfast with the Gazelles featuring Suzanne Sitherwood, President & CEO of The Laclede Group, Inc., in the Regional Collaboration Center at the RCGA, beginning with registration at 7:15 a.m.
She will speak on "Natural Gas – Right Here, Right Now."
For more information about this program tomorrow morning and other upcoming RCGA Breakfast with the Gazelles programs, sponsored by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, please contact Lori Meier at the RCGA today at 314.444.1147, or register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New RCGA Senior Advisor To Help Strengthen Ties In Illinois: We are pleased that Rich Conner, Superintendent of Administration for Ameren Illinois' Division 5 territory, has been named RCGA Senior Advisor on Regional Development, a newly-created position. Rich is on loan from Ameren and serves on the RCGA senior management team. He is based here at the RCGA's offices at One Metropolitan Square downtown.
In his new role, Rich serves as advisor on regional development, policy and communications; assists the RCGA with investor and member development and relationships throughout the bi-state region; helps to network and connect the RCGA with other leaders, groups and initiatives that will make for more effective regional development; will attend meetings as the RCGA representative, in both a listening and speaking role as needed, as well as other responsibilities.
RCGA Chairman Tom Voss, Chairman, President & CEO of Ameren Corp., said, "We are pleased to be able to share Rich's expertise and talents with the RCGA. As RCGA looks to strengthen our ties with business and community leaders in Southwestern Illinois, Rich was the obvious choice. His integrity and strong background in economic development have earned him the respect of these local leaders. By building a better region, we build a better future."
We are delighted that Rich is joining our organization as a loaned executive. It is vital for the entire bi-state metropolitan area to work closely together to grow our regional economy. In building the trust and relationships needed to accomplish this goal, we have an opportunity to work with a leader who already has many of the relationships needed and who has demonstrated passion for the development of our region. Rich Conner is that type of leader. He brings a regional perspective to the execution of our overall strategy and, in his current volunteer role as president of Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, will help us to better connect to our partners. We want to thank him for his faith in the RCGA and in our cause - to step away from his career at Ameren to do this work, and to Tom Voss and the entire Ameren team for supporting this focused approach.
"I'm energized to be working with the accomplished RCGA team as we focus on strengthening our region," Rich said. "I am a firm believer that a regional approach is the best approach for economic development. Economic development provides an opportunity for me to present all the great qualities and advantages that our area has to offer to potential investors. When you retain and create jobs you give the people that live in this area the opportunity to pursue a career and create a good livelihood for their family."
He has been with Ameren for 37 years, and has worked and lived in the Metro East area for the past 15 years. He served in a variety of roles with Ameren – regional manager in Southwestern Illinois and district manager in Southeastern Illinois.
June 19, 2012
“Economic Impact Of Immigration On St. Louis” To Be Presented Tomorrow By SLU’s Dr. Strauss: The results of a comprehensive study, entitled, “The Economic Impact of Immigration On St. Louis,” will be presented tomorrow morning at the 2nd Annual Regional Economic Development Conference, beginning at 8:30 at the Danforth Plant Science Center, 975 N. Warson Rd. Saint Louis University Simon Chair of Economics Dr. Jack Strauss will present his findings.
In addition to Dr. Strauss, this Regional Economic Development Conference, presented by the St. Louis County Economic Council, will feature presentations by St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, and Commerce Bancshares, Inc. Chairman, President & CEO David Kemper, trustee of the William T. Kemper Foundation, which funded the study.
Danforth Plant Science Center President Dr. Jim Carrington, St. Louis County Economic Council President & CEO Denny Coleman, and St. Louis Development Corporation Executive Director Rodney Crim will present welcoming remarks. Following the program, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editor Gilbert Bailon will moderate a panel discussion with Anna Crosslin, President & CEO of the International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis; Maria Del Carmen Jacob, President & Founder of NextGen; and RCGA President & CEO Joe Reagan.
It’s not too late to register for what promises to be a fascinating conference on a topic directly affecting the future growth and prosperity of the St. Louis region. You are invited to register online at www.slcec.com/EDconf.html.
June 18, 2012
Collaboration Is Unifying Theme Of Missouri Major Metro Chamber Partnership Conference: Members of the Missouri Major Metro Chamber Partnership convened this past Tuesday in Kansas City for discussions on a wide range of key statewide economic development and public policy issues. The Partnership is comprised of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the RCGA; and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
Discussions centered on identifying common issues and the strategies to pursue them to spur the State’s economy, as well as to share best practices as each of the chambers seek to learn from each other.
Participating in the half-day conference at the Greater Kansas City Chamber Board at Union Station in downtown Kansas City were chamber senior staff and key volunteers from each of the respective organizations. They included: Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Jim Heeter, the Chamber’s Senior Vice President for Public Policy & Programming Kristi Wyatt, Frank Ellis of Swope Community Enterprises and Russ Welsh of Polsinelli Shugart PC; Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry President & CEO Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber Vice President for Governmental Affairs Tracy King, John Hancock of Prime, Inc., and Dirck Clark of Heartland Health; Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Jim Anderson, Chamber Vice President for Public Affairs Sandy Howard and John Wilson of UMB; and RCGA President & CEO Joe Reagan, RCGA Senior Vice President for Public Policy Chip Casteel and RCGA Board Chair for Public Policy Tom Campbell of Polsinelli Shugart PC.
Following the formal series of meetings, the Greater Kansas City Chamber hosted a reception where the group welcomed Joe -- the newest member of the Partnership – to the State of Missouri.
June 13, 2012
Gellman Graphic Design Wins International Award: Stan Gellman Graphic Design has won a Silver Award in the 25th Annual International Mercury Awards competition for its design work on St. Louis Commerce Magazine, published by the RCGA. The firm won the award for the magazine’s September-October 2011 issue in the category for Membership Magazines. Only two out of a possible four awards were presented in this category.
The Mercury Awards honor the world’s best in corporate communications and public relations. The 2011/2012 competion received more than 790 entries from 21 countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United States.
Speaking of Commerce, the magazine has won a national Silver Award for Communications Excellence from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) organization. RCGA entered the 2011 Who's Who, What's What in St. Louis edition of Commerce in the Special Publications category.
June 12, 2012
RCGA And Openly Disruptive To Present “Locavesting” Program This Wednesday, June 13th: The RCGA is partnering with Openly Disruptive, a St. Louis-based venture to encourage the generation of ideas and innovation, to present a two-part series about the recently-passed and much-lauded JOBS Act and its impacts on angel investing, crowd funding, new general solicitation rules and IPO on-ramps. Wednesday’s event, Part I will feature speaker Amy Cortese, author of the book Locavesting. In addition, a panel of experts will help participants explore emerging -- and some long-forgotten -- ways to invest in our local engines of growth.
Locavesting will be held at Plush St. Louis, 3224 Locust St. in midtown, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Earlier in the day at Plush St. Louis from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., you are invited to participate in a Lunch and Learn to meet a dozen innovative resources you can use to finance or expand your own business.
Part 2 will follow on July 19th with the CEO of JumpStart America Ray Leach and a panel of local experts. Please click here, Wednesday’s event, Part I, to register.
June 11, 2012
Dave Spence Addresses Variety Of Issues At RCGA Public Policy Speaker Series Luncheon: Dave Spence, Republican candidate for Missouri Governor, covered several topics at the RCGA Public Policy Speaker Series luncheon this past Friday at the RCGA offices.
Reporters from the Missouri Journal, St. Louis Beacon and KWMU St. Louis Public Radio covered the luncheon program. Please click on the following links to read their respective stories:
Friday’s luncheon was latest in a series of Public Policy events featuring prominent elected leaders and candidates. Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin; John Brunner, former CEO of Vi-Jon, Inc.; and former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, spoke on March 30th at the RCGA.
June 6, 2012
Monday, June 18th RCGA Annual "Try St. Louis … Buy St. Louis" Golf Tournament Nearly Sold Out; A Few Openings Still Available: The 24th Annual RCGA "Try St. Louis … Buy St. Louis" Golf Tournament will held on Monday, June 18th, at the 36-hole Whitmoor Country Club.
This year's major RCGA tournament sponsors are Enterprise Bank & Trust and Coventry Health Care of Missouri. KMOX NewsRadio 1120 is media sponsor. RCGA Board Chair for Membership Bob Witterschein, executive vice president, Corporate Banking at Enterprise Bank & Trust, is serving as chair of the tournament.
The RCGA's "Try St. Louis … Buy St. Louis" Golf Tournament has a tradition of being more than a great outing of golf; it is one of the region's top business networking events of the year, as well. The tournament will offer hole-in-one, longest drive, closest-to-the-pin, and putting contests, as well as many more competition prizes. All players will receive a tournament gift.
A closest-to-the-pin “shootout” for $750, $500 and $250 gift certificates will highlight the day; the 8 closest-to-the-pin winners throughout the day on the par 3s will hold a shootout at 150 yards from the 18th green.
Major sponsors and contributors to date are Ameren; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.; Ascension Health; AT&T Missouri; BKD, LLP; BMO Harris Bank; Bommarito Automotive Group; Centene; Commerce Bank; Concentra – Humana; Delta Dental of Missouri; The Doe Run Company; Edward Jones; Express Scripts; Holland Construction Services; Kelly Mitchell Group; Lucas Park Grille; Luxco; McCarthy Building Companies; Mercy; Mike Shannon’s Steak & Seafood; Millennium Hotel St. Louis; Monsanto; Pepsi Beverages Co.; Plumbers & Pipefitters Local #562; Regions Bank; Schnuck Markets; Scottrade; Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid; Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program; Southwest Airlines; St. Louis Blues Hockey Club; St. Louis Cardinals; St. Louis College of Pharmacy; St. Louis Rams; St. Louis Union Station Marriott; Stifel Bank; Tarlton Construction; and United Healthcare of Missouri.
A barbecue lunch and closing dinner with several outstanding auction items and attendance prizes will round out the event at the Whitmoor Country Club. KMOX's Tom Ackerman will serve as dinner/program emcee.
To become a hole sponsor, or to register for the golf tournament, please contact RCGA Vice President for Membership Services Colin Stahlhut today at 314.444.1145, or e-mail him at email@example.com.
June 5, 2012
RCGA Co-Sponsoring Boeing Distinguished Guest Lecture In International Business Program On June 11th Featuring Newly-Appointed Korean Ambassador To The U.S.: On Monday, June 11th, the RCGA, the World Trade Center Saint Louis, the Missouri District Export Council (MODEC), the State of Missouri International Trade & Investment Office, and the U.S. Department of Commerce are partnering with the Saint Louis University John Cook School of Business, Boeing institute of International Business, to welcome the newly-appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the U.S., H.E. Choi, Young-jin. The Ambassador’s topic is “Korea-US FTA: the Rise of East Asia and the Trans Pacific Relation.”
H.E. Choi, Young-jin
The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Anheuser-Busch Auditorium in the Cook School of Business, 3674 Lindell Blvd.
Choi, Young-jin became Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the U.S this past March. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Younsei University in Seoul and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in International Political Science from the University of Paris.
Please Click here for an event flyer.
Registration is complimentary, but reservations are required in advance. Please go to slumarketplace.slu.edu to make your reservation. Select the Boeing Institute of International Business store and the Global Events product.
June 4, 2012
RCGA Strongly Supports Proposition Y June 5th Ballot Initiative To Improve Wastewater Overflows: For the past month, RCGA has been urging all St. Louis area companies to take an active role in helping to pass the Proposition Y ballot proposal in St. Louis City and St. Louis County in tomorrow’s election.
Voters in the city and county will be asked to authorize the issuance of $945 million in bonds by MSD to help finance capital improvement projects to address wastewater overflows. Noting that this is both a critical public policy and economic development issue for the entire bi-state region, the RCGA Executive Committee of the Board unanimously approved a resolution last month supporting Prop Y.
The U.S. EPA has mandated that MSD begin to address over 350 sewage overflows throughout St. Louis City and County. Without the bonds, residents and companies within these two jurisdictions could see a 123.3% rate increase within a year.
A $945 million bond initiative will:
- Keep water bills low: “Yes” on Prop Y will raise rates only 9.1% vs. 123.3% this year while saving residents and companies 74.8% in rate increases over the next 4½ years.
- Begin updating a city and county sewer infrastructure which is nearly a half-century old.
- Prevent sewage from backing up in basements.
- Stop the overflow of waste into rivers and streams, especially near schools.
- Create over 17,000 jobs, an overall $2.2 billion economic impact on the region.
For more information about Prop Y, please click on www.CleanWaterStl.org