St. Louis Press Pass

by Gary Broome | May 15, 2015
Entrepreneur commits to community, economic growth
(Belleville News-Democrat, 5/10/15)
Edmond Brown is not in business for himself. The local entrepreneur has a greater vision for the community and region where he works and serves on a number of local organizations. He recently invited business writer Will Buss to his office to talk about his business and his views toward achieving economic prosperity when all involved work together.   >>CLICK FOR MORE
Harris-Stowe TO offer master's degrees for first time in school's history
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/11/15)
Harris-Stowe State University is just a few steps away from being able to offer students master’s degrees for the first time in the school’s history. The Missouri Legislature passed a bill last week that would remove restrictions previously written into state law designating Harris-Stowe only as a teacher’s college and preventing the university from expanding its educational offerings. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Sitherwood wins St. Louis’ John H. Poelker Levee Stone Award
(St. Louis Business Journal, 5/14/15)
Suzanne Sitherwood, president and CEO of The Laclede Group, is this year’s recipient of the downtown St. Louis business community’s John H. Poelker Levee Stone Award that recognizes leadership, extraordinary vision and personal commitment in advancing the revitalization of downtown St. Louis. This spring, Laclede moved its headquarters into the 700 Market building in downtown St. Louis after a $46.4 million redevelopment by the Koman Group. The company signed a 20-year lease. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Brasunas retires as executive director of ITEN
(St. Louis Business Journal, 5/11/15)
Jim Brasunas, a longtime champion of St. Louis startups and executive director of ITEN, is retiring. Brasunas, 66, will retire as the head of the entrepreneurial support organization at the end of May. ITEN’s Director of Operations, Francis Chmelir, will serve as interim executive director starting June 1 until a full-time replacement is found. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Webster University’s Benjamin Akande named president of Westminster College
(St. Louis American, 5/8/15)
Benjamin Ola. Akande, a professor of economics and Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University, was named today (Friday, May 8) as the new president of the 164-year-old Westminster College in Fulton, MO. He will take office July 1, succeeding Dr. George B. Forsythe, president since 2008, who is retiring after 10 years at Westminster. >> CLICK FOR MORE
GM in Wentzville is a comeback story
(KSDK, 5/7/15)
The Chevy Colorado has breathed new life into the Wentzville plant. "I would say this is the brightest time in GM Wentzville history," said plant manager, Nancy Laubenthal. A far cry from a tumultuous 2009, when General Motors filed bankruptcy. Hundreds of workers were laid off at the Wentzville facility. The plant was idled weeks at a time. A GM spokesperson says less than a thousand hourly workers remained and the plant was down to one shift. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Better Weekdays starts raising money toward $1.5 million round
(St. Louis Business Journal, 5/14/15)
About two months after being touted by the White House, Chris Motley, founder of St. Louis startup Better Weekdays, has raised just more than $300,000 in seed financing. The company raised $350,000 of a planned $1.5 million offering of debt and future security options. The money came from four investors, according to the federal filing. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Regional Business Council invites applications for 'Small Change – Big Impact Grants'
(Illinois Business Journal, 5/11/15)
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Regional Business Council is accepting applications for the "It's Our Region Fund's Small Change – Big Impact Grants," a philanthropic initiative that reflects the council's commitment to improving the quality of life in the Greater St. Louis region. "This fund makes a critical difference to dozens of worthy organizations who have capital needs that are difficult for them to address. It is a privilege to be a part of making a significant difference in our community," said Kathy Osborn, executive director of the Regional Business Council. >> CLICK FOR MORE
EndoStim raises $2.5 million from single investor
(St. Louis Business Journal, 5/11/15)
St. Louis medical device maker EndoStim, which in late 2014 announced its intentions to go public before backing up on that plan, has raised half of a planned $5 million offering, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That money came from one investor. Officials with EndoStim could not be reached for further comment. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Ameren ranks No. 1 in diversity, publication says
(Illinois Business Journal, 5/13/15)
The diversity-assessment publication DiversityInc has ranked Ameren Corporation first in the United States on its 2015 listing of the nation's top utilities for diversity. It's the fifth consecutive year Ameren has been recognized among the top five utilities and the first time at the top of the list for creating an inclusive workplace, reaching diverse customers and having strong supplier diversity. "To be named the top utility in the country for diversity is an honor and speaks to the years of hard work that have taken place in diversity here at Ameren," said Sharon Harvey Davis, vice president and chief diversity officer. >> CLICK FOR MORE
3 St. Louis companies make list of healthiest in America 
(St. Louis Business Journal, 5/8/15)
Interactive Health, which provides wellness services, has named the 2014 Healthiest Companies in America list, and it features three local companies. Maritz, 4M Building Solutions, formerly Mitch Murch Maintenance Management, and Enterprise Bank made the cut. Interactive Health has been publishing this list for eight years. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Former Sterling financial advisers form new firm
(St. Louis Business Journal, 5/13/15)
Karen Evans and Pamela Zell, who had been partners at Sterling Financial Advisors, have formed Six Point Financial Group in Chesterfield with more than $200 million in assets under management. Evans, a founding partner of Sterling Financial in 1999, and Zell, who joined Sterling as a partner in 2001, are certified financial planners and licensed in life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Local pair quit jobs to start multi-million dollar company
(KSDK, 5/12/15)
ST. LOUIS - Their products are sold all over the world, in stores such as Whole Foods and Target. They've had a lot of success, even appearing on a national TV show. The products are all made in a facility in North St. Louis. Now they're passing on advice to other entrepreneurs. Success is hard to measure but many would say founders of green cleaning company called Better Life have come up with the recipe. Kevin Tibbs said, "If we listened to everybody else we probably would not be here." In 2008 Tim Barklage and Kevin Tibbs stopped listening and started following their intuition. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Two St. Louis banks lead in growing trust income
(St. Louis Business Journal, 5/11/15)
The Bank of Edwardsville and Midland States Bank were among the top 50 U.S. banks in trust revenue growth in 2014. The Bank of Edwardsville, with $1.68 billion in assets, ranked 37th, with $3.7 million in trust income — an increase of more than 19 percent, industry publication Bank Director reported. Midland States, with $1.79 billion in assets, ranked 49th, with $5.8 million in trust income — an increase of more than 17 percent. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Mercy forms provider network with Mosaic Life Care, MU Health Care
(St. Louis Business Journal, 5/12/15)
Mercy has partnered with Mosaic Life Care and University of Missouri Health Care to form a multistate provider network, dubbed MPact Health.  >> CLICK FOR MORE
Sigma expands manufacturing unit’s facility in St. Louis
(St. Louis Business Journal, 5/13/15)
Sigma-Aldrich Corp. said its custom-manufacturing unit, SAFC Commercial, has expanded its St. Louis facility to support commercial-scale manufacturing of antibody drug conjugate, or ADC. In Sigma’s announcement of the expansion, the life sciences company said the expansion would come online in the third quarter of 2015 and allow its customers to work with a single supplier from discovery through commercialization. >> CLICK FOR MORE
New bike trail added to Madison County system
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/13/15)
MADISON COUNTY • A new bike trail from Glen Carbon to Marine is open and will be celebrated Saturday morning. The Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail adds 12 miles to the 125 miles of bikeways in the Madison County Transit trail system, which has been pieced together over the last few decades on former railroad rights of way. The asphalt trail runs from Main Street in Glen Carbon to Marine Village Park in Marine and connects to the Nickel Plate and Goshen trails in the eastern part of the trail system. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Kaskaskia Port Spending $1.6 Million to Boost River Business
(Construction Forum STL, 5/8/15)
The Kaskaskia River might not be as large and mighty as the 2,300-mile Mississippi River, but it bleeds into it, near Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, and that’s enough to drive commerce along the Kaskaskia. The river’s port authority, the Kaskaskia Regional Port District based in Red Bud, Illinois, is trying to expand the river’s economic potential for the region as it plans about $1.6 million in construction this summer. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Illinois American Water gives grants to water-protection projects
(Illinois Business Journal, 5/11/15)
BELLEVILLE - Illinois American Water is providing grants to six watershed initiatives across the state, including one in the Alton area. The funding is through the company's 2015 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling $23,515 for community projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds. The Stream Discovery Released in the East program received a $5,000 grant. >> CLICK FOR MORE
St. Louis Airport Commission Approves Air-Cargo Terminal Project
(Construction Forum STL, 5/12/15)
The St. Louis Airport Commission approved a major development project at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Officials say the Air Cargo Project is geared to be a catalyst for international cargo activity and jobs by expanding Lambert’s aviation facilities and capabilities on the north side of the airfield.  >> CLICK FOR MORE
Construction begins on new residence hall at St. Louis University
(KTVI, 5/13/15)
ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- St. Louis University broke ground on a new residence hall less than two weeks ago and construction is already moving full speed ahead. School officials are calling the construction schedule aggressive because they want to complete the $44-million project on time and stay within the budget. It’s going to be a brand new, eight- story residence hall located at the corner of Laclede and Spring. First and second-year students will get to call this place home. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Madison County Green Schools Program
(Alton Daily News, 5/11/15)
Almost 500 students and teachers took part in an initiative to help promote recycling this school year. The Madison County Green Schools Program aimed at promoting everyday recycling. The Trashformation Innovation Creations program which takes community-generated waste and making it into functional and reusable items is one of the most successful programs. Madison County Green Schools Coordinator Kim Petzing says the program was missed when it did not take place last year. >> CLICK FOR MORE
Crowdfunding saves school show in north county district
(KTVI, 5/11/15)
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) – Budget woes in the Ferguson-Florissant School District left an annual show put on by elementary and middle school students in limbo, but the performance will go on thanks to a $50,000 donation from a crowdfunding website. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the site, GoFundme, pitched in the cash to help support the program called Celebrate Children. But the program’s future still remains on shaky ground since a budget crisis cut district funding for it. >> CLICK FOR MORE
9 St. Louis area institutions named top high schools in Missouri
(KTVI, 5/13/15)
ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - U.S. News and World Report has released its annual list of the country’s top performing schools and several St. Louis area schools made the grade. Nine high schools made the list. The following five were in the top ten. Clayton High School came in at number two followed by Kirkwood High School. Metro Academic and Classical High School secured the number four spot. Marquette High School came in at number five spot. Lindbergh High School ranked number seven and Parkway South was number nine. >> CLICK FOR MORE
‘Get to Know M.E.’ campaign celebrates Metro East community
(St. Louis Public Radio, 5/11/15)
In March 2015, 23 businesses and organizations collaborated to create the “Get to Know M.E.” campaign (M.E. standing for “Metro East”) to counter the negative images some people may have about the Metro East. Founded by Carol Bartle, the campaign’s goal is to help everyone in the Metro East get to know their communities better and to embrace each other as neighbors, all while working to improve the overall image outsiders may have about the region. >> CLICK FOR MORE
SpringFest, Farmers Market Help Ferguson Rebound
(KMOX, 5/9/15)
FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOX) –As Ferguson continues to rebuild and rebound from last year’s demonstrations following Michael Brown’s death and the grand jury non-indictment of the police officer who shot Brown, Saturday marked a step in the process. The town held a SpringFest in the city-walk area, as a replacement for last September’s StreetFest, that was cancelled due to the unrest. >> CLICK FOR MORE