Arcus Awards 3 Winners Announced

by Hart Nelson | Mar 02, 2016



 ST. LOUIS, Feb. 25, 2016 – The St. Louis Regional Chamber honored the region’s top leaders and companies that are making St. Louis a more attractive place to live, work and invest at its third annual Arcus Awards event on Thursday evening. The Academy Awards-style program, presented by RubinBrown LLP, showcased 64 finalists out of hundreds of nominees in ten categories, with the winner of each category announced live during the event.  The panel of judges recognized companies and organizations of all sizes, with particular recognition for the huge regional progress made on educational attainment and by St. Louis’ thriving startup and innovation sector.  More than 800 executives, elected officials, and civic leaders attended the dinner program at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.

A panel of distinguished business scholars and executives selected ten of the award winners based on categories representing the Chamber’s One Plan for regional prosperity.  The categories honor leadership in industry clusters that are critical to creating jobs today as well as community priorities that will secure an even brighter future.  For the first time, the event also included the Arcus People’s Choice Award, with a winner selected by popular vote of over 40,000 individuals from across the region.

The Arcus 3 Award winners were Regions Bank, IDEA Labs, Bio Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center, Square, Inc., MedAware Solutions, Inc., America’s Central Port District, Better Together St. Louis, Jennings School District, International Institute of St. Louis, Natalie’s Cakes and More, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Eugene B. Redmond Learning Center.

RubinBrown Chairman Jim Castellano, said, “The quality of the Arcus nominees and finalists continues to inspire us. The stories and achievements they represent, especially the advances we have made in our region in the areas of education and innovation, are truly worthy of recognition.  We are very pleased to be the presenting sponsor of this dynamic and exciting event for the third year.”

In addition to the award categories, the Chamber paid tribute to the amazing turn-around made by the St. Louis Public Schools, led by Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams.  In partnership with Rick Sullivan, Melanie Adams and Richard Gaines of the Special Administrative Board and Valerie Bell, Bob Newmark and Jane Donahue of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, SLPS went from unaccredited status to attaining provisional accreditation in 2012 to qualifying for full accreditation this year. 

“The St. Louis Public Schools turnaround should inspire us all,” said St. Louis Regional Chamber President & Chief Executive Officer Joe Reagan. “They have set a new course - our nearly 25,000 children who are applying themselves, the teachers in the classrooms who share their knowledge, the principals who set the tone in each school and the parents and family members who sacrifice for our children.  These are the leaders who will take our place on stages like this for generations to come.”

Latin for “arch”, Arcus symbolizes the Gateway Arch, the unifying symbol of our bi-state region. All of the impressive award finalists, comprised of companies and organizations of all sizes from throughout the bi-state region, were showcased in video segments at tonight’s event.  Winners in each category received a hand-crafted art piece designed by the Third Degree Glass Factory. 

The Arcus Awards winners by category are:

Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award, for demonstrating exceptional corporate leadership in the St. Louis Region, was presented to Regions Bank. Regions partnered with the Jennings School district to provide financial education to students, offered facilities to a financial counselor from Operation HOPE to provide no-cost financial counseling to the community, and supported Riverview Gardens High School in implementing the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program to help students stay in school, graduate and succeed in postsecondary education or in the workforce.

The BMO Harris Bank St. Louis Spirit Award, for advancing St. Louis’ rich history and global reputation as a hub of innovation and forward-looking vision, was presented to IDEA Labs.   The organization is a student-run bioengineering design and entrepreneurship incubator founded in 2013 to identify unmet needs in healthcare delivery and clinical medicine. Teams of students develop understanding of one or more clinical problems, brainstorm and vet designs, test prototypes and take steps towards commercialization under the guidance of a clinician mentor and technical advisors. IDEA Labs’ success has garnered attention from other top universities, leading to the formation of chapters at Harvard-MIT, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Minnesota.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Biosciences, sponsored by Bryan Cave LLP, was presented to Bio Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center.  First opening in 2009 and now home to 14 companies employing 300 people, BRDG Park provides world-class research facilities access to the intellectual capital of top plant, life-science and clean-tech companies and scientists in addition to co-sponsoring the annual Ag Innovation Showcase to address critical issues and global policies impacting agricultural science.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Financial Services, sponsored by Thompson Coburn LLP, was presented to Square, Inc.  Founded by St. Louis natives Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, Square has returned to St. Louis in a big way in its newest location in the Cortex Innovation Community.  The payment processing and technology company will add approximately 250 new jobs and invest over $9 million in St. Louis over the next 5 years. 

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Health, sponsored by Centene Corporation, was presented to MedAware Solutions, Inc. for empowering patient-centric collaboration through technology.  MedAware’s solution turns any smartphone or tablet into a healthcare collaboration tool with capabilities such as asynchronous messaging, live telehealth and automated engagement.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Logistics, sponsored by The Laclede Group, was presented to America’s Central Port District for its work to create more jobs and transportation opportunities for the region.  With annual economic impact of $282 million, America’s Central Port is expanding warehouse space and recently opened a new $50 million South Harbor on the Mississippi River capable of multiple forms of transportation to and from barges.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Public Policy, sponsored by Edward Jones, was presented to Better Together for serving as a catalyst for the removal of governmental, economic and racial barriers to the region’s growth and prosperity by promoting unity, trust, efficiency and accountability.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Educational Attainment, sponsored by Enterprise Holdings Inc., was presented to Jennings School District.  Under Superintendent Tiffany Anderson’s leadership, Jennings has exceeded accreditation standards since 2013 after lacking full accreditation for most of the previous two decades.  Ninety-three percent of the district’s high school students graduate on time, making it a national model for school turnaround.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Inclusion & Talent Attraction, sponsored by STL Communications, Inc., was presented to International Institute of St. Louis for helping to attract more immigrants and retain them to build a stronger economic future for all residents of the region. The Institute has helped start or expand more than 600 immigrant-owned businesses with a total economic impact of $160 million and provided services to more than 7,500 immigrants from 80 countries.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, sponsored by Monsanto Company, was presented to Natalie’s Cakes and More.  Natalie DuBose demonstrated the crucial entrepreneurial skills of determination, resilience and adaptability to changing circumstances after her bakery was damaged during the unrest in Ferguson. Natalie worked to stay in business through a crowdfunding campaign and recently established a partnership with Starbucks to sell her cakes in locations around the St. Louis region.

The Arcus People’s Choice Award, sponsored by RubinBrown LLP, was awarded to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Eugene B. Redmond Learning Center.  Named in honor of Dr. Redmond, an author, editor, retired English professor and Poet Laureate of East St. Louis, the Center fosters creativity, encourages scholarship, promotes diversity and exposes the region to multicultural poetry and the Black Arts Movement. It has attracted national supporters including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Toni Morrison and Tavis Smiley.

About the St. Louis Regional Chamber

The St. Louis Regional Chamber is a broad community of leaders united for economic prosperity throughout the entire St. Louis bi-state region. Our aspiration is for St. Louis to be one of the Top 10 U.S. regions in prosperity. Our one purpose is to inspire a greater St. Louis. Together, we will make St. Louis a more attractive place for people to live, work and invest. We will win on todays regional strengths in focused economic clusters. We will champion a better tomorrow through greater educational attainment, economic inclusion, entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit


About RubinBrown LLP

RubinBrown is one of the nations largest accounting and business consulting firms, with more than 400 team members working from offices in St. Louis, Denver and Kansas City. Founded in 1952, the firms reputable, award-winning team members establish best practices within specific industry segments and work to serve the community both inside and outside the workplace. Our mission is to help clients build and protect value, while at all times honoring the responsibility to serve the public interest. RubinBrown is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a high-quality, dedicated network of 156 independent firms in 131 countries. For more information, visit

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