Celebrating and Honoring Companies That Make St. Louis Great

by Eric Schneider | Feb 26, 2015

Our region is great because companies here invest in the St. Louis area, on a daily basis.

Thursday night, in front of a crowd of 800 people at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, we awarded the 2014 Arcus Awards, presented by RubinBrown LLP, to some amazing companies. Seventy-five businesses, institutions, and organizations were recognized for exceptional commitment to advancing the St. Louis regional economy and championing a greater St. Louis. Their leadership makes the St. Louis region a more attractive place to live, work and invest.

Arcus Awards were presented in categories representing our region’s authentic strengths and future strategies, as outlined in our One Plan, a focused strategy to grow St. Louis into a Top 10 region for economic prosperity. The outstanding Arcus Awards finalists were recognized for their achievements, with award winners selected by a panel of distinguished business scholars and business executives.

So, drum roll please, here are our region’s 2014 Arcus Awards winners:

The Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award, for demonstrating exceptional corporate leadership in the St. Louis region, was presented to Centene Corporation.  In 2014, Centene announced that it would expand into Ferguson with a new claims processing center in Ferguson, creating 150 to 200 jobs with a multitude of benefits including health care, dental and vision insurance. The facility will process claims from Centene’s Home State Health Plan in Missouri and Centene’s other health plans from across the country.

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 LaunchCode.   Founded by Jim McKelvey, this organization creates pathways to economic opportunity and upward mobility through apprenticeships and job placement in technology and computer programming. In one year, the pioneering workforce training program operated by LaunchCode has placed nearly 100 individuals into apprenticeships at more than 65 companies, with about 90% transitioning into full-time employees. LaunchCode is expected to help expand the pipeline of regional talent for highly sought after computer programmers.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Biosciences, sponsored by Bryan Cave LLP, was presented to Missouri Botanical Garden for advancing St. Louis' reputation as a global bioscience hub for their worldwide leadership in research focused on discovering, documenting and conserving the diversity of the world’s plants.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Financial Services, sponsored by Thompson Coburn LLP, was presented to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis for their new Inside the Economy Museum, an interactive experience that teaches financial literacy and which is expected to inspire the next generation of talent to grow St. Louis’ world-class financial services sector.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Health, sponsored by Centene Corporation, was presented to Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital for their unique “Care Beyond the Beside” model to improve health care delivery for children.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Multimodal Logistics, sponsored by The Laclede Group, was presented to The Boeing Company for their investment to create up to 700 jobs to build parts for the 777X, Boeing’s next-generation commercial aircraft. This is the first time that The Boeing Company has brought commercial aircraft production to St. Louis.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Educational Attainment, sponsored by Edward Jones, was presented to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing for their One CLIC Accelerated RN/BS Program to meet the growing demand for bachelor degree-educated nurses in our region’s workforce through teaching innovative models focused on working adults.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, sponsored by Monsanto Company, was presented to Cultivation Capital and ITEN. The judges selected two winners in this category to reflect the vital pairing of capital and mentorship. This successful relationship has made St. Louis one of the most closely-watched innovation hubs on the rise around the world. The judges said neither could exist or succeed alone. Cultivation Capital was honored for launching and significantly increasing local venture capital funding for early-stage technology and life sciences companies and for helping to launch two start-up accelerators. ITEN was recognized for their portfolio of mentorship and acceleration programs which are helping strengthen the rapidly expanding the entrepreneurial hub in the St. Louis region.

The Arcus Award for Achievement in Inclusion & Talent Attraction, sponsored by STL Communications, Inc., was presented to St. Louis Mosaic Project for creating the Professional Connector Program and the Global Talent Hiring Program that promote a more international workforce in St. Louis, with the goal of making St. Louis the fastest-growing region in the U.S. for immigration.

It was an exciting event that elevated the stories of businesses and other organizations – ultimately, the people – that are inspiring a greater St. Louis.

This year, the Arcus Awards highlighted the Reinvest North County Fund launched by the Regional Business Council, and other regional collaborative efforts to support the people and businesses directly impacted by the tragedy in Ferguson and surrounding communities.  Accordingly, the St. Louis Regional Chamber made a donation to the Reinvest North County Fund for each of the first 100 nominations that were submitted for the Arcus Awards.

We were inspired by the hundreds of nominations we received. By showcasing these finalists and winners last night, we hope to continue the great momentum they’ve begun in our community.