• Regional Chamber Honors Legislators, Elected Leaders at Annual Chamber Champion Awards Dinner

    Nov 30, 2017

    The St. Louis Regional Chamber held its annual “Championing a Greater St. Louis” Dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis on November 28th. The awards event recognized the service of members in the Illinois and Missouri General Assemblies, and acknowledged legislators who exhibited outstanding dedication and support for the Chamber’s legislative priorities in 2017 and the future. The Chamber also gave its first-ever Regional Leadership Award, which recognized local elected officials for working together to solve significant issues in the St. Louis Region.

    Addressing over 200 business leaders and elected officials, Regional Chamber President and CEO Joe Reagan emphasized the Chamber’s work in bringing people together for the benefit of a unified St. Louis region. He noted that no conversation in the public arena will be more complex than that about local government fragmentation and creating a new story of unity. In addition, Reagan said that everyone has a role to play in advancing forward-thinking economic policy by advocating for public polices in three key areas: safety and security, equity and opportunity, and building and investing in regional infrastructure. 

    The 2017 honorees included Legacy Award winners Illinois Senator Bill Haine and Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard for their tremendous public service and commitment to the Chamber’s priorities throughout their careers. 

    The Regional Chamber also recognized fourteen legislators as Chamber Champions. These legislators championed the organization’s priority issues and achieved meaningful success this year. Awardees included Missouri Reps. Kevin Corlew and Joe Don McGaugh, Sens. Ed Emery, Doug Libla, Gary Romine and Caleb Rowden, and Speaker of the House Todd Richardson for their work to reform Missouri’s tort law to better provide a just, efficient and consistent legal system.

    Other Champion winners included Illinois Reps. Greg Harris and David Harris, Sen. Heather Steans and Senate President John Cullerton for their tireless and bipartisan work to pass a budget, while Missouri Sen. Ryan Silvey, Rep. Corlew and Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr were recognized for their bill authorizing REAL-ID compliant driver’s licenses in Missouri.

    In addition to the Chamber Champions, the Regional Chamber gave Advocate awards to five Missouri legislators who were strong voices for the Chamber’s priority issues in the General Assembly. The awardees included Sen. Caleb Rowden and Rep. Mike Kelley as Advocates for sponsoring a state Earned Income Tax Credit bill, the Chamber’s highest legislative priority in Missouri.

    The Chamber also recognized Rep. Kevin Corlew for creating and chairing the 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force, Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer for a tort reform bill that prevents so-called “venue shopping,” and Rep. Kevin Engler for calling for the Missouri Nondiscrimation Act to be expanded to include LGBT individuals. 

    The Regional Chamber bestowed five Catalyst Awards to lawmakers that demonstrate promise for advancing priority issues for the Chamber in the future. Missouri Reps. Jean Evans, Bruce Franks and Peter Merideth received the award as standout freshman legislators, who made time to build relationships with their colleagues throughout the Capitol while looking for ways quickly make an impact while they learn the ins and outs of the legislative process.  

    Rep. Holly Rehder was recognized for her tireless work on creating a stateside prescription drug monitoring database, while freshman Sen. Dave Schatz was responsible for sending six bills to the Governor’s desk, including legislation that makes changes to Missouri's worker’s compensation laws.

    See all the photos from the evening on the Chamber's Flickr page.

    Chamber Champs_Richardson
    Chamber Champs_Krewson 
    Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson addresses the crowd upon receiving his Champion Award.
     (From left to right) AECOM Vice President and Chamber Public Policy Chairman Jennifer Obertino, St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson, and St. Louis Regional Chamber President & CEO Joe Reagan pose for a photo upon Krewson receiving the inaugural Regional Leadership Award.
     Chamber Champs_Cullerton  Chamber Champs_Catalysts
     Illinois Senate President John Cullerton takes the podium upon receiving his Champion Award.  (From left to right) AECOM Vice President and Chamber Public Policy Chairman Jennifer Obertino, Missouri Reps. Jean Evans, Peter Merideth, Bruce Franks, and St. Louis Regional Chamber President & CEO Joe Reagan pose for a photo upon the representatives receiving their Catalysts Awards.
     Chamber Champs_Champions  Chamber Champs_Haine
    (From left to right) AECOM Vice President and Chamber Public Policy Chairman Jennifer Obertino, Missouri Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, Sen. Ryan Silvey, Rep. Corlew, and St. Louis Regional Chamber President & CEO Joe Reagan pose for a photo upon the representatives receiving their Champion Awards. Illinois Sen. Bill Haine addresses the crowd upon receiving his Legacy Award. 
  • New Missouri Hyperloop Coalition Seeks to Advance Kansas City to St. Louis Route

    Oct 03, 2017

    MISSOURI - The Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT), the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the KC Tech Council, the University of Missouri System, and the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia today announced the formation of the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition, a public-private partnership to advance the building of a Hyperloop route linking Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis along the I-70 corridor. Coalition organizers include Andrew Smith, Bill Turpin, Ryan Weber, and Thomas Blair as well as other private sector leaders.  The Coalition's immediate term concern and focus is securing the $1.5 million in private funding needed for the feasibility study.

    HyperLoop Kansas City-St.LouisHyperloop One, the only company in the world to have built a full-scale Hyperloop test system, is working to determine where to build the world’s first Hyperloop route. Missouri's Hyperloop route would allow a combined 5 million residents to access research universities, a network of world-class plant science and animal health research hubs, and growing business communities in less than 25 minutes. It would give Missouri an undeniable edge in attracting new business and talent. Building along I-70, the birthplace of the US Interstate system, is uniquely attractive. Missouri proposed the I-70 route to Hyperloop One 2 years ago as part of MODOT’s “Road to Tomorrow” project to promote innovation along I-70.

    The Hyperloop project was specifically referenced in the summary report issued by the Governor’s Innovation Task Force. 

    Andrew Smith, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the St. Louis Regional Chamber, said that Missouri has a clear path to becoming a global winner. 

    “It is clear from our conversations with Hyperloop One that they were impressed with our initial proposal. Our proposed route connects two major metropolitan areas in the same state along with a major research university, and we have the most favorable regulatory and cost environment of any proposed build site. Hyperloop One is encouraging us to take the next step with an engineering feasibility study.”

    “This public-private partnership demonstrates Missouri’s commitment to building one of the first Hyperloop systems in the world,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One. “We look forward to working with the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition in continuing to develop Missouri’s Hyperloop One proposal from Kansas City to St. Louis.”

    “Governments in the US and around the world are embracing the idea of building Hyperloop One systems to strengthen economic development and improve passenger mobility in their respective regions,” said Josh Giegel, co-founder and President of Engineering of Hyperloop One. “We’re excited to work with the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition in exploring the feasibility of a Hyperloop One system and bringing our new mode of transportation to the masses.”

    Patrick McKenna, Director of MODOT, estimates that a feasibility study will cost between $1-$1.5MM. 

    “MODOT will provide the oversight and technical expertise to manage the RFP process for the study. We are committed to bringing this innovative mode of transportation to Missouri.” Given state budget constraints, funding for the study will have to come from the private sector. 

    Bill Turpin, CEO of the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia, said the first order of business for the Coalition is to raise the funds for the study. “Hyperloop One is evaluating the extent of private sector support for each proposal. They want to see a strong public-private partnership and engagement from the business community. I believe we have that in Missouri and that our businesses will be willing to step up to the plate to fund this study.”

    Ryan Weber, President of the KC Tech Council, highlighted the long-term opportunities that would result from construction of a Hyperloop route along I-70. “Linking Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis in this way would strengthen collaboration across the entire state of Missouri and make us one of the most attractive destinations in the country for new businesses as well as businesses looking to relocate.”

    Dr. Mun Choi, President of the University of Missouri System said, “The Hyperloop will represent a paradigm shift in our ability to travel and conduct business throughout Missouri. The University of Missouri System is very excited to partner on this initiative.”


    About Hyperloop One

    Hyperloop One is the only company in the world that has built a fully operational Hyperloop system. Our team has the world's leading experts in engineering, technology and transport project delivery, working in tandem with global partners and investors to make Hyperloop a reality, now. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company was co-founded by Executive Chairman Shervin Pishevar and President of Engineering Josh Giegel, and is led by CEO Rob Lloyd. For more information, visit www.hyperloop-one.com.


    Dr. Mun Choi
    University of Missouri System

    Sandy Choi
    Hyperloop One

    Patrick McKenna

    Andrew G. Smith
    St. Louis Regional Chamber

    Bill Turpin
    Missouri Innovation Center

    Ryan Weber
    KC Tech Council


    UPDATE: Read some of the media coverage the proposed Missouri Hyperloop route has received so far.

    "A Surprising New Location Is Emerging as a Favorite to Land the First Hyperloop" - Inc.

    "A hyperloop route between St. Louis and Kansas City is under serious consideration" - The Verge

    "A New Missouri Coalition Wants To Bring A Hyperloop Route To Town" - Clean Technica

    "Coalition forms to develop Kansas City-St. Louis Hyperloop route" - Silicon Prairie News

    "Coalition keeping dream of Missouri Hyperloop route alive" - KSHB

    "Crossing Missouri in 25 minutes" - Fulton Sun

    "How Missouri's Stubbornness Made It a Top Hyperloop Contender " - Inverse

    "Hyperloop between St. Louis-Kansas City may still be possible" - Columbia Missourian

    "Hyperloop One Route Proposed for Missouri Cities" - NBC

    "Hyperloop route between Kansas City and St. Louis in the works" - KOMU

    "KC to St. Louis in 31 minutes? Missouri groups make a renewed push for Hyperloop" - The Kansas City Star

    "Looping back? Missouri partners with Hyperloop to study 23-minute KC-St Louis route" - Startland News

    "Missouri forms coalition to attract Hyperloop" - KSDK

    "Missouri Hyperloop coalition wants 670 mph link between St. Louis and Kansas City" - KTVI

    "Missouri partners with Hyperloop, revives hopes for high-speed route across state" - Missouri Business Alert

    "Missouri’s Hyperloop dreams aren’t dead yet" - Fox 4 KC

    "New Missouri coalition, fundraising effort puts state in contention for Hyperloop system" - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    "Regional leaders still pushing for St. Louis-Kansas City Hyperloop" - Roads & Bridges

    "St. Louis, Kansas City Aren’t Giving Up on High-Speed Connection" - Next City

    "Traveling from KC to STL in 30 minutes? It's closer than you think" - KMBC

    "Why a Hyperloop route between St. Louis and Kansas City isn’t that far-fetched" - Venture Beat