• 5th Annual Arcus Awards Honor Innovation, Inclusion, and Economic Growth

    Mar 02, 2018
    ArcusAward2018The St. Louis Regional Chamber honored the region’s most prosperous and inspirational leaders and companies at the 5th Annual Arcus Awards event on Thursday evening. The Academy Awards-style program, presented by RubinBrown LLP, honored the achievements of companies and organizations that are inspiring a greater St. Louis. Over 720 executives, entrepreneurs and civic leaders registered to attend the dinner program at the Marriott St. Louis Grand.

    Out of hundreds of nominations, a panel of business scholars and executives selected 11 award winners based on their accomplishments reflecting the Chamber’s One Plan for regional prosperity. The categories honor leadership in the region’s strongest industry clusters that have the global potential for growth, organizations that are creating economic opportunity and mobility through greater educational attainment, inclusion and talent attraction and entrepreneurship and innovation, and companies advocating for forward-thinking economic policies. For the second year in a row, additional recognition was given to a winner of the Arcus People’s Choice Award, selected by over 1,100 individual votes from across the region.

    The 5th Annual Arcus Awards winners were: Electrical Connection, World Wide Technology, MilliporeSigma, Regions Bank, Prosperity Connection, Christian Hospital, Flat World Supply Chain, St. Louis American Foundation, Arch GrantsLaunchCode, and Bi-State Development Research Institute.

    RubinBrown Chairman John Herber, Jr., said, “The Arcus Awards allow us to celebrate the amazing innovation, resilience and achievements of our nominees and finalists. These companies are the best of St. Louis and help our economy grow. We are proud to return for the fifth year as the presenting sponsor of these important and inspiring awards.”

    Arcus is the Latin word for “arch” and symbolizes the Gateway Arch, the unifying symbol of our bi-state region. All of the award finalists, comprised of companies and organizations of all sizes from throughout the bi-state region, were showcased in video segments during the event. Winners in each category received a hand-crafted art piece designed by Mitch Horstmann of St. Louis Sculpture Factory.

    The Arcus Awards winners by category are:

    The Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award for a company making positive changes that impact St. Louisans was presented to Electrical Connection. The Electrical Connection (EC) is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). For more than 75 years, its IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center has trained more electricians/communication technicians than any education program in Missouri. Through its workforce development, support for STEM education, diversity outreach, apprenticeship training and continuing education programs, Electrical Connection truly exemplifies what it means to be a Corporate Citizen.

    Other finalists included: Bunzl Distribution, Maritz, MilliporeSigma, and Redberri Earth Foundation.
    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 World Wide Technology. Since 2011, WWT has grown by more than 56 percent and in 2016, ranked 30th on a Forbes list of the largest U.S. private companies, and is the nation’s largest African American-owned business in the country. From record growth to corporate innovation to community investment, World Wide Technology truly demonstrates the best of St. Louis’ spirit. 

    Other finalists included: CEdge Software Consultants, Scott Air Force Base Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics Advisory Group (STEAM), and St. Louis College of Pharmacy. 

    The Arcus Award for Achievement in Biosciences, sponsored by Bryan Cave LLP, was presented to MilliporeSigma, the life science arm of Merck KGaA. MilliporeSigma employs about 2,000 people in St. Louis, and provide research and lab-based solutions like genomic sequencing technology and stem cell research, and work with international partners to tackle major global diseases.  

    Other finalists included: Aptimmune Biologics, Confluence Discovery Technologies, DynaLabs, and SentiAR.

    The Arcus Award for Achievement in Financial Services, sponsored by Thompson Coburn LLP, was presented to both Regions Bank and Prosperity Connection. Regions Bank will invest over $40 million in the St. Louis market to open 11 new banking centers in 2018. They are also investing in low-income housing, no-cost financial education, mentorship through Big Brothers Big Sisters, and community development support for our communities. 
    Prosperity Connection assists low-and-moderate income households build their financial confidence and capability through access to financial education and affordable financial services. Specifically, they operate RedDough Money Centers to combat payday loan lenders in low-income neighborhoods with more affordable options and financial education for residents. 

    Other finalists included: Assembly Payments and Commerce Bank

    The Arcus Award for Achievement in Health, sponsored by Centene Corporation, was presented to Christian Hospital. Christian Hospital has planned a transition to all private patient rooms, a $5 million extensive lobby renovation; a $2.7 million lab equipment upgrade; $1 million investment in a new ambulance fleet; and conversion to a new $16 million universal electronic medical record system, in addition to opening two new health centers. They also operate the Christian Hospital PCT Academy, the Christian Hospital EMS (CHEMS) Academy, and partner with area schools to provide job training and workforce development for surrounding communities. 

    Other finalists included: A.T. Still University Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health, Hospital Sisters Health System, Medical Transportation Management, Inc. and St. Luke’s Hospital.

    The Arcus Award for Achievement in Logistics, sponsored by Spire, was presented to Flat World Supply Chain. Flat World is a technology-based third-party logistics company that helps their clients identify opportunities to change and improve their business processes and operations using an innovative technology for rate/service comparison, tracking, reporting and data mining, and consolidated invoicing. Flat World has now grown to 80 employees and four operating companies to date.

    Other finalists included: City of Alton Mulitmodal Center, Seyer Industries, Inc. and St. Louis Regional Freightway.

    The Arcus Award for Achievement in Educational Attainment, sponsored by STL Communications, Inc., was presented to the St. Louis American Foundation, created by the St. Louis American newspaper. The Foundation focuses on individual achievement recognition events, scholarships and community Grants (more than $5 million distributed locally) and the award-winning Newspaper in Education Program, which provides and delivers actual physical newspapers with specific STEM, health and financial literary content for 4th-5th grade students at no charge to nearly 7,000 students in nearly 300 classrooms in seven area school districts each week. 

    Other finalists: Fontbonne University, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, PNC Financial Services, Southeast Missouri State University, and St. Louis Graduates.

    The Arcus Award for Achievement in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, sponsored by Monsanto Company, was presented to Arch Grants. Every year, the Arch Grants Global Startup Competition awards $50,000 equity-free cash grants and pro bono support services to innovative, scalable, and job-creating startups that agree to locate their business in St. Louis for at least one year. Since inception in 2012, Arch Grants companies have generated over $48,000,000 in revenue, attracted over $100,000,000 in follow-on capital, and created more than 1,000 new jobs in the St. Louis region. 

    Other finalists included: Astral AR, Ameren Accelerator powered by University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate & Capital Innovators, Cultivation Capital, Kingdom Scene Endeavors, SafeTrek and SixThirty CYBER.

    The Arcus Award for Inclusion and Talent Attraction, sponsored by Express Scripts, was presented to LaunchCode. LaunchCode helps job seekers enter the tech field by providing accessible education, training and paid apprenticeship job placement. Once placed in a LaunchCode position, a candidate works at another company in an apprenticeship, where they are paired with a mentor and given training on the job. Thirty-one percent of current enrolled students are African-American, 42 percent are female, and fifty-five percent of their apprenticeships were previously unemployed.

    Other finalists included: BioSTL, Concordance Academy of Leadership, HireLevel, Programmer Resources International, Inc., and St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

    The Arcus Award for Achievement in Public Policy, sponsored by Edward Jones, was presented to Bi-State Development Research Institute. Bi-State Development Research Institute is the nonprofit research arm of the regional development organization Bi-State Development. The organization conducts research on policy research and planning, land use, real estate development, and publishes various papers and feasibility studies on regional, community, and economic development issues. So far, they have launched mobile health clinics and fresh produce markets at MetroLink stations, and its research is helping to drive innovative programs and partnerships across the region.

    Other finalists included: American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Foundation, Citizens for Modern Transit, Governor’s Innovation Task Force, and the Missouri Budget Project. 

    The Arcus People’s Choice Award, sponsored by RubinBrown LLP, was awarded to Fontbonne University. Fontbonne University is a coed liberal arts Catholic institution of approximately 3,000 students in Clayton, Missouri. The institution created Fontbonne Promise - a new scholarship program designed to make debt-free college a reality for low-income students. The innovative program will cover full tuition and fees for students who are first-time students, first year students with a zero-expected family contribution. 

    The other top 5 finalists were: Southeast Missouri State University (2); DynaLabs (3); Christian Hospital (4); and HireLevel (5).
  • Happy New Year, St. Louis: A Look Back at Our 2017 Successes

    Jan 08, 2018

    The St. Louis Regional Chamber achieved strong results in 2017 towards fulfilling our top five strategic priorities. From surpassing our aggressive economic development goals to convening regional leaders across the public and private sectors, our One Team has worked effectively to achieve these results. However, these results would not be possible without those who believe in our shared vision and goal for the St. Louis region.  We know that our results come from collaboration with our clients, members, investors, partners, and elected officials.

     2017 Strategic Priorities and Key Results

     A full-court press for net new jobs for the region leveraging our strength in financial services, biosciences, health, and logistics.

    • The Chamber assisted 15 clients, adding 3,000 new jobs with $70,000 average salaries and $837m investment to the St. Louis region.
    • We also secured 104 New Active Clients year-to-date, far exceeding the aggressive goal we set.

    Marketing the St. Louis unified brand strategy through proactive media relations, social media and special events, especially those aimed at students from our regional universities who are recently graduated or are approaching graduation.

    • The Chamber promoted the positive and authentic brand message for St. Louis to targeted audiences, including local residents, college students, and business decision-makers in San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.
    • We staffed the Regional Marketing Collaborative which created the “St Louis brand book” and distributed 1,100 copies.
    • Our team executed LouFestU, the regional college festival attended by over 1,500 students.
    • We aired commercials highlighting St. Louis innovation through our partnership with member broadcasters and Civic Pride Foundation.
    • The Chamber helped launch the regional talent solution “The Whether” by Better Weekdays.

    A renewed focus on a safe and secure region, working with our public officials on serious crime reduction initiatives and improving citizen-law enforcement relations.

    • Helped negotiate a first-of-its kind MOU between St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, Mayor Lyda Krewson, St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern and the Bi-State Development Agency. The MOU is a paradigm shift for MetroLink public safety that has so far delivered a central command structure and headquarters, secured funding for a system-wide security audit and improved cooperation between the three accredit law enforcement agencies.
    • We also engaged our members in public advocacy on two successful campaigns for police funding.

    A push to ‘close the gap’ in needed equity funding for the entrepreneurial boom underway in our region.

    Executing on the highest-impact solutions in the St. Louis Regional Commitment to Education to improve access and accelerated degree completion.

    • Obtained confirmation from the necessary private, educational, public, social sector stakeholders to sign the St. Louis Regional Education Commitment to reach the goal of seeing St. Louis become a Top Ten region for educational attainment by 2025.
    • Launched the St. Louis Regional Education Data Dashboard, a tool that will enable the region to benchmark progress towards the Top Ten goal and with St. Louis Graduates
    • Released the report, Degrees with Less Debt, which identifies specific strategies for better supporting underrepresented student populations

    With all these successes under our belt, we look forward to using our 2017 momentum to start 2018 off strong. Despite this, the true source of our strength lies within the people and institutions of our region. With the combined strength of our 15-county, bi-state region,  the Chamber will continue to work to make St. Louis a better place to live, work, play and invest.