The St. Louis Regional Chamber honored top companies and organizations that are contributing to the St. Louis region’s economic growth at the 6th 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 700 executives, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders registered to attend the dinner program at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis.

Out of hundreds of nominations, a panel of business leaders, scholars and executives selected twelve award winners based on their contributions to St. Louis’ economy and quality of life. The categories honor leadership in corporate citizenship, entrepreneurship, public policy, inclusive business solutions, infrastructure and transportation, workforce development and talent attraction, technological advancement and cultural engagement. The Arcus Awards categories also included regional economic impact for companies of various sizes that created jobs in our region from October 1, 2017, until September 30, 2018.

The winner of the 3rd Annual Arcus People’s Choice Award was Wings of Hope, who received the most votes among over 13,000 individual votes from across the region, including live voting at the event.

The 6th Annual Arcus Awards winners are:

  • Ameren Corporate Citizen Award – Leidos
  • BMO Harris St. Louis Spirit Award – Black & Veatch and St. Louis Integrated Health Network (IHN) (tie)
  • Achievement in Entrepreneurship: Benson Hill Biosystems
  • Achievement in Infrastructure & Transportation: Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis
  • Achievement in Public Policy: Better Together
  • Achievement in Technology: Coolfire Solutions
  • Achievement in Regional Economic Impact – Small Enterprise: Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
  • Achievement in Regional Economic Impact – Medium Enterprise: GCL Solar Materials
  • Achievement in Regional Economic Impact – Large Enterprise: Prairie Farms
  • Achievement in Workforce & Talent Development: Mission: St. Louis
  • Achievement in Cultural Engagement: Bellerive Country Club
  • People’s Choice Award: Wings of Hope

RubinBrown Chairman, John Herber Jr., said, “RubinBrown’s actions and investments in the St. Louis community are guided by our core values which can be most simply summarized as ‘Be Your Best For Others.’  This involves a commitment to service, excellence and caring for the St. Louis community, our clients and each other. We celebrate each of these inspiring companies for their achievements and their commitment to being their best for others.” 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 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:

Ameren Corporate Citizen Award - For enhancing the quality of life and making positive changes that impact St. Louisans across the social, cultural and economic spectrum through philanthropic giving, community involvement by employees and/or partnerships with state and local governments.

Winner: Leidos

Leidos specializes in geospatial services and system information technologies, but they are also highly grounded in the community. Reaching out to the St. Louis Public Schools, the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Shenandoah Elementary School (SES) leadership; Leidos' St. Louis employees identified a need to improve educational opportunities for neighborhood children, which led to the formation of the Leidos South Grand Community Partnership Team. The team arranged two book drives to support the school’s library and classrooms and set up a “Leidos Reading Corner” complete with bean bag chairs, donated books and maps, as well as a student award program earning points for math and science book reading. Leidos also hosted four “Exploration Field Trips” to the company’s local office, where employees interacted with and led students through three learning stations highlighting how STEM skills improve everyday life.

Other finalists:

  • Scott Credit Union
  • Sinquefield Charitable Foundation
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: Initiative to Create Awareness, Recognition, and Education on Suicide Prevention (iCARE)
  • The Boeing Company

   BMO Harris Bank St. Louis Spirit Award - For risk-taking, advancing on innovation, cutting-edge technology, or industry best practice that extends St. Louis’ rich history and global reputation as a hub of innovation and forward-looking vision. Winner: Black & Veatch and St. Louis Integrated Health Network (tie) Black and Veatch supported the work of the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition by authoring the first full engineering feasibility study on Hyperloop Technology in North America. As a result, Missouri has become one of the leading contenders worldwide to build an inter-city hyperloop. Nearly one billion people around the world have read about the Missouri Hyperloop project and over 1200 articles have been published highlighting the effort. St. Louis Integrated Health Network (IHN) collaborates across institutional boundaries to improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of healthcare for STL's most vulnerable citizens. In November 2003, administrators from the area’s largest outpatient safety net providers gathered at the first organizational meeting of the St. Louis Integrated Health Network (IHN). IHN’s flagship initiative - PULSE Model - improves coordination and communication so patients and their families are less likely to fall through the cracks. The PULSE model has been recognized on the national and state-wide level for the innovative and forward-thinking approach. Other finalists:

  • GlobalSTL, an initiative of BioSTL
  • St. Louis Mosaic Project of the World Trade Center/St. Louis Economic Development Partnership
  • Wings of Hope

   Achievement in Entrepreneurship - For providing leadership through the launch or growth of a start-up company, contributions to forming early-stage capital, or supporting entrepreneurship training. Winner: Benson Hill Biosystems Benson Hill Biosystems is an agricultural solutions organization, dedicated to delivering; production gains to the agriculture sector by advancing biotech based traits to increase intrinsic yield. Other Finalists:

  • Fusion5
  • Lewis & Clark Ventures
  • New Leaf Symbiotics
  • UMSL Accelerate – University of Missouri-St. Louis

   Achievement in Inclusive Business Solutions - For a corporation or diverse business owner demonstrating exemplary work in the area of inclusive business solutions by achieving measurable growth in the business enterprise over a 1-year period [October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018] or has implemented an innovative solution which includes a diverse business enterprise.

Winner: BioSTL’s Bioscience & Entrepreneurial Inclusion Initiative  BioSTL’s Bioscience & Entrepreneurial Inclusion Initiative works to create a strong STEM innovation community by growing and sustaining diverse, inclusive and equitable opportunities for those who are traditionally underrepresented. The effort has been nationally recognized by the White House and the Kauffman Foundation. BioSTL's Inclusion Initiative offers to include the Entrepreneurially Thinking podcast; VISION, innovation symposium; Ideation Seminars; and Youth Pipeline Programming for corporate and startup exposure. Other Finalists:

  • Challenge Unlimited, Inc.
  • Express Scripts
  • Greater East St. Louis Business Development Association
  • Harris-Stowe State University

   Achievement in Workforce & Talent Development - For providing leadership through the creation of a program or initiative that promotes college degree attainment, improved educational outcomes or on-the-job training. Winner: Mission: St. Louis Mission: St. Louis empowers people to transform their lives, families, and neighborhoods; by creating long-lasting, impactful change (rather than short-term solutions) through three core programs: Beyond School, Beyond Jobs and Beyond Charity. Originating as the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood's source for community revitalization in 2006, Mission: St. Louis has since expanded its efforts to North St. Louis city to provide stabilizing resources. Other Finalists:

  • Ranken Technical College
  • Rose International, Inc.
  • St. Louis Regional Employment Coalition, an initiative of Ready by 21 St. Louis
  • Special School District of St. Louis County

   Achievement in Public Policy - For providing leadership through the creation of a program or initiative that unites the public and private sectors to advance and secure policy necessary to make St. Louis a better place to live, work and invest. Winner: St. Louis City and St. Louis County Task Force for Better Together Better Together supports the St. Louis region by acting as a catalyst for the removal of governmental, economic and racial barriers to the region’s growth and prosperity for all of our citizens. Over five years ago, a group of businesses, community, and civic leaders formed Better Together in response to the decline in population and lack of economic growth across the St. Louis region. The result is the most comprehensive source of data and research on how St. Louis City, St. Louis County and its 88 municipalities function. Other Finalists:

  • Citizens for Modern Transit
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
  • Washington University in St. Louis – Institute for School Partnership

   Achievement in Technology - For the development and use of technology in the area of manufacturing, IT, financial services, biosciences, health, logistics, robotics, AI, etc. Winner: Coolfire Solutions Coolfire Solutions developed the Ronin Platform, a real-time situational awareness delivery platform, built to integrate data from any source and transform it into actionable intelligence. Ronin, developed initially for the U.S. Military, is now being widely adopted by innovative industry leaders such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  Other Finalists:

  • DynaLabs, LLC
  • FinLocker
  • Panera
  • Schnuck Markets, Inc.

   Achievement in Infrastructure and Transportation - For any company, organization or agency that has shown leadership and creativity for innovative programs relative to transportation and infrastructure in the St. Louis Region. This includes, but is not limited to roadways, bridges, airports, railway, waterways, structures, etc. Winner: Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) has operated and maintained the St. Louis rail gateway for 125 years, including both the MacArthur and the Merchants bridges spanning the Mississippi River, 50 miles of mainline track in the Metro area and 150 miles of yard track. In 2014, the TRRA began efforts to design and ultimately construct the replacement structure and worked with its five Class I owners to develop a strategy to fund the work. The TRRA is also working to maintain the MacArthur Bridge so that it will not need to be replaced until the Merchants financing is paid off. Using the latest asset management approach to maintain the MacArthur Bridge, TRRA is working to ensure the St. Louis gateway remains as vibrant and active as it is today. Other Finalists:

  • City of St. Peters, St. Charles County, Duke Realty Public-Private Partnership
  • CityArchRiver Partnership
  • Metro Transit
  • St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC)

  Achievement in Regional Economic Impact – For the creation of quality new jobs in the St. Louis region from the period of October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018. Nominees were, but are not limited to commercial, retail, manufacturing, any type of for-profit or not-for-profit business in the Metropolitan St. Louis Region. Nominees would be from all three areas of enterprises and would be sorted in the appropriate subcategories once the nomination form has been received: Small Enterprises (10 to 49 current full-time employees) Winner: Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois Since 1983, the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois works to unite the region for economic growth through its coalition of 250 board members who are leaders in business, industry, workforce, education, and government. The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois significantly increased membership over the past year to nearly 250, growing committee participation and continuing to fostering economic development in southern Illinois.

Other Finalists:

  • 39 North Global AgTech Innovation District
  • Rockwell Beer Company

   Medium Enterprises (50 to 250 current full-time employees) Winner: GCL Solar Materials GCL Solar Materials (GCLSM) is a research and development company focused on the renewable energy space that provides innovative silicon-based solar energy solutions around the globe. GCL Solar Materials was consolidating operations and chose St. Charles County as its new home, purchasing a 60,000-square-foot office building at 4 Research Park to house a research and development (R&D) center. The company expects to hire 52 new employees in the coming few years. Other Finalists:

  • CEdge Software Consultants
  • BH North America

   Large Enterprises (251 + current full-time employees) Winner: Prairie Farms Since 1938, Prairie Farms has been producing high-quality products and providing fresh, safe and nutritious milk to you and your family. A merger with Iowa-based Swiss Valley Farms, which reported $325 million in annual revenue prior to the sale, helped revenue at Prairie Farms Dairy grow to $3.1 billion. In August, Prairie Farms relocated its headquarters from Carlinville, Illinois, to Edwardsville. Employees from five locations moved into the new offices, which has improved coordination and communications among departments. Other Finalists:

  • Grove Collaborative
  • Sun Basket
  • U. S. Steel Corporation Granite City Works

   Achievement in Cultural Engagement (Sports, Arts, Culture & Entertainment) - For the best example of leadership in organizing and successfully presenting a sporting event, festival, exhibition, media reporting, etc. which showcases the St. Louis region in a positive light, garnering favorable local, national and/or international attention or recognition. Winner: Bellerive Country Club Bellerive Country Club, located in Ladue, hosted the 100th PGA Championship in August 2018. What set Bellerive’s bid to host apart from other contenders was its creation of a charitable foundation for the PGA of America, called PGA REACH. It took 4,200 volunteers to manage and direct the nearly 300,000 championship attendees. Bellerive set a new attendance record for a PGA championship and is a reflection of St. Louis being a great sports town with devoted fans. The economic impact to the region was in excess of $100 million.

  • The Black Rep
  • Gateway Arch Park Foundation
  • Missouri Historical Society
  • St. Louis Sports Commission

   The Arcus People’s Choice Award, sponsored by RubinBrown LLP, was awarded to Wings of Hope. Wings of Hope provides free medical air transport services in the U.S. to people who need specialized medical care not available in their hometowns. Wings of Hope was founded in 1962 by four St. Louis businessmen who learned of a nun in Kenya who needed a new plane to fly medical missions to serve the starving people there. Through its innovative transportation model, Wings of Hope ensures that people are able to travel to St. Louis to access some of the nation’s top medical facilities, including Children’s, Shriners, SSM Cardinal Glennon, and Barnes-Jewish hospitals. Wings of Hope is able to provide its patients and their families with free transportation because it operates with only 14 paid staff and 300 volunteers. Many of its volunteers are retirees from Boeing and Boeing’s Employees Community Fund has provided financial support for years and this fall, Wings of Hope received support from Boeing and Maritz to create a new STEM aviation program for local students, launching in the spring of 2019. The other top 5 finalists were: SIUE iCare (2); Challenge Unlimited, Inc. (3); St. Louis Integrated Health Network (4); and Citizens for Modern Transit (5). 

Congratulations to all the Arcus Awards Finalists!