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September 19, 2011


Greetings ~ 


A number of our region's top institutions and Leadership Council members made news over the last few weeks as they reached key milestones, earned national recognition or reported other types of progress that speaks well of our region. We also were pleased to hear that Gateway International Raceway will return as an exciting entertainment venue under new leadership. Read on for all the details, and remember to keep us in the loop when your business or organization is in the news and make sure you share any construction photos with us.


Have a great week!



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Tourism up in state, Madison County (The Edwardsville Intelligencer, 9/6/11)


Each of the 19 counties in the Tourism Bureau ILLINOISouth's service area, which includes Madison & St. Clair counties, experienced an increase in tourism between 2009 and 2010. Madison County earned $316.4 million in tourism revenue in 2010, an increase of 3.4 percent from 2009, according to Illinois Office of Tourism. St. Clair County, posted a 6.9 percent increase in tourism dollars spent in 2010, for a total of $408.6 million. The 2010 total for all 19 counties combined was $994.8 million, a clear indication that tourism remains a key economic driver for our region. (Read More).


Group aims to revive Gateway race track (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9/8/11)

  Gateway Race Track 

Gateway International Raceway is on track to once again becoming an economic driver for the Metro East area. A group of investors led by former professional racecar driver Curtis Francois is leasing the Gateway International Raceway for one year for the return of the National Hot Rod Association's Midwest Nationals. The Midwest Nationals will take place Oct. 5-7, 2012, as part of the "Countdown to the Championship" event.

 (Read More).



 SWIDA surpasses $1 billion in bonds issued (Belleville News-Democrat, (9/12/2011)


The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority, a long-time Leadership Council member, recently reached a key milestone as it topped $1 billion in bonds issued. Throughout the organization's 23-year history, SWIDA has played a significant role in the economic growth of the Metro East area, providing bond financing for 75 projects and helping to create or retain over 9,000 jobs in Bond, Clinton, Madison and St. Clair counties. (Read More). 


 SIUE rated among top master's level schools (The Edwardsville Intelligencer, 9/10/2011)


SIUE Picture and Logo  

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has once again been recognized for its efforts to train the workforce of tomorrow while encouraging students to be engaged and productive citizens. For the second consecutive year, the university ranked among the top 50 of 533 master's programs in the U.S. by Washington Monthly magazine. The magazine ranks universities based upon service, social mobility and research. SIUE was also named, with distinction, to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. (Read More).


Lake St. Louis, Granite City hospitals rank on quality report (St. Louis Business Journal, 9/14/11)


Kudos to Leadership Council member Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City, which has been recognized by The Joint Commission, a nonprofit health-care accreditation agency. Gateway Regional, along with St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake St. Louis, was recognizedfor "Top Performance on Key Quality Measures" in heart attack, pneumonia, heart failure and surgical care. Gateway Regional ranks among the top 14 percent of the Joint Commission's 3,000 accredited hospitals. (Read More).


Hot summer keeps roadwork on time (The Edwardsville Intelligencer, 9/14/11)


The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) made significant progress over the summer on its $42.3 million project to reconstruct 11 miles of I-55 from just north of Illinois 140 to the I-55/70/270 interchange outside of Troy. Recently, IDOT completed two key pieces of the project, including the resurfacing of the southbound ramps at Illinois 140 and I-55 and renovation of the ramps at Illinois 143 and I-55. The overall project is scheduled for completion by Nov. 15. (Read More).


U.S. News and World Report gives local universities high marks (Belleville News Democrat, 9/14/11)


McKendree University captured a spot in the top 25 percent of all regional universities in the Midwest, as reported by U.S. News and World Report. This year represents the first time McKendree was listed among universities instead of area colleges, and it ranked 44 of 146 in the Midwest. SIUE is listed as an "up-and-coming" school for the third consecutive year and one of the best regional universities in the Midwest for the eighth year in a row. Both universities are members of the Leadership Council.

(Read More).
Contact Information

Patrick McKeehan

Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois



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