January 27, 2016 

Ronda Sauget
We have many exciting stories in this week's Good NewsLink!  In this edition, we see significant momentum forward with economic development projects, university programs, and many of our members advancing the region ahead. Our legislators are uniting behind efforts to attract the NGA to Scott AFB site located in St. Clair County, Illinois. America's Central Port is seen as a catalyst for economic growth and Madison County economic incentives set the stage for further development activities.
This issue illustrates the significant number of our members that are driving economic development projects forward in growing our overall regional economy.  
Please read on to learn more about the continued momentum and enjoy the other stories included in this week's Good NewsLink!

Ronda Sauget

Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
  
 
Senators make pitch to bring center to St. Clair County
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/09/2016)
The fate of the most important job project in St. Clair County history rests in the hands of one man: Robert Cardillo.Cardillo is director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a highly classified intelligence agency that makes maps based on satellite imagery.

Metro-east levees perform as designed during December flood
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/20/2016)
Despite record flooding in parts of Missouri last month, levees along the Mississippi River, and the Carlyle Lake reservoir, performed as designed, resulting in significantly less damage in Illinois, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.
(Read More)

Columbia again eyes I-255 interchange
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/09/2016)
City officials plan to move forward this year on a long-stalled effort to build an interchange to help develop more than 2,000 acres of prime land along Interstate 255 just east of the Mississippi River. 

U.S. awards $25 million grant to the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/2016)
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., announced today that the U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded a $25 million grant to the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center help local manufacturers grow and compete.
Legislature approves four enterprise zones
(Advantage News, 1/13/2016)

Four enterprise zones in Madison County were included in a bill approved by the Illinois legislature that extended the life of the state's enterprise zones for 25 years and created a number of new zones.
(Read More)

New South Harbor underway at America's Central Port, seen as growth catalyst
(Illinois Business Journal 1/22/2016)
 
With plans first penned in the 1990s and a design phase that began in the 2000s, completed construction of the new South Harbor at America's Central Port in 2015 was met with high levels of both anticipation and reward. 
(Read More) 

State agency approves enterprise zone in Madison County
(St. Louis Post Dispatch, 1/6/2016)
The state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has approved an enterprise zone that includes part of Granite City and parts of Madison and Venice.
 
Shiloh board commits to spending up to $6 million to pay for mine remediation at Green Mount Crossing
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/7/2016)

The Shiloh board of trustees approved adopting a Green Mount Crossing Business District plan, which will impose an additional retail sales tax increase of up to 1 percent.

Ashe elected president of Southern Illinois Builders Association
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/12/2016)
Steve Ashe, E.T. Simonds Construction Co., Carbondale, has been elected president of the Southern Illinois Builders Association.
(Read More)

O'Fallon 5th best city for Illinois families in 2016
(O'Fallon Illinois, 1/14/2016) 
Mayor Gary L. Graham is pleased to announce that O'Fallon was recently named the 5th Best City for Illinois Families in 2016 by WalletHub, a consumer advocacy site.
 
Madison County announces addition to economic development team
(RiverBender, 1/12/2016)
Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan today announced Austin Korns has joined the county's economic development team as an Economic Development Specialist. Korns previously was an economic development planner with America's Central Port.

Gateway Motorsports Park owner reaches out to Rams totalk to employeesabout possibilities
(Riverbender, 1/15/2016)
Just two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal recognized St. Louis as the Best City to be a Fan in 2015.
(Read More) 

US Steel's Granite City Works gets new top exec
(St. Louis Business Journal, 1/15/2016)
Michael Terry has been named acting plant manager for U.S. Steel's Granite City Works.
  
U.S. News ranks SIUE School of Nursing Online Programs among elite
(Riverbender, 1/14/2015)

Laura Bernaix, interim dean of School of Nursing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
(Read More)
 
City to launch new economic website
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/16/2016)

Edwardsville Economic Development Director Walt Williams showed off the city's new economy website that should help attract potential businesses to the area.
(Read More)

Allegiant to begin flights to Destin-Fort Walton Beach out of MidAmerica Airport
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/12/2016)
Allegiant Airlines announced Tuesday it will begin offering twice-weekly flights from MidAmerica Airport to Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
 
Governor creates program to advance minority entrepreneurship
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/19/2016)
Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today the creation of a program to improve the economic climate for minority and women-owned businesses in Illinois.
(Read More)
It's official: Memorial affiliates with BJC
(St. Louis Business Journal, 1/6/2016)
The planned strategic affiliation between Belleville's Memorial Group and BJC HealthCare went into effect Jan.1.

SWIC dean says cybersecurity effort places region in important realm
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
Dr. Janet Fontenot, dean of the business division at Southwestern Illinois College, says the new Midwest Cyber Center for Excellence places the region in the middle of one of the biggest challenges of the modern age.
(Read More)
Anderson seeks approval for affiliation with Staunton hospital
(St. Louis Business Journal, 1/20/2016)
Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois, is moving forward with an affiliation with a hospital in neighboring Staunton, Illinois, seeking approval for the move from state regulators.
(Read More)
Touchette Regional Hospital opens new Behavioral Health Center
(Illinois Business Journal 1/12/2016)
The newly expanded Behavioral Health Center at Touchette Regional Hospital will open Wednesday, offering a welcoming and open environment to those affected by mental illness.
(Read More)

Ameren Illinois modernizing energy infrastructure in the Metro East
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
Ameren Illinois says the work it is doing to modernize its natural gas and electric infrastructure is making a difference in service reliability for businesses and residents in the Metro East.  
(Read More) 

SIUE trade center assists local business
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/23/2016)
For three decades, Progressive Recovery, Inc. in Dupo has been designing and manufacturing equipment to help customers recycle and/or process hazardous waste.

Chief nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital named interim CEO
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/12/2016)

Hospital Sisters Health System announced Tuesday the appointment of Beth Govero as interim president and CEO of St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland.
 
Southern Illinois Builders Association Exceeds Project Goal In 2015
(St. Louis CNR, 1/7/2016)
The Southern Illinois Builders Association projected that they would receive approximately 1,066 new projects in 2015.
(Read More)
 
Korte Company fulfilling contracts locally, nationally
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016
) 
The Korte Company is diversifying its client base and project profiles on a national level, resulting in solid sales growth in 2015. 
(Read More) 

Sheppard Morgan & Schwaab marked award-winning year in2015
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016) 

Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab, Inc. is a civil engineering and land surveying firm located in Alton with a history dating back to 1892. 
(Read More) 
City of Alton adds new investments, opportunities, experiences
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
Alton enjoyed many successes in the past year, Mayor Brant Walker says.
(Read More) 
Edwardsville considers new business district
(Alton Telegraph, 1/19/2016)
The approval of a proposed business district could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales tax revenue for the city over the next 20 years, but officials say they still have questions about the viability of the plan.

BARBERMurphy Group brokers sale of former Sauget industrial plant
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
Shiloh-based BARBERMurphy Group celebrated year's end by landing a huge commercial real estate deal - one that will rehabilitate and rejuvenate a longtime dormant industrial plant, which will again be available for heavy industrial uses. 
(Read More) 
County Tabs New Economic Specialist
(WBGZ, 1/17/2016)
Half of the population of the United States lives within 750 miles of the Riverbend and leaders in Madison County hope an appointment made last week will put the county in a better position economically.
 
Federal commission's ruling could result in lower electricity rates
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/5/2016)

In a decision that could bring relief to the pocketbooks of Ameren Illinois electricity customers, a federal commission has ordered new rules for how electricity is sold and supplied.

Powers named Bank of Edwardsville's 13th president, opens new branches
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)

The year 2015 was significant for the Bank of Edwardsville beginning with the hiring of Kevin Powers as the institution's 13th president and chief executive officer March 2.
(Read More)
 
Metro-east's first medical cannabis dispensary holds media-only open house
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/6/2016)

The first medical marijuana dispensary ready to open in the metro-east held a media-only open house Wednesday at its new retail facility in Eastport Plaza.
 
SIUE award looks to promote discoveries
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/8/2016)

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Interim Chancellor Stephen Hansen has announced the creation of the Concept Commercialization Award to support University innovation and encourage industry investment. 

Business caters to home brewers
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/6/2016)
Home brewers and vintners now have a local resource for all of their beer and wine making needs.

Anderson Hospital Auxiliary presents annual donation
(Riverbender, 1/13/2016)

Anderson Hospital Auxiliary Board Members recently presented a check for $85,000 to Anderson Hospital President and CEO, Keith Page.
(Read More)
 
Q&A with Ronda L. Sauget, new executive director of Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
 
IBJ: It's seems to us like everything you've done to this point in your career prepared you for this moment.
(Read More) 

Commerce turns 150, reflects on banking then, now and in future
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
In 2015, Commerce Bank celebrated its 150th anniversary. Commerce has grown from a single bank in 1865 to more than 190 branches in five states with a payments system that operates nationally.   
(Read More)
Bike trail, bus and commuter efforts highlight Madison County Transit District's year
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
A major bike trail overhaul, improvements to bus service and an energized car and van pooling program have all worked to the benefit of Madison County Transit and the public it serves.
(Read More) 
NAI DESCO says Gander Mountain location is becoming a regional draw
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
 
NAI DESCO negotiated a transaction on behalf of developer Darrell Shelton that brought another large retailer to Southwestern Illinois in 2015, benefiting local shoppers and merchants alike.
(Read More)
Poettker Construction cites big projects, safety record in strong year
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
 
Building relationships and buildings in the safest, most efficient and budget-conscious way possible has been Poettker Construction Company's mission since 1980.    
(Read More) 
IMPACT Strategies building Ameren facility
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)

Fairview Heights-based IMPACT Strategies says construction has begun on a new $5.3 million facility in Decatur for Ameren Illinois.
(Read More) 
Luna dining restaurant comes to O'Fallon
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/18/2016)

Luna-a casual dining restaurant-has entered the O'Fallon business scene.
(Read More)

Alton Shogun Japanese Steak House to open doorsFeb. 1
(Riverbender, 1/15/2016)

The opening of the Shogun Japanese Steak House in Alton has been much anticipated and residents will be able to taste its delights come Feb. 1.
(Read More)
 
Business: Farm Credit returns nearly $1 million to farmers
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/22/2016)
Farm Credit Illinois credited interest charged on operating loans during November back to the loan for more than 2,800 members, accumulating a near $1 million of total interest credit.
(Read More)

Bank welcomes new vice president
(Advantage News, 1/21/2016)
First National Bank Bethalto Banking Center announces it is adding Vice President Bonnie Coleman to the bank's team.
(Read More)

Kunkel Commercial Group lists two, new Class-A office buildings
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
Kunkel Commercial Group landed two of the largest office projects in Southwestern Illinois in 2015: the Green Mount Road Professional Building in O'Fallon and the Park Street Plaza in Edwardsville.
(Read More)
Homebuyer program, Hackathon help Highland lure interest
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
Seven homeowners so far have jumped at the chance to be part of the city's plan to reinvest in its oldest housing. 
(Read More) 
Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce enjoys big year, plans move
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016) 
An abundance of development throughout 2015 in Edwardsville and Glen Carbon - office, retail, commercial, industrial and recreational - began transforming the regional landscape.
(Read More)

Collinsville will greet completion of Collins Park in coming year
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
 
Transformation of a key entrance to the Uptown area is underway and should be completed early in 2016.
(Read More) 
RiverBend Growth Association helps rollout CEO, Bike MS initiatives
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
While continuing to provide its core member services, including hosting monthly networking events and providing ongoing review of economic impact factors for its members, the RiverBend Growth Association also manages to keep adding new initiatives and events to an already extensive list of member and community services. 
(Read More) 

Construction begins on the Park Street Plaza project in Downtown Edwardsville
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)

Ground was broken in November 2015 on the $13 million Park Street Plaza development at the corner of Park and Buchanan streets in Edwardsville.

Main Street Abbey, 11 South among projects to watch in Columbia
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
  
The city is seeing progress on multiple fronts, starting at its front door and working down Main Street.
(Read More)
 
Bi-State Development creates new regional freight district and taps Lamie as its exec
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
 
Bi-State Development launched the St. Louis Regional Freight District on July 1 last year.
(Read More) 

Port district begins new construction project
(The Alton Telegraph, 1/23/2015)
America's Central Port has closed on financing for the first phase of its warehouse expansion project, the port Director Dennis Wilmsmeyer announced in a press release this week.
 
Belleville's Community Development Network targets six issues to improve city
(Belleville News Democrat, 1/24/2016)
 The city's Community Development Network is on a mission to "solve problems."
(Read More)
 
Don Vichitvongsa chats with Lee Presser about the Manufacture your Future campaign
(Charter Communications - Conversation with Lee Presser, 1/18/2016)
With 1,500 high paying job openings expected in the manufacturing sector in Southwestern Illinois in the next five years, regional leaders launched a marketing and outreach initiative to link today's high school students to the career opportunities which will be available in the trades
 

Small-aircraft company has big plans at St. Louis Regional
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)

Big River Aviation is starting small at St. Louis Regional Airport, but the company's on a flight path to greater heights
 
Madison County spends year building progress, including levees
(Illinois Business Journal 1/22/2016)
In the last days of 2015, Chairman Alan Dunstan issued a declaration of disaster for Madison County as days of heavy rains caused flooding severe enough to approach levels of the historic 1993 floods.
 
Memorial Hospital forms affiliation with BJC, adds new facility
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/22/2016)
Serving Belleville and the Metro East since 1958, Memorial Hospital is again strengthening its presence and its service offerings to patients throughout the region.
 
St. Louis Downtown Airport planning taxiway improvements for larger craft
(Illinois Business Journal 1/22/2016)
The charter-flight business of St. Louis Downtown Airport is booming and the facility has plans to help that progress along.
(Read More)
 
Center for Humanities, Fab Lab make great year for Lewis and Clark Community College
(Illinois Business Journal 1/22/2016)
The year 2015 will long be remembered for the expanded commitment Lewis and Clark Community College made to the Edwardsville community.
(Read More)
 
Ameren Illinois upgrades gas system in Madison
(Illinois Business Journal 1/22/2016)
Ameren Illinois has completed upgrades to the natural gas infrastructure in Madison. 
 
New Lebanon restaurant is offshoot of Tavern on Main
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/22/2016)
The owner of Tavern on Main, Shenanigan's and Marco's on Main in Belleville has opened a new restaurant in Lebanon.
 
Edwardsville ranks 12th in latest survey
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/23/2016)

Wallethub.com has listed Edwardsville as the 12th best community for Illinois families, but Mayor Hal Patton said the city will work to climb even higher on the list. 

In Other News
AT&T names new vice president and general manager for Southern Illinois
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/7/2016)

AT&T has named Tammi Terrell vice president and general manager to oversee business in Missouri, Kansas and Southern Illinois.
(Read More)

SIUE assistant prof wins prestigious honor for engineering paper
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/18/2016)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Timothy York, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has earned the coveted 2016 IEEE Donald G. Fink Award.
(Read More)
 
SIUE teacher education unit receives national reaccreditation
(Alton Telegraph, 1/8/2016)
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Education, Health and Human Behavior (SEHHB) has achieved accreditation through 2022 under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards.
(Read More)
Allison Cassens Early Childhood Development Center receives Bronze Circle of Quality honor
(RiverBender, 1/13/2016)
The Allison Cassens Early Childhood Development Center received the Bronze Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois, the state's new quality recognition and improvement system for early learning and development providers.
(Read More)
 
Higher Education: Vatterott chooses new leader for Fairview Heights campus
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/12/2016)
Vatterott College-Fairview Heights has chosen Kim Gillespie as its new campus director.
(Read More)

JCH scored by CMS as among safest hospitals in region for surgical procedures
(Riverbender, 1/15/2016)
Jersey Community Hospital (JCH) recently earned a score of a 1.5, which was the best among all hospitals in this region.
(Read More)
 
1st MidAmerica donates to CAC
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/13/2016)
Three golf tournaments, countless hours of planning, and hundreds of children's lives changed forever.
(Read More)

Gori Julian expands to nationwide firm
(Alton Telegraph, 1/16/2016)
Illinois-based asbestos litigation firm Gori Julian & Associates, P.C., recently announced the expansion of its practice with the opening of offices in Los Angeles and New Orleans.
(Read More)
 
Freer kicks off milestone year of sharing and caring
(Alton Telegraph, 1/16/2016)
Freer Auto Body is kicking off its 25th year in business by making a donation of child car seats to Alton Memorial Hospital.
(Read More)

Elite Sales expands reach with U-Haul dealership in Madison
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/12/2016)

U-Haul Company of Illinois Inc. has announced that Elite Sales has signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer to serve the Madison, Ill., community.
(Read More)

Freer Auto Body and Accessories recognized as I-CAR Gold Class Professional for 12th straight year
(Riverbender, 1/7/2016)
Freer Auto Body and Accessories, Inc. 4512 N. Alby Road, Godfrey, IL is recognized as I-CAR Gold Class Professionals for the 12th consecutive year.
(Read More)
 
Unity Hospice names employee of the year
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/6/2016)
Unity Hospice of Greater St. Louis, located in Collinsville, has named Anne Chida its 2015 Employee of the Year.
(Read More)

Travel company recognizes Alton's Beall Mansion
(Advantage News, 1/6/2016)
The Beall Mansion An Elegant Bed and Breakfast Inn announced it has received a TripAdvisor Service Excellence Award.
(Read More)

 


Leadership Council members associated with projects in this issue

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Madison County IL


Korte logo











Massman Construction 


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Ameren IL Logo


gateway commerce center




Memorial Hospital










Anderson Hospital


St. Elizabeth's Hosp


NAI DESCO


America's Central Port Logo







 

SunCoke Energy























 








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Riverbend Growth Association



Lewis & Clark Logo


St. Louis Regional Chamber



McKendree Logo





_______________________


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Learn more about Scott Patriot at scottpatriot.com

  
  
    
Contact Information

Ronda Sauget, Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois

618-692-9745

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