March 12, 2019


As the clocks spring forward this weekend, so does the continual flow of positive news from all over the Metro East.

During the 6th Annual Arcus Awards, The St. Louis Regional Chamber honored companies and organizations for their contribution to the St. Louis region’s economic growth, including Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, which took home the award for Achievement in Regional Economic Impact - Small Enterprise. On behalf of our entire organization, I want to specifically thank Rob Pickerell, Mike Riley, and Jay Korte for their efforts in chairing important committees whose accomplishments helped capture this honor, and I congratulate all our members who support our work and should be proud of this recognition. We couldn't do it without you! 

In celebration of Read Across America Day, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, local Union Pacific employees and special guest Clifford the Big Red Dog visited with students at Bluffview Elementary School in Dupo, Ill., on Mar. 1 and read the new Scholastic book, “Clifford and the Railroad Crossing.” Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program partnered with Safe Kids Worldwide and Scholastic to create the Clifford book designed to teach valuable lessons about safe behavior around railroad tracks in a fun and engaging way. Outreach like this continues the work of our campaign to connect employers with students, teachers, parents and guidance counselors and other influencers.

In addition, we are delighted to announce that a sold-out crowd of nearly 450 guests is expected to attend the 2019 Salute to Southwestern Illinois Awards Dinner on Mar. 21, and we would like to thank all our sponsors and others planning to attend for their tremendous support!

Continue reading on for more exciting news related to additional investments in various sectors, including infrastructure, healthcare, education and retail. Have a great day!

Dr. Ronda Sauget
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director and CEO
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
104 Magnolia Drive, Ste B
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
Arcus Award 2019
The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois won the St. Louis Arcus Award for Achievement in Regional Economic Impact - Small Enterprise.

Congratulations to all the Leadership Council Board Members and partners for all that you do to make a difference in our region daily, which contributed to this win for Southwestern Illinois!  
St. Louis Regional Chamber announces Arcus award winners
(Clayton Times, 3/4/2019)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The St. Louis Regional Chamber honored companies and organizations for their contribution to the St. Louis region’s economic growth at the 6th Annual Arcus Awards. The Arcus Awards were held on Thursday, notably in Academy-Awards-style. RubinBrown LLP presented the program and KMOX’s Tom Ackerman was the host. Arcus, Latin for ‘arch’ is used to symbolize the Gateway Arch, the unifying symbol of the bi-state region. (Read More)

Metro East mixed-use project grows in price, rebrands
(St. Louis Business Journal, 2/13/2019)
A mixed-use development on the former site of the Madison Mutual Insurance Co. headquarters in Edwardsville has been rebranded as Trace on the Parkway. The project, previously known as Edwardsville Town Center, is located at Governors Parkway and Illinois Route 157 and has grown from an initial projection of $35 million to $50 million. (Read More)

Siteman Cancer Center patients help mark future location at Memorial East
(Illinois Business Journal, 2/25/2019)
Siteman Cancer Center, patients and local leaders gathered Friday, Feb. 22, to mark the start of construction of Siteman's newest facility, at Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh. Washington University Physicians in Illinois Inc. will provide specialty cancer care to patients when it opens in early 2020. The event featured cancer patients and their physicians coming together to sign a steel support beam that will become part of the building. (Read More)

Highland plans to merge business districts to fund $7 million public safety building
(Belleville News-Democrat, 2/18/2019)
HIGHLAND – Highland is moving forward with a plan that will consolidate two of the business districts the city created two years ago. The move comes as a precaution, City Manager Mark Latham said last week. During their planning process, he said it was believed that sales tax revenue raised in the districts could be used throughout the three business districts Highland created. (Read More)

Federal grant to support Mitchell area rail work
(Advantage News, 2/12/2019)
“Dozens of freight trains used the old Lenox Interlocking System each day, slowing traffic and causing significant delays for rail and highway users,” Duckworth said. “This critical funding for the Illinois Department of Transportation will help our state modernize the interlocking and relieve this bottleneck to improve reliability and bring local jobs to Madison County, while also updating our regional and national transportation systems. I am committed to working with Senator Durbin and local leaders to promote infrastructure investments across the state and bring home as many federal dollars as possible.” (Read More)
 In celebration of Read Across America Day, Clifford the Big Red Dog and local Union Pacific employees and community business members from the Leadership Council’s speakers bureau visited students at Bluffview Elementary School on March 1st to read the new Scholastic book, “Clifford and the Railroad Crossing.” In this highly anticipated book, Clifford learns about railroad crossing safety alongside his closest friend Emily Elizabeth and her teammates who are going to a softball game. In addition, students were given books, conductor hats, and
Area parks in line for $1.37 million in PEP grants
(Advantage News, 3/6/2019)
Madison County will award $1.37 million in funding for park and recreation projects throughout the county. The Grants Committee will vote Monday on a resolution authorizing $1,371,495 in Park Enhancement Program grants. The Parks and Recreation Grant Commission approved the grants Friday and the County Board will take action March 20. (Read More)

SIUE Trustees approve campus renovations
(, 2/14/2019)
EDWARDSVILLE - The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees, at its regularly scheduled meeting on the Edwardsville campus today, approved SIUE to renovate an aspect of its Student Success Center (SSC) and the Morris University Center (MUC) Starbucks. The SSC’s $525,000 renovation includes expanding the Office for Accessible Campus Community and Equitable Student Support (ACCESS), formerly known as Disability Support Services. ACCESS needs to accommodate more than 700 students requiring assistance for testing services, and relocate its smart seminar room and computer lab space. (Read More)

Retail Roundup: Walmart building revived; Jimmy John’s leaves downtown Belleville
(Belleville News-Democrat, 2/17/2019)
The former Walmart building on Carlyle Plaza Drive in Belleville has sat vacant since 2008, when Walmart moved to Green Mount Crossing, but a Miami developer plans to resurrect the sprawling space with an indoor self-storage business. David Bernstein, president of Larkspur Properties, wants to renovate the building and install 650 to 700 storage units of varying sizes. The storage industry is booming, he said. (Read More)

Glen Carbon OKs rezoning, preliminary plat for Bear Creek Estates subdivision
(Edwardsville Inteliigencer, 2/28/2019)
GLEN CARBON — During its Tuesday meeting, the Glen Carbon board of village trustees approved rezoning 814 Glen Crossing Road from agricultural to single-family residential. This was done in anticipation of subdividing a five-acre parcel of land to erect six new lots on a single cul-de-sac street to be called Bear Creek Estates, developed by Cade Osborn. (Read More)

New retail shop opens in downtown Belleville, O’Fallon movie theater expands
(Belleville News-Democrat, 3/3/2019)
Downtown Belleville continues to attract more retailers to Main Street. This time, a motorcycle parts, leather and apparel shop has joined the lineup of newcomers at 117 W. Main St. Charlene Cox and Mike Bielke, former Harley-Davidson employees, own and operate Barstool Gypsy. The store opened inside of a former print shop in February after the space had been vacant for five years. (Read More)

Southern Illinois seeks funding for campuses, highway expansion
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 3/5/2019)
SPRINGFIELD — Local officials from southern Illinois told state lawmakers Monday their highest priorities in a hoped-for public works package are upgrades to college and university campuses and expansion of regional highways. That expansion would include a proposed “Southwest Illinois Connector” linking the Carbondale and Murphysboro areas to the eastern edge of the St. Louis metropolitan area. (Read More)

Miami-based developer purchases former Toys R Us and Babies R Us buildings in Fairview Heights
(Belleville News-Democrat, 3/5/2019)
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS – Less than a year after the nation’s top toy-chain closed, a new owner will take over the buildings previously occupied by Toys R Us and Babies R Us in Fairview Heights. The Miami real estate investment firm, Corbin Holdings, recently purchased the properties on Commerce Lane. Corbin Holdings principal Ajay Dhawan confirmed the acquisition Tuesday, but would not disclose the purchase price. (Read More)

SIUE: Developing and Deepening Community Engagement Partnerships for Learning, Inquiry, and Change, 3.29.2019
Thank You to All of Our
Annual Dinner Sponsors….

Centerpiece Sponsor
IllinoiSouth Tourism

Wine Sponsors
Raifort Properties

Presentation and Award
Anders CPAs + Advisors
Holland Construction Services
Impact Strategies
McKendree University
Memorial Network BJC Healthcare
Southern Illinois Builders Association
Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program
TheBANK of Edwardsville

Program Sponsors
Ameren Illinois
icon Mechanical
Mathis, Marifian, & Richter, LTD
Poettker Construction
Prairie State Generating Company
Regional Business Council
Truck Centers, Inc.

Music Sponsors
Enterprise Holdings
Express Employment Professionals
Jackson Lewis P.C.
J.F. Electric
St. Louis Bank
The Korte Co
Visionary Wealth Advisors
Webster University - Scott AFB
Appetizer Sponsors
Barber Murphy
Cork Tree Creative
Donco Electrical Construction, LLC
Egyptian Workspace Partners
Friends of Latoya Greenwood
Geotechnology, Inc.
Hank’s Excavating & Landscaping, Inc.
Horner & Shifrin
Korte & Luitjohan Contractors
Louer Facility Planning, Inc.
Oates Associates
Regions Bank
SCI Engineering, Inc.
SW IL Building and Construction Trades Council

Table Sponsors
Ameren Illinois
Anders CPAs + Advisors
Associated Bank
Carrollton Bank
Enterprise Holdings
First National Bank
Gateway Motorsports Park
Gulfstream Aerospace
Hank’s Excavating & Landscaping, Inc.
Horner & Shifrin
HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
icon Mechanical
Illinois American Water Company
Impact Strategies
Mathis, Marifian, & Richter, LTD
McKendree University
MG+M, The Law Firm
Phillips 66 Co.—Wood River Refinery
Prairie State Generating Company
Professional Therapy Services
Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois
Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation
Southwestern Illinois College
St. Louis Bank
St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters
St. Louis Regional Chamber
Steamfitters Local 439
Truck Centers, Inc.

Thank you to the Leadership Council's Program Sponsors: