January 31, 2017

Ronda Sauget
2017 is certainly starting off on a very good path! Please see the below listed
articles to read more about the economic development projects completed and underway throughout SWIL. Many of our Leadership Council firms have experienced record setting revenue for their respective firms, such as Korte Company and Contegra Construction. With other communities showing significant signs of increased development, 2017 seems to be heading in the right direction!
We also want to recognize the other Leadership Council members from Illinois American Water Co. being honored by J.D. Power Award for ranking highest in 2016 Customer Satisfaction among Water Utilities in the Midwest to hospitals, universities, and communities receiving special acknowledgements for their respective quality and community advancement. Please read on to learn more ...


Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
How Illinois Democrats would reform workers' comp
(Crain's Chicago Business, 1/6/17)
Gov. Bruce Rauner recently offered a broad outline of proposed changes to the state's workers' compensation system.
( Read More

With development occurring throughout town, Collinsville sets its sites on Southwest Corridor
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
2016 was a busy year for development in Collinsville with new projects springing up and plans for more on the way.

Korte Company logs $280 million in revenue through projects spread around the country
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
The Korte Company was propelled to a strong year in 2016 by projects ranging in size from 1,000 square feet to more than 800,000 square feet and scattered across the nation from Louisiana to Washington.
Focus on quality of life, development and business retention pays off for Alton
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Improving the quality of life, supporting development and retaining and strengthening businesses is the blueprint the city of Alton followed to a strong 2016.

America's Central Port increases its rail capacity by 30 percent
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
America's Central Port, located in Granite City and Madison, completed two major rail projects in 2016, increasing rail capacity by 30 percent.

157 bridge in St. Clair County to be reopened to traffic
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/19/17)
The Illinois Department of Transportation today announced the bridge carrying Illinois Route 157 over Illinois 161/St. Clair Avenue in St. Clair County will be reopened to traffic beginning Friday afternoon, Jan. 20, weather permitting.
Shrine development could add 500 jobs in Metro East
(St. Louis Business Journal, 1/20/17)
After a delay, the $12 million, 1,000-seat HofbrÀuhaus restaurant in Belleville, the franchise's largest in the U.S., is expected to be completed in late spring or early summer.
Forum March Program: STL Regional Freightway Connects the Dots
(Construction Forum STL, 1/10/17)
Logistics are an economic driver that create growth and jobs across virtually all economic sectors.
Commerce Bank bolsters workforce throughout Southwestern Illinois
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Commerce Bank has been an industry leader for more than 150 years and is committed to serving the Southern Illinois area.
Godfrey to hold public hearing on business expansion plan
(Advantage News, 1/18/17)
The village of Godfrey will hold a public hearing at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Godfrey Village Hall, 6810 Godfrey Road, to discuss a proposed second business district.
St. Clair County Event Center scheduled to open this spring
(Belleville News Democrat, 1/25/17)
The St. Clair County Event Center under construction off Illinois 15 in Belleville is expected to open this spring.

BarberMurphy marks its 10-year anniversary with record volume
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
In 2016, the BarberMurphy Group celebrated its 10th year in business with its best year ever.
St. Louis Regional Airport selected as IDOT's 2016 Reliever Airport of the Year
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
The Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics named St. Louis Regional Airport the Illinois Reliever Airport of the Year for 2016.
Holland Construction celebrates its 30th year
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
The year 2016 was another successful one for Swansea-based Holland Construction Services, thanks to a rising economy and its steadfast commitment to client satisfaction.
Pembrook enjoys return home to take chancellor reins at SIUE
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Dr. Randy Pembrook became the ninth chancellor in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's history on Aug. 1, 2016.
HSHS St. Joseph's - Highland recognized for quality care
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
HSHS St. Joseph's - Highland is proud to be recognized for its dedication and commitment to quality patient care.
SCI Engineering tackles host of area environmental projects
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
For SCI Engineering Inc., business in 2016 reflected its motto that customer loyalty is earned one project at a time.
Poettker wraps big projects, has more on the horizon
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Since opening its doors in 1980, Poettker Construction Co. has enjoyed many successful years, and 2016 was no exception.
Contegra Construction puts up record revenue numbers in 2016
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Thirteen-year-old Contegra Construction finished up its best year ever in 2016 with more than $220 million in revenue.
Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber introduces new growth initiatives
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Leaders of the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce say they had an exciting year, retooling and introducing innovative initiatives designed to serve businesses of all sizes, across industries.
First Clover Leaf Bank becomes First Mid with finalization in '17
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
First Clover Leaf Bank customers will see a new name and look when they open their bank statements early this year.
Illinois American Water Co. honored by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Illinois American Water received the J.D. Power award for ranking highest in customer satisfaction among water utilities in the Midwest according to J.D. Power's 2016 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study.
Associated Bank completes $3 million renovation project
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Associated Bank completed a year-long, $3 million renovation of its branches in Fairview Heights, Alton, East St. Louis, Glen Carbon, Columbia, Millstadt and the one on West Main Street in Belleville in 2016.
Growth Association aims to expand popular high school CEO program
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Alton area high school students are getting a real-world view of business through Riverbend CEO, a program that supporters want to bring to more schools in the next year.
( Read More )

Commerce Bancshares Inc. announces slightly higher fourth quarter earnings
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/19/17)
Commerce Bancshares, Inc., which operates Commerce Bank locations throughout Metro East, says it had earnings of 68 cents per common share for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2016, compared to 65 cents per share in the prior quarter and 60 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2015.
MidAmerica Airport flights more than doubled in past year
(Belleville News Democrat, 1/19/17)
The number of annual passenger flights at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport more than doubled compared to the previous year, according to a report released Thursday at the St. Clair County Public Building Commission meeting.
Memorial Hospital East designated as Acute Stroke Ready Hospital
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/19/17)
Memorial Hospital East has been designated as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
TJ Maxx coming to Edwardsville Crossing
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/23/17)
Edwardsville-area shoppers will have another option to find a good bargain.
Study shows college's impacts on regional economy
(Advantage News, Godfrey, 1/25/17)
Once again, a third-party study has shown that Lewis and Clark Community College remains an economic boon to the region, accounting for 4.7 percent of the gross regional product.
Carpenters Union racks up more than 24 million man-hours - most since 2007
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
In 2016, the Carpenters Regional Council of St. Louis and Kansas City had its best year since 2007.
Development in Belleville is buoyed by volunteer spirit
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
The city of Belleville marked a strong year in 2016 with development occurring throughout the town, according to Mayor Mark Eckert.
Want a tour of the new St. Elizabeth's Hospital in O'Fallon?
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/29/17)
Take a tour of the under construction HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital in O'Fallon, IL, with Peggy Sebastian, president and CEO of HSHS St. Elizabeth's, and project director Sue Beeler.
You have a new place to get your haircut in O'Fallon
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/29/17)
A new barbershop is operating in O'Fallon. Fade 48 opened to the public last month.
Unity Yoga & Wellness holds ribbon cutting
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/27/17)
The O'Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this month for Unity Yoga & Wellness, 129 W. First St.
Solar program will provide decades' worth of benefits
(Alton Telegraph, 1/28/17)
Although the Solarize Godfrey program has wrapped up, the benefits will keep piling up for another two decades or so.
In other news...
Art on the Square is No. 1 in sales - again
(Belleville News Democrat, 1/3/17)
For the sixth time in the past 10 years, Art on the Square in Belleville has been ranked No. 1 in the nation by Art Fair SourceBook based on fine-art sales reported by artists.
Recruitment, hiring among goals of SIUE diversity effort
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/19/17)
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion hosted an action-oriented dialogue among more than 240 campus administrators, faculty, staff and students, and surrounding community leaders, during the Diversity Strategic Plan Summit held Wednesday, Jan. 18, in the Morris University Center.
Monroe County Economic Development Corporation, others plan business workshop
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/19/17)
Monroe County Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with the cities of Columbia and Waterloo, will hold a free workshop on business financing on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
Federal Workforce Development Consortium hosted at SIUE awarded National Soft Skills Training Scholarship
(Riverbender, 1/23/17)
The Building Illinois' Bioeconomy (BIB) Consortium, a federally funded education and training initiative led by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and also comprising four regional community colleges, was selected from a pool of 120 applicants as one of the four recipients of the Wonderlic scholarship for a soft skills training program.
RBGA director Monica Bristow subject of fourth annual PRIDE, Inc. Roast
(Riverbender, Godfrey, 1/20/17)
A sold-out crowd packed the Ahlmeyer Atrium at the Trimpe Building of Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC) Thursday evening to celebrate, and poke a little fun at, Riverbend Growth Association (RBGA) Executive Director Monica Bristow.
SIUE's master's in physical education tabbed among nation's best values
(Riverbender, 1/20/17)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's master's in physical education and coaching pedagogy ranks among the top 25 programs in the nation, being recognized for Best Value by Top Online Colleges.
Illinois American Water provides water assistance to more than 900 Illinoisans through help program
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/25/17)
In an ongoing partnership between the state's Salvation Army agencies and Illinois American Water, at least 925 Illinois American Water residential customers received financial assistance in 2016 to help with payment of their water bills.
More than $300,000 in scholarships available at L&C
(Advantage News, 1/26/17)
Students planning to attend Lewis and Clark Community College next fall can now apply for a cut of nearly $300,000 in scholarships.
SIUE students to introduce girls to engineering fields
(Advantage News, 1/23/17)
The Society of Women Engineers at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is hosting its fifth annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in the SIUE School of Engineering building.
Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation gets breast health services program grant
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program has awarded a $38,000 one-year grant to the Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation START NOW Breast Health Services Program.
McKendree draws big names in The Hett's first decade
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/10/17)
Hundreds of stellar names have appeared in the Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, during the 10 years of its existence.
This business will teach your kids life skills through theater
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/29/17)
From a young age, Tress Kurzym remembers wanting to learn more about theater.
Great Rivers, great grub
(Advantage News, 1/29/17)
One of Alton's newest restaurants doesn't look to intimidate with pricey plates or a stuffy atmosphere.
Belleville chamber honors businesses, individuals at annual dinner
(Belleville News Democrat, 1/26/17)
Peace by Piece Co., a clothing and jewelry store in downtown Belleville, and SCORE of Southwestern Illinois, a nonprofit association that helps small businesses, received the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce's Business Excellence Award Thursday night.
SIUE SBDC helps local entrepreneur launch publication dedicated to preserving life stories
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1/27/17)
Bringing people together to share their life stories is what entrepreneur Mike Stith, founder of One Legacy LLC, has been doing for two years.
IERC and IBHE publish "Voices from the Field: Collaborative Innovations in Early Childhood Educator Preparation"
(Riverbender, Edwardsville, 1/27/17)
The Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has collaborated with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) to publish Voices from the Field:  Collaborative Innovations in Early Childhood Educator Preparation.
RBGA annual meeting awards several honorees
(Riverbender, Godfrey, 1/27/17)
The Riverbend Growth Association (RBGA) held its Annual Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, at the Commons of Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC) with a sold out crowd in attendance.
Alton Main Street planning new cultural festival
(Advantage News, 1/30/17)
Alton Main Street will present a new cultural celebration Saturday, March 18, aptly named Small Town - Big World.
SIUE expands use of renewable electricity
(Alton Telegraph, 1/28/17)
As of January 2017, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is purchasing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources through the use of renewable energy credits.
Leadership Council members associated with projects


EFK Moen

America's Central Port Logo

BARBERMurphy Group

Madison County IL

Holland Logo

St. Elizabeth's Hosp

Memorial Hospital

McKendree Logo

Logo St. Joseph

Ameren IL Logo 




Lewis & Clark Logo



St. Louis Regional Chamber  


Korte logo

MidAmerica Logo  


Memorial Hospital

Riverbend Growth Association


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Contact Information

Ronda Sauget, Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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