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In This Issue
Christmas in St. Charles

There are many events happening on Historic Main Street to celebrate the holidays. Here are just a few:


Receive weekly enews and updates from the City of St. Charles.

Details of all construction and road projects can be found on the City's website. 

St. Charles CAPS program starts up

The St. Charles Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program is a joint venture between the City of St. Charles and Orchard Farm School Districts. The goal is to provide junior and senior levels students with real world business experience.  (Read more...)

Provenance Soapworks

Carolyn Holden, owner of Provenance Soapworks, explains that she receives inspiration for her products from the scents and sights from her travels.    Visit Provenance Soapworks at 311 S. Main.  

The City of St. Charles Economic Development and the EDC Business & Community Partners have both received their AEDO re-accreditation by the International Economic Development Council. (IEDC) 


Let me start by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Joyous Holidays and a Happy New Year!
With record low unemployment, high consumer confidence, continued business investment and the advent of our famed "Christmas Traditions," St. Charles is the center of everything great in the St. Louis region. 
This was verified in late November when we proudly hosted President Donald Trump to speak to a large gathering at the St. Charles Convention Center. Political preferences aside, it is an exciting opportunity when we can host the President of the United States. The amount of positive national attention we received from this visit was truly outstanding.  In his speech, President Trump noted that St. Charles is the home of the famed Lewis & Clark Expedition and touted the success of our business community.
St. Charles and St. Charles County created the blue print for economic success in the greater St. Louis region.  To be the national focal point is a true testament to the great things we are doing.

Because...If it's happening, it most definitely is happening in St. Charles!

Thank you,
 Sally Sig photoshop 
Mayor Sally Faith
President Trump Visits St.Charles

On Wednesday, November 29th, President Donald Trump visited St. Charles and spoke to over 1,000 guests at the St. Charles Convention Center.
In his remarks, the President touted two St. Charles entrepreneurs who operate small businesses along Historic Main Street: Cassandra Porlier, who operates Cassandra Erin Studio , a specialty jewelry shop offering its own hand-made jewelry and Randy Schilling, founder of OPO Startups , a small-business incubator.  Schilling also owns BoardPaq , a revolutionary cloud service and app for planning, running, and managing paperless meetings.
"This was a great day for the City of St. Charles and St. Charles County," stated Mayor Sally Faith.  "It was very exciting to meet President Trump and talk about the great things that are happening here."
Trump traveled with several administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin and Linda McMahon, the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration . A large contingent of state, local and federal officials also attended the event, including Missouri Governor Eric Greitens .

Streets of St. Charles Expansion
Streets of St. Charles
60,000 sf Spec Building

Cullinan Properties , developers of The Streets of St. Charles , announced plans for the construction of a 60,000 square foot three-story structure designed to accommodate more retail and office tenants.  This expansion solidifies boutique shoppers and new-urban dwellers with the opening and continued expansion of Streets of St. Charles.
Approximately 20,000 square feet of prime retail space will be available on the ground floor, with two levels of office space totaling approximately 40,000 square feet above the ground floor retail. Pre-leasing is now underway, with anticipated tenant turnovers by 4th Quarter 2018. Cullinan Properties is leasing the ground floor retail space and Balke Brown Transwestern is marketing the office space for the building.
Streets of St. Charles is home to many St. Louis area firsts, including Prasino , Tucanos Brazilian Gril l, and Firebirds Wood Fired Grill , as well as locally owned retailers such as Leopard Boutique , Olivino Tasting Bar , and Sole & Blues , among others. The area's newest Drury Plaza Hotel opened in August 2017, and St. Louis' first Tru Hotel by Hilton is currently under construction.
Officials also recently welcomed Brulee Boutique , a New York-inspired women's clothing and accessory store offering comfortable, versatile clothing that can be dressed up or down.
"We've quickly learned through conversations with potential tenants, and the community in general, that Streets of St. Charles is the place people want to be," said Kathleen Brill, Vice President and Director of Leasing for Cullinan Properties . "Our current tenants are expanding, experiencing extreme growth, and thriving in the community that's been created here. St. Charles and the entire region have embraced the destination concept and the many one-of-a-kind businesses located here. We expect the latest addition to the property will fill up quickly, adding to the unique and vibrant atmosphere that is Streets of St. Charles , and have already had significant interest from retail, service and office users."
In addition, Bar Louie recently completed a 2,100 square foot expansion that includes a private event space, a second bar, and additional seating. Mission Taco Joint , which just opened in June, is already adding space to accommodate their growing needs.
"This level of growth demonstrates that there was pent-up demand for a destination like Streets of St. Charles, which is attracting patrons from across the St. Louis area and beyond - demand that, quite frankly, surprised others," said Brill. "We're setting the benchmark in the region for this type of development. There was previously nothing to compare, and others are now looking to us as that standard. We're proud to have created a destination where businesses can grow and the community can find a home."

St. Charles Hosts Second Illinois Workforce Recruitment Event
Brown Smith Wallace interviews career fair attendee

In late October, the Economic Development Department for the City of St. Charles hosted its second Illinois Workforce Recruitment event in Bloomington-Normal.
"Illinois continues to demonstrate an anti-business strategy which has resulted in a significant reduction in its population," stated David Leezer , Director of Economic Development.  "Given   Missouri's pro-business climate and St. Charles' superior attributes; we are a destination for people looking to leave Illinois for a better job and life."
Joining the city were seven major employers from the area, including its Police and Fire Departments

Job fair attendees were able to consider opportunities in health care, engineering, manufacturing, defense and accounting.  Additionally, the EDC Business and Community Partners , St. Charles County Workforce Development Office and the St. Charles County Association of Realtors participated in the event.
Leezer stated, "Our goal was to showcase St. Charles as the best place to live, work and raise a family and we achieved that objective."

Featured Article - Coordination, Collaboration and Success
Rob Dixon

Acting Director, Missouri Dept. of Economic Development

It's an honor to serve the people and the businesses of my native state and my home. This is an exciting time for economic development in Missouri. There are so many opportunities for growth, and we are laser-focused on helping the private sector create more jobs and higher pay for Missourians.

Photo courtesy of Missouri Partnership
Recently we announced a major project in Sedalia - a new steel mill bringing 250 jobs and $250 million in capital investment - that represents the new model for economic development under Governor Greitens' leadership. 

What made this project so special was the level of coordination and collaboration between all levels of state government and with our outstanding local economic development partners.  If you had the opportunity to attend the Governor's Conference on Economic Development earlier this year, you heard us talk about how this administration is focused on acting as one team, with one mission across all of government.

To win this project, we had three state departments working directly with company leaders to make this project happen.  We had a local economic development partnership that worked seamlessly with the state to win the project.   Earlier this summer, the Governor and the legislature created new tools that we needed to make Missouri more competitive. Everyone worked together to get the job done, and, as a result, we won a new steel mill for the people of Sedalia and for Missouri.

Now, that's just one example of how we're fighting for jobs across our state, but the same is true in every case and in every community.  This entire team is focused on getting the job done all across Missouri.

We're listening to businesses--to your needs--and we're guiding every new initiative with three primary values: putting citizens and businesses first; being good stewards of the resources we're entrusted by you; and taking responsibility and accountability for our work.  After all, this is our home, and it's up to us to make it a better place to live and to work.

I hope that over the coming months you'll see how these values guide our work in economic development and across the entire state government. I'll be in touch with more on these efforts soon.

I also want to thank David Leezer and his team for the opportunity to share these thoughts with all of you. Thank you so much for all that you're doing to grow your community and our state. 

Let us know if there's any way we can be of service.

Dr. Jason Sefrit Named New St. Charles School District Superintendent

The City of St. Charles School District Board of Education has named Dr. Jason Sefrit as the next District Superintendent. Dr. Sefrit will assume his new role on July 1, 2018, replacing the retiring Dr. Jeff Marion.

"I feel unbelievably blessed to have the opportunity to serve as City of St. Charles School District Superintendent," Dr. Sefrit said. "This position brings a responsibility of leading our district into the future and I'm beyond excited."

Dr. Sefrit is currently in his second year as the District's Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and previously served as principal of Westhoff Elementary School in the Fort Zumwalt School District.

"Since coming to the District two years ago, I have been inspired by the District's leadership team and staff. My motivation to accept the Superintendent position solely comes from a great desire to serve the hard working people of our district and our families in the community." Dr. Sefrit said.
In making this selection, Josh Kean, School District Board President, said the leadership qualities displayed by Dr. Sefrit throughout his career made him stand out as the top candidate.

"We are excited to have Dr. Sefrit move into the role of Superintendent. He has shown a genuine and infectious enthusiasm for our district and our community," Kean said.

Dr. Sefrit holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Missouri Baptist University, as well as a Master in Educational Administration and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Lindenwood University .

Featured Property - Fountain Lakes Commerce Center Spec Building

Looking for that premier cross-docked industrial/logistics space in the most attractive part of the St. Louis metro region?  Check out what Ed Lampitt and Matt Eastin from Cushman Wakefield have to offer.
Located on Charbonneau Drive, Fountain Lakes Commerce Center is two buildings totaling 324,750 square foot with 32' ceiling heights, T5 lighting, 319 car parking and 76 spaces for trailer parking.
If access is important, then no one can beat Charbonneau Drive.   Immediate access to multi-lane Highway 370 and easy connections to Interstates 70 and 270 provides the entry points for any company. 
Check out the best industrial space in the hottest market in the greater St. Louis region, Fountain Lakes Commerce Center and see why St. Charles is the choice for successful industries.

DED International Representatives Visit St. Charles Industries
Ed VanVooren, President at ELTEK Int'l Labs, met with MO DED International Office 

Representatives from the Missouri Department of Economic Development's International Trade & Investment Office met with two prominent St. Charles industries to discuss the state's efforts in the global economy.


John Hensley , the agency's trade manager   in Jefferson City, along with Elizabeth Gallardo , director of the Mexico office, Fabio Yamada , the state's manager of the Brazilian office, and Ludovic Ortuno of the Canadian office discussed import and export opportunities with LMI Aerospace and Eltek International Labs
David Leezer , St. Charles director of Economic Development , said new opportunities emerged because of these meetings.
"It is exciting to see the strong global presence Missouri has established through these offices," Leezer stated.  
LMI Aerospace execs discuss trade opportunities

Hensley noted these meetings are important in order to market the state in the best possible way. 
"We appreciate the opportunity to introduce our trade office directors to Missouri firms. Ultimately, this allows us to fulfill our mission to support our growing economy."
Leezer noted the City has already benefitted from the relationship.  The International Trade Office helped to organize an industry call trip to Canada earlier this year.

Featured Article - How Collaboration Drives Growth and Innovation
Steve Johnson, CEO

Steve Johnson, CEO, Missouri Partnership www.MissouriPartnership.com

In September 2016, life sciences company Bayer announced a merger with agricultural business Monsanto that amounted to a $66 billion deal. This merger of giants created one of the biggest agrochemical businesses in the world, and it could potentially lead to innovative creations and a wealth of success. It also serves as a high-profile example of a business partnership done right.
The partnership between Bayer and Monsanto promises to benefit the entire ag tech industry. If business leaders carefully consider a few important qualities before choosing another company with which to work, partnerships between businesses of any size stand to turn out similar industrywide benefits in their own sectors.

Working together to advance agtech
To truly understand the possibilities offered by an optimal partnership, consider the details of the Bayer-Monsanto merger. Most people probably associate Bayer with aspirin, but the company offers various products that help protect crops, both chemically and biologically, from all manner of threats. Monsanto is primarily centered around seed and data science. In that way, the companies' products and offerings complement one another.
Joining the companies could also represent a tactical move regarding product reach. Monsanto is based in St. Louis and has a strong North American market presence. Located in Leverkusen, Germany, Bayer is better positioned to cater to the European market. By sharing market penetration and customer bases, the businesses would be able to reach more farmers around the globe than either could alone.
And if that's not enough, the new conglomerate will also be able to develop the next generation of ag tech innovations faster than ever. The combined assets of each original venture are already expected to increase the overall budget for research and development, and the two working in collaboration will also drastically accelerate the pace at which new products are created.
These benefits are clearly important to the future of both companies, but the list of partnership pros doesn't end there.

The specialization solution
Since humans first began trading goods and services with one another, it's been clear that one individual or entity can't be the best at everything. Partnerships are valuable because they allow each company involved to focus on what it does best. Each business can continue its specialty work and rely on its partner for work outside its realm of experience.
Partnerships can also be particularly effective when they combine established companies with emerging startups. Even the most progressive corporation can be encumbered by size and have a hard time changing direction because of its complex structure. They do have resources, however, and while changing and pivoting are some of the few things startups can count on, even well-funded startups can benefit from the capital and credibility of a bigger company.
One such collaboration was recently established between Visa and Swedish startup Klarna. The latter enables ecommerce websites to take payments and provide flexible financing options, and now it will help develop new products for the credit card giant. Visa took a similar route with financial startups Stripe and Square, illustrating the importance of smaller innovators to the company.
Another partnership that will benefit more than just the companies involved is the joining of two business incubators in Missouri: Digital Sandbox and Innovation Stockyard. The groups aim to reach more entrepreneurs in the state and broaden their influence. The partnership promises to promote the growth of companies in more areas outside of Kansas City and St. Joseph.

Choosing the right partner
  • Innovative approaches and customer commitmentA prospective partner should be a forward-looking company that brings as much to the table as you do. It should have a history of innovating in its industry, or at least embracing innovative changes as they present themselves. It should also employ customer-focused solutions on a regular basis and demonstrate a commitment to the people it aims to serve. A focus on consumers shows a company is in business for the right reasons. 
  • Technology that stands outOne of the key findings from Deloitte's mergers and acquisition trends report was that respondents considered improved technology a top driver of such deals. As you look for a partner, especially if your company is a larger one, look for technological innovations that have the capacity to change your industry. Even if these solutions aren't quite market-ready, the key is the potential they represent. Once you're working together, you can share the burden of additional troubleshooting and development. 
  • New market opportunitiesThe company you partner with should be well-established in its market, and you should be able to leverage its marketing and distribution as you introduce yourself to its market. Of course, ideal partnerships are mutually beneficial, so your company should be able to provide the same advantages to your partner. Both companies should be able to rely on each other to further their goals.
  • History of collaborationWhile it's true that there's a first time for everything, it takes dedication and work for a partnership to be beneficial. If a potential partner has a history of working successfully with other businesses, you'll know its team has the skills and experience to ensure your joint venture will also see a positive outcome. If a business has never been in a partnership before, that shouldn't be an instant deal breaker, but decision-makers should value those prospects that have. 
  • Stable, committed leadershipYou might recognize the phrase "attitude reflects leadership" from the great movie "Remember the Titans." It was relevant then, and it's relevant here. While you might not be working with your partner company's senior leadership daily, watching how they function will provide valuable insight into the future of your relationship. If leaders regularly demonstrate a commitment to their employees and their business, they're more likely to stay committed to the long-term success of your partnership and your company as well.
The right partnerships are, or should be, mutually beneficial, allowing each company to accomplish more together than they could on their own. Effective partnerships often can and do drive innovation and growth to the benefit of the entire industry and, most importantly, the customers. Finding the right partner is worth the effort it takes.


Your Economic Development Team  
David Leezer,   Travis Wilson and Susie King