December 6, 2019
While the Thanksgiving celebrations have come to a close for this year, there’s still much to be thankful for here in the Metro East and plenty of positive news that we’re pleased to share with you in this edition of Good NewsLink.

Let's start with a sincere congratulations to Jim Maher for receiving the 2019 Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award at the 39th Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ St. Louis Regional Chapter earlier last month. A long-time member of the Leadership Council, Jim currently serves and has served on the boards of various St. Louis regional non-profit organizations, as well as inspired others to give millions of dollars in support of a wide variety of charities throughout the region.

On the development front, Whispering Heights – a luxury apartment complex and the first six-story building in Edwardsville’s history – is set to open the doors of its south tower to new tenants on Friday. Upon completion of the north tower in spring 2020, the $34 million mixed-use community will include 153 apartment homes and over 18,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

In recent weeks, Madison County Transit unveiled the newest addition to its vast 130-mile trail network. The $10 million trail stretches from Frontage Road in Troy to Kyle Road in O’Fallon. On top of easy access to recreation, the trail connects residents to striking views of nature in the Metro East. It is roughly 10 feet wide and came as a result of years’ worth of collaborative work between St. Clair and Madison counties, the Metro East Parks and Recreation board and several municipalities.

Continue reading on for more details on these exciting stories and various others below as we continue to round up and share all the good news occurring in our region.

Have a great rest of the week!

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
We were pleased to host the Japan Forum on October 3rd and the Leadership Council Board of Directors meeting October 4th with guest speakers from the Consul of Economic Affairs for Consulate General of Japan in Chicago , Keidanren USA (Japan Business Federation), and JETRO Chicago.

This picture is from America's Central Port.
Whispering Heights opening portion of $34M luxury living complex
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 11/29/2019)
 The first six-story building in Edwardsville’s history opens to new tenants next Friday on Route 157.
Whispering Heights — a luxury apartment complex adjacent to Woodland Elementary and in front of off-campus student housing complex Enclave — is slated to open the doors of its south tower on Dec. 6.  (Read More)

Jim Maher Receives 2019 Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award from Association of Fundraising Professionals’ St. Louis Regional Chapter
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11/15/2019)
Jim Maher, CEO and founder of Archford Capital Strategies, received the 2019 Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award at the 39th Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ St. Louis Regional Chapter on Thursday, Nov. 14. (Read More)

$10 million trail expansion connecting Madison, St. Clair counties opens after years of planning
(Belleville News-Democrat, 11/16/2019)
A first-of-its-kind trail connecting Madison County and St. Clair County opened Saturday after almost 15 years in the making. (Read More)

Roxana launches $11M project
(Alton Telegraph, 11/19/2019)
About 75 people attended Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new Roxana Village Hall at the site of the former Burbank Elementary School. (Read More)

Alton School District Announces Planned Projects
(Riverbender, 11/20/2019)
The Alton School District announced plans to fund several high-priority projects and other district upgrades Tuesday night at their November Board of Education meeting. (Read More)

MCT completes Quercus Grove Trail segment near Edwardsville
(Illinois Business Journal, 11/23/2019)
Paving work was recently completed on a 2.7-mile segment of the Madison County Transit Quercus Grove Trail, which runs from Hazel Road to Jerusalem Road, north of Edwardsville. (Read More)

Housing sales increase in latest Metro East statistics
(Illinois Business Journal, 11/25/2019
Newly released October statistics show Metro East home sales and prices mainly on the rise. (Read More)
As part of the Building Workforce 2030 program, we have partnered with Dupo, IL High School to bring speakers into their Co-op class. These speakers introduce students to a variety of careers in industry and business.
Health and emergency organizations team up for CDC readiness exercise
(Advantage News, 11/20/2019)
The exercise was part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Cities Readiness Initiative, which included testing the Long-Term Medical Countermeasure Dispensing Plan — one of the first times such a plan has been tested in the United States.  (Read More)

St. Louis Regional Freightway’s 2020 Priority Projects List Advance to Construction
(St. Louis Construction News and Review, 11/12/2019)
Projects to strengthen critical roads and bridges in the bi-state area, where more than 50% of all freight moves by truck  (Read More)

Transportation Is Central To Region
(Madison County Times-Tribune, 11/14/2019)
It’s no secret that one of our area’s economic strengths is its location and utility as a transportation hub, being situated roughly in the middle of the continental United States. (Read More)

Beyond the List: St. Louis-area defense contractors awarded $23B in 2018
(St. Louis Business Journal, 11/27/2019)
The 16 firms on this year’s Defense Contractors list were awarded a combined $23 billion in defense contracts in 2018. (Read More)

Why the Metro East-based Frontier League is taking a swing at expansion
(St. Louis Business Journal, 11/27/2019)
When the Metro East-based Frontier League and the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball League started conversations in 2018 about how they might be able to strengthen one another, a merger wasn’t top of mind. (Read More)
Thank you to the Leadership Council's Program Sponsors: