October 29, 2021

Dear Leadership Council Board of Directors Members,

It has been my honor to serve as the Executive Director and CEO of the Leadership Council SWIL since 2015. I am so proud of the substantial accomplishments we have made as a team during this time period. Without a doubt, the key aspect I will miss the most is the wonderful networking relationships, helping companies and communities, presenting to students about STEM careers, and working with all of the wonderful people at Scott Air Force Base to help transitioning airmen and military spouses with professional licensure. I have truly loved every aspect of this position, especially the strategic planning and competitive intelligence integration within the 10 strong committees! The Leadership Council SWIL has developed into a very special organization focused on maintaining the highest levels of integrity, professionalism, and leadership in every aspect of the Leadership Council’s organizational culture. We have actively looked for the strongest leaders and staff in our region to join our team who truly believe in mutual respect, transparency, accountability, and maintaining the highest levels of professional business ethics. When I look around the Board of Directors meetings, I have been so impressed by the quality of leaders, and having your voice at the table was so important to all we have done as a regional team! After being an active part of the organization for over 20 years, serving on the Executive Committee being President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, and now in this role as the Executive Director and CEO, I look forward to taking on my next big career challenge. As you may have noticed, I do my best work when I am solving big complex problems, turning the organization or projects around, and ensuring a wonderful progressive and robust path forward. I want to thank all of you for allowing me to part of your team! Wishing you all the best moving forward!

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
New Metro East spec warehouse would be largest ever built in St. Louis, over 1M square feet
(St. Louis Business Journal, 09/28/2021) 
With demand for warehouse space at an all-time high, the St. Louis area will get its first speculative industrial warehouse to measure more than 1 million square feet next year in the Metro East. (Read More)

This Metro East entrepreneur has now sold 2 tech startups. Here's how she did it. 
(St. Louis Business Journal, 10/19/2021) 
When a United Kingdom-based company recently acquired local e-commerce startup OneSpace, Stephanie Leffler joined rarified air. (Read More)

Illinois announces first $24 million in grants to help businesses with COVID recovery
(Belleville News-Democrat, 10/04/2021)
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration on Thursday, Sept. 30, announced the awarding of the first $24 million in “Back to Business” grants, a program funded with federal relief aid to help businesses recover and reopen from the pandemic. (Read More)

Competitiveness Of U.S. Agriculture Industry Dependent On Infrastructure Investment
(RiverBender, 10/20/2021)
The interconnectivity of different transportation modes and need for reliability in both transportation and broadband infrastructure emerged as key ingredients for continued competitiveness of the U.S. agriculture industry during a virtual webinar hosted by the St. Louis AgriBusiness Club on Oct. 7, 2021. (Read More)

Holland Construction Services Completes Renovation Work at HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/06/2021)
Holland Construction Services has completed a significant renovation project for HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon which will provide additional space for patient and hospital services. (Read More)

BJC HealthCare brings outpatient center to Edwardsville in former grocery store space
(St. Louis Business Journal, 10/19/2021)
BJC HealthCare has opened a new outpatient center in Edwardsville after converting a former grocery store. (Read More)

Centerstone Receives $2.625 Million Grant to Expand Medication-Assisted Treatment
(RiverBender, 10/18/2021)
Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health care, recently announced award of a five-year, $2,625,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for people with an opioid use disorder (OUD) in the Metro East area. (Read More)
PCs for People help get computers in the homes of those who truly need them!

Distributes refurbished corporate computers updated to Windows 10, with very low-cost, unlimited internet access for students, underserved populations, elderly, and veterans.

They have connected over 450,000 people to internet and computing devices. The State of Illinois Office of Broadband has committed to facilitate the donation of 10,000 computers to PCs for People Metro East, but they have set a goal of sourcing a total of 25,000 computers in their first year in order to meet the significant need in our community, and they need our help to meet that goal.

PCs for People is NAID AAA certified to wipe clean all data off computers and recertify them for reuse

PC donations needed!!  

If you would like more information about how to donate computers, please contact the Leadership Council office at 618-692-9745 or
With Kings Point purchase, Belleville 201 follows local need for career, tech training
(Belleville News-Democrat, 09/28/2021)
By this time next year, Belleville Township High School vocational and alternative education students will have a newly-renovated center in the former Kings Point facility in Belleville. (Read More)

Bethalto School District embarks on four-year facilities project
(Advantage News, 09/30/2021)
Summers are about to get busier in the Bethalto School District. (Read More)

Waterloo pool plans make waves
(Republic-Times, 10/20/2021)
Waterloo Citizens for a Pool representatives attended last Wednesday’s Waterloo Park District Board meeting, plans in tow. (Read More)

St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia wins transportation award
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 09/28/2021)
On Monday, 12 airports received Airport of the Year awards from the Illinois Department of Transportation. (Read More)

Ameren funding available for small businesses, nonprofits
(Advantage News, 10/19/2021)
Ameren Illinois has announced funding is available for small businesses and nonprofits that have fallen behind on their electric bills. (Read More)

Homer Adams Parkway roadwork progress
(Advantage News, 10/20/2021)
An IDOT project that will impact travel across a main east-west thoroughfare in Alton is underway. (Read More)

IDOT wrapping up Illinois 140 project
(Advantage News, 10/13/2021)
A bridge on the eastern entry and exit to Alton on Illinois 140/111 has been getting a new surface over the spring and summer, but work is nearing an end. (Read More)

New Springfield transportation hub to relieve rail congestion
(Metro East Chronicle, 10/13/2021)
A railway improvement project intended to greatly improve traffic congestion between St. Louis and Chicago reached a milestone Tuesday, Oct. 12 as work began on a multimodal transportation hub in the capital city. (Read More)
News at McKendree University
"Make It McKendree" at Community Appreciation Day
McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., welcomes the opportunity to meet Leadership Council members and their families during a day of fun and football on Saturday, November 6th when the Bearcats will host the Truman State Bulldogs. Should you be able to join, game tickets and reserved parking will be provided. You can click on the link below to register today. As the university seeks to strengthen its community partnerships and better serve the students of Southern Illinois, we hope you will consider attending the event and read below for more on their new Clear Path initiative, which will provide an opportunity for more students to receive an outstanding educational experience at McKendree University.

Check out our Education Newsletter
SWIL Education Workforce Connection
In April we published the first edition of the SWIL Education Workforce Connection newsletter. This is our monthly outreach to the Education and Business communities. As the name implies, the purpose is to connect stakeholders in the world of education with stakeholders in the world of business. Click on the link below to sign up, or email Dr. Bruce McLaughlin at

Check us out!
Thank you to the Leadership Council's Program Sponsors: