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In This Issue


OPO Startups on Historic Main Street celebrated it's second anniversary.


Don't forget to attend the 2017 Regional Investors Breakfast, "Rooted in History, With a Vision for the Future".  The special event will be on Friday, June 16th at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts. 


As you are well aware, the City of St. Charles and St. Charles County have established reputations as the place for growth and investment in the greater St. Louis metropolitan region. We are constantly seeing reports about businesses that are either expanding or starting here.
However, as this edition of the Economic Development newsletter points out, we are far more than just starting businesses.  We are also a great area for long term success.
One of the articles celebrates the anniversary of three (3) St. Charles businesses that commemorated 35 years, 100 years and 150 years in operation.  Let me assure you, this is not an anomaly but a norm for our community.
Why?  Very simple, because St. Charles has the right assets in place to start and maintain a business.  From low taxes, responsive government, strong educational institutions and easy access to markets....businesses recognize St. Charles offers the best short and long term advantages. 
Are you looking for a great place for long term business growth?  Then invest in St. Charles and join the many companies that have called us home for decades.
Because, "If it's happening, it's happening in St. Charles."

Thank you,
 Sally Sig photoshop 
Mayor Sally Faith
SSM Health Continues Expansion in St. Charles

SSM Health continued its expansion in St. Charles County with the April 24 th opening of a 55,700-square-foot, $26 million SSM Health Outpatient Center.
Located in the City of St. Charles near Interstate 70 and Fifth Street at 711 Veterans Memorial Parkway, the center provides patients easy access to primary and specialty health care services, including an urgent care clinic and advanced imaging services such as MRI, CT, X-ray, ultrasound, mammography and bone density.
The new SSM Health Outpatient Center is a collaboration between SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital - St. Charles and SSM Health Medical Group, providing a new home for SSM Health specialists in internal medicine, pediatrics, endocrinology, and SSM Health Physical Therapy. Additional offerings include an outpatient laboratory, retail pharmacy, education center and a café.
"This center represents the culmination of SSM Health's vision for the future of health care in St. Charles County," said Mike Bowers, President of SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital - St. Charles. "Placing greater emphasis on outpatient care allows us to improve the health care experience by building relationships with our patients and actively promoting healthy lifestyle decisions. We would like to thank our employees, physicians and community partners for helping make this vision a reality."
Mayor Sally Faith praised SSM Health for its continued growth and partnership with the City.   "We have a long standing relationship with SSM Health which has produced tremendous results for this area," Faith stated.  "From our collaboration on the Fifth Street Gateway Enhancement to University Commons, which relocated the U.S. Postal Service to a more modern facility, SSM Health has demonstrated a willingness to support the growing demands of the City and Region."
"I congratulate them on this beautiful new facility, "Faith added.  

LMI Aerospace Receives 2016 Boeing Excellence in Advocacy Award

LMI Aerospace Inc. recently received a Boeing Excellence in Advocacy Award for 2016. The Boeing Company issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance in outreach activities to help government policymakers better understand aerospace issues and promote legislation that supports aerospace companies. This is LMI's second consecutive year to receive the award, which Boeing introduced in 2015.
"The success of the aerospace industry is a collective endeavor," said LMI Aerospace Chief Executive Officer Dan Korte. "When LMI leaders share our company's story with key stakeholders, we are helping to raise awareness and shape policy in ways that enhance the industry as a whole."
The influence of suppliers by engaging with policy makers can foster awareness that provides multiple benefits.
"Our supplier network is one of Boeing's greatest competitive advantages when it comes to advocating for our shared interests," said Kent Fisher, Boeing's leader for enterprise Supplier Management. "Suppliers like LMI Aerospace represent a critical business voice to help decision makers understand the incredible impact that the aerospace industry has on their economies, employment and communities."
Mayor Sally Faith commended both LMI Aerospace and Boeing for this great achievement.   "The aerospace industry is a critical industry for both the St. Charles and greater St. Louis metropolitan economic landscape," stated Faith.  "We appreciate having a world leader like Boeing in the community along with their ability to work with outstanding suppliers like LMI Aerospace ."

Featured Article - Meet Rob Dixon, the New Acting Director of Economic Development for Missouri
Governor Eric Greitens

On June 2 nd Governor Eric Greitens announced that he has appointed Rob Dixon as the new Director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development .  The following is from a Q&A session by DED staff  with the new director.

What is it about Missouri that makes it feel like home?
It is home! I'm a native Missourian, and I have lived here my entire life, with the exception of the five years that I was in the Marines. After my service, I knew I wanted to come right back home. I grew up in St. Louis and moved to St. Charles to be near family. I have a strong connection with this area and it still serves as "home" for family events.

2. What is your experience working in economic development? 
My entire professional life after the military has been in either economic development or workforce development. I started my career working for the chamber of commerce in Hollister, Mo. My job was to grow the local economy just as the economy nationwide was sinking. Our main focus was to look at what barriers and challenges prevented our business community from growing and then develop solutions. What I found over and over again was that one of the most important things we could do as economic developers to help businesses was to address their workforce issues. I then started a position with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, which served a 10-county region. There, I created the chamber's inaugural plan to help grow the region's existing businesses. This experience again reaffirmed my belief that workforce development was crucial to ensuring the success of our business community. That's when I took a position with Missouri Community College Association and immediately went to work to make our programs easier for businesses to access training for their employees.

3. How will your experience with the Missouri Community College Association help in your new position?
There are so many community colleges, workforce development organizations, and other like-minded agencies that work to build up their local workforce. In my new role at DED, we will be working with entities all across the state to ensure that Missouri's employers have the quality workforce they need.

4. What are you most proud of from your time with the MCCA?
Aligning the workforce development programs that community colleges offer and creating the workforce network. The consortium allows a business to access workforce training that they need, regardless of whether or not their local community college offers it.

5. What are you most looking forward to in your new position at DED?
Honestly, it's being a part of a team that is working on the most
Rob Dixon, Acting Director of  Dept. of  Economic Development
important issues facing the state. I have an eight- year-old son and I want him to have opportunities in Missouri in the future. It's our responsibility to leave our state in better shape for the next generation. To do this, we'll need to roll up our sleeves and work together to grow our state's economy.

6. What one goal do you hope to accomplish as Director of the Department of Economic Development?
The governor has laid out a clear vision that he wants to help Missouri's business create more jobs and to help Missourians earn higher pay. This is our mission at DED, and I am looking forward to working together with the Governor, his team, the folks at DED, and economic developers across the state to accomplish this.

St. Charles, Ameristar Host Quarterly Hawthorn Foundation Meeting
Missouri COO, Drew Erdmann, addresses Hawthorn Foundation 

On Friday June 2nd, the City of St. Charles and Ameristar Casino Resort & Spa hosted members of the Hawthorn Foundation for their quarterly meeting.
The Hawthorn Foundation is a highly diverse group of Missouri leaders dedicated to the development of a vibrant economy for the state. Hawthorn was created as a non-partisan, non-political organization of Missouri-based businesses and community leaders in statewide business recruitment, retention and development efforts. Today, Hawthorn supports the following primary activities:  
  • Economic development marketing and business recruitment through the Missouri Partnership
  • Support for the expansion of Missouri's Innovation Campuses
  • Support and advocate for the military footprint in Missouri
  • Improved efficiency and effectiveness in Missouri Government
At the meeting, Drew Erdmann, Missouri COO, announced to members and guests that   Governor Eric Greitens has asked Hawthorn to oversee a new initiative to examine Missouri's start-up communities and how to support their efforts with greater effectiveness.  

The steering committee will include economic developers, business leaders, legislators, and academicians.  Round-table discussions will be held across the state throughout the summer with a report to be issued in late August.
Erdmann also announced at the meeting that Rob Dixon has been chosen to serve as the next Director of the  Missouri Department of Economic Development.
Mayor Faith welcomes Hawthorn to St. Charles
Jason Hall, Chair of the Missouri Technology Corporation, gave the keynote address for the meeting and spoke about why start-ups matter. Noting Fortune 500 companies that began as an idea -- like Express Scripts -- Hall said Missouri must support and encourage start-ups for the long haul.  Today Express Scripts employs thousands in the St. Louis area; jobs that would not be here if not for the support received 30 years ago.
"It was important for St. Charles to host members of Hawthorn Foundation," stated David Leezer, Director of Economic Development for the City.
"This not only gave us an opportunity to showcase the assets of St. Charles and Ameristar, but we were also able to network with key leaders in Missouri and demonstrate our superior business attributes.

Three St. Charles Businesses Celebrate Anniversaries

Three of St. Charles' most iconic industries recently celebrated special anniversaries.
First State Bank of St. Charles hosted a reception at their Fifth Street center to commemorate the bank's 150th anniversary.  
First State Bank 150th anniversary ribbon cutting
Chartered on May 10, 1867, First State Bank originally opened its doors on South Main Street but has now expanded its operations throughout the St. Louis region.
First State Bank of St. Charles  President & CEO Luanne Cundiff stated, "This celebration is not only about our commitment to the region, but an appreciation to all of our customers who trust in us for their financial plans." 
Another business celebrating a momentous anniversary is John Dengler Tobacconist. One of America's oldest family owned tobacco shops celebrated its 100th Anniversary in March. 
John Dengler Tobacconist - custom made blended tobaccos and imported premium cigars for 100 years
Recognized as a leading retailer along Historic Main Street , the business is known for quality products at any price range.
The store first opened in 1917 by John Dengler near the start of World War I.  Later, his son, John R. Dengler took over the business and expanded its services.  In 2008, Laura Dengler Muench  and her husband Larry Muench assumed management of the store and continue to operate it to this day.
The third St. Charles business to observe a milestone is Craftsmen Industries who recently celebrated their 35th anniversary. The company opened for business in 1982 and initially focused on trailer sales in the Midwest.
As the business evolved, clients asked
Craftsmen Industries fabricates vehicles for mobile marketing
for more and more specialty modifications to their vehicles to enhance their marketing message. As a result, Craftsmen expanded services to include design, engineering, fabrication, printing and installation in-house which allowed them to accommodate customer requests, manage tight deadlines, deliver within budget and bring an unmatched level of satisfaction to customers.

Their St. Charles location houses its base of operations, fabrication facility, graphics production group and the 150 family members that call  Craftsmen their home away from home.
"Craftsmen Industries experienced this type of unprecedented growth because of our commitment to quality and unmatched customer service," stated company founder Joe Helmsing.  "I am confident with the plan we have in place and the vision of our leadership team. Craftsmen will be celebrating anniversaries for many years to come."

Midwest BankCentre Opens New University Commons Branch

Midwest BankCentre, a mainstay in the St. Louis banking community since 1906, celebrated the opening of its newest full-service branch at University Commons across from  Lindenwood University.
"The branch expands our service footprint in St. Charles and enables us to put an array of technology-based services at the fingertips of a growing number of millennials," said Midwest BankCentre Chairman and CEO Jim Watson. 
The 5,200 square foot facility offers three indoor teller stations, customer computer kiosks, a 24-hour ATM and two drive-up banking lanes.  It also offers a community meeting room to local students, community and business groups and is equipped with a big-screen TV, WiFi service and a whiteboard. 
"We welcome Midwest BankCentre to the area and look forward to the enhanced financial services choices it will bring to our students and neighbors,' said Lindenwood University President Michael Shonrock. 
Mayor Sally Faith thanked banking officials for investing in the community and talked about the excitement generated from the new facility.   "It is exciting to see Midwest BankCentre become a part of the University Commons development.  Their opening just adds more luster to a growing part of our community."

City, Chamber Recognize Local Businesses During Small Business Week

In early May, the  City of St. Charles and the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce partnered to honor a number of local industries during National Small Business Week
For the annual event, the City recognizes companies for their contributions in five different categories.  The categories and winners were:
"These award winners demonstrate both the strong commitment industries have to this community along with the diversity of our economic base," stated Mayor Sally Faith .  "St. Charles is a recognized growth leader due to the fact that these industries are invested not only in business growth, but the growth of the region."
St. Charles based Bike Stop Cafe was presented with the Small Business of the Year Award by Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce. President Scott Tate and Chamber Chair Anne Ritter of Brown, Smith Wallace.

City Hosts Area Legislators, Receives Updates on Successes and Future Action
Senator Bob Onder gives an update of the recent legislative session

Mayor Sally Faith and the City's  Economic Development Department hosted its annual St. Charles County Legislative Breakfast at the   St. Charles Convention Center .  Area legislators presented an overview of the recently completed 2017 session along with Governor Greitens plans to call a special session.
Attending the breakfast were representatives of the City's administrative team along with members of the City's Economic Development Commission and Mayor's Power Breakfast group.
"There is a real sense that our legislative delegation is one of the more unified coalitions in the House and Senate," stated   Economic Development Director   David Leezer .  "While not everything was achieved, most - if not all legislators - believe Missouri's reputation as a pro-business/pro-growth state was strengthened."
Topics included the passage of right-to-work, ride sharing (Uber/Lyft) and improvements to the education funding. 
Attendees included Senators  Bob Ondor and  Bill Eigel along with Representatives Tom Hannegan , Phil Cristofanelli , Bryan Spencer , John Wiemann ,  Kathie Conway and Kurt Bahr

City Seeks Public Input on Future Growth

In early May, the City's Economic Development Department hosted a special public forum with targeted residents and businesses regarding St. Charles' future growth plans.  The area in question is surrounded by West Clay, Droste Road and Duchesne Drive.
The forum, conducted by Economic Development Director David Leezer, was the first of many meetings to engage the public on how best to redevelop older parts of the community.
"It is our intent to gain public input first before we proceed with any plans," Leezer stated.  "This area has the versatility for a variety of different uses, but getting local buy-in is vital before we can do anything."   Leezer outlined a number of possibilities but stressed they were only ideas.
More meetings are scheduled for the future.   

St. Charles Continues Strong Presence at ICSC

David Leezer, Director of the City's Economic Development Department, recently attended the International Council of Shopping Center's (ICSC) RECon Show in Las Vegas. RECon is a  convention for the shopping center industry and provides networking, deal making and educational opportunities for retail real estate professionals from around the world.
"This event has always provided a strong return on investment for   St. Charles, " Leezer stated.
The show provides a unique opportunity to meet with major retailers and/or their broker representatives to discuss future investment opportunities.  
Leezer noted St. Charles uses the show to support both its existing retailers and the developers and brokers investing in the City.
"We held meetings with some very notable retailers who are either in St. Charles or are considering our community.  We also use ICSC to support those developers and brokers we already have relationships with," Leezer stated.
Some of the key allies the city met with at the show were:  Cullinan Properties
, Thomas Realty Group , Cissell Mueller Company , L3 Corporation , American Commercial Realty , The DESCO Group , G.J. Grewe , Jeff Eisenberg & Associates and Pace Properties.


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