St. Louis Regional Chamber’s Arcus Awards

The St. Louis Regional Chamber recently held its inaugural Arcus Awards, presented by RubinBrown, to celebrate the achievements of leaders who are propelling the St. Louis region forward. All of the award finalists, comprised of organizations of all sizes from throughout the bi-state region, were showcased at the event for their efforts to make the St. Louis region a more attractive place to live, work and invest.

More than 700 people attended the dinner program at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.

Latin for “Arch,” the new Arcus Awards come at a time when the grounds of the Gateway Arch – the unifying symbol of the region – are undergoing a transformation through the CityArchRiver 2015 project, which will improve the region’s economy and provide a focal point of civic pride.

The outstanding Arcus Award finalists were recognized for their achievements, with nine award winners selected by a panel of distinguished business scholars and business executives.

“The St. Louis Regional Chamber is a broad community of leaders united for economic prosperity throughout the bi-state St. Louis region. We exist to inspire a greater St. Louis. And that’s what we wanted to celebrate tonight – the companies and organizations who are inspiring others and innovating the way for the region,” declared St. Louis Regional Chamber President and CEO Joe Reagan. “We were inspired by the hundreds of nominations we received. By showcasing these finalists and winners tonight, we hope to continue the great momentum they’ve begun in our community.”

Arcus Awards were presented in seven distinct categories that focus on the region’s authentic strengths and future strategies, as outlined in the Chamber’s One Plan, a focused strategy rolled out earlier this year to grow St. Louis into a Top 10 region for economic prosperity.

The Arcus Award winners are:

  • Achievement in Bioscience, sponsored by Bryan Cave:
    Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
    With 200 employees from more than 20 countries, the research conducted at the Danforth Center focuses on increasing agricultural productivity, preserving our natural resources, and developing alternative energy sources that are affordable, sustainable and ecologically sound.
  • Achievement in Financial & Information Services, sponsored by Thompson Coburn:
    Reinsurance Group of America
    One of the world’s leading life reinsurance companies, Reinsurance Group of America has pioneered innovations in its industry, including a prescription history query tool that improves life insurance risk assessment, as well as a motor vehicle records study that enables the quantification of applicants’ risk based on their driving records.
  • Achievement in Health Science & Services, sponsored by Centene Corp.:
    Behavioral Health Response
    Behavioral Health Response (BHR) saves lives by providing professional suicide and crisis intervention services and improving access to behavioral health services for people in need. BHR’s emphasis on evidence-based practice, community collaboration, and integrating public and private service delivery sectors is a model for nonprofit sustainability and expanding services to those in need.
  • Achievement in Multimodal Logistics & Advanced Manufacturing, sponsored by The Laclede Group:
    Bunzl Distribution Inc.
    Bunzl Distribution, a leading North American provider of consumable operating supplies, has grown year after year both organically and externally through acquisition. In 2012, Bunzl acquired six companies located in North America, expanding its product offering, geographic diversity and market penetration. With 250 employees in the St. Louis area, the company plans to increase its local workforce during the next three years.
  • Achievement in Economic Inclusion, sponsored by STL Communications:
    Challenge Unlimited Inc.
    Challenge Unlimited provides work-related opportunities to individuals with disabilities, enabling them to achieve their highest level of independence. Its contract services division provides custodial, food and mailroom services; grounds maintenance; and warehousing to clients. It also provides employment services, such as resume writing and interviewing techniques.
  • Achievement in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, sponsored by The Monsanto Company:
    The Mission Center
    The Mission Center was established in 2010 as a think tank for social entrepreneurs, academics, foundations and investors dedicated to finding innovative and sustainable solutions to a host of social problems. The Center serves as a social enterprise incubator and accelerator, focused on providing education and support to for-profit and nonprofit social enterprises.
  • Achievement in Educational Attainment, sponsored by Edward Jones:
    Bethesda Health Group
    Bethesda Health Group’s strong emphasis on employee development and education helps the organization have one of the lowest annual turnover rates in its industry. Bethesda partners with St. Louis Community College to offer certified nurse assistant classes. It also is an active participant in the new Missouri Healthcare Workforce Innovation Networks program, which will train Missourians for careers in growing health care occupations.

Two other signature awards also were given to highlight exceptional leadership that has unified the bi-state region.

The Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award for demonstrating exceptional commitment to enhancing the quality of life in St. Louis went to Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. Nestlé Purina has demonstrated a strong commitment to its downtown campus and continues to grow its size and employee base. The company often is recognized as a “Best Place to Work” for a variety of reasons, including positive work-life balance and career advancement opportunities. It donates more than $30 million annually to organizations that benefit both pets and people.

Finally, the BMO Harris Bank St. Louis Spirit Award, for demonstrating an exceptional commitment to advancing technological innovation that embodies the St. Louis region’s innovative heritage and enhances its global reputation, was presented to Express Scripts. In 27 years, Express Scripts has grown from a startup to No. 24 on the Fortune 500. The company applies information technology to health care’s pressing challenges to drive better decisions and healthier outcomes for more than 100 million Americans. In 2012, it managed 1.4 billion prescriptions through its network of retail pharmacies and the company’s mail-order pharmacy.

Winners received an art piece designed by artists from the Third Degree Glass Factory.

RubinBrown Chairman Jim Castellano, noted, “We are delighted with the new direction of the St. Louis Regional Chamber as an organization and we were pleased to be the presenting sponsor of this dynamic and exciting new fall event.”

The Creative Producers Group produced the event and sponsored the Networking Reception.