Metro-East News

SIUE, port district recognized with regional awards

Eugene B. Redmond, SIUE emeritus professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, author, editor and Poet Laureate of East St. Louis, on the left, receives the Arcus People’s Choice Award from John Herber, Jr., managing partner at RubinBrown LLP.
Eugene B. Redmond, SIUE emeritus professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, author, editor and Poet Laureate of East St. Louis, on the left, receives the Arcus People’s Choice Award from John Herber, Jr., managing partner at RubinBrown LLP. Provided

The St. Louis Regional Chamber honored the region’s top leaders and companies that are making St. Louis a more attractive place to live, work and invest at its third annual Arcus Awards event on Thursday night.

The Academy Awards-style program showcased 64 finalists out of hundreds of nominees in 10 categories, with the winner of each category announced live during the event. Several metro-east businesses were finalists for awards including Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, Illinois American Water and America’s Central Port District in Granite City. The port district won the Arcus Award for Achievement in Logistics.

With the completion and opening of its new Madison Harbor in January, the port is positioning itself to create more jobs and transportation opportunities for the St. Louis region. The $50 million lock and ice-free harbor, located on the Mississippi River, increases the onloading and offloading capabilities of the port’s operators, while also positioning the port for the future of containerized shipping.

“This is a great honor for both the port district and the city of Madison,” said John Hamm, mayor of Madison and current board chairman of America’s Central Port. “Job growth and transportation development have been our top priorities since the port began 1959 and with continued collaboration and team work, we plan to continue that mission...”

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was nominated for three separate awards: the SIUE East St. Louis Center for educational attainment; the SIUE Eugene B. Redmond Learning Center for achievement in inclusion and talent attraction; and the SIUE Metro East Start-Up Challenge for entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Arcus People’s Choice Award was awarded to SIUE’s Eugene B. Redmond Learning Center. Named in honor of Redmond, an author, editor, retired English professor and Poet Laureate of East St. Louis, the center fosters creativity, encourages scholarship, promotes diversity and exposes the region to multicultural poetry and the Black Arts Movement. It has attracted national supporters including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Toni Morrison and Tavis Smiley.

“SIUE’s Library and Information Services is extremely pleased to be recognized as the Arcus People’s Choice Award for the Eugene B. Redmond Learning Center’s impact on the region,” said Regina McBride, dean of Library and Information Services. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase and highlight the tremendous informational resources that we provide to the community on behalf of the university.”

This year marked the first time the event included the People’s Choice Award with a winner selected by popular vote of over 40,000 individuals from across the region.

The judge panel recognized companies and organizations of all sizes, with particular recognition for the huge regional progress made on educational attainment and by St. Louis’ thriving startup and innovation sector. More than 800 executives, elected officials and civic leaders attended the dinner program at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.

A panel of business scholars and executives selected 10 of the award winners based on categories representing the Chamber’s One Plan for regional prosperity. Other Arcus award winners were Regions Bank, IDEA Labs, Bio Research & Development Growth Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center, Square, Inc., MedAware Solutions, Inc., Better Together St. Louis, Jennings School District, International Institute of St. Louis and Natalie’s Cakes and More.

Latin for “arch,” the Arcus Awards symbolize the Gateway Arch, the unifying symbol of the bi-state region.

Jamie Forsythe: 618-239-2562, @BND_JForsythe

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