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Illinois legislators among honorees at ‘Championing a Greater St. Louis’ dinner

From Illinois Business Journal news services

ST. LOUIS – Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson delivered the keynote speech at The St. Louis Regional Chamber’s “Championing a Greater St. Louis” Dinner on Monday night.

The event recognized the service of members of the Illinois and Missouri General Assemblies, and acknowledged legislators who exhibited outstanding dedication and support for the Chamber’s legislative priorities.

Chamber Policy Council Chair Jennifer Obertino, vice president, Central Midwest Environmental Business Unit at AECOM, told the gathering that an important part of the Regional Chamber’s work is bringing people together. She also spoke of the legacies of Presidents Harry Truman and Abraham Lincoln as well as what she feels are opportunities to find shared solutions to the challenges faced by the two states.

Speaking to the gathered business leaders and elected officials, Obertino said, “We sincerely appreciate the hard work that goes into each and every legislative session from all of you. Public service is a great sacrifice, and I’d like to thank both General Assemblies and all of our elected officials here today for taking time away from their families and careers to govern our two states.”

The 2015 honorees included Legacy Award winners Missouri Sen. Tom Dempsey and Illinois Sen. David Luechtefeld for their tremendous public service and their commitment to the Chamber’s priorities throughout their careers.

Regional Chamber President and CEO Joe Reagan presented the Chamber’s Inspiration Award to Illinois Sen. Kyle McCarter for his work in passing legislation this year to combat synthetic drug abuse.

The Regional Chamber recognized Missouri Sen. Eric Schmitt, Missouri Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, Missouri Sen. Tom Dempsey, Missouri Rep. Robert Cornejo, Missouri Rep. Paul Curtman, and Missouri Speaker Todd Richardson as Chamber Champions for their efforts in passing Senate Bill 5, important legislation reforming municipal courts.

For their work in securing record funding to support entrepreneurship for the Missouri Technology Corporation, Missouri Sen. Kurt Schaefer, Missouri Rep. Tom Flanigan, and Missouri Rep. Lincoln Hough were also recognized as Chamber Champions. Illinois Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson Sr. received a Chamber Champion award for passing an Education Compact benefiting Scott Air Force Base.

In addition to the Chamber Champion awardees, the Regional Chamber recognized Missouri Sen. Doug Libla, Illinois Rep. Jay Hoffman, Illinois Rep. Dan Beiser, and Illinois Sen. Martin Sandoval for their work in supporting transportation infrastructure in our region. Missouri Sen. Ryan Silvey and Missouri Rep. Jay Barnes were recognized for their efforts to pass Medicaid reform and expansion.

Illinois Sen. Kyle McCarter, Illinois Rep. Dwight Kay, and Illinois Rep. Jay Hoffman were recognized as leaders in the effort to reform Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation system, a key Chamber effort in Illinois.

Additionally, Illinois Sen. James Clayborne Jr. and Illinois Sen. David Luechtefeld were recognized for their ongoing efforts to deliver a balanced budget.

Missouri Rep. Anne Zerr was recognized for her economic development work and Illinois Sen. William Haine was recognized for his support for commerce on the Mississippi River.

The Regional Chamber bestowed the Catalyst Award to three up-and-coming lawmakers that demonstrate promise for advancing priority issues for the Chamber in the future. Missouri Rep. Kevin Corlew, Missouri Rep. Kevin Austin, and Illinois Rep. Jerry Costello, II received the Catalyst Award.

The awards program followed a Networking Reception sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield.

About the St. Louis Regional Chamber

The St. Louis Regional Chamber is a broad community of leaders united for economic prosperity throughout the entire St. Louis bi-state region. Its aspiration is for St. Louis to be one of the Top 10 U.S. regions in prosperity. Its aim is to make the region a more attractive place for people to live, work and invest, by focusing on the economic clusters of financial services, health, multimodal logistics and biosciences. For more information, visit

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