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Businesses and organizations that are making the St. Louis region a better place to live, work and invest were recognized Thursday evening by the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

The 2014 Arcus Awards is the chamber's annual recognition, presented by RubinBrown LLP, celebrating organizations that made significant contributions to St. Louis. The winners were showcased at a live event Thursday at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis that drew about 800 people.

“The Arcus Awards built on our successful inaugural launch in 2013,” said St. Louis Regional Chamber President & Chief Executive Officer Joe Reagan. “Working with our partners, we have once again presented an exciting event to elevate the stories of businesses and organizations — ultimately, the people — that are inspiring a greater St. Louis.”

Latin for “arch,” the Arcus Awards symbolize the Gateway Arch, the unifying symbol of the St. Louis region. This year, the Arcus Awards highlighted the Reinvest North County Fund launched by the Regional Business Council, and other regional collaborative efforts to support the people and businesses directly affected by the tragedy in Ferguson and surrounding communities. 

The Chamber made a donation to the Reinvest North County Fund for each of the first 100 nominations that were submitted for the Arcus Awards.

Arcus Awards were presented in nine categories. Winners, who received a hand-crafted art piece designed by artists from the Third Degree Glass Factory, are:

• Centene Corp. is the recipient of the Ameren Corporate Citizenship Award, which recognizes exceptional corporate leadership in the St. Louis region. In 2014, Centene announced that it would expand into Ferguson with a new claims processing center, creating 150 to 200 jobs with a multitude of benefits including health care, dental and vision insurance. The facility will process claims from Centene’s Home State Health Plan in Missouri and Centene’s other health plans from across the country.

• LaunchCode is the recipient of the BMO Harris Bank St. Louis Award, recognizing its success in advancing St. Louis’ rich history and global reputation as a hub of innovation and forward-looking vision. Founded by Jim McKelvey, LaunchCode creates pathways to economic opportunity and upward mobility through apprenticeships and job placement in technology and computer programming. In one year, the pioneering workforce training program operated by LaunchCode has placed nearly 100 individuals into technology apprenticeships at more than 65 companies, with about 90 percent transitioning into full-time employees. LaunchCode is expected to help expand the pipeline of regional talent for highly sought-after computer programmers.

• The Missouri Botanical Garden is the recipient of the Arcus Award for Achievement in Biosciences, sponsored by Bryan Cave LLP. The Missouri Botanical Garden was recognized for advancing St. Louis’ reputation as a global hub for bioscience and for their worldwide leadership in research focused on discovering, documenting and conserving the diversity of the world’s plants.

• The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis received the Arcus Award for Achievement in Financial Services, sponsored by Thompson Coburn LLP. The St. Louis Fed was recognized for its new Inside the Economy Museum, an interactive experience that teaches financial literacy, and which is expected to inspire the next generation of talent to grow St. Louis’ world-class financial services sector.

• Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital is the recipient of the  Arcus Award for Achievement in Health, sponsored by Centene Corp. Ranken Jordan was recognized for its unique “Care Beyond the Beside” model to improve health care delivery for children.

• Boeing Co. received the Arcus Award for Achievement in Multimodal Logistics, sponsored by The Laclede Group, recognizing the aerospace giant's investment to create up to 700 jobs to build parts for the 777X, Boeing’s next-generation commercial aircraft. It was the first time Boeing brought commercial aircraft production to St. Louis.

• The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing has received the Arcus Award for Achievement in Educational Attainment, sponsored by Edward Jones. The school was recognized for its One CLIC Accelerated RN/BS Program, designed to meet the growing demand for bachelor degree-educated nurses in our region’s workforce through innovative teaching models focused on working adults.

• Cultivation Capital and ITEN share the Arcus Award for Achievement in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, sponsored by Monsanto Co.  The judges selected two winners in this category to reflect the vital pairing of capital and mentorship. This successful relationship has made St. Louis one of the most closely-watched innovation hubs on the rise around the world. The judges said neither could exist or succeed alone. Cultivation Capital was honored for launching and significantly increasing local venture capital funding for early-stage technology and life sciences companies and for helping to launch two start-up accelerators. ITEN was recognized for their portfolio of mentorship and acceleration programs, which are helping strengthen the rapidly expanding entrepreneurial hub in the St. Louis region.

• The St. Louis Mosaic Project received the Arcus Award for Achievement in Inclusion & Talent Attraction, sponsored by STL Communications Inc. The organization was honored for creating the Professional Connector Program and the Global Talent Hiring Program that promote a more international workforce in St. Louis, with the goal of making St. Louis the fastest-growing region in the U.S. for immigration. 

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