Executive Alert: Centene, Sprint execs honored, Osborn Barr CEO exits

Executive Alert is a regular report on career moves, awards, recognition and other news about top executives from across the Show-Me State.

Career moves


Osborn Barr chief executive Michael Turley has left the company and will work on his family farm. The company is one of the largest advertising agencies in St. Louis. Turley worked at Osborn Barr for 25 years and served as CEO for eight years.

The Concordance Academy of Leadership, an organization that aims to reduce recidivism rates among former inmates, has added two executives to its team. The group, founded by former Wells Fargo Advisors CEO Danny Ludeman, added April Foster as director of services and Danielle Hurtt as director of marketing and development.

Wendell Covington Jr., who recently was director of the Gateway to College Program at St. Louis Community College’s Florissant Valley campus, will now serve the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club as president and chief executive. He will assume his new job on Nov. 30.

Gary Sahrmann will be the first chief financial officer of Milestone Capital Advisors. Before joining the Clayton-based private equity firm, Sahrmann served as CFO for Wiese USA, a St. Louis-based Caterpillar forklift dealership.

National Bank Holdings’ founder and former chairman Frank Cahouet has announced his retirement. Cahouet, who has more than 50 years of experience in the banking sector, will retire after his current term expires.

Amy Kweskin will serve as new vice chancellor for the finance department at Washington University. Currently, she’s the university’s associate vice chancellor for finance and treasurer. She will succeed Barbara Feiner, who will retire at year’s end.

Dr. Gary Silverman will become the new head of the pediatrics department at Washington University. Silverman currently works in the University of Pittsburgh medical school’s pediatrics department and also at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Awards and recognition

Centene Corp. chairman, president and CEO Michael Neidorff is among 50 corporate leaders on Fortune’s 2015 Businessperson of the Year list. Neidorff took charge of Centene, a St. Louis-based managed care provider, in 1996. He ranked No. 21 on the Fortune list.

Sprint Corp. Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Crull ranked No. 3 on this year’s list of the most influential CMOs. Crull trailed only executives from Apple and KFC on the list.

In memoriam

St. Louis businessman and philanthropist Ben Fixman died at the age of 90. Fixman, who invented a process for reclaiming copper from used wire, founded Diversified Industries and built it into a Fortune 500 company before it eventually went bankrupt. Fixman grew up poor and dropped out of high school, but he found success in business and went on to make millions.

Byron Lapin of Clayton Corp. died at the age of 73. He was chairman and CEO of the company, which makes aerosol valves and plastic components for manufacturers. His father, Aaron “Bunny” Lapin invented Reddi-wip, the whipped cream available in an aerosol can, in 1948. The Lapin family still owns the company.

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