Missouri Minute: KC named finalist for USDA offices; Steve Stenger pleads guilty

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After a weekend packed with Star Wars jokes, Cinco de Mayo celebrations and a wild Kentucky Derby finish, it’s time to get back to business. But before we cover Steve Stenger’s guilty plea, USDA facilities or Centene CEO Michael Neidorff’s salary, we have something to celebrate: the start of Small Business Week. With a host of festivities planned across the country this week, there is ample opportunity to support your favorite small business.

Stay alert

Kansas City named finalist for USDA offices
The Kansas City Area Development Council’s bid has made it to the final round with regions in Indiana and North Carolina. It could bring in hundreds of jobs. (Kansas City Business Journal)

St. Louis holds out hope for USDA facilities
St. Louis was listed as one of two “alternative locations” for the Agriculture Department offices, and local officials said they are not giving up on their bid. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Steve Stenger pleads guilty, likely to get three to four years behind bars
As anticipated, the former St. Louis County Executive admitted to providing political favors in exchange for campaign donations. (Associated Press)

Minority workers say racist acts occur at Kansas City Harley-Davidson plant
Employees say discrimination and harassment have occurred at the plant for years. (Associated Press)

CoxHealth breaks grounds on $42 million hospital
The new Cox Monett Hospital will take about two years to complete and will replace the current hospital, built in 1953. (Springfield News-Leader)

Kansas City Business Journal celebrates “Champions of Business”
Another 15 companies were honored this year for their commitment to “innovation, involvement in the community and financial performance.” (Kansas City Business Journal)

University of Missouri’s Research Reactor sole domestic supplier of two isotopes
The facility has been the only supplier of Iodine-131 and Lutetium-177 in the past year. (Columbia Missourian)

Show me

Today’s graphic looks at the programming languages that are in highest demand among Missouri employers, according to a new report from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

Say that again

“Start over with what’s possible. … You can change industries! You are changing industries! Nobody’s going to believe it unless you believe it!”

At the KC Tech Council’s annual CEO Retreat, startup investor Chris Olsen advised a room of entrepreneurs to aim high as they prepare their investment pitches, Startland News reports. Olsen, co-founder and partner at Drive Capital in Columbus, Ohio, emphasized the importance of confidence when trying to distinguish a burgeoning startup from competing ventures.

Go figure


Centene CEO Michael Neidorff 2018’s salary, at $26.1 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, was 396 times what an average employee at the company made last fiscal year, Becker’s Hospital Review reports. The managed care executive was the St. Louis area’s highest-paid CEO for the fifth year in a row, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Hello, my name is

Carol Espinosa

The principal at Freedom Interior was named Missouri’s 2019 small business person of the year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award, which honored 53 businesspeople across 53 U.S. states and territories, kicked off the SBA’s celebration of National Small Business Week, which started Sunday and runs through Saturday. Founded in 2010, Kansas City’s Freedom Interior is an office furniture designer that takes a 3D scan of a client’s space to tailor designs for their particular needs.

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