Missouri Minute: Hallmark taps new CEO; Amazon hiring 1,500 in St. Peters

Good morning, MBA readers,

Sometimes, a fresh perspective is what you need to become unstuck. That may be what Bayer is going for as it hires an external attorney to deal with a torrent of Monsanto-related lawsuits. Hallmark is also looking outside — or at least beyond its founding family — for new leadership. Meanwhile, Amazon is on a recruitment drive for its St. Peters facility. Scroll down for these and other top business headlines from around the state.

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For second time, Hallmark looks outside Hall family for leadership
Mike Perry, a 30-year veteran of the company, will replace Don Hall Jr. as CEO. It will be the first time since 1985 that someone from outside the Hall family leads the Kansas City company known for its greeting cards. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Bayer hires external firm to advise glyphosate litigation
Bayer, sued by more than 13,000 plaintiffs since it acquired Monsanto for $63 billion, has hired U.S. lawyer John Beisner from Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom to advise its supervisory board on trial tactics and mediation. (Reuters)

Amazon begins hiring 1,500 workers for new St. Peters facility
The 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center is looking to fill a range of jobs from floor associates to leadership roles. The center will run two 10-hour shifts each day, and employees will earn $15 to $17.90 an hour. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Reinsurance Group of America scores $2.9 billion deal
RGA, one of the largest public firms in the St. Louis region, has agreed to reinsure $2.9 billion in annuities for Horace Mann Life Insurance, a subsidiary of a leading insurer of teachers. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Columbia Chamber of Commerce honors four at annual dinner
Steven Smith was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year for his work as president and CEO of Job Point as the chamber handed out its annual awards. (MBA)

Former Stark Pharmacy director sentenced in Medicaid fraud case
Steven Baraban, who pleaded guilty to his role in a $9.5 million Medicaid billing scheme, was sentenced this week to three years probation. He will also pay restitution of $125,000 in addition to the $2.2 million he has already paid to resolve a whistleblower case. (Kansas City Star)

Say that again

“We need more truck drivers — people to actually jump in the truck and to drive the freight. … I mean, millennials aren’t trying to jump in the truck anymore.”

That’s Jy Maze, founder of Maze Freight Solutions, a freight logistics company based in the Kansas City area. Maze, who founded her company in 2017, visited with Missouri Business Alert about launching the business, why she loves freight and how her industry is navigating a driver shortage.

Go figure

That was the number of St. Louis-based banks at the end of 2018, down from 92 a decade earlier, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The St. Louis market has shrunk further this week with another consolidation. With $1.6 billion in assets, FCB Banks of Collinsville, Illinois, has acquired Columbia National Bank in Columbia, Illinois, which has $48 million in assets. Earlier this year, Frontenac-based Reliance Bancshares sold to Simmons First National Corp. of Arkansas for $213 million.

Hello, my name is

Phil Sheridan
Sheridan has been hired as permanent CEO of CenterPointe Hospital’s new $21 million facility in Columbia, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. A 25-year veteran of the industry, Sheridan had served in various behavioral health care executive roles before joining the St. Charles-based psychiatric hospital. Sheridan has been vice president of hospital development at Haven Behavioral Health in Boise, Idaho, since 2017 and was CEO of Cottonwood Behavioral Health before that.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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