Good morning, MBA readers,
Missouri companies are putting on their best new faces in anticipation of 2020. This week has brought news of new leadership in St. Louis at Enterprise Holdings and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, as well as executive changes for multiple businesses in the Kansas City area. Along with restructuring at the top, other companies, such as BJC HealthCare, are reshuffling duties. The St. Louis-based hospital system plans to outsource IT employees, eliminating 200 jobs. Learn about these comings and goings and the rest of the day’s top business stories below.
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Enterprise Holdings names Chrissy Taylor CEO
Taylor, who will be the third generation of her family to lead the Clayton-based rental car company, will replace the retiring Pam Nicholson. She will oversee Enterprise’s global strategy and operations, the company said. (St. Louis Business Journal)
BJC outsources IT services, cuts 200 jobs
St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare, which has about 31,000 employees, has eliminated 200 jobs as part of an overhaul of its IT infrastructure. About 70% of the impacted workers have been placed in new roles within the organization or with the vendor hired to provide IT services, the hospital system said. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Save-A-Lot hires consulting firm to prepare for sale
The St. Ann-based discount grocer is working with business advisory firm FTI Consulting to help with contracts and other operational matters as it struggles with liquidity. The company is reportedly talking to several rivals about a potential sale or partnership, including German-owned Lidl. (St. Louis Business Journal)
St. Louis economic partnership names Crim permanent leader
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership has named interim leader Rodney Crim as its permanent CEO and president. Crim came to St. Louis in 2002 to lead the St. Louis Development Corp. He took the interim post at the partnership after Sheila Sweeney was ousted as its executive in January for her role in ex-St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s corruption scheme. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Lockton company names new COO
Mylo, a Kansas City-based digital insurance firm owned by Lockton Cos., has named Belen Tokarski as its new COO. Tokarski has been chief strategy officer for Mylo since August. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Wells Fargo Advisors adopts zero commissions on trades
The St. Louis-based brokerage announced this week that it will offer zero-commission trades on its WellsTrade securities trading platform. The move follows similar ones by other brokerages like Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade. (Barron’s)
Olin to close two Texas plants
The Clayton-based chemical products maker announced Wednesday that it will permanently shutter two plants on the Texas Gulf Coast that produce industrial chemicals such as chlorine and sodium hydroxide. Olin said the plants should close by the end of next year, cutting annual operating costs by about $35 million. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Springfield’s Little Sunshine’s secures $50M investment
Texas-based Buttry & Brown Development plans to spend $50 million to build preschools for Little Sunshine’s Enterprises in Springfield. Little Sunshine’s President Brett Roubal said the company would lease the new schools from Buttry & Brown upon completion. (Springfield Business Journal)
Fighting for survival, century-old St. Louis nursing school will not accept new students
The Lutheran School of Nursing has put a hold on taking new students and informed new applicants that they will need to find a new program. One school board member said he will present the Missouri State Board of Nursing with a sustainability program to keep the school open, despite its financial woes. (KSDK)
Straub Construction goes outside the family for new president
The Shawnee, Kansas-based general contractor will promote longtime employee Parker Young, who would be its first leader from outside the Staub family. Young replaces Ernie Staub III, who will become chairman of the company’s board. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Bass Pro issues recall for grills
Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops has issued a recall for Mr. Steak brand propane gas grills that may melt when they come in contact with the bottom of the product’s firebox. The recall affects about 3,300 units sold in the U.S. and 400 in Canada. (Springfield Business Journal)
State sues southwest Missouri town over alleged abuse of ticket quota
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office has filed a lawsuit against the city of Marshfield, alleging that its police department misused traffic ticket quotas to fill city coffers. The number of citations filed by Marshfield police officers more than doubled from 646 in 2017 to 1,386 in 2018. (Springfield Business Journal)
Say that again
“The level of knowledge of the average beer consumer is night-and-day different than 30 years ago. And I think customers won’t overlook flaws from a local brewery like they used to.”
That’s Matt McCarroll, director of the fermentation institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, one of the first universities in the country to introduce a bachelor’s degree in fermentation science. Similar programs are bubbling up elsewhere as the demand for educated brewers increases with the growing craft beer industry. St. Louis University has introduced a new Brewing Science and Operations program to educate the next generation of brewers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Organizers of the program have tapped local beer experts, such as Jeff Pitts, a former executive at Anheuser-Busch, to teach the classes.
Different Missouri counties experienced disparate outcomes in terms of personal income in 2018, according to a recently released report. Most counties saw income growth, led by Ste. Genevieve at 9.9%. However, a handful of counties — largely concentrated in the northernmost part of the state — witnessed negative change to average income. Atchison County was hit hardest, with a 9% decrease.
That’s how much Kansas City-based Novel Growth Partners raised in its first oversubscribed fund, the firm announced Tuesday. According to Startland News, the capital will allow Novel to expand its portfolio of software startups in Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The firm makes investments of up to $1 million and helps provide support services to beginning companies through its Growth Bootcamp.
Hello, my name is
bcp tech InsurTech Accelerator
That’s the name of the latest startup accelerator powered by LaunchKC, Startland News reports. A collaboration between LaunchKC, Brush Creek Partners and TechAssure, the accelerator aims to help small or growing insurance technology companies scale. The program plans to work with five startups from May to July. Applications are expected to open in January. Brush Creek Partners COO Nathan Kurtz said that, by coming to Kansas City to take part in the accelerator, companies will be given the tools needed to grow in a community with a “vibrant heritage in insurance.”
It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.