Missouri Minute: Boulevard Brewing names new leader; Boeing aircraft makes history

Hello, MBA readers,

Missouri’s attorney general has filed documents in the state’s Medicaid expansion court case that contend the state has no responsibility to fund the health care program. Arguments in the case are scheduled for June 18, with a decision expected before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1. In Kansas City, John McDonald, the founder of Boulevard Brewing Co., will once again retire, handing the reins of the company over to Seraf De Smedt. The Kansas City brewery is owned by Belgian brewer Duvel Moortgat, for which De Smedt previously worked as chief finance and administration officer. And, in the St. Louis area, there is cause for celebration from Boeing’s defense division. A prototype produced by that division made aviation history on Monday, becoming the first unmanned aircraft to refuel another plane while in flight.

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Medicaid budget could face cuts without tax extension; court case over expansion nears
Gov. Mike Parson warned Missouri could face Medicaid budget cuts if lawmakers fail to renew a medical provider tax set to expire in September. In the fight over Medicaid expansion, the state attorney general filed documents saying lawmakers were not obligated to fund expansion. (Kansas City StarMissouri Independent)

TransSystems acquires architecture and engineering firm
The Kansas City-based transportation consulting firm has purchased Pennsylvania-based L.R. Kimball, which employs 150 people, for an undisclosed price. (Kansas City Business Journal)

‘Gray-market’ machines test Missouri gambling laws
The unregulated gaming machines that offer cash prizes to players continue to populate gas stations and other venues across the state despite several ongoing criminal cases. (Missouri Independent)

KC-area hotels targeted for conversion projects
Developers are pursuing plans to convert three Overland Park, Kansas, hotels into apartment complexes. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Behavioral health nonprofit reaches state settlement
Great Circle agreed to pay more than $9,000 and admit no wrongdoing to “improper billing” claims. The claims come from an audit earlier this year that highlighted billing issues exceeding $1 million. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Chiefs team with Tom’s Town on branded gin
Kansas City distillery Tom’s Town Distilling is now the official team gin of the Kansas City Chiefs. Tom’s Town signed a three-year partnership agreement with the NFL team. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Wash U part of research agreement to develop Alzheimer’s drug
A New York-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm finalized its agreement with the St. Louis university Monday. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Go figure


The proposed merger of Canadian National Railway and Kansas City Southern would remove at least 300 long-haul trucks from the roads, resulting in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, according to the chief executives of the two railroad companies. CEOs JJ Ruest of Canadian National and Patrick Ottensmeyer of Kansas City Southern spoke together at an investment conference Thursday to address the impact that the union of their companies would have on competition, manufacturing supply chains and carbon emissions, among other topics. Ottensmeyer called the deal — which is facing regulatory scrutiny over antitrust concerns — a “huge opportunity.”

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An prototype Boeing MQ-25 Stingray made aviation history on Monday, becoming the first unmanned aircraft to refuel another airplane while in flight when it successfully topped up a U.S. Navy Super Hornet, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The Stingray was manufactured by Boeing’s defense division in the St. Louis area. This initial test has laid the groundwork for future tests, which will involve more complicated refueling tasks, at greater speeds and under other varying conditions. The drone has been in the works for over five years, after the Navy switched its focus from an unmanned assault craft to a refueling drone. The Navy has signaled it itends to purchase as many as 72 of the Stingrays in a deal estimated at $3 billion.

Hello, my name is

Seraf De Smedt

De Smedt will take over U.S. operations for Belgian brewer Duvel Moortgatat, a role that includes oversight of Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Co. The move follows the announcement that Boulevard founder John McDonald will once again retire, The Kansas City Star reports. McDonald, who initially retired in 2013, stepped back into the executive spot following allegations of sexual harassment at the brewery that led former president Jeff Krum and two other top executive to resign. De Smedt was previously the chief finance and administration officer for the Belgian company.

Word to the wise

Paper hands

This term, coined on the social media platform Reddit, refers to stock traders who sell at the initial signs of loss or profit in a certain stock. On the other end of the spectrum are those with “diamond hands,” who hold onto stocks regardless of fluctuations. These and a variety of other colorful terms were coined by Reddit users who have played a role in disrupting equity markets in recent months, the Beacon reports. These retail investors have rallied around stocks including AMC Entertainment and GameStop, causing them to soar despite bearish Wall Street expectations of the stocks. AMC, the Kansas City-area cinema chain, has embraced these traders, launching promotions for investors to receive incentives like free popcorn when they visit AMC theaters. The sudden surge of investors has caused AMC to see record high stock prices, sometimes nearly doubling its value over the course of one day.

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


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