(618) 692-9745

Realtors® associations donate a total of $200,000 to the effort

Edwardsville, Ill., March 4, 2014 – The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois today announced that it has raised more than $1.37 million to date toward the $3.2 million goal for its “One Voice. United for Growth.” investment campaign to support the Council’s top priority economic development programs.  Recent donations of $100,000 from the Illinois Realtors® Association, and $50,000 each from the Greater Gateway Association of Realtors® and the Realtor® Association of Southwestern Illinois pushed total pledges received over 40 percent of the goal. Regional investment campaign leaders continue working to generate additional donations as the conclusion of the campaign’s Phase 1 is scheduled to coincide with the Leadership Council’s Annual Salute to Southwestern Illinois Awards Dinner on April 3. Subsequent phases of the investment campaign will focus on efforts to secure grants through the State of Illinois and various other sources.

The primary focus for funds raised through the investment campaign is to continue efforts to protect and enhance Scott Air Force Base, which has a regional annual economic impact of $3.2 billion. Through its Southwestern Illinois Defense Assets Retention and Expansion Task Force, the Leadership Council is working in concert with the St. Clair and Madison County Board Chairmen to identify proactive steps necessary to enable Scott and its missions to continue to thrive in an era of continuing Department of Defense budget reductions and a likely new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process in the next few years. The campaign will also fund the Leadership Council’s initiatives to help to ensure the re-accreditation of the levees protecting the American Bottom by 2015; foster multimodal job growth and investment; and coordinate regional economic development efforts to retain manufacturing and grow entrepreneurship.

“We are very pleased with the level of support from our members and other businesses and organizations who recognize the importance of the Leadership Council’s efforts to protect and enhance Scott Air Force Base and advance our region’s economy,” noted Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors President Gerry Schuetzenhofer, investment campaign co-chair.   “Our region has clearly stepped up to meet this critical challenge. We are optimistic that the State of Illinois will also recognize that funding this campaign is a solid investment in the future of Illinois.”

Leadership Council Investment Campaign Tops $1.37 Million

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Bruce Holland, president of Holland Construction Services, co-chairs the campaign with Schuetzenhofer. Campaign donor group chairs include Mark Hinrichs, Tom Holloway, Mike Riley, Bo Butters, Ken Diel, Stacy Cutler, Mark Harms, David Oates, Pat Mathis, Ronda Sauget, Rich Sauget, Sr., Jack Schmitt, Kathy Federico, Dale Stewart, and Dave Kunkel.

The financial commitments received to date represent widespread support from regional allies and partners on both sides of the Mississippi River. Joining the Realtors® associations among the largest donors to date are:  Madison County, St. Clair County, Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP), the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Illinois American Water, Enterprise Holdings, the Southwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council, The BANK of Edwardsville, Holland Construction Services, Impact Strategies, Operating Engineers Local 250 and the Carpenters’ District Council of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity.

The Leadership Council’s last investment campaign more than 10 years ago raised over $3 million and primarily supported the regional effort led by the Council to defend Scott Air Force Base during the 2005 BRAC round. More recently, the Council has worked diligently with limited resources to address key challenges facing Metro East and the broader St. Louis region. Highlights include advocating for the recently opened new Mississippi River Bridge and regional solutions to other critical infrastructure needs; and launching and serving as administrator of the St. Louis Metro East Levee Issues Alliance. The Alliance is working to secure the reaccreditation of the Metro East Levees so businesses can continue to invest with confidence and the lives and livelihoods of residents and businesses in the American Bottom are protected. The Council has also created SITE, the Southwestern Illinois Transportation Enhancement effort focused on retaining and growing the multi-modal infrastructure that is key to this region’s future success.

“The Realtor® community was proud to support the Council’s last campaign and having seen those dollars put to such good use, we are committed to renewing our support at this time,” noted Kyle Anderson, Local Government Affairs Director for the Illinois Realtors® Association. “The Leadership Council has proven, time and again, it truly can unite our region for growth, and we’re confident it will continue to work hard for the benefit of Southwestern Illinois and the region at large.”

For more information about the Council’s investment campaign, please contact Executive Director Ellen Krohne at (618) 692-9745 or ellenkrohne@siue.edu.