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ronda-saugetSauget

rich-connerConner
    As the Leadership Council celebrates its 30th anniversary, we take great pride in the fact that this organization, and many of its individual members, played a role in supporting or delivering so many of the landscape-changing projects that shaped our region over the past three decades. This abridged version of the special 30th anniversary edition of the Market Review & Investment Update showcases just a sampling of the wealth of investment activity that has occurred in Southwestern Illinois since 1983. You can read the full version by going to our website, www.leadershipcouncilswil.com. This update also celebrates the significant new investments in 2012 and major projects now under way or planned that will further change our landscape in the years to come.
   As the voice of Southwestern Illinois, the Leadership Council has continuously advocated for funding of critical infrastructure projects and legislation to make our region more business friendly, opening the door for growth. It should come as no surprise that many of the milestone projects over the past 30 years were those that improved the flow of people and commerce in the Metro East, sparking much of the additional investment that has occurred across various communities and all sectors of our economy. You’ll see in the full report that those investments were occurring in the areas of manufacturing, education, distribution, retail, hospitality, health care, energy and more, illustrating how diverse our economy has become.
   The update shines a spotlight on some of the significant projects making news during 2012, and further illustrates that investment in our region continues at a healthy pace. As you’ll see in its pages, the level of multimodal investment is something we’re particularly excited about as we make our way through 2013; it’s why our Southwestern Illinois Transportation Enhancement initiative is so critical. Through SITE, we will make sure we’re addressing future infrastructure needs and capitalizing on the tremendous opportunities presented by our rich multimodal capabilities to be a gateway to the world.
   The Leadership Council thanks those who have stood side by side with us over the past 30 years to tackle the challenges and celebrate the successes as our region has welcomed billions of dollars in investment: our county board chairs and other local community leaders; our state and federal legislators; our allied economic development groups in Southwestern Illinois; the Regional Business Council and Civic Progress, the St. Louis Regional Chamber; and our many members, past and present, from business, industry, government, education and labor.
   We look forward to strengthening our relationships in the years to come as we continue to serve as one voice for Southwestern Illinois. Working strategically, and working together, remains the key to unlocking our region’s future potential.

Sincerely,
   Ronda Sauget, PhD         Rich Conner
   President, 2013              Chairman, 2013