Blog Home > Archive (February, 2017)

Old Town Cape held its Annual Dinner on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau Event Center. Six awards were presented recognizing the outstanding volunteers, projects, business owners and residents who make the Old Town Cape district an increasingly attractive place to live, work and play.

Volunteer of the Year: Matt McDonald, Co-Pastor at City Church in Downtown Cape Girardeau was awarded Volunteer of the Year. This award acknowledges an individual who has contributed significant time and effort to Old Town Cape, Inc. by going beyond their duties to make an impact in fulfilling the mission of the organization. Matt began volunteering in 2013 when he joined the Organization Committee. He chaired the committee for two years and is currently still a member. He established the “Block Captain” program and started block competitions to build a sense of community among neighboring businesses.

Business Excellence: Mississippi Mutts at 609 Broadway received the Business Excellence Award. This award recognizes a strong downtown Cape Girardeau business that demonstrates good business practices, concepts of community involvement and strong support of downtown and the mission of Old Town Cape, Inc. On a regular basis, Mississippi Mutts sponsors activities and events that support the local community as well as drive traffic to neighboring businesses. A recent example is their Pay for the Pup Campaign which raised over $5,600. They are currently planning a Mardi Paws parade as a free community event.

Judith Ann Crow Residential Historic Rehabilitation: Centurion Development LLC, Jason Coalter and Dustin Richardson, received the Judith Ann Crow Residential Historic Rehabilitation Award for the rehabilitation of 232 Good Hope. This award recognizes the efforts of individuals in the preservation of historic residential structures and enhancement of the city’s built environment through the successful rehabilitation or restoration of residential properties within the Old Town Cape, Inc. district. The nearly 120 year-old home at 232 Good Hope is a contributing building in the Courthouse-Seminary Historic District and represents the simple kind of residential architecture typical to this early 20th century neighborhood.

John Boardman Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation: Jon Rust, Rex Rust, and Gary Rust II were awarded the John Boardman Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation Award for their work at 325 Broadway. This award recognizes the efforts of individuals, organizations, institutions, and businesses in the preservation of historic commercial structures and enhancement of the city’s built environment through successful rehabilitation or restoration. Originally built in 1964 as a savings and loan association. 325 Broadway took a modern twist in 2014 when it became the Rust Center for Media. The project was the result of a collaborative partnership between the Rust family and Southeast Missouri State University to house the University’s newspaper, television and video production programs.

Charles L. Hutson Visionary: Don Greenwood, local artist and downtown resident, received the Charles L. Hutson Visionary Award. This award honors someone who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the revitalization and future development of the Old Town Cape district, developing opportunities that significantly improve the quality of life in the district and who demonstrate the perseverance to make dreams a reality. Don is the embodiment of downtown revitalization. He walks the walk, having made his home and life in downtown for many years., He has been involved with Old Town Cape since its inception and multiple other downtown groups prior to that. He has been instrumental in the development, design and painting of many of the downtown murals, including the River Tales and Wall of Fame. He has donated design for T-shirts, posters and programs for Riverfest, City of Roses Music Festival, Tunes at Twilight and numerous other iconic downtown events. His art can be seen all over downtown and his music heard in diverse venues from Port Cape to the Cape Riverfront Market. He has been a longtime true friend of downtown.

 Special recognition was given to Kent and Vicki Zickfield for leadership and dedication to the 25 years of Parade of Lights.

Incoming Board Members: Chris Foeste, Big River Communications and Rex Rust, Southeast Missourian/rustmedia

Outgoing Board Members: Laurie Everett, Annie Laurie’s and Donna Denson, Southeast Missourian

2017 Officers: President, Dawn Dauer, The Bank of Missouri; First Vice President, Emilie Stephens, Annie-Em’s at Home; Second Vice President, Danny Essner, Capaha Bank; Secretary, Chris Hutson, Hutsons’ Fine Furniture, Treasurer Doc Cain, Port Cape Girardeau, Advisor to the Executive Committee, Dr. Steven Hoffman, Southeast Missouri State University,

Additional Board members are: Kyleigh Baliva, Pastimes Antiques; Trae Bertrand, Bertrand Law Firm; Bill Cole, Realty Executives; Don Greenwood, Local Artist; Alex McElroy, City of Cape Girardeau; Shelly Moore, City Council; Andre Parker, Student Government at Southeast Missouri State University; Lee Schlitt, Broadway Prescription Shop, and Kent Zickfield, Zickfield’s Jewelry & Gifts. 

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Engineering News-Record (ENR) Midwest has named Paul F. Findlay, Director of Preconstruction at Robinson Construction Company, to its Top Young Professionals Class of 2017. He was recognized for his noteworthy career achievements and community service among many other young construction and design professionals across the Midwest.

According to the article, ENR Midwest Top Young Professionals competition (formerly known as Top 20 Under 40) honors workers under the age of 40 who are making a big impact in the construction industry. The goal of the competition is to highlight and profile individuals who represent the “Best-of-the-Best” in the construction and design fields by giving back to their industry and communities.

Paul was selected out of more than 40 nominations from across the region and all industry sectors, from designers to entrepreneurs to academics to contractors. Selections were based on a candidate’s work experience, industry leadership activities, efforts to improve the built environment, and service to the broader community.

Paul joined Robinson Construction Company in 1999 with summer employment as a Laborer. After college, he moved on to hold positions as Draftsman and Project Engineer. He gradually moved into the role of Preconstruction Coordinator, and became Director of Preconstruction in 2016. Paul holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from University of Missouri-Rolla and a MBA from William Woods University.

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Less than 20% of Southeast Missouri State University graduates will make their life and career in the Cape Girardeau area. Increasing that number, is an important priority for the Cape Chamber.  

Talented workers come from many areas and all walks of life and it’s important to ensure strong workforce pipelines across the board. However, one of our best regional pools of talent is the 12,000 or so University students right here in Cape. After spending five years working for Southeast, where I had the incredible opportunity to meet thousands of alumni all over the world, I can confidently say the more of these alums who live in our area, the better off we will be. The better off our economy will be.  

In order to increase the percent who stay, the Cape Chamber and the University are working together to build a program called connectCAPE, with the basic idea of getting students connected with businesses. We have hosted a few small events and recently branched into the next phase, a job shadowing program. We started small with just 10 students, but we hope to match many more students and businesses in the fall. Having more available talent will result in more jobs coming to our community.

We understand many students will move on from Cape Girardeau and we of course want them to find the right path. However, it would be a shame if a student graduates from Southeast without ever having a chance to see what the business communities in Cape and Jackson can offer.

Of course this program only works if it benefits students, which is truly at the heart of the effort. Giving students earlier access to more real-world settings will undoubtedly add value to their education.

Ultimately, this is a win-win-win, which makes it a priority. Students are better prepared to enter the workforce and make career choices. The University is providing better support to students. Businesses in our area are able to access more talent. It is small today, but we will continue to water the seeds and foster the growth as long as the outcomes continue to look promising for all. 

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Local musician Jerry Ford received the 2017 Missouri Arts Award Thursday as an individual artist in the capitol rotunda. Here he accepts a proclamation from state senator Wayne Wallingford.  

Among his many accomplishments, Ford began the Jerry Ford Orchestra in 1960, which has performed for two governors' inaugural balls and several fundraisers throughout the region. He is a board member at the Cape River Heritage Museum, where he's volunteered for the past 25 years, as well as the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri and the Music Academy at Southeast Missouri State University. He's served on the board of managers for Southeast's River Campus for 16 years.

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carGO is such a bright spot in Cape for several reasons. First of all, they are filling an important need in our community. Transportation is a quality of life issue and having a ride-sharing service is a strong improvement. There are many examples of customers from foreign exchange students at Southeast to elderly Cape residents. But perhaps the most compelling use case is a visually impaired couple who have use the service more than a dozen times. This allows them the freedom to quickly run out and grab lunch or do some shopping. Just an incredible story.   

Secondly, they are bringing jobs and extra income. This type of work is known as the “gig economy,” basically a marketplace that utilizes short-term contracts or freelance workers. It’s critical we embrace this new economy as the world moves more in this direction. There are currently more than 60 carGO drivers.

Finally, what’s really exciting to me, is to see viable, scalable businesses STARTING in Cape. carGO isn’t the only example, but it’s a good one. They have over 1,600 customers who have downloaded the app and delivered over 500 rides. They are considering adding additional services in the future and expanding to other similar communities. 

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Ribbon Cutting: Stev-Mark

Stev-Mark Ribbon Cutting

Stev-Mark has been undergoing several renovations in the past few months. Most recently, they are celebrating the completion of their Paint Room. Stop by 2125 William Street to see all the changes they have made and get advice from their interior decorators as they aim to help their clients live the lifestyle they want to live by taking into account everything that makes a house into a home.

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MAGNET Helps Create Jobs

Our region has worked hard over the years to bring in new businesses and keep the ones we have. All in an effort to help bring jobs. In fact, since 1992, an organization called Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET has led the way.

MAGNET is funded by Cape Girardeau County, the cities of Cape, Jackson and Scott City, and the Cape Chamber. These five entities came together to create a regional approach to business growth.

Statistics show that approximately 80% of our job growth comes from existing businesses. Through MAGNETs Business Retention and Expansion program we help these job creators navigate governmental issues, connect them with new potential employees or even help them expand.

But it’s really more than working with individual businesses, it’s identifying key trends that help shape strategic decisions in our region. For instance, after meeting with area logistics companies, we could see there was a shortage of Commercial Drivers Licenses, CDLs. Since that time, we’ve connected several people around this issue and continue to make progress toward decreasing this shortage. This is just a small example of how MAGNET is working to improve our region and pave the way for our existing businesses to create more jobs. 

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Semo Trade & Sell/SEMO MEDIASemo Trade & Sell/SEMO MEDIA recently moved into their new space in the Broadway Federal Building. Specializing in social media advertisement, they offer services to businesses of all sizes. Visit their website at semotrade& for more information on how they can help you and your business.
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Boys & Girls ClubBoys & Girls Club of Southeast Missouri celebrated their recent expansion to Scott City, MO where they now offer an after-school program for youth at Scott City R-1 school. The program focuses on education, character, life skills, recreation, and leadership for youth who may need a little help recognizing their full potential.

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The City of Cape is pleased to announce that the Missouri Park and Recreation Association (MPRA) Citations and Awards Committee have selected Mayor Harry E. Rediger to receive the 2017 MPRA Public Official Award. Mayor Rediger was nominated by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department Director, Julia Thompson and her staff. The criteria for nomination includes “Public promotion and support voiced on behalf of recreation and park interests and issues, Public addresses to groups in the interest of recreation and parks, Preparing, sponsoring supporting and handling of recreation or parks related legislature and Counsel or Advise rendered to the MPRA and/or its constituency on issues and concerns related to parks and recreation. Mayor Rediger has been a champion supporter and promoter of “quality of life” issues and initiatives for the City of Cape Girardeau and regularly speaks to these causes. Whether welcoming a group of Special Olympic athletes to the Statewide Competitions held in the City to championing public art on Broadway and helping lead the charge to build a new multimillion dollar state of the art indoor sports complex; Mayor Rediger has exemplified positive growth and investment in making the City of Cape Girardeau and quality community.

 The award ceremony will be held at the MPRA State Conference in Branson Missouri on Thursday March 9th.

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