North County Incorporated Honors Community Leaders Making a Difference in North St. Louis County

2016 Chair Sean Hogan thanks 2015 Board Chair Dan Boyle for his service to NCI

2016 Chair Sean Hogan thanks 2015 Board Chair Dan Boyle for his service to NCI


As part of the organization’s 39th Annual Breakfast celebration, North County Incorporated (NCI) recognized several area leaders for making a significant positive impact in North County.  At a sold-out event on Friday, May 13th, 2016 more than 600 business, civic and community leaders gathered to honor this year’s award recipients.








NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Christian Hospital’s Ron McMullen with the prestigious Elmer Belsha Leadership Award.


Ron McMullen, FACHE, President, Christian Hospital, received the prestigious Elmer Belsha Leadership Award.  This award is presented annually to an individual who has made a long-term commitment to NCI and North County, and who has had a positive impact on the community and/or public body that they serve.


As president of Christian Hospital, McMullen leads a 485-bed acute-care hospital in north St. Louis County. Christian Hospital is noted for its excellence in heart services, cardiothoracic surgery, emergency medicine, cancer treatment, behavioral health programs, radiology, urology, pulmonology and radiation oncology. Under McMullen’s watch, the Community Health Access Program was initiated in 2014, helping thousands of North County’s highest at-risk patients obtain the appropriate medical resources at the right time along with the wrap-around social services needed to improve and sustain their quality of life long-term. During the Ferguson unrest of 2014-2015, Christian Hospital EMS was continually present and was honored with the 2015 Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association Presidential leadership Award.



NCI’s Business Development Awards were presented to those whose efforts have positively affected the economic development and business climate of the North County area.  This year, awards were given to Centene Corporation, Materials Lifecycle Management Company and SKF Lubrication Business Unit.




NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Business Development Award to Centene Corporation


Centene Corporation, a $10 billion Fortune 500 company that opened its LEED-certified Ferguson Service Center in April 2016, represents a $15 million investment and the creation of approximately 200 new jobs. Centene redeveloped an underutilized abandoned car dealership site for its new North County location.




NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Business Development Award to Materials Lifecycle Management Company

Materials Lifecycle Management Company (MLMC) opened its manufacturing facility in North County in 2015. The company’s $15 million investment represents not only employment opportunities for North County citizens but also a savings of approximately $6 million for North County businesses who sell their waste to MLMC instead of paying to dispose of it at incinerators and landfills. MLMC presents a zero-landfill opportunity for communities, as well.




NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Business Development Award to SKF Lubrication Business Unit

SKF Lubrication Business Unit, a global leader in industrial products and services, opened its state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing campus in NorthPark Business Park. Commanding over 300,000 square feet, the LEED-Gold certified facility has brought an investment of $34.2 million to North County.



Excellence in Partnership Award was given to Great Streets-Natural Bridge Corridor Partnership, which includes the City of Normandy, East-West Gateway, Great Rivers Greenway, Missouri Department of Transportation, St. Louis County and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. This award honors organizations or companies that have partnered with NCI to make a significant impact on the North County community for the betterment of the area’s quality of life through special initiatives and/or projects.



NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Business Development Award to Great Streets-Natural Bridge Corridor Partnership

NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Business Development Award to Great Streets-Natural Bridge Corridor Partnership


Great Streets – Natural Bridge Partnership was honored for interjurisdictional cooperation, leading to a $13 million investment toward improving on the area’s quality of life and economic stability.  This includes the formation of University Square, a new business development vision, an enhanced pedestrian and biking experience, and a greener working and living environments.



NCI’s Community Development Awards were presented to the North County Transit Center in Ferguson, Rev. Cedric Portis, Sr., pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church, and the Zykan Family Partnership. Community Development awards honor those whose efforts positively benefit youth, residents, civic organizations, or others through selfless acts.



NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Metro’s John Nations with Community Development Award

NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Metro’s John Nations with Community Development Award


The North County Transit Center is the newest addition to the Metro system. The Center represents an investment of $10.28 million and a key transit hub for the region. North County has the second highest ridership of the Metro services, and the Community Development Award acknowledges the positive benefit that the new center represents to area residents and businesses.




NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Rev. Cedric Portis, Sr. with Community Development Award

Rev. Portis is known in the community as a champion of youth, a person deeply engaged as a mentor, volunteer, scholarship funder and advocate for students in Hazelwood, Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts.


Before his role as leader of the Third Presbyterian Church, Portis was employed as an engineering project manager and made significant contributions to important public construction projects in our region, including the Lambert Airport East Terminal, the W1W airport runway expansion and the Lindbergh tunnel. During this time, he was involved in social justice issues of minority inclusion and participation on public construction projects.




NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Zykan Family Partnership with Community Development Award


The Zykan family members are long-time residents of North County. The family partnership was formed in honor of the family patriarch Donald R. Zykan, Sr. Through the partnership, family members have supported many North County organizations, including North County Incorporated. In addition, they have served on charitable committees to help raise money for those in need and have provided leadership to many boards and organizations, including the Greater North County Chamber of Commerce. Family members participated in the American Cancer Society’s North County Relay For Life, raising thousands of dollars for the fight against cancer and have been instrumental in championing a variety of local causes and projects that have consistently improved the lives of community members and the overall health and wellbeing of the area.



Public Service Awards were presented to outstanding individuals, elected, appointed, or employed by a public body whose long-time service has had a positive impact on the community and/or public body they serve.  This year’s awardees were Doug Baum, CFO, Ritenour School District; Ruby Curry, Interim President, St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley; and Bob Russell, Economic Development Director, City of Florissant.



NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Doug Baum with Public Service Award

NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Doug Baum with Public Service Award

NCI recognized Doug Baum for public service for his student-centered financial decisions, and his unflagging dedication and integrity, including as treasurer of the Ritenour Pride & Promise Foundation, where he helped raise more than $150,000.


Baum was also honored for his consistent excellence as the guardian of educational funds. For the past 14 years, Ritenour has received the national Meritorious Budget Award for excellence in the preparation and management of its annual budget, a distinction held by less than one percent of the nation’ school districts.




NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Ruby Curry with Public Service Award

Ruby Curry was recognized as a dedicated educator, leader and award-winning coach, a strong leader in her community, and an inspiration to thousands of students. In 1976, she was hired by St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley as an instructor in the Physical Education department and coach for the women’s basketball and softball teams on the Florissant Valley campus.


Under Curry’s leadership during the period of unrest in Ferguson, the Florissant Valley campus was made available as a “safe haven” for community members—a place where they could begin constructive dialogue and share their concerns.


Through her years of coaching and teaching, Ruby was honored numerous times: In 1986, Ruby was elected by her fellow coaches as Coach of the Year. In 1990, she was elected as the Women’s Region XVI Director for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and served until 2008. She was the assistant coach of the NJCAA women’s all-star basketball team and operational staff member for the 1995 World Winter University Games in Spain. In 2006, Ruby was recognized for her leadership and contributions to the sport and was inducted into the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2008 she received the NJCAA Service Award.




NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Bob Russell with Public Service Award

Bob Russell was honored for his 21 years of service on the City of Bellefontaine Neighbors’ Board of Alderman and the 10 years he served as Budget Director for the city, before becoming the Economic Development Director for the City of Florissant in 2001.


Since then, Russell has been involved in more than $450,000,000 of Economic Development projects in Florissant, including the major revitalization project of the Shoppes at Cross Keys and the $10 million redevelopment of the old Value City Shopping Center that now boasts Panda Express, Ulta Beauty, and Ashley’s Furniture.


Russell also donated the 30-acre Bob Russell Park in Bellefontaine Neighbors to the Matthews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club. Eventually plans for the park include a Cardinals Care baseball field as Phase 1 of a three-year restoration effort that will benefit thousands of area youths with sports and other activities.




NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Jennings School District a Special Recognition Award

A Special Recognition Award was presented to Jennings School District under the leadership of Dr. Tiffany Anderson. This award honors those who through their business and volunteer services exemplify leadership and service to the North County community, who are dedicated to helping others, and who improve the business environment and/or lives of those they serve.


In the last four years, Anderson has set forth an aggressive plan to achieve full accreditation and stabilize the district’s finances. Her vision has included increased academic rigor, a college prep program, and a support system for families in need that includes a food pantry and a foster home called Hope House.


Under Anderson’s direction, the Jennings School district has progressed from a failing school district with a status of no accreditation to full accreditation in 2016, meeting 81 percent of the state standards and having a 100 percent college and career placement rate. In 2012, the District carried a $1.8 million deficit; by 2013 it enjoyed a $500,000 surplus.




NCI Board Chair Sean Hogan presents Dr. Rance Thomas with the Sustaining Our Community Award

The Sustaining our Community Award was presented to Dr. Rance Thomas, President, North County Churches Uniting.  This award recognizes individuals, organizations or companies that went above and beyond their usual roles to impact North County with programs and resources that sustain or improve quality of life.


Thomas currently serves as co-founder and president of North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice; however, he has taken an active part in NCI since 2000, serving on both NCI’s boards of directors. He also serves on other boards and committees, including: the SSM Health DePaul Hospital Foundation Board, for Trinity Catholic High School Board-currently its vice president, the Florissant Fine Arts Council, and is on task forces of several local school districts, St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.


The past two years, Thomas organized a “Discussion and Solutions” Committee, consisting of police officials, clergy, and several other leaders to improve the relationship between the police and the African-American community.


NCI’s 39th Annual Breakfast presenting sponsors were: HDR Inc.; Negwer Materials, Inc., SSM Health DePaul Hospital, St. Louis County, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, and US Bank. The corporate plus sponsors for this event are: Christian Hospital, Enterprise Holdings, St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley; St. Louis Regional Chamber, and The Boeing Company. The corporate sponsors for this event are: Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers, Bi-State Development, Bommarito Automotive Group, Commerce Bank; Envision By Design, Favazza & Associates, LLC; Florissant License Office managed by the Florissant Rotary Club, Greater North County Chamber of Commerce, NorthPark Partners, Paul Cerame Auto Group, SSM Rehabilitation Network, The Bridge at Florissant and The Crossings at Northwest.


North County Incorporated is a regional development organization, which acts as a catalyst to define and advocate economic and community development for North St. Louis County. NCI was established in 1977. The Board is composed of community leaders and business owners.  Sean Hogan, President, SSM Health DePaul Hospital is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Photos provided courtesy of Kent Miller Photography.




North County Incorporated

8225 Florissant Rd., Suite 11
St. Louis, MO 63121
phone: (314) 895-6241


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