June 19, 2017

Dear Hawthorn Members:

 The Missouri General Assembly has adjourned and summer is well underway in Missouri.  Your executive committee has been hard at work in coordination with Governor Greitens’ office and the Missouri Department of Economic Development toward supporting the Governor’s vision for economic development and job creation so central to our mission.

 As Drew Erdmann, the Governor’s Chief Operating Officer, outlined to us at the meeting two weeks ago in St. Charles, the Governor and his economic development team are squarely focused on job creation and economic growth. 

We know from Drew’s comments that the Governor is wasting no time focusing his administration on job creation, especially in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurialism.  He has formed an Innovation Task Force that is launching meetings around the state to assess the current state of innovation in Missouri, analyze best practices from other states, and develop specific recommendations for what Missouri can do to promote innovation and new technology start-ups.  Hawthorn is sponsoring these meetings and will be centrally involved in this task force and others to come.

Certainly, new administrations bring new energy, new direction, and change to the state.  We are witnessing that now.

Toward that end, the executive committee agreed to pursue the appointment of a new Hawthorn executive director who will be an important part of the Governor’s economic development team.  Steven T. Oslica of St. Louis will officially take over as executive director on July 1.  His extensive experience in managing successful sales and marketing in the private sector positions him perfectly to help Hawthorn grow its private sector membership and coordinate closely with the Governor, his new administration, and the new director of DED.

As we welcome Steve to Hawthorn, at the same time we express our heartfelt gratitude to Margaret Onken for a job exceptionally well done.  During her time with Hawthorn, she re-energized our membership; grew our financial commitment to the Missouri Partnership, and represented Missouri’s business interests on nine international trade missions.              

Hawthorn will remain central to the new administration’s economic development priorities and with Steve’s appointment, work very closely with the administration to support its efforts to grow Missouri’s economy.

We are all very excited about this time of change and opportunity for the future. 

Please join me in thanking Margaret for her many contributions to us and to Missouri, and welcome Steve to our Hawthorn team.  I know you will look forward to meeting Steve at upcoming Hawthorn events and I am sure he will be calling on you as he begins his service to Hawthorn and its mission. 

If you have any questions or would like more detail, please email or call me and I will be happy to respond to them as soon as possible.

Thank you for your membership in Hawthorn and for your commitment to Missouri.

                                                                                        Very sincerely,

         Al Purcell, Hawthorn Chair

         Al Purcell, Hawthorn Chair