Written by Margaret Bauer, Jeannette Cooperman, Malcolm Gay, Bryan A. Hollerbach, Christy Marshall, Jarrett Medlin, Stefene Russell and Stephen Schenkenberg
Edited by Malcolm Gay
Who has it? Who lost it? Who paid for it?
We’re talking about power, of course, that infinitely variable social currency that separates a city’s movers from its shakers. Sure, this potent elixir usually contains some blend of wealth, charisma, knowledge and social station, but in truth, power can rarely be reduced to its component parts. Our inner bean counter may search for measurables (How big is the fortune? Who’s involved in the project?), but power, real power, relies not so much on a set of quantifiable facts as it does on how those outer particulars commingle with the exquisite architecture of inner character.
It’s this X-factor, this ineffable alchemy, that separates a city’s political titans from the merely popular, a region’s foundational families from the simply wealthy and a state’s policy leaders from its army of administrators. How else can we explain a blogger’s victory over one of the city’s leading developers? Or how the city’s greatest dynasty was left exposed to marauding transnationalists?
Of course, power’s enigma accounts for both the difficulty and the beauty of ranking those who possess it. There’s no science to it, no algorithm we can rely on to churn out an unassailable list of the 52 most powerful people in St. Louis.
Wanting science, we’ve relied on art, impression and discernment, enlisting the city’s keen political observers, the counselors to the powerful and, best of all, those who’ve seen power slip from their grasp, to help us construct this current list. We’ll be the first to admit that the result is imperfect, and we fully expect an outraged letter or two demanding how (How!) we could exclude a certain governor from our rarefied club or why (Why!) we’ve assigned a particular developer to the dustbin of impotence.
But we do not intend this list to be an immutable compendium for the ages. It is a snapshot, rather, of the city’s power structure as it exists today. The people we’ve included on the list are those who’ve made a significant contribution to (or, depending on your view, detraction from) city life since 2006, when we last submitted the mighty to this little horse race of ours. Much has changed between then and now: We’ve seen the torrential flow of downtown development slow to a trickle. We’ve witnessed our beloved MetroLink battered after a failed lawsuit, and of course, we’ve lost the brewery.
And while many of the city’s barons remain ensconced in their aeries of influence, there can be little doubt that our city’s power structure has shifted dramatically in the past two years. In some cases, the paupers of 2006 are the powerful of 2008; similarly, some of those once famed today live in infamy.
How steep their climb? How precipitous their fall?
Over the next 21 pages, we will try to answer these questions. After all, it is in our nature to take the measure of man, and if power really is the ultimate aphrodisiac, then by all means turn the page—and prepare to be seduced. —M.G.
1) Andy Taylor
Chairman and CEO,
(Rank in 2006: 2)
Backed by buckets of money, Andy Taylor recently parked National and Alamo in Enterprise’s garage. Considered an uncommonly nice guy by many, Taylor uses his influence in interesting ways. The company celebrated its 50th birthday with a pledge to plant 1 million trees a year for the next 50 years. The company’s charitable foundation (headed by Taylor’s sister, Jo Ann Kindle) has dropped oodles of bucks on everything from the symphony to victims
of the recent earthquake in China. In 2008 Taylor is co-chairing the United Way campaign with Enterprise alum Doug Albrecht. Their fundraising goal: $65.5 million.
In 2009: Taylor may be cooking crêpes for InBev: Prior to the Belgian invasion, Anheuser-Busch paid Enterprise $12.2 million to maintain the brewery’s car fleet.
2) Rev. John C. Danforth
Former U.S. Senator, missouri,
Partner at Bryan Cave LLP
(Rank in 2006: 1)
He’s been called “St. Jack.” The name Jack Danforth carries the weight of Pujols’ bat, and his moral authority remains—after decades in the scurrilous business of politics—untarnished. Yet there are those who grouse that Danforth has talked big lately but not always delivered. Remember St. Louis 2004? Not much happened beyond Forest Park. Remember all the money he helped raise for schools? Fuhgeddaboutit. Directions have changed. Today the Danforth Foundation allocates 60 percent of its funds to plant sciences. Its second focus is the revitalization of the area encircling the oversized croquet hoop. Does the Arch Grounds Connector Project ring a bell?
In 2009: He will continue his fight for stem-cell research and plant sciences—and a museum on the riverfront—while countering the evangelical muscle within the Republican Party.
3) David W. Kemper
Chairman and CEO,
(Rank in 2006: 3)
You’d never know it, but the man who heads one of the region’s steadiest banks, the man who chairs the board of our city’s most powerful university, the man who helps steer Civic Progress—that man? That man answers his own phone. Everyone knows David Kemper is powerful, but what intrigues is his courtly manner and calm reason. When other banks merged into national leviathans, Commerce kept its own counsel. The result? It is now the largest and arguably most trusted independent bank in the region.
In 2009: He’ll guide his bank through the economic crisis and nudge downtown development forward, his influence diplomatic and understated.
4) David L. Steward
Founder and Chairman of the Board,
World Wide Technology
(Rank in 2006: 36)
Talk about connected: David Steward runs a company that is consistently ranked as the most successful black-owned business in the nation. He both hosted President George W. Bush and attended a gala alongside President Bill Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama. Last spring, he traveled to China with a select group of Missourians to explore business opportunities. What’s more, he’s good at building bridges, even teaching Sunday school for businesspeople. Come to think of it, his whole life is something like Sunday school—only here nobody snickers.
In 2009: Look for his influence on boards—philanthropic, cultural and his own WWT, whose revenue could hit $3 billion in 2009.
5) Claire McCaskill
U.S. Senator, Missouri
Few would call Claire McCaskill cool, but the junior senator’s association with one very cool junior senator from across the river seems to have rubbed off. In the run-up to the election, McCaskill, our former state auditor, could be found addressing the Democratic National Convention, and rumors swirled of a possible Cabinet seat in the offing. Claire? Our Claire from Rolla?
Honestly, though, McCaskill’s rise isn’t such a mystery. In an election year when cross-aisle appeal, especially in a swing state like Missouri, is everything, her sometimes syrupy, sometimes flag-waving—and always, always smiling—stump speech emphasized bipartisanship. As she said of Missouri, “We are not a red state, we are not a blue state—we are part of the United States.”
That’s her story, and it’s an American story, gosh darn it. But even though McCaskill—with her curled-under, Betty White hairstyle, big smile and easy bonhomie—may seem a bit matronly these days, we suspect that underneath it all she’s still a shark. One must remember, after all, that in 2004 she was the first person to defeat a sitting Missouri governor in a primary, only later to lose her face-off with the one-term boy king, Matt Blunt.
In those early races, McCaskill seemed willing to do or say just about anything to win an election. And despite her rise in status, viewers of her DNC speech couldn’t help but notice that something of that unfortunate trait remains.
Still, it takes more than a little mojo to become Missouri’s first elected female senator (and one of only two woman senators in the 110th U.S. Congress’ freshman class). What’s more, McCaskill’s early backing of Obama may signal a significant shift among female politicians away from identity politics. Of course, McCaskill’s endorsement certainly didn’t win her any friends among the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits. And there’s little doubt that Sen. Hillary Clinton, who raised more than $1 million for McCaskill’s 2006 Senate campaign, felt personally slighted by the snub.
It’s the sort of move that could cost her when the election-season juggernaut settles back down to earth—unless, of course, a prospective Obama administration were to fulfill speculation and vault her to a high-level appointment.
In 2009: Now that she’s a household name, look for McCaskill to reach for even greater heights.
6) Sam Fox
Ambassador to Belgium
(Rank in 2006: 10)
Since donating $10 million to Wash. U. for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Sam Fox has gone global. President Bush tapped his longtime pal “Foxy” to become the U.S. ambassador to Belgium in 2007. Using a recess appointment, Bush saved his nomination from defeat in the Senate, but not from a senatorial coal-raking over Fox’s $50,000 donation to the infamous Swift Boat campaign. With Bush’s term coming to a close, Fox should be coming home soon, where as the founder of Harbour Group—not to mention his past roles as SLAM board president and capital campaign chairman at Wash. U.—he can be a powerful force for whatever strikes his fancy.
In 2009: Look for Fox to return to the helm at Harbour Group, his private investment firm, which had estimated revenues of $1.3 billion in 2007.
7) Michael Staenberg
President, THF Realty
While the slumping housing market has knocked many developers off the map, Michael Staenberg’s THF has only grown, buying parcels from ailing outfits and raking in an estimated $219 million in 2007. THF (the acronym stands for “To Have Fun”—seriously) has monetary mettle, but Staenberg has social capital, too. Last July, Staenberg, who chairs the Jewish Community Center’s board and also co-chairs its capital campaign, donated $15 million to the cause—30 percent of its goal. But here’s the kicker: That donation came on the heels of more than $1 million Staenberg had already bequeathed to other local organizations that year.
In 2009: Look for Staenberg to continue his success. But trouble may be brewing: Rumor has it that some of THF’s higher-ups are seeking greener pastures.
8) Paul McKee Jr.
Chairman and CEO,
McEagle Properties, LLC
If you’d mentioned Paul McKee two years ago, the well-connected might have known he was behind the WingHaven development. Maybe they’d mention that his son, P. Joseph McKee III, ran the family’s construction firm, Paric Corp. Here’s what they wouldn’t have said: At that moment, McKee was buying hundreds of North St. Louis properties and enlisting political heavyweights to champion a $100 million tax credit for large-scale developments in impoverished areas. The original bill, which potentially would have given McKee’s company $12 million a year, was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Matt Blunt, but the episode served as an unsentimental education for us all about how political power is curried and flexed.
In 2009: Look for the tax credit to resurface and for McEagle to move forward on the 600-acre NorthPark project.
9) Donald Suggs
Publisher, The St. Louis American
(Rank in 2006: 30)
Urbane, nattily dressed and clearly at home in the boardroom, Donald Suggs is best known as the publisher of The St. Louis American, his award-winning African-American newspaper. With a circulation of 70,000 (it’s distributed free at 845 locations) and its controversial but obsessively read weekly column, “The Political Eye,” Suggs’ paper exerts considerable influence within the black community and beyond. As evidenced by the paper’s fierce reporting on the Sherman George controversy, the weekly’s influence is growing as it continues to scoop the increasingly wan and corporate Post-Dispatch.
In 2009: Suggs took complete ownership of the American in ’06, ensuring that the paper will continue to call ’em like it sees ’em. We hold our breath to see whom it will endorse in next year’s city elections …
10) Charlie Dooley
County Executive, St. Louis County
Sure, Charlie Dooley was reelected by an impressive 67 percent. And sure, he governs
1 million residents and oversees a $500 million budget. But a big part of Dooley’s power comes from his being so darn likable. As county executive, he’s focused on overlooked communities and campaigned to lower taxes for seniors. Meanwhile, his Family Mental Health Collaborative has become a national model. Good-guy image? Certainly. Milquetoast? Hardly. Dooley has also worked closely with McEagle Properties on the 600-acre NorthPark project, which promises the county 12,000 jobs and $7 billion in revenue.
In 2009: Dooley hasn’t indicated he plans to run for higher office. But negative public opinion over the county’s recycling program means he may have a fight in 2010 to keep the job he has.
11) Francis G. Slay
Mayor, City of St. Louis
(Rank in 2006: 12)
A demoted fire chief. A disgraced top cop. A 14,000-signature recall petition. Business as usual for Francis G. Slay. Complications that would doom most any other pol leave the city’s 45th mayor unscathed, and with nary an opponent in sight, his war chest for the 2009 reelection campaign is reportedly nearing a cool million. With that sort of cash at his disposal, one could be forgiven for thinking Hizzoner’s been selling slats, poster board and markers to the picketers pounding the pavement outside City Hall. One also can’t help suspecting that some thoroughfare will eventually be renamed “Francis Slay Way” in his honor—Market Street, maybe.
In 2009: Slay will be elected to his third term as mayor of St. Louis and, sub rosa, begin dreaming of higher office.
12) Rev. Lawrence Biondi, S.J.
President, Saint Louis University
(Rank in 2006: 9)
Although he turns 70 next month, the Rev. Lawrence Biondi remains as vital today as someone at least four decades younger. Since assuming the presidency of Saint Louis University in 1987, he’s enhanced the Billikens’ home, most recently with the $82 million Edward A. Doisy Research Center and the $81 million Chaifetz Arena. He’s won numerous awards, served on several local boards and early in his tenure appointed the first female provost at any Jesuit university. Of course, the patriarch of DuBourg Hall has also courted controversy, and as his administration’s dealings with the student newspaper suggest, Biondi doesn’t shy away from the occasional public tussle. Should we expect anything less, though, from such a hot-blooded Young Turk?
In 2009: Biondi will discreetly begin seeking his successor as SLU’s administrative paterfamilias.
13) Steve Ehlmann
County Executive, St. Charles County
Steve Ehlmann oversees one of the state’s fastest-growing counties. A one-time bedroom community, St. Charles now boasts that half of its employed residents work there. The county has an emerging high-tech sector and several new housing developments and this year is on course to add roughly 6,000 new residents. Elected in 2006, Ehlmann is humble about his county’s gangbusters growth. “The private sector will fuel growth,” says Ehlmann, a Republican. “The government’s there to steer.” And one thing Ehlmann wants to steer clear of is developer tax credits, quipping, “When there are thousands of new people moving here anyway, why would you give subsidies to develop the best ground into condos?”
In 2009: Expect Ehlmann to continue his campaign against developer tax credits.
14) Jeff Rainford
Campaign Director for Mayor Francis G. Slay
(Rank in 2006: 11)
The buck may stop with the mayor, but Jeff Rainford has already told him how much it’s worth and who wants it. As Slay’s chief of staff, Rainford has had to comment to the mad-dog press about Centene staying in Clayton, Pyramid dissolving and Anheuser-Busch leaving town. Luckily, he has a way with sound bites: Asked about brick thieves, he quipped, “They’re certainly not reading Architectural Digest.” Ballpark Village: “[P]eople are tired of looking at the big, ugly, smelly hole.” But don’t let the plain-speak fool you: He spins better than an industrial washer.
In 2009: He’ll be fighting to keep the mayor in place and working to soften hostilities about race, city salaries and downtown’s many stalled projects.
15) Mark Wrighton
Chancellor, Washington University
(Rank in 2006: 6)
Chancellor Mark Wrighton continues to raise his university’s profile, touring Israel with Mayor Slay and attending a summit convened by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Closer to home, he recently appointed the university’s first sustainability czar, as Wash. U. pledged $55 million to establish a center for sustainable energy research. His achievements have garnered much praise, and earlier this year the Post-Dispatch named Wrighton its 2007 “Citizen of the Year.” Still, his achievements haven’t insulated him from criticism: He was dinged last spring when the university awarded Phyllis Schlafly an honorary doctorate, and students continue to criticize the chancellor’s perceived aloofness to campus life.
In 2009: Expect continued institutional growth, but don’t hold your breath for better student relations.
16) Emily Rauh Pulitzer
Founder and President,
Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
(Rank in 2006: 17)
When Emily Rauh Pulitzer opened her foundation/museum, she imagined it as a gesamtkunstwerk—a fusion of multiple art forms reinforcing each other. One could argue the term also applies to Pulitzer’s many local endeavors. She has a hand in the symphony, SLAM, the Contemporary, Grand Center and countless other organizations. In April, less than three years after earning a cool $414.5 million from the sale of Pulitzer Inc., she helped fund the launch of the Saint Louis Beacon, a nonprofit news site run by
In 2009: The Pulitzer Foundation will continue to build on the recent success of “Dan Flavin: Constructed Light” and “The Light Project.” As other Grand Center projects pick up steam, Pulitzer will continue her drive to make the arts district relevant.
17) Richard Baron
Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO,
McCormack Baron Salazar
Be it a commercial venue or a suite of well-appointed condos, once a new development is fully up and running, many developers feel their work is done—but not Richard Baron. For Baron, the CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar, a project’s completion is only half the measure of its success. The other half—the project’s ability to better the lives of the underserved—is harder to judge and harder yet to attain.
“Our focus has been on redeveloping those areas of the city that have been blighted or have fallen into disuse,” says Baron, who four years ago received The Urban Land Institute’s prestigious J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. “I’m a ’60s guy. That sense of mission never left me.”
What a mission it’s been. Since forming the company in 1973, Baron has focused on developing large-scale, mixed-income communities in the country’s urban cores. The firm has worked in more than 30 different cities, developing nearly 15,000 residential units and more than 1 million square feet of commercial space. Not bad for a “’60s guy.”
But what really sets Baron apart is the care his firm gives a project once it’s built. Through its management wing, McCormack Baron Ragan, the firm ensures its projects are well-run. Meanwhile, the nonprofit arm of the operation, Urban Strategies, partners with community stakeholders to deter crime, enhance schools and generally build community.
He’s realized his vision both in organizations such as the Center of Creative Arts (which he founded) in University City and mixed-income housing developments like midtown’s Westminster Place.
But his most ambitious project is yet to come: After relocating the city’s rail yards, Baron wants to reintroduce Chouteau Lake, a body of water that until 1840 stretched from the Mississippi River all the way to Union Station. In Baron’s vision, though, this will be no mere body of water. It will incorporate mixed-use housing and a bike trail system extending from the Arch to the Great Rivers Confluence and will integrate the region’s preexisting Metro lines.
“It’s a big idea,” says Baron, acknowledging the project’s challenge. “But there needs to be a real transformational idea in the city—one that’s as transformational as the Arch and will create jobs. This is that sort of idea, and it could really galvanize a lot of people.”
In 2009: Watch for Baron to move forward with the Chouteau Lake project.
18) Les Sterman
Executive Director, East-West Gateway
Les Sterman’s job is complicated during any year: As the executive director of East-West Gateway Council of Governments, he works with federal, state and local governments across eight counties in two states to coordinate a slew of transportation projects. Add to that record gas prices, the headache of Highway 40 and possible cuts to MetroLink service, and you get an inkling of the challenges he faces. Yet through it all, Sterman provides a voice of reason and coherence so desperately needed to navigate the tangle of red tape.
In 2009: All signs point toward MetroLink as Highway 40 construction continues and gas prices stay in the stratosphere. Can we expect to see Metro fulfill its potential and shed its tarnished reputation? We’re not betting on it.
19) Anthony Tersigni, Ed.D.
President and CEO, Ascension Health
Once accused of cutting his lawn in a suit, Anthony Tersigni runs the consummately businesslike Ascension Health, which happens to be the largest Catholic—and largest nonprofit—healthcare system in the country. First, Tersigni sinned by selling inner-city hospitals, then he bought the nation’s indulgence by pledging to wipe out fatal medical errors and expand access to care. He came in at Number 13 on Modern Healthcare magazine’s 2007 list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare—right under Sen. Kennedy, Sen. Obama and President Bush.
In 2009: The line between profit and nonprofit is so blurred that watchdogs are demanding it be erased altogether. As a poster boy for the profitable nonprofit, Tersigni’s corporate behavior in 2009 could sway the argument either way.
20) Robert Fraley
Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto
What’s it like to stand at the frontier where cutting-edge science meets a centuries-old practice? “It’s the interface between excitement and terror,” says Robb Fraley, sitting in his office at Monsanto’s world headquarters in Creve Coeur.
Since working with a team of scientists to splice a foreign gene into a petunia in 1981, Fraley has, among other things, helped roll out both pest-proof cotton and Roundup-immune soybeans. Along the way, he’s watched Monsanto—a chemical company once known for developing everything from rubber gloves to herbicides—go from plunging stock prices in 2002 to the present, where Monsanto now stands as the world’s largest seed and biotechnology company (last year it boasted more than $8.6 billion in sales). In so doing, he’s planted the seed of a new industry that’s just beginning to sprout.
“Where we’re at in the ag biotech field today feels an awful lot like what it must have been like in the 1960s with computers,” he says. “We’re just starting to enter a period where these tools are going to change not only how we grow crops and how we produce food, but in many cases how we deliver health and nutrition and provide fuel for the planet.”
Having cornered the genetically modified seed market, Monsanto stands to take its place as the Microsoft of a rapidly developing industry. The company’s success has been particularly good for Fraley: In January the National Academy of Sciences awarded him its prestigious Award for the Industrial Application of Science. Last November, he earned nearly $6.7 million after selling a large share of stock. But Monsanto’s success has not come without controversy. In May Vanity Fair ran a biting article about the company’s oft-criticized practice of suing farmers for what the company claims is illegal use of its patented seeds.
Through it all Fraley leads the company’s R&D charge, believing that genetically modified seeds can not only secure the world’s food and fuel supply, but also alter the region’s economy. “It’s clear that biotechnology is changing a lot of the fabric of the area,” says Fraley, whose office on Monsanto’s 500-acre campus is surrounded by genetically engineered plants. “In many ways, it sets the blueprint for what’s possible for the bistate region and much of the future economic opportunity for St. Louis.”
In 2009: As the company continues to develop new products, progress and controversy are bound to ensue.
21) Wm. Lacy Clay
U.S. Representative, Missouri, 1st District
With his reelection this year, Wm. Lacy Clay leaves little doubt that the skills of the father have passed down to the son. Since assuming the seat once held by his father, Rep. Clay has distinguished himself as the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives. Closer to home, he’s become a strong advocate for electoral reform and has co-sponsored legislation that would crack down on predatory lending. He’s also developing a reputation as a pol undaunted by a scrap, as when he told Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., that Cohen, who is white, would not be joining the Congressional Black Caucus, a historically African-American group.
In 2009: Expect Rep. Clay to expand his influence both at home and on the Hill.
22) Bill DeWitt Jr.
Managing Partner and Chairman,
St. Louis Cardinals
(Rank in 2006: 5)
Two sets of letters dominate Bill DeWitt Jr.’s bio: G.W.B. and MLB. As a longtime fundraiser for President Bush, DeWitt’s friendship with G.W.B. increases his national pull. As a one-time St. Louis Browns batboy, DeWitt has loved the MLB since childhood. That said, a third set of letters demands mention: M.B.A. Baseball has changed, the Harvard grad said before the new Busch Stadium opened: “Now it’s about entertainment, meals, convenience, quality, amenities.” For proof of his prowess as a balance-sheet slugger, one need only consult Forbes magazine, which notes that since DeWitt’s investor group bought the Cardinals, the team’s value has increased from $150 million to $484 million.
In 2009: DeWitt will remind the Cardinals—forcefully—that the team’s new stadium was built to house winners.
23) Joe Edwards
Mayor of the Delmar Loop
(Rank in 2006: 22)
Can Joe Edwards get his own star on the Walk of Fame already? Since opening Blueberry Hill, it seems like the ponytailed developer has altered the scenery along Delmar just about every year—whether redeveloping The Pageant or handpicking boutiques to fill his properties. More recently, he’s expanded his sphere of influence to include Washington Avenue, where he recently opened Flamingo Bowl. These successes in the rearview mirror, Edwards’ biggest project is yet to come—the Moonrise Hotel, a 125-room boutique hotel on Delmar with a restaurant and rooftop patio.
In 2009: Besides the Moonrise Hotel’s spring opening, Edwards continues to push for a vintage trolley system. And with the success of Flamingo Bowl, you have to wonder if he has bigger plans for Washington Avenue.
24) Jack Oliver III
Chairman, Bryan Cave Strategies
If George W. Bush’s presidency ever gave you pause, you might want to ring up Jack Oliver III. The man Time magazine once dubbed the “Brigadier of Bucks,” Oliver managed Bush’s $240 million reelection committee and helped raise more than
$1 billion for W’s two presidential campaigns. His division at Bryan Cave gives “strategic counsel” to corporations looking to improve their governmental relations. Recently, he’s raised more than $500,000 for McCain, while also co-chairing ONE Vote ’08, an offshoot of Bono’s antipoverty campaign.
In 2009: Oliver credits a couple of treks to Africa with refueling his fire to serve others. We’re thinking that fire will involve burning a few elephant party chits and becoming its next homegrown star.
25) Ron Kruszewski
President and CEO, Stifel Nicolaus
If wealth is power, then Ron Kruszewski (pronounced Kru-chef-ski) is right at home on this list. Under his leadership, Stifel Nicolaus has grown in the past decade to become the nation’s 12th largest brokerage firm, earning a whopping $793 million in revenue in 2007. Kruszewski is also on the board of directors of the Angelica Corporation and Downtown St. Louis Partnership, Inc. Most recently, he helped the city and The Cordish Companies reach an agreement for funding Ballpark Village.
In 2009: Look for Kruszewski to make more headlines as Ballpark Village begins to take shape. He’s remained central to negotiations with the mayor, Cards president Bill DeWitt III and The Cordish Companies VP Blake Cordish. And this September, Kruszewski bought 150,000 square feet of office space at Ballpark Village.
26) Rex Sinquefield
Founder and President,
Growing up in a St. Louis orphanage, Rex Sinquefield learned the power of ideas. But it was one idea in particular that gave him power: “You can’t beat the market.” Ever since, Sinquefield’s pioneering index funds have changed the way America invests. Now he’s come home to share both his fortune and his convictions. Through his think-tank and multiple PACs, Sinquefield is changing the political conversation. Is he powerful enough to wipe out state taxes, earnings taxes and the minimum wage? No way. But he is powerful enough to have his questions taken seriously.
In 2009: He’ll be playing chess on several boards at once—at his new chess center in the CWE, on the national political circuit, in the St. Louis Public Schools and in the Missouri legislature.
27) Michael Roberts
Chairman and CEO
Chairman and COO,
The Roberts Companies
(Rank in 2006: 21)
City aldermen–turned–entrepreneurs, Michael and Steven Roberts oversee one of the largest—and most diversified—business ventures in St. Louis. With $125 million in total revenue last year (a 27.5 percent increase from ’06), the brothers have defied the economy’s slump—an impressive feat, considering their empire consists largely of real-estate holdings. As other developers circle their wagons, the Roberts brothers are pushing ahead with the Roberts Tower, a LEED Gold–expected luxury high-rise that is scheduled for completion next year and will be the first of its type in the Midwest. Equally impressive: It will be the first residential high-rise to be built downtown in 40 years.
In 2009: The Robertses will have built it (green), but with the housing market in the doldrums, will they come?
28) Pete Rahn
Director, Missouri Department of Transportation
Forcing St. Louisans to find a new way around town, redirecting traffic from businesses, causing you to miss that important meeting—this is the power of Pete Rahn. There’s no question that Highway 40 needed a makeover, but MoDOT’s four-year, $535 million approach is enough to make Ty Pennington blush. Though the project’s design-build method, meant to shave years off construction time, is a state first, the novel approach hasn’t insulated it from a bevy of local critics. Still, only time will tell where the project leaves the road—and Rahn’s legacy.
In 2009: As the project enters its final phases—shutting down Highway 40 from I-170 to Kingshighway for an entire year—look for a rise in side-street traffic, Metro use and our stress levels.
29) Rev. James T. Morris
Pastor, Lane Tabernacle CME Church
(Rank in 2006: 41)
When former fire chief Sherman George was demoted last year, Rev. James T. Morris stood on the steps of City Hall and told a crowd, “There is a time to pray, and then there is a time to get up off your knees and go to work.” Morris put those words into action this year by running for state representative. His prayers were answered in April when the Missouri Ethics Commission disqualified his opponent, Sam Coleman, and left the door wide open for Morris to step into dual roles of politician and preacher.
In 2009: A supporter of stem-cell research, an opponent of the death penalty and an advocate for the poor, the shepherd of Lane Tabernacle CME Church will have a new pulpit from which to preach.
30) August A. Busch IV et famille
Beer Barons Emeriti
(Rank in 2006: 4)
Baseball, beer and the Busches.
Decade after decade, that trio of B’s loomed large in the Lou. Then, in 1995, August Busch III sold the St. Louis Cardinals to an investment group led by Bill DeWitt Jr. That came as a gigawatt shock to many St. Louisans, but not even the gloomiest local doomsayer would have predicted the drama of this past July, when the Belgian-Brazilian corporation InBev bought Anheuser-Busch itself—lock, stock and 122-megabarrel production.
Admittedly, the $52 billion deal came as less of a surprise to industry analysts. Last February, for example, The Wall Street Journal mentioned InBev–
A-B merger discussions, stating “reports of the talks surfaced as long as a year ago.”
Be that as it may, the deal raises intriguing questions for the family. Namely, can the Busches, sans brewery, continue as bona fide power brokers? Conversely, will the family morph into merely moneyed also-rans—outfoxed by a company based in Belgium?
Also in question is how the acrimonious pas de deux will affect the Busch dynasty’s dynamic. For instance, when soon-to-be-former A-B president and CEO August A. Busch IV was publicly fighting the sale, his uncle, Adolphus A. Busch IV, came out in support of the acquisition. Meanwhile, Andrew D. Busch, another uncle, publicly spoke in favor of A-B’s continued independence. “There are obviously conflicting opinions inside the Busch family,” an industry analyst waggishly observed at the time. One kept expecting a Cousin Aloysius or an Aunt Arabella to chime in.
In any event, shed no tears for August IV. The son of August III and great-great-grandson of A-B’s founder, Adolphus Busch, “the Fourth” has signed on to advise InBev CEO Carlos Brito. His contract’s terms include a $10.35 million payout and then a monthly salary of $120,000 through 2013. (That annualizes to approximately $1.4 million—roughly his A-B pay, excluding bonuses and the infamous corporate “other compensation”—but really, who’s counting?) Moreover, if this new brew goes skunky, the former prince of Pestalozzi and Seventh can always sign with Budejovický Budvar—the spunky Czech Republic brewery that long fought A-B for rights to the Budweiser trade name in the European Union.
In 2009: August A. Busch IV will keep a low profile at InBev until he can see how the foam settles with the A-B sale.
31. Richard Callow
President and Founder, Public Eye Inc.
(Rank in 2006: 14)
Who did the Cardinals tap when they needed help lobbying for Busch Stadium tax breaks? Richard Callow. And who did Devlin attorneys Ethan Corlija and Michael Kielty enlist when they found themselves staring down the lens of the national media? That was Callow. And who will ramp up his operations as he prepares Mayor Francis Slay for his reelection bid? Yes: Callow, again. Love him or hate him—and really, the city seems pretty much divided on this one—it’s hard to deny that when the powerful need to hit just the right note, they head to Callow for voice lessons.
In 2009: Expect Callow to get in high gear to earn Mayor Slay a third term.
32) Steve Lipstein
President and CEO, BJC HealthCare
(Rank in 2006: 16)
Steve Lipstein oversees a vast healthcare empire. The figures alone are sick: With more than 26,000 employees, BJC is the city’s largest employer. It earns an estimated $2.8 billion in net revenue per year. The organization boasts 13 medical centers—including such gems as Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals—and an affiliation with Washington University’s renowned School of Medicine. That kind of reach changes—and saves—thousands of lives every single day. There’s nothing sick about that.
In 2009: The BJC Institute of Health—a joint project between Washington University and Barnes-Jewish—continues to rise at the corner of Euclid and Children’s Place. When it opens in late 2009, the 11-story building will house five new research centers that will investigate diseases like cancer, diabetes and more.
33) Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg
(Rank in 2006: 24)
While the Kranzbergs show significant support for Wash. U. (ever heard of the Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Studio for the Illustrated Book or the Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library?) and most of the city’s major arts institutions, local artists often toast the couple for their support of … local artists. “They buy,” one insider tells us. “I know people for whom that’s made a big difference.” Between Nancy’s forthright commentaries on KMWU, her own show on KDHX and their commitment to first-rate second-tier endeavors—the Sheldon, Jazz at the Bistro, Laumeier Sculpture Park and Grand Center (home to the new Kranzberg Cultural Arts Center)—the couple feels like St. Louis’ very own patrons of the people.
In 2009: Kranson Industries/TricorBraun, which Ken chairs, brought in $740 million in 2007—up from $541 million in 2006. As its revenue grows, so do our area institutions.
34) Kevin X. McGowan
Founder and President, Blue Urban
First there’s the power of vision: Kevin McGowan early on saw a loft district where others saw only addled buildings. Then there’s the power of scope: He saw the need for an integrated infrastructure for downtown’s newfangled development. The power of the hard sell: He’s auctioned condos as five-minute impulse buys. The power of scale: He’s the largest developer in the city. And the power of sheer arrogance: He once described the ideal boss as “a benevolent dictator.” (Luckily, there’s also the power of Irish charm, and McGowan’s got it in spades.)
In 2009: McGowan’s restless drive will push him beyond his new Ohio office to the national projects his brothers never wanted.
35) John and Alison Ferring
John Ferring runs the St. Clair–based custom aerosol packaging provider Plaze Inc., which is capable of manufacturing 75 million aerosol cans per shift and last year earned an estimated $144 million in revenue. But Ferring and his wife, Alison, an artist and docent, have made their most substantive impact on St. Louis as philanthropists: at least $1 million to SLAM and the Contemporary, an endowed medical chair at Wash. U. and Children’s Hospital and at least $100,000 to Teach for America. The Ferrings also walk the walk when it comes to donating their time: John chairs the board at the Contemporary and is the past chairman of Forest Park Forever, while Alison’s on the board at COCA and is a past board member for the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis.
In 2009: Fundraising insiders say the couple is capable of even larger gifts and that in the coming years we’ll learn how—and where—they really want to leave their mark.
36) Kim Tucci
Co-Founder and President,
The Pasta House Co.
A classic connector, Kim Tucci spends his days shuffling between roles: As a commissioner for the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, he’ll chat with Mayor Slay. As chairman of The Billiken Club, he’ll meet with Father Biondi. As a member of the Loop Trolley Company, he may squeeze in a coffee with Joe Edwards. And that’s to say nothing of his informal duties for Sen. Claire McCaskill (example: she used Tucci’s office to prep for debates during her campaign). Oh, and yeah: He also runs The Pasta House, which this year expects to exceed $65 million in revenue.
In 2009: With two new grandsons, Tucci’s keeping a sharper eye on his time. But that hasn’t stopped The Pasta House from growing; new restaurants are opening in Illinois and Missouri.
37) Timothy Eberlein, M.D.
Director, Siteman Cancer Center
People used to call it “The Big C,” whispering as if it were contagious. Though still a killer, cancer these days is often a chronic disease—and a sobering number of St. Louisans have Siteman to thank for that. As surgeon-in-chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and a director of the Association of American Cancer Institutes, Tim Eberlein runs the Siteman Cancer Center well. He’s also a creative thinker, forging partnerships with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Danforth Plant Science Center to develop plant-based treatments. And really, if saving lives isn’t power, what is?
In 2009: He’ll be empire-building, continuing to extend Siteman’s reach to its St. Peters and West County outposts, while urging colleagues to join him at the frontiers of nanomedicine and robotic surgery.
38) Anna Crosslin
President and CEO,
International Institute of St. Louis
(Rank in 2006: 43)
After 30 years with the International Institute, securing grant money is less of a challenge these days for Anna Crosslin. Still, a quick scan of the attitudes that prevail on AM talk radio makes it clear that xenophobia is alive and well and that Crosslin’s job can’t be easy. Widely respected, she’s tough enough to deflect that negativity and keep millions of dollars flowing in for everything from resettlement programs to English classes to flu shots. She’s also creative enough to nurture intercultural understanding through events like the Festival of Nations.
In 2009: Now that Crosslin’s in her late fifties, there’s been speculation about who will take over for the “Godmother of the International Institute.” It will be interesting to see what sort of legacy she prepares to leave behind.
39) Brent Benjamin
Director, Saint Louis Art Museum
(Rank in 2006: 42)
His museum may not have wowed you in recent years with get-your-tix-early exhibitions, but since his 1999 arrival Brent Benjamin has been doing what museum directors get paid big bucks to do: making expansion dreams come true. SLAM is now breaking ground on a $125 million expansion—the most significant addition to what is arguably the city’s most significant institution. Regardless of your take on the design—modern (too modern?) but modest (too modest?)—credit the man at the top for marshalling the people, plans and green ($100 million so far) to make it happen.
In 2009: More of the same—the expansion won’t be completed until 2011. And while SLAM recently implemented an early retirement program to reduce its staff size during construction, the less-anticipated departures of a handful of curators and the head of development and external affairs could have Benjamin’s board concerned about morale.
40) Thomas Schlafly
Founder, The Saint Louis Brewery
(Rank in 2006: 29)
When InBev announced it was buying Anheuser-Busch, Tom Schlafly decided to buy InBev. Predictably unsuccessful, Schlafly penned a poem that reads, “You cannot go wrong with a Schlafly Belgian ale / Finally, you can read my lips / This brewery’s not for sale.” Schlafly’s a pesky gnat to those who cross him. Remember when the Saint Louis Art Fair declined to sell his company’s brews? He responded with his own art extravaganza—which now is held on the same weekend as the art fair every year. He sits on a number of boards, but Schlafly’s deepest interest is in his post as chair of the city’s public library foundation and his membership on the library’s board.
In 2009: Schlafly will be the same feisty fellow he’s always been, expanding his beer empire, fighting for the library and the city, and exasperating his critics.
41) Rabbi Susan Talve
Founder, Central Reform Congregation
As founder of the city’s main Jewish congregation, Rabbi Susan Talve’s got real religious mojo. She’s established healthcare and child-care programs. She’s a social and political connector and a champion of the region’s underrepresented communities. A fierce supporter of women’s rights (including a woman’s right to choose), Talve made a gutsy move last November when she risked the wrath of then-Archbishop Raymond Burke by hosting the ordination of two women priests (who were subsequently excommunicated). Her actions courted the ire of every ecumenical group in the city, but they also proved that Talve is a formidable power in the city’s religious community.
In 2009: Look for Talve to continue supporting social causes—regardless of their popularity—as she pursues her higher ideal of service.
42) Tom Irwin
Chairman, Civic Progress
Tom Irwin learned about politics directing the Bi-State Development Agency, setting policy for the Regional Chamber and Growth Association and working for former Mayor Vince Schoemehl. Civic Progress recognized Irwin’s drive and in 2007 asked him to improve the group’s visibility and broaden its influence to include regional matters. The organization still lacks visibility—old habits die hard—but its push for a new bridge across the Mississippi is certainly a step in the right direction. Irwin also brought the power of Civic Progress to bear on keeping a bid to end affirmative action off the November ballot.
In 2009: Irwin needs to ensure the bridge project doesn’t stall, as well as stop St. Louisans from either 1) rolling their eyes at CP’s continued irrelevance or 2) expecting it to solve every problem under the Arch.
43) Darlene Green
Comptroller, City of St. Louis
Whether motivated by principles or politics, it was a brash move this summer for Darlene Green to return a $5,050 donation to McEagle Properties boss Paul McKee. Some politicos suspect she was setting the table for an ’09 mayoral run, but then again, Green has never been afraid to go it alone: In December 2006 she criticized the city when it handed over $15 million in tax credits to developers of the City One Centre. She also refused to vote on BJC’s 2007 request for a parcel of Forest Park (she relented only after BJC agreed to make $500,000 worth of improvements to North Side parks). But even by those measures, the return of five grand is a pretty bold statement—or perhaps the start of a campaign promise …
In 2009: Is Green willing to give up her post as comptroller to challenge the mayor?
44) Lynn Beall
President and General Manager, KSDK-TV
In an interview in 2000, Lynn Beall reflected on the Information Age and consumers’ media demands: “It puts an even higher responsibility on outlets like NewsChannel 5.” That same year, KSDK-TV launched ksdk.com, which today logs 11 million page views per month. The mutability of Web 2.0 life only heightens the responsibility Beall cited, especially once domestic devices and delivery channels truly embrace the interactive power of the mobile Web. Still, when online offerings finally introduce the TV newscast to the fate currently befalling the daily newspaper, we suspect Beall will have positioned KSDK to face the challenge—and she’ll have done
In 2009: Beall will continue to helm KSDK in the battle with ratings archrival KMOV—and with the future of her medium.
45) Jill McGuire
Regional Arts Commission
Talk about strength in numbers: In 2005, local arts organizations like the Repertory Theatre and Dance St. Louis contributed more than $560 million to the local economy. That was more than the Cards, Rams and Blues—combined. Of course, that number, courtesy of a Regional Arts Commission–funded study, would’ve been radically different were it not for Jill McGuire. Under her reign, the RAC has become one of the city’s cultural powerhouses, awarding roughly $65 million in arts funding since its 1985 inception. This year alone, the commission awarded $3.6 million, which, incidentally, is about twice what the Cards pay Yadier Molina.
In 2009: A good chunk of the RAC’s funding comes from the region’s hotel tax. Now that “staycation” has entered the American lexicon, will RAC be affected?
46) Charlie Brennan
KMOX Radio Host,
The Charlie Brennan Show
Charlie Brennan’s broadcast credentials alone are impressive. Over the past 20 years, the host of the top-rated KMOX show has interviewed President Bill Clinton, Bob Hope and David Letterman. But it’s Brennan’s work beyond the broadcast booth that makes him stand out among his media peers. He’s used his program to beautify the city and to send care packages to thousands of troops in Iraq. As founder of Rediscover St. Louis, he’s added plaques at 27 historic downtown sites, and he continues to educate people about the city with his books and radio program.
In 2009: Count on Brennan to keep on keeping on: grilling the powerful about timely issues and continuing his role as one of the city’s most vocal boosters.
47) Craig D. Schnuck et famille
While other local dynasties self-destruct, Schnuck Markets continues to exemplify an increasingly rare business model: a family outfit that’s deeply committed to the community. Indeed, the six siblings who now run the company—Craig D. Schnuck, Mark Schnuck, Nancy Schnuck Diemer, Scott C. Schnuck, Terry Schnuck and Todd R. Schnuck—belong to and sometimes chair a dizzying array of boards. Meanwhile, Mark helms The DESCO Group, the family’s multifaceted real-estate powerhouse. But the family’s real bread and butter is the supermarket chain, which next year will celebrate its 70th anniversary and employs more than 15,000 people at more than 100 stores. In dreadfully hungry times, the Schnucks are feeding a lot of people.
In 2009: Downtown gets a Schnucks—an urban-concept store, at 9th and Olive, opens this spring.
48) Thomas George
University of Missouri–St. Louis
As a stellar jazz pianist, award-winning scientist, editor and visiting professor at Seoul’s Korea University, it’s hard to imagine how Thomas George finds time to man the helm at UM–St. Louis. Yet that’s precisely what he does, raising funds by the boatload and remaining deeply involved in the community. George chairs or serves on the board of nearly 20 St. Louis organizations and has greatly expanded the university’s donor base—even as he reserves time for research, performances and mingling with students in his trademark uniform of T-shirt and shorts. We wish more university administrators displayed such joie de vivre.
In 2009: Look for a new general manager at KWMU following Patty Wente’s very public ouster. Also in the cards: a potential KWMU move to midtown’s Grand Center.
49) Sherman George
Former Fire Chief,
St. Louis Fire Department
Sherman George can’t go to lunch these days without someone stopping by his table. “You fought the good fight,” they tell the retired George. Then comes the inevitable question: “When are you going to run for mayor, Chief?” It wasn’t supposed to end like this. But then came that sticky conflagration of race, promotions and a standoff with City Hall. Ultimately, George retired after being demoted to deputy chief. But in the bizarre calculus of city politics, George—now viewed by many north of Delmar as a noble alternative to what they see as Room 200’s machinations—has seen his political power grow since leaving the department.
In 2009: Expect George to support the causes and candidates he believes in, but don’t hold your breath for a mayoral bid.
50) Joyce Meyer
Founder, Joyce Meyer Ministries
(Rank in 2006: 46)
After making Time’s 25 Most Influential Evangelicals list in 2005, Joyce Meyer’s holding on for all she’s worth. And apparently, she’s worth quite a bit—or at least her ministry is. Preaching the so-called “prosperity gospel,” the evangelist attracted federal scrutiny in 2007 when Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, instructed Meyer and five other televangelists to submit information about their personal finances. The investigation is ongoing—but Meyer’s ministry has reportedly made a good-faith effort to provide information and institute internal reforms in advance of the review’s completion.
In 2009: Look for Meyer, the author of more than 70 books, to continue her streak on The New York Times’ bestseller list and continue expanding her ministry and outreach abroad, regardless of the investigation’s outcome.
51) Michael R. Allen
Assistant Director, Landmarks Association of St. Louis
It was a mystery: A group of shadowy companies was snapping up North St. Louis properties. As many scratched their heads, Michael Allen went to work, thumbing through tax and property records. His findings, which eventually landed on A-1 of the Post-Dispatch, were startling: Using a series of LLCs, WingHaven developer Paul McKee was buying hundreds of properties, with plans to radically transform the city’s North Side.
Of course, readers of Allen’s blog, ecoabsence.blogspot.com, knew of McKee’s plans long before the city’s only daily took notice. Smart, eloquent and sometimes even lyrical, Allen’s blog has become something of a virtual salon for the city’s preservationist set. What’s more, between that online community, his KWMU commentaries, his role as assistant director of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis and his near preternatural ability to ferret out information, Allen has fashioned himself into one of the city’s better info hubs.
Allen started his crusade early, when as a teenager he began researching City Hospital and sending articulate letters of protest to the Post-Dispatch. Now 27, he’s as passionate as ever about the built environment, and at least three kinds of power have layered themselves onto his thin, pale frame: the power to spread ideas, the power to make connections and the power to unearth secrets.
Savvy and tenacious, he’s already a thorn in Jack Danforth’s holy side, protesting the limits of the “lid” plan and demanding, in that quiet, disarming but very clear way of his, other options, including a Memorial Drive parkway. He and his colleagues made a push to get Chuck Berry’s home on the National Register of Historic Places, and he’s fighting brick thievery as well as suspicious fires in St. Louis Place. He almost single-handedly derailed McKee’s plans for North St. Louis, and he’s fiercely protective of Old North, where he’s restoring a house.
Deceptively mild and bookish, Allen has a surprising grasp of Byzantine city politics and feuds. Watch for the slight curl of satisfaction in his lip when he announces some new political development; he’ll have known about it weeks earlier and perhaps forced its curve.
In 2009: When Allen tilts at windmills, they turn out to be turbines. Now he’s galloping into distressed neighborhoods in North County and the Metro East, ramping up his media presence and bringing younger blood to old historic preservation fights.
52) Albert Pujols
First Baseman, St. Louis Cardinals
(Rank in 2006: 26)
Despite the Cards’ ups and downs this season, El Hombre continued to put up Hall of Fame numbers and pose a threat each time he towered over the plate. For a Cardinals Nation in need of stability, fans and players need look no further than first base—as long as Pujols stays healthy. Off the field, he continues to make his mark with the Pujols Family Foundation and Pujols 5 Westport Grill.
In 2009: When next year’s All-Star Game rolls into Busch Stadium, we can only hope that the world’s gaze falls on No. 5, not on the current eyesore to be known someday as Ballpark Village.
Related: Watch Malcolm Gay discuss this feature.
The American Historical Review
Description:The American Historical Review (AHR) is the official publication of the American Historical Association (AHA). The AHA was founded in 1884 and chartered by Congress in 1889 to serve the interests of the entire discipline of history. Aligning with the AHA’s mission, the AHR has been the journal of record for the historical profession in the United States since 1895—the only journal that brings together scholarship from every major field of historical study. The AHR is unparalleled in its efforts to choose articles that are new in content and interpretation and that make a contribution to historical knowledge. The journal also publishes approximately one thousand book reviews per year, surveying and reporting the most important contemporary historical scholarship in the discipline.
Coverage: 1895-2012 (Vol. 1, No. 1 - Vol. 117, No. 5)
The "moving wall" represents the time period between the last issue available in JSTOR and the most recently published issue of a journal. Moving walls are generally represented in years. In rare instances, a publisher has elected to have a "zero" moving wall, so their current issues are available in JSTOR shortly after publication.
Note: In calculating the moving wall, the current year is not counted.
For example, if the current year is 2008 and a journal has a 5 year moving wall, articles from the year 2002 are available.
- Terms Related to the Moving Wall
- Fixed walls: Journals with no new volumes being added to the archive.
- Absorbed: Journals that are combined with another title.
- Complete: Journals that are no longer published or that have been combined with another title.
Subjects: History, American Studies, History, Area Studies
Collections: Arts & Sciences I Collection, JSTOR Essential Collection