During our Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, which was held on November 20 in St. Louis, we were thrilled to bring together Missouri’s leading businesses, our fastest growing companies, and our forward-thinking political leaders. It was exciting to congratulate these companies and individuals—the finest in our business community—for their success.
But this year’s annual meeting turned out to be particularly inspirational as we also had an opportunity to recognize Missouri’s finest citizens—our men and women in uniform. It was a theme that ran through the evening.
Our highest award this year, the Champion of Enterprise, went to Enterprise Holdings. If you didn’t know, this worldwide rental vehicle company was founded by Jack Taylor, a World War II veteran. The company is actually named after the USS Enterprise, the aircraft carrier where Taylor served as a F6F Hellcat pilot in the South Pacific.
Even today, Enterprise remains true to its military roots by creating a welcoming work atmosphere for veterans. We are incredibly proud to have Enterprise as part of our business community. Click here to read more about what Enterprise means to Missouri.
Our keynote speaker for the evening was an outstanding Missourian, Eric Greitens. Eric is a former Navy SEAL who has been deployed to Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, the Horn of Africa, and Iraq. He is also the founder of The Mission Continues, a veteran’s service organization.
In March of 2014, Fortune magazine named Eric among the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. The previous year he was one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. I’m certain this veteran will continue to be an important leader for Missouri’s future.
We also honored one of our state’s finest men in uniform and the person who had, perhaps, the most difficult job of 2014—Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson. His response to the unrest in Ferguson has been nothing short of heroic. We are proud to have Captain Johnson as a 2002 graduate of the Missouri Chamber’s Leadership Missouri program. He is incredibly deserving of that program’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Read more about Captain Johnson in our article.
This issue also contains a profile of another veteran, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. Read more about Secretary Kander and his plans to improve our business climate.
As we begin 2015, I hope Missouri and its residents find happiness and prosperity this year. I wish for even greater success for our state’s leading companies and our small businesses.
Happiness, prosperity, and success are lofty goals that can only be achieved when our basic needs— stability, freedom, and safety — are met. And for those, we have our men and women in uniform to thank.
Happy New Year! I wish you and your company the best in 2015!