4/11/2012 – Tribute to U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello Highlights Leadership Council’s Annual Dinner

Edwardsville, ILL., April 11, 2012… A crowd of more than 350 well-wishers gathered at the Leadership Council’s Salute to Southwestern Illinois Awards Dinner this past Thursday to honor U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello. Those in attendance celebrated the effectiveness of the Congressman, who since being elected to represent Illinois’ 12th District in 1988, has worked tirelessly to advance the Southwestern Illinois region by pursuing his vision of how to boost the local economy and acting as a driving force behind some of our region’s biggest accomplishments.

The evening was highlighted by a special tribute to Costello in recognition of his many contributions to the region and his highly effective leadership during his 24 years in Congress. Speakers sharing their thoughts on those contributions included St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern, who talked about Costello’s impact on St. Clair County during the 1980s when he served as County Board Chair and his subsequent role in protecting and enhancing Scott Air Force Base and bringing MetroLink to St. Clair County. He was followed by Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, who focused his comments on the Congressman’s role in transforming the former Mel Price Support Center into the thriving River’s Edge at America’s Central Port and his ongoing support for the region’s levee improvement initiative. Mary Lamie, former district engineer for IDOT, District 8, talked about Costello’s support for countless transportation infrastructure improvements, including the New Mississippi River Bridge; and Dave McCausland, senior vice president of planning and public affairs for ROHO Group in Belleville, shared his thoughts on the Congressman’s role as a mentor, statesman, and supporter of businesses in the Metro East.

Leadership Council President Rich Conner noted, “No one has had more of a hand in shaping our region over the past 24 years than our region’s senior congressman, Jerry Costello. He is one of the common threads between almost all of the issues and investments we’ve addressed this evening.”

In his comments, Costello noted that the successes the region has celebrated during his time in office were the result of many people coming together and crossing party lines. “We’ve accomplished a lot over the past 24 years,” said Costello. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve.”

Another highlight of the evening was a surprise presentation saluting SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift for demonstrating exceptional leadership in his position at SIUE, guiding the institution during a time of significant growth and accomplishments, and helping to ensure that SIUE is recognized nationally for the excellence of its programs and the development of professional and community leaders.

The event was held at the Four Points by Sheraton in Fairview Heights, Ill. Tim Eby, General Manager of St. Louis Public Radio and a 25-year veteran of the media industry, served as master of ceremonies.

The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois is a member-based, economic development corporation representing Madison and St. Clair counties. The council works to attract/retain jobs and stimulate capital investment through its coalition of leaders in business, industry, labor, education and government. These effective partnerships serve as a driving force behind successful economic development efforts throughout the Metro East region.


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For more information, contact:

Julie Hauser, The Hauser Group, 314.436.9090

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