12/11/12 – Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois Welcomes Three New Members

Edwardsville, lll., Dec. 11, 2012… The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois is pleased to announce the addition of East-West Gateway Council of Governments, icon Mechanical Construction and Engineering, LLC, and Metro East Industries to its growing list of members. Representatives from these companies join other members of the Leadership Council to unite business, industry, government, education and labor for economic growth in Southwestern Illinois.

Ed Hillhouse will serve as East-West Gateway Council of Governments’ representative on the Leadership Council. Hillhouse is currently entering his third year as executive director of the organization. East-West Gateway is the St. Louis region’s metropolitan planning organization responsible for approving federal funding for transportation-related projects in the region.  The geographic region that East-West Gateway has served since 1965 is the 4,500 square miles encompassed by the City of St. Louis; Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties in Missouri; and Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties in Illinois. Before becoming executive director of East-West Gateway, Hillhouse served on the organization’s board for eight years. During this time, he was also the presiding commissioner of Franklin County, Mo.

Jeff Smith, Chief Financial Officer of icon Mechanical Construction and Engineering, LLC, will serve as the firm’s representative on the Leadership Council. Based in Granite City, icon Mechanical is a full-service mechanical construction and engineering firm that specializes in HVAC design and construction, industrial contracting, fabrication and mechanical work. Smith is responsible for the finance operation of the company and works with other key leaders in the organization to strategically plan for the growth and strength of the company. He is responsible for budgets, funding and cash management, job cost analysis, financial reporting, both internally and externally of the company, as well as leading the daily activities of the accounting staff. Jeff negotiates and maintains the relationships with lenders, bonding arrangements, outside accounting firms, legal counsel and insurance.

Rick Ortyl will serve as Metro East Industries’ representative on the Leadership Council. Metro East Industries, based in Fairview Heights and founded by the Ortyl family, is a full-service rail car and locomotive contract shop facility that offers service to the railroad, lessor, OEM and private shipper customer base. The company occupies more than 70 acres in East St. Louis/Alorton and employs 390 experienced workers. Serving as Vice President of the company since 1999, Ortyl has over 30 years of experience in the railroad industry. Ortyl’s prior experience includes serving in several capacities with two other Ortyl family businesses – Construction and Mining Services, Inc., and Kustom Karr – and working six years as a marketing agent for Helm Financial Corporation in San Francisco, Calif. In 2012, Ortyl was named 2012 Railroad Man of the Year by the St. Louis Railway Club.

For more information, contact:

Julie Hauser, The Hauser Group (314) 436-9090

Ellen Krohne, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois (618) 692-9745