Monday, July 20, 2009

Great Speech

The Business Journal printed an excerpt from Mark Mantovani's excellent speech on the need to support downtown St. Louis.

Mr. Mantovani is president and CEO of NSI Marketing Services and serves as chairman of the board of the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis. He's also an individual who practices what he preaches, having moved his successful business downtown from Westport a few years ago.

This speech includes an 11-point plan for downtown that centers around making the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis into a more aggressive leadership organization, developing more transit options, and encouraging business development and making downtown the true center of our region.

Here are two of my favorite parts of his speech:
I view downtown St. Louis as the central asset within our region. it binds us together. I view it as everyone's downtown: whether one lives in Kirkwood or Florissant; North St. Louis or the Central West End; Edwardsville or Waterloo; St. Charles or O'Fallon.
Recently, a head hunter advised me that searches involving St. Louis organizations and personnel are always difficult. Concerned that this reflected negatively on the region, I asked him if he could tell me more. He replied, "St. Louis is a tough one for us, because it's very difficult to get someone to move here, but after they go, we have a hell of a time getting them to leave.

In our hearts, we know this to be true. While far from perfect as a community, St. Louis has much to offer. Sometimes we forget. More frequently, we fail to speak of it. We St. Louisans must grow in confidence about our community, speak openly about our affection for it, and reach out to those with different points of view. Where there are shortcomings, we must be willing to take more risks and confidently invest in the region's future.
It's refreshing to hear this kind of talk from a local business leader who really gets it. It's time to get our residents and business leaders to take pride in their downtown and focus on making it a better place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear this kind of talk. Far better too that it come from NSI and other businesses located in downtown than the usual fair of "concerned regional leaders" who talk in one breath about the importance of downtown to the region and then decide to locate their firm in Clayton or St. Charles in the next.