Key Relationships

Key Relationships: Civic Progress, The Business Council, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Monsanto, United Way of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis Science Center, Washington University in St. Louis.

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Ward Klein, Chairman of the Board of Edgewell Personal Care Company and former CEO of Energizer Holdings

About:

Ward Klein is the former CEO of Energizer Holdings Inc. and current Chairman of the Board of Edgewell Personal Care Company (Energizer's personal care spinoff). In 2012, Energizer holdings cut 10% of their workforce (1,500 jobs) and closed several plants. That same year, Klein’s total compensation was increased by 47% to $9.5 million. He is the Vice Chair of the Teach for America St. Louis Regional Advisory Board; Teach for America has been widely criticized for destabilizing schools and communities as well as its role in the movement for education privatization. He is also the Chairman of Civic Progress, an organization of St. Louis CEOs and powerful executives that promotes a business agenda in the region.

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Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto

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Hugh Grant is the CEO of Monsanto, a multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Creve Coeur in the Greater St. Louis Region. Grant made $13.4 million in 2014. In a recent Harris Poll, Monsanto was ranked the fourth most-hated company in America. It has been widely criticized for a variety of issues, including its production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), marketing of agrochemicals that have been called “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organization, and common practice of unjustly suing and subsequently bankrupting small farmers whose fields have been contaminated with Monsanto’s seeds Monsanto is the 18th largest employer in the St. Louis region. It has received over $13 million in state tax subsidies. 

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Andrew Taylor, Executive Chairman of Enterprise Holdings & Chairman of the Centric Group

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Andrew Taylor is the Executive Chairman of Enterprise Holdings and the Chairman of the Centric Group. Both Centric and Enterprise are owned by the Taylor family. One of Centric's subsidiaries is the Keefe Group, a prison services company that has contracts with more than 800 private and public prisons--including St. Louis City jails. In the late 1990s, Keefe was spun off from Enterprise along with a hotel services business unit to become Centric. Through its six subsidiaries, Keefe contracts with prisons to provide services including inmate phone systems, commissary, inmate e-mail, and inmate package delivery systems. Private prison services companies, including Keefe, are a cornerstone of the prison-industrial complex and incentivize and profit off of the mass incarceration of people of color. In 2012, Keefe Commissary Network, along with two other subsidiaries, recorded $41 million net income on $375 million in sales.

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David Farr, Chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric

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David Farr is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Emerson Electric, a global manufacturing company that is on the Fortune 500 list and headquartered in Ferguson, Missouri. In 2014, Farr made $9.5 million, as opposed to Ferguson’s median household income of $36,645. He is a public proponent of offshoring jobs; in 2009, he told analysts in Chicago that President Obama’s ideas for environmental, healthcare, and labor reform would “destroy” U.S. manufacturing, claiming he would not hire anyone in the United States if the country had stronger labor regulations. Only 25% of Emerson’s 130,000 manufacturing jobs are in the U.S. and Canada. Farr is also an outspoken Republican; in 2011, he sent a letter to Emerson’s workforce urging them to attend a fundraiser for notorious right-winger Representative Todd Aiken.

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Gregory Boyce, Executive Chairman of Peabody Energy

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Gregory Boyce is the Executive Chairman of Peabody Energy, the world's largest private sector coal corporation. Peabody is one of just 90 companies that have produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the beginning of the industrial age and is therefore a significant contributor to climate change. They are also responsible for numerous human rights abuses in the communities in which they operate, including Rocky Branch, Illinois and the Dineh (Navajo) reservation of Black Mesa, AZ. Additionally, in 2010, Peabody received tax breaks on $61 million worth of purchases and building improvements--$2 million of which was meant for St. Louis Public Schools. From union busting to consistently unsafe mining conditions, Peabody also has a long history of mistreating its workers. In 2007, they offloaded thousands of retiree pension plans and healthcare benefits to a spin-off company, Patriot Coal, which filed for bankruptcy in 2012, leaving over 10,000 retired miners without healthcare coverage. Peabody is a large supporting member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), having a representative on their Private Enterprise Advisory Council. ALEC is a strong advocate of various controversial pieces of legislation, including “Stand Your Ground” laws and strict immigration laws.

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George Paz, Chairman and CEO of Express Scripts

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George Paz is the Chairman and CEO of Express Scripts Inc., a pharmacy benefit management company that is #20 on the Fortune 500 list and the 20th largest employer in the St. Louis region. Express Scripts is also notable for its aggressive pursuit of tax subsidies. Indeed, it has received $132,077,627 total in state and federal tax subsidies. In Missouri, the company has a long history of maximizing its tax breaks at the expense of St. Louis County residents. In 2005, Express Scripts "set off a bidding war" by announcing it was considering moving its headquarters to a new state. But, some experts have suggested that Express Scripts was never really planning on moving, but instead wanted to scare Missouri into increasing retention subsidies for staying in the area. The company reportedly turned down higher offers from other states after Missouri legislators passed the Quality Jobs Act, which created a subsidy program that has been widely criticized for not actually creating quality jobs (in 2012, the Missouri Department of Economic Development projected that the program had created 26,686 jobs, but only 7,176 jobs had actually been created).

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Anthony Tersigni, President and CEO of Ascension

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Anthony Tersigni is the Chairman and CEO of Ascension, which operates the U.S.’s third largest healthcare system, including 114 nonprofit hospitals, 225 tax-exempt subsidiaries, and more than 125 for-profit subsidiaries. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "in fiscal year 2013, Ascension’s network of for-profit and nonprofit subsidiaries reported $17 billion in revenue, yet paid no corporate income taxes on its nonprofit operations and few property taxes, capital gains taxes and sales taxes." But, despite retaining their non-profit tax status, Ascension has pioneered the model of a non-profit health system that often acts like a for-profit. They close hospitals in poor neighborhoods because uninsured patients hurt their profitability. A Minnesota attorney general found that Accretive Health Inc. (in which Ascension owns a significant stake) "stationed bill collectors in emergency rooms, awarded prizes to hospital staffers who collected the most money and fired those who failed to meet quotas." They even have a subsidiary called Ascension Ventures that has created venture capital funds on Wall Street to put millions into startup companies.

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