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{"id":"93926553-c7aa-562b-ad18-17acaef1a1d1","type":"article","starttime":"1521738000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-03-22T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1521738843","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"business/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Midtown Metamorphosis","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/article_93926553-c7aa-562b-ad18-17acaef1a1d1.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/midtown-metamorphosis/article_93926553-c7aa-562b-ad18-17acaef1a1d1.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/midtown-metamorphosis/article_93926553-c7aa-562b-ad18-17acaef1a1d1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Denise Kruse","prologue":"City Foundry STL is the next key player in St. Louis\u2019 midtown renaissance.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["midtown","lawrence group","city foundry 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_06A Vandeventor.jpg

Approximately two years ago, area residents began to hear whispers of plans for a large-scale project in the Midtown neighborhood of St. Louis, an area experiencing a remarkable renaissance.

Lawrence Group, a design, development and project-delivery firm headquartered in St. Louis, began to move forward on City Foundry STL, the mixed-use development of a 15-acre historical site, adjacent to the Cortex Innovation Community, IKEA St. Louis and Saint Louis University. A nod to the property\u2019s past, the project name, as described by a Lawrence Group press release, \u201cis a redevelopment of the historic 89-year-old Century Electric Foundry Complex (later operated by Federal Mogul Corporation), originally a manufacturing site for electric-motor castings and later for automobile parts.\u201d As part of St. Louis\u2019 manufacturing heritage, the foundry property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. City Foundry STL completed site cleanup of the complex late last year, as a precursor to launching the redevelopment to include 122,000 square feet of restaurant and entertainment space, 105,000 square feet of shops and 111,000 square feet of offices in City Foundry STL\u2019s first phase.

\u201c[Lawrence Group founding principal/CEO] Steve Smith, this is his brainchild,\u201d says Brad Beracha, Lawrence Group\u2019s director of culinary services. Smith\u2019s son, who attended Georgia Tech, invited his dad to the South to check out Atlanta\u2019s Krog Street Market, a mixed-use historical site that includes a food hall and retail stalls. Smith also had the opportunity, before its opening in 2015, to tour Atlanta\u2019s Ponce City Market, a project that transformed the city\u2019s historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building into a community hub replete with a food hall, shops, apartments and offices. \u201c[Smith and his son] were both in agreement: We need to find somewhere in St. Louis to do this,\u201d Beracha says.

\u201cThe initial vision was one building, a food hall, office space and retail, and as the project evolved, another mixed-use office/retail building was added, as well as a pedestrian-friendly main street,\u201d Smith says. \u201cA future feature of the property will be an extension of the Great Rivers Greenway trail. The pedestrian-friendly walking and biking path will run through the heart of the property. The finished development will include the food hall, sit-down restaurants, office, retail and entertainment venues. We feel City Foundry STL will be a catalyst to attract both locals and tourists alike and will be a destination for experiences and discoveries.\u201d

Inspired by the centuries-old European tradition, food halls have been growing in popularity in the last few years as the \u201cnext big thing\u201d in food, often housed in historical properties that have been abandoned or otherwise blighted, such as San Francisco\u2019s Ferry Building, New York\u2019s Chelsea Market, The Eastern Market in Detroit and Eataly locations springing up in various cities. St. Louis is emerging as a culinary destination in its own right, and the advent of the city\u2019s first food hall will give 20 local chefs an opportunity to showcase their talents, allowing them to introduce new restaurant concepts in a collaborative environment. The Food Hall at City Foundry STL\u2019s mission is simple: to celebrate food.

_09A Ped looking west NO apt (7-21-17).jpg

\u201cThe Food Hall is a community that engages local chefs, encouraging them to work together offering their own concepts and ideas that will ultimately bring the best culinary talent in St. Louis under one roof,\u201d Beracha explains. \u201cCustomers will have choices that range from ramen to tacos and sweets to salads.\u201d

Early this year, Lawrence Group announced eight restaurant concepts that have been confirmed for The Food Hall. City Foundry STL will be home to three announced anchors at press time: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a 10-screen, state-of-the-art location offering made-from-scratch food, handcrafted beverages, local craft beer, newly released movies and iconic special events; Punch Bowl Social, an award-winning \u201ceatertainment\u201d concept that combines social gaming with a focus on a highly craveable, diner-inspired menu and not-found-elsewhere craft beverage offerings; and Fassler Hall, the German-inspired beer hall and rooftop beer garden operated by pub-and-restaurant owner McNellie\u2019s Group.

City Foundry STL is a true mixed-use development that will include both historic buildings and new construction with commercial office and new-generation retail shop space which is currently being leased. The opening is slated for next year.

\u201cWe\u2019re projected to open mid-2019, and the Great Rivers Greenway should be underway,\u201d Beracha says, referencing the elevated pedestrian-and-bike-friendly paths that seem to be cropping up all over the St. Louis area, a concept modeled after New York\u2019s High Line or Chicago\u2019s 606. The Chouteau Greenway, a plan from Great Rivers Greenway that will go from Washington University and Forest Park through downtown St. Louis to the Gateway Arch, is expected to be a game changer for the city.

_06 Vandeventor Sunset_Without_apartmenttower.jpg
"}, {"id":"aac118e6-58e2-57b5-ae3d-2222fda4c1a7","type":"article","starttime":"1521738000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-03-22T12:00:00-05:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Communication Conversation: Fear Gets You \u2026 Where?","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_aac118e6-58e2-57b5-ae3d-2222fda4c1a7.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/communication-conversation-fear-gets-you-where/article_aac118e6-58e2-57b5-ae3d-2222fda4c1a7.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/communication-conversation-fear-gets-you-where/article_aac118e6-58e2-57b5-ae3d-2222fda4c1a7.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Janis Murray","prologue":"A recent client is a young graduate from a small, Midwestern college trying to figure out his future.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["janis murray","communication conversation"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"d1f79f84-9c53-5648-b71a-ef88a96bf338","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1181,"hiresheight":1755,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/1f/d1f79f84-9c53-5648-b71a-ef88a96bf338/594be024dae07.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1181","height":"1755","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/1f/d1f79f84-9c53-5648-b71a-ef88a96bf338/594be024d9302.image.jpg?resize=1181%2C1755"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"149","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/1f/d1f79f84-9c53-5648-b71a-ef88a96bf338/594be024d9302.image.jpg?resize=100%2C149"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"446","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/1f/d1f79f84-9c53-5648-b71a-ef88a96bf338/594be024d9302.image.jpg?resize=300%2C446"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1522","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/1f/d1f79f84-9c53-5648-b71a-ef88a96bf338/594be024d9302.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1522"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"aac118e6-58e2-57b5-ae3d-2222fda4c1a7","body":"
janis biz 2009.jpg

A recent client is a young graduate from a small, Midwestern college trying to figure out his future. He comes dressed in a well-fitting suit and displays impeccable manners, and his natural personality is charmingly introspective. However, he is clearly hesitant to want anything. The \u201cshoulds\u201d of his career are outweighing the \u201ccoulds\u201d of life. So I tell him my office is a safe space for him to explore possibilities.

\u201cYou\u2019re 26,\u201d I tell him. \u201cIt\u2019s dream time. You may never get this chance again in your life, so tell me what you want.\u201d After a long hesitation, it is clear he knows what he wants, but is afraid to verbalize it.

The fear of the seemingly impossible is severe, which is common across many age groups. Finally, within the prolonged silence, I inquire what he would regret later in life if he hasn\u2019t completed it earlier. This releases the abhorrent ghost and elicits a response. Simply put, the fear of failure has been one-upped by the fear of regret later.

He admits he wants to work in the film and television industry, with a look of resignation that it is likely to never happen.

\u201cHas anyone told you that you can\u2019t?\u201d I ask.

\u201cNo,\u201d he replies, mentioning a supportive family, including a relative working in Los Angeles.

\u201cSo maybe we need to get you into a graduate program in LA,\u201d I suggest. \u201cThat\u2019s where the action is, if you\u2019re up for it.\u201d

Perking up, he asks whether I think he really could. I am honest.

\u201cMaybe,\u201d I say. \u201cDepends on your commitment. It\u2019s a tough business. People will be mean, and you\u2019ll need the proverbial \u2018nerves of steel.\u2019 But at the same time, they are going to hire someone; why shouldn\u2019t it be you?\u201d

I inquire whether he has a script or a tape ready to present to graduate programs, and he says he does. I request his research on graduate school programs for another meeting at a later date.

\u201cOK,\u201d he says with enthusiasm, \u201cI can do that.\u201d

I\u2019ll be watching my email closely for a demo or script and the research he brings, or doesn\u2019t. I am hopeful for both. Employment in what he wants to do is a long shot we both acknowledge.

Fear is a disabling power, but power, nonetheless, that can be redirected to possibly crack open a door. Fear, accepted, can become permanently debilitating in any business.

Without taking the chance, one never knows.

Janis Murray is president of Murray Prep LLC, providing communication training for individuals seeking college admission and career advancement. She works with students and professionals, creating successful strategies, résumés, cover letters, essays, and image and interview/presentation performances. Contact her at jmurray@murrayprep.com.

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Benjamin Akande Headshot

The resurgence of the stock market has much to do with confidence in it \u2013 confidence that continued to grow following Donald Trump\u2019s victory in the U.S. presidential election in November 2016.

But truth be told, the strategy that laid the groundwork for this remarkable ride actually originated with former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, a scholar of the Great Depression who unleashed a dramatic assault to address the 2008 Great Recession.

That assault began with the Fed cutting short-term interest rates to historical lows of 0.15 percent in January 2009. The essence of the strategy involved keeping short-term interest rates as close to 0 percent as possible to enable the U.S. economy to recover. And so it was for the next six years. In addition, the Fed bought long-term bonds and mortgage-backed securities over a 10-year period, peaking at a value of $4.4 billion in January 2018.

Perhaps the strategy can be nicknamed \u201cthe Bernanke\u201d because it involved a relatively new monetary position, specifically designed to entice investors to stop buying bonds and to start purchasing equities and investing in real estate. It worked \u2013 as household wealth increased, leading to more consumer spending \u2013 and it also paved the way for the economic recovery we all are enjoying today.

The stock market awoke as the value of equities owned by the average American increased upward of 45 percent between 2011 and 2013. The net worth for households increased by $10 trillion in just 2013, so imagine the consequential impact on the S&P 500, which increased by more than 200 percent between 2009 and November 2016. But then the \u201cTrump bump\u201d happened, with the stock market increasing an additional 100 percent, now totaling 300 percent in the aftermath of the election.

Yes, the market has benefited from a higher level of confidence perhaps attributable to the election and Trump\u2019s presidency. However, the price/earnings (P/E) ratio just before the election already exceeded historical averages by 49 percent. And now the Fed is expected to curtail the availability of easy money that fueled these good times. Given this sensitive balancing act, I myself suspect the Fed will get the job done without plunging the economy into another recession.

Not everyone on Wall Street agrees, though, which explains why we saw the Dow Jones industrial average fall 1,597 points in a single day. This panic-type selling originated from a fear that the Fed, under the leadership of its new chairman, would reverse the long streak of tepid inflation and that low interest rates will abruptly end.

The panic quickly subsided, though, and the market\u2019s losses have been halved, although daily volatility remains. Rising yields mean higher borrowing costs for companies, and that may push the Fed to raise interest rates more rapidly, which would adversely affect stock prices. Some economists contend the stock market rise resembles a mountain climber scaling a steep slope \u2013 at some point, the \u201cmountain climber\u201d slows and maybe even descends a bit to regroup and regain strength, before continuing to climb.

Of course, as important as the stock market remains as an indicator of how the economy is doing, it alone doesn\u2019t indicate economic prosperity and continued growth. Consider, for instance, these factors:

\uf0a7 The U.S. gross domestic product has been expanding at an annual pace of more than 3 percent after inflation for three straight quarters.

\uf0a7 Average hourly earnings rose to $26.74 in January, a 2.9 percent increase over the past year.

\uf0a7 The labor market participation rate has been around 63 percent for the past four months.

Given those positive trends, I would advise long-term investors not to panic. Market corrections of 10 percent or more frequently occur. This isn\u2019t the time to undo your entire investment strategy.

Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande is the president of BOA Consulting and former president of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. He has a Ph.D. in economics and previously served as dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University.

"}, {"id":"4eff5bab-d626-5e74-b9a0-43ac78a1f1a9","type":"article","starttime":"1521738000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-03-22T12:00:00-05:00","priority":29,"sections":[{"promotions":"business/promotions"},{"promotions":"promotions"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Allegro Senior Living: A Harmonious Existence","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/promotions/article_4eff5bab-d626-5e74-b9a0-43ac78a1f1a9.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/promotions/allegro-senior-living-a-harmonious-existence/article_4eff5bab-d626-5e74-b9a0-43ac78a1f1a9.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/promotions/allegro-senior-living-a-harmonious-existence/article_4eff5bab-d626-5e74-b9a0-43ac78a1f1a9.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Amanda Dahl","prologue":"Opening in the winter of 2018, Allegro Senior Living introduces a new kind of neighborhood to the St. Louis area, and shows seniors how they can live an inspired life.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["allegro senior living","richmond heights"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"dd9a8adc-74e9-5c94-8fc7-720daba789fb","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1716,"hiresheight":1208,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d9/dd9a8adc-74e9-5c94-8fc7-720daba789fb/5ab3d4e441efb.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1716","height":"1208","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d9/dd9a8adc-74e9-5c94-8fc7-720daba789fb/5ab3d4e440f85.image.jpg?resize=1716%2C1208"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"70","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d9/dd9a8adc-74e9-5c94-8fc7-720daba789fb/5ab3d4e440f85.image.jpg?resize=100%2C70"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"211","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d9/dd9a8adc-74e9-5c94-8fc7-720daba789fb/5ab3d4e440f85.image.jpg?resize=300%2C211"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"721","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d9/dd9a8adc-74e9-5c94-8fc7-720daba789fb/5ab3d4e440f85.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C721"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"4eff5bab-d626-5e74-b9a0-43ac78a1f1a9","body":"
allegro 032318

Growing older doesn\u2019t mean you have to give up the parts of your life that offer you the most enjoyment. Allegro Senior Living understands that better than most.

\u201cEverything we do is to inspire others, starting first with our associates, who then go on to inspire residents and their families,\u201d Terri Matheis, lead senior living advisor, says. \u201cWe make it all about choice and freedom in the design and lifestyle of the assisted living and memory care communities. Anyone who needs specialized care as they age can still have the freedom they [experienced] when they were younger.\u201d

A leader in the senior living industry, Allegro\u2019s headquarters are located in downtown Clayton, and it has communities open across Florida, Georgia and Kentucky. The management company recently started construction on a senior living community, which is scheduled to open in Richmond Heights in the winter of 2018.

\u201cAllegro has a high-end boutique [atmosphere], yet still feels like home,\u201d Matheis explains. \u201cWe have a history of award-winning design and product-building. With two local developers and our headquarters here, the design feels like part of the neighborhood and clearly has family in mind.\u201d

Allegro continually looks for ways to connect with the outside community. Through beneficial partnerships with Washington University and the Alzheimer\u2019s Association \u2013 both key players in research and education \u2013 Allegro focuses on family and enhancing residents\u2019 lives.

Showing respect for the lifestyles of its residents, the senior living community strives to make sure that no one feels like they have to sacrifice their living standards. \u201cAllegro uniquely and purposefully offers an uncompromised lifestyle \u2013 the kind of lifestyle residents have enjoyed their whole lives, from the restaurant-style dining experience and [amenities] to the look and feel of the apartments,\u201d Matheis explains.

The four-story community includes a stadium theater, outdoor patio dining, and additional upscale services and amenities. The assisted living and memory care apartments are thoughtfully executed, with high-end finishes and details, from tall ceilings to spacious closets. \u201cWe\u2019ve won awards for our interior design, which is centered on supporting an independent lifestyle,\u201d Matheis remarks.

The memory care neighborhood offers residents special support through Allegro\u2019s signature Ensemble Care Program, which requires additional training for staff beyond industry standards, so that they can create a nurturing environment for residents, from sensory gardens to computer-generated activities that are suited to different needs. \u201cEnsemble focuses on the whole person \u2013 mind, body, spirit \u2013 to create a melody of stimulating and meaningful life experiences,\u201d Matheis explains.

Allegro provides individualized care at every level, so residents can develop a harmonious existence based around a lifestyle that offers both freedom and comfort. As Matheis explains, \u201cWe put people at the center of everything we do.\u201d

Allegro Senior Living, 1055 Bellevue Ave., Richmond Heights, 314-332-8372, allegroliving.com

"}, {"id":"65915bea-484b-556f-bc55-b77265cbb942","type":"article","starttime":"1521133200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-03-15T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1521135423","priority":45,"sections":[{"testdrive":"business/testdrive"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Test Drive: 2018 Range Rover Velar & Jaguar F-Pace","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/testdrive/article_65915bea-484b-556f-bc55-b77265cbb942.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/testdrive/test-drive-range-rover-velar-jaguar-f-pace/article_65915bea-484b-556f-bc55-b77265cbb942.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/testdrive/test-drive-range-rover-velar-jaguar-f-pace/article_65915bea-484b-556f-bc55-b77265cbb942.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Ryan Scott","prologue":"Although the 2018 range Rover Velar and Jaguar F-Pace share DNA, that commonality doesn\u2019t necessarily signal equality.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["test drive","land rover","jaguar"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"a87effc6-8d15-5c23-945e-d8f6a48d44df","description":"","byline":"Photos by Ryan Scott","hireswidth":1769,"hiresheight":1171,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/87/a87effc6-8d15-5c23-945e-d8f6a48d44df/5aaa9f1877c55.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1769","height":"1171","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/87/a87effc6-8d15-5c23-945e-d8f6a48d44df/5aaa9f18770d6.image.jpg?resize=1769%2C1171"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/87/a87effc6-8d15-5c23-945e-d8f6a48d44df/5aaa9f18770d6.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/87/a87effc6-8d15-5c23-945e-d8f6a48d44df/5aaa9f18770d6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"678","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/87/a87effc6-8d15-5c23-945e-d8f6a48d44df/5aaa9f18770d6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C678"}}},{"id":"ec554f64-a743-562e-bb72-7043bf0b3238","description":"","byline":"Photos by Ryan Scott","hireswidth":1635,"hiresheight":1267,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c5/ec554f64-a743-562e-bb72-7043bf0b3238/5aaa9f182d021.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1635","height":"1267","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c5/ec554f64-a743-562e-bb72-7043bf0b3238/5aaa9f182bed1.image.jpg?resize=1635%2C1267"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"77","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c5/ec554f64-a743-562e-bb72-7043bf0b3238/5aaa9f182bed1.image.jpg?resize=100%2C77"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"232","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c5/ec554f64-a743-562e-bb72-7043bf0b3238/5aaa9f182bed1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C232"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"794","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c5/ec554f64-a743-562e-bb72-7043bf0b3238/5aaa9f182bed1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C794"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"65915bea-484b-556f-bc55-b77265cbb942","body":"

Land Rover and Jaguar are British, right? Of course they are. They\u2019ve been independent companies recently. They\u2019ve also parked under the same roof as British Leyland during the 1960s, \u201970s and \u201980s \u2013 and then there were the 2000s, when Ford tried and failed to sell ho-hum cars under those premium brands for top profits.

Continue to 2008, when Jaguar and Land Rover sold to the Indian company Tata Motors. Tata makes everything from the world\u2019s cheapest car \u2013 \u201ccar\u201d being a generous descriptor for what\u2019s basically a soda can powered by a moped motor \u2013 to twin-axle dump trucks, buses, military vehicles and construction equipment. Basically, if a need exists for something with wheels and a motor, Tata makes an inexpensive version.

So when the lowbrow Tata purchased highfalutin Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the collective automotive world assumed those brands were kaput. With a decade passed, however, we\u2019re relieved to recognize that assumption as hasty. JLR has returned to its former glory, with sales going from count-on-one-hand to more than a half-million units worldwide. Even more important \u2013 and responsible for that success \u2013 has been the fact that JLR\u2019s unique British quality and character have remained. Tata made the smart decision of keeping decision-making for those brands in Coventry, in the center of the United Kingdom.

Jaguar and Land Rover now share platforms \u2013 knowledge I wish I had possessed prior to preparing for this review but sadly didn\u2019t. The first example of JLR developing a platform for cross-pollination appeared in 2016 as the Jaguar F-Pace. From the beginning, this modular architecture was designed to serve as the underpinnings for a new generation of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. Making heavy use of aluminum for lightness and boasting a sophisticated suspension setup, this platform\u2019s something of a chameleon \u2013 highly tunable for both sedans and SUVs with either sporty or off-road aspirations.

To ensure a fair comparison, both the F-Pace and Velar driven made use of the same supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. (Both come with a wide range of other powerplant options.) In both, the V-6 wrings out 380 horsepower and 332 foot-pound of torque and couples with the same ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. But JLR well recognizes issues when competing products on the showroom floor don\u2019t distinguish themselves clearly \u2013 just ask Chevy/Pontiac. In that they both clearly have stylings all their own, the promise remains that they both have character and driving dynamics all their own, as well. So to the road we go!


2018 Range Rover Velar P380 R-Dynamic HSE

First impressions \u2013 they\u2019re important. I\u2019ll just say this: Velar makes quite a good one. Outside, it balances everything perfectly \u2013 sporty and stylish, refined and edgy. I rarely look back at an SUV when leaving a parking space, but this shape struck me as striking in subtle ways and led to many backward glances. Inside the undeniably classy design, execution continues with a wow-inducing combination of luxurious materials and perfectly integrated tech bits. My previous high bar for this, the Volvo XC90, now has a challenger. Powering on the Velar \u2013 with its bright double layout, full-color instrument cluster and head-up display \u2013 made me feel happy for the future of cars. If I were buying, the Velar made a first impression so strong I might have signed paperwork before even a drive. Yes, I\u2019m gushing, but the truth is, Land Rover hit a grand slam with the execution of this vehicle\u2019s design.

But I did drive (tough job, that it is) and enjoyed my time behind the wheel, as well. The Velar\u2019s obviously been tuned more to the luxurious, with throttle response slowed, suspension inputs highly damped and road noise/feel all but eliminated. Typically, such characteristics don\u2019t sit well with me as a sporting driver, but in the Velar, I felt differently. As with my driving experience with the Volvo XC90, a sense of luxury and calm was so effectively conveyed to me as the driver that I never missed the ability to wring it out on twisty backroads. Also, off-roading has always been synonymous with Land Rover, and I\u2019m told the Velar\u2019s quite capable, although I had no chance to test that myself.

Otherwise, I felt a bit enamored of its infotainment system. Having so much of the car integrated through touch screens can, I\u2019m sure, seem off-putting to some, but the Velar features such integration smartly done and quickly mastered. I wouldn\u2019t rank it quite as cool as a Tesla, but it\u2019s certainly classier to behold. Like Audi\u2019s virtual cockpit, the Land Rover customizable instrument cluster feels futuristic and quite functional. Capacitive-touch steering wheel-mounted \u201cbuttons\u201d control the cluster \u2013 another thing new to me. All around, the interior exudes class, and who wouldn\u2019t love the Velar\u2019s massaging seats?


2018 Jaguar F-Pace 35t R-Sport

A glance at this big cat should make clear it has intentions different from the Velar\u2019s. Sharper lines and a more aggressive front fascia tell the tale: The F-Pace is the sportier alternative. Inside, as well, it feels more Spartan, with seats sporting aggressive bolstering for support. On startup, you hear something the Velar lacks: an audible exhaust note.

All those niceties on the Velar come with a weight penalty, and the lighter F-Pace feels more flickable. Its throttle response has been tuned to reward a twitchy right foot, and combined with the exhaust growl under throttle, it sparks a significantly more visceral emotional response. I took the F-Pace on one of my favorite back roads, which proved rewarding and communicative enough to prompt a grin, especially when I set the gearbox selector to sport and used the manual shift paddles.

Although many bits from the Velar\u2019s interior also grace the Jag\u2019s \u2013 the massive glass panoramic roof, for instance, and the high-grade stitched leather \u2013 it has a completely different feel. Taken on its own, the result can compete with anything in its class. It\u2019s just that the Velar occupies another level.

Product differentiation constitutes no issue here. Although fraternal twins, the Velar and F-Pace remain individuals. Moreover, trepidation over the Indian Tata leading two of Britain\u2019s premier brands was clearly misplaced. Both the Land Rover and Jaguar make a crowded and competitive SUV shopping field more lively and fun. Both deserve to be here. Furthermore, they present an interesting conundrum: On one hand, you can easily see why the F-Pace immediately became Jaguar\u2019s top-selling model, with some even saying it saved the brand \u2013 it\u2019s one of the rare few SUVs that earn that acronym, delivering both sport and utility. On the other hand, the Velar radiates want, class and refinement and makes me wish I had a British accent.

So which to buy? The Velar feels fresher, a feeling that will keep for years into the future. The Jag\u2019s absolutely more a driver\u2019s car, but I did wish it had the showoff living space of the Velar. As good news, though, both share a roof at Plaza Jaguar Land Rover, so do yourself a favor: If you drive one, make sure to drive the other.\u00a0


Plaza Jaguar Land Rover St. Louis, plazajaguarstlouis.com


Velar: $86,931

F-Pace: $71,418

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Richard Mark.JPG

One individual I truly admire is Richard Mark. Anytime I hear he\u2019s being recognized with another award or plaque, I know it\u2019s well-deserved.

Mark is a successful business executive. He\u2019s the chairman and president of Ameren Illinois. He was raised in Collinsville, Illinois, but he says he wasn\u2019t born there. That\u2019s because in 1955 most hospitals didn\u2019t treat African-Americans. His parents had to go across the river to the now-demolished St. Mary\u2019s Infirmary in St. Louis because it was one of the few maternity hospitals that would deliver black babies. One might think that being brought into the world under discriminatory conditions would cause him to be bitter and angry, but Mark says he has no power do anything about the past, and his parents taught him to focus on the future instead.

\u201cMy mom and dad talked about hard work and setting goals of what you wanted to do and achieve,\u201d Mark says. \u201cIt was a combination of building the confidence in me as a child that I could do whatever I wanted to do and stressing the importance of a good education.\u201d

Mark\u2019s mom worked as a nursing and teaching assistant, while his dad was a union hod carrier, raising all three of their children in Collinsville.

\u201cMy mom told me you have God-given talents, and if you don\u2019t use them, you\u2019re letting Him down,\u201d Mark says. \u201cShe made it my responsibility to achieve.\u201d

Mark played sports in high school and earned a football scholarship to Iowa State University, where he graduated with a degree in early-childhood education. He married an Iowa girl, moved back home and became a teacher and assistant high school football coach at Collinsville. He also took a job with the police department, working with troubled youths in hopes of keeping them out of the juvenile justice system. He eventually moved to health care. His ability to lead and his will to achieve allowed him to work his way up to the CEO\u2019s office of St. Mary\u2019s Hospital in East St. Louis. He was also appointed by the governor to oversee the beleaguered East St. Louis School District.

\u201cOur country has gotten to the point where we don\u2019t want to talk about being reasonable,\u201d Mark says. \u201cWe want to talk about one end of the spectrum or the other, and I don\u2019t think you can be successful that way. We have to find a balance.\u201d He uses that same philosophy at Ameren, finding ways to balance the development of renewable energy with the need for electrical power.

\u201cIt\u2019s going to be a mix of all types of energy sources and how we use wind, solar, gas, nuclear,\u201d Mark says. \u201cAll of those energies need to be used in a more coordinated way, using the most appropriate energy sources for the tasks at hand.\u201d

Mark has been recognized with hundreds of awards for his community service and leadership. Organizations from the NAACP to the Better Business Bureau to the Saint Louis Zoo Association have lauded him. He\u2019s earned three honorary doctorates and has been recognized by Black Enterprise and Savoy magazines as one of the top 100 most influential black businessmen in America.

However, Mark says the most important recognition he ever got came from a young black man he first met approximately 12 years ago. At that time, the man was panhandling on a St. Louis street. \u201cI told him I wouldn\u2019t give him money, but I\u2019d buy him something to eat,\u201d Mark says. As the other man ate, Mark encouraged him to stay in school and convinced him it was possible to succeed.

Just a few months ago, that same young man recognized Mark at a store, approached him and reminded him of their encounter years earlier. \u201cHe said, \u2018I wanted to let you know I have a good job at a bank, I just got married and bought a house, and I wanted to thank you because you helped me realize that I really could be what I wanted to be,\u2019\u201d Mark relayed. \u201cIt brought tears to my eyes when he told me that.\u201d

Sometimes the most well-deserved and honorable awards don\u2019t come with a plaque.

Paul Brown is a longtime journalist on radio, on television and in print as a reporter, an anchor, a talk show host and a columnist. He\u2019s also a media and public relations consultant with Paul Brown Media.

"}, {"id":"ddca0d44-4461-5357-acfd-f4a5a3b6b66e","type":"article","starttime":"1519927200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-03-01T12:00:00-06:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"features":"business/features"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Medical Marvels","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/article_ddca0d44-4461-5357-acfd-f4a5a3b6b66e.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/medical-marvels/article_ddca0d44-4461-5357-acfd-f4a5a3b6b66e.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/features/medical-marvels/article_ddca0d44-4461-5357-acfd-f4a5a3b6b66e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Connie Mitchell","prologue":"New advances in medical technology map the human body like never before.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["slucare"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"d9b13ccc-05b0-57cf-9c3a-e9129c2a601d","description":"Mustafa Nazzal, M.D., a SLUCare transplant surgeon at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, dons a virtual reality headset as he plans a surgery using technology developed by SLUCare radiologist Nadeem Parkar, M.D., (right) and Kyle Collins, assistant vice president of Information Technology at SLU.","byline":"Photos courtesy of SLUCare","hireswidth":1920,"hiresheight":1080,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/9b/d9b13ccc-05b0-57cf-9c3a-e9129c2a601d/5a982b067ac8d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1920","height":"1080","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/9b/d9b13ccc-05b0-57cf-9c3a-e9129c2a601d/5a982b0679e63.image.jpg?resize=1920%2C1080"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/9b/d9b13ccc-05b0-57cf-9c3a-e9129c2a601d/5a982b0679e63.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/9b/d9b13ccc-05b0-57cf-9c3a-e9129c2a601d/5a982b0679e63.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/9b/d9b13ccc-05b0-57cf-9c3a-e9129c2a601d/5a982b0679e63.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C576"}}},{"id":"ca70503c-a878-5914-ba83-1170044c7584","description":"Jeffrey Brown, M.D., a SLUCare radiologist and chair of radiology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, foreground, collaborates with SLUCare radiologist Nadeem Parkar, M.D., to create a 3-D model from a patient\u2019s personal scans and images, seen on a computer. That model will be viewed through a virtual reality headset to plan a high-precision and complex surgery.","byline":"Photos courtesy of SLUCare","hireswidth":1920,"hiresheight":1080,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/a7/ca70503c-a878-5914-ba83-1170044c7584/5a982b06a75db.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1920","height":"1080","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/a7/ca70503c-a878-5914-ba83-1170044c7584/5a982b06a6a0d.image.jpg?resize=1920%2C1080"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/a7/ca70503c-a878-5914-ba83-1170044c7584/5a982b06a6a0d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/a7/ca70503c-a878-5914-ba83-1170044c7584/5a982b06a6a0d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/a7/ca70503c-a878-5914-ba83-1170044c7584/5a982b06a6a0d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C576"}}},{"id":"248b7fe2-a5bd-534f-b4fb-bedca00e2e22","description":"SLUCare physicians created this 3-D model of a patient\u2019s skull using personal X-rays, CT scans and MRI images. Doctors will use the model, viewed through a virtual reality headset, to determine the best way to approach a surgery. They say modeling coupled with virtual reality is a new frontier for medicine and minimizes surprises they encounter during procedures, which is better for patients.","byline":"Photos courtesy of SLUCare","hireswidth":1920,"hiresheight":1080,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/48/248b7fe2-a5bd-534f-b4fb-bedca00e2e22/5a982b06d6b55.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1920","height":"1080","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/48/248b7fe2-a5bd-534f-b4fb-bedca00e2e22/5a982b06d611d.image.jpg?resize=1920%2C1080"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/48/248b7fe2-a5bd-534f-b4fb-bedca00e2e22/5a982b06d611d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/48/248b7fe2-a5bd-534f-b4fb-bedca00e2e22/5a982b06d611d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/48/248b7fe2-a5bd-534f-b4fb-bedca00e2e22/5a982b06d611d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C576"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"ddca0d44-4461-5357-acfd-f4a5a3b6b66e","body":"

Mustafa Nazzal, M.D., a SLUCare transplant surgeon at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, dons a virtual reality headset as he plans a surgery using technology developed by SLUCare radiologist Nadeem Parkar, M.D., (right) and Kyle Collins, assistant vice president of Information Technology at SLU.

With the 21st century well underway, people have become increasingly used to new technologies popping up, and medicine is one of the most tech-dependent sectors of American society. Yet some of the newest advances available at local hospitals are stunning, even for tech-savvy consumers, and one common theme is the increasingly transparent human body.

Consider, for example, the UroNav MRI-guided biopsy. The procedure, first introduced in St. Louis at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in 2014, allows physicians to pinpoint prostate cancers by merging two types of images: MRIs and ultrasounds. Men suspected of prostate cancer undergo an MRI, which shows suspicious lesions. During a subsequent ultrasound exam, the MRI image is fused with the ultrasound image in real time to allow for precise targeting of the suspicious site(s) by the biopsy needle.

\u201cConventional biopsies done with ultrasound [alone] are random and very much \u2018hit-[or]-miss,\u2019\u201d says Dr. Gerald Andriole, the Robert K. Royce Distinguished Professor of Urologic Surgery, chief of the Division of Urologic Surgery and vice chair of the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. \u201cThus, there is very small reassurance if such a biopsy does not show cancer. Also, it is important to realize that even when the conventional biopsy shows cancer, it typically underestimates the size of the cancer and the aggressiveness of the cancer. It provides very little information about the location of the cancer.\u201d

However, studies conducted at Washington University and elsewhere clearly show that MRI-targeted biopsies, using the UroNav fusion software, are more likely to identify a man\u2019s cancer and to more accurately characterize it. The result is \u201cbetter decisions about how to treat it,\u201d Andriole says.

\u201cOne very exciting prospect is to ablate [destroy] only the cancerous part of the prostate, as such a treatment is not associated with the most-dreaded side effects of other treatments that may cause incontinence and erectile dysfunction,\u201d he adds.

A more recent innovation allows doctors to \u201cmap\u201d the heart with noninvasive imaging in order to correct a serious heart condition known as ventricular tachycardia. Dr. Clifford Robinson, a radiation oncologist, and Dr. Phillip Cuculich, a heart rhythm specialist, both of whom are assistant professors at Washington University School of Medicine, published results of the procedure\u2019s experimental use in the Dec. 14, 2017, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. A formal prospective trial recently completed enrollment, and a multicenter clinical trial to further study the procedure is planned.


SLUCare physicians created this 3-D model of a patient\u2019s skull using personal X-rays, CT scans and MRI images. Doctors will use the model, viewed through a virtual reality headset, to determine the best way to approach a surgery. They say modeling coupled with virtual reality is a new frontier for medicine and minimizes surprises they encounter during procedures, which is better for patients.

In ventricular tachycardia, the heart beats exceedingly fast, and its chambers often fall out of sync, causing blood to stop. This is known as sudden cardiac death. For the lucky survivors, medications and an implanted defibrillator device are used. If the arrhythmia continues despite these efforts, an ablation procedure can be performed. During this procedure, several catheters are threaded through blood vessels in order to locate the scar tissue inside the heart. Once located, the tip of the catheter is heated, and the scar tissue is cauterized. The new procedure combines noninvasive radiation, similar to treating cancers, with noninvasive 3-D mapping of the heart created by using scans that include electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI), a technology that was created by Dr. Yoram Rudy at Washington University. Only seven medical centers in the nation currently offer ECGI.

\u201cThe traditional way to \u2018map\u2019 the inside of the heart involves inserting long catheters into a blood vessel, carefully maneuvering these catheters within a chamber of the heart and painstakingly sampling the electrical signal at hundreds or thousands of points within the heart,\u201d Cuculich says. Most catheter ablation procedures take six to eight hours to complete and require general anesthesia and at least one night in the hospital. \u201cWe have developed a way to do a complex heart ablation procedure noninvasively in seven minutes,\u201d he adds.

Instead of sending a catheter into the heart, patients don a \u201cvest of electrodes\u201d that captures panoramic electrical data from the body surface and creates an electrical map on a 3-D image of the patient\u2019s heart. Once the diseased part of the heart is mapped, the problematic scar tissue is targeted for focused radiation, similar to the type of radiation used to destroy cancer cells.

\u201cThe entirely noninvasive ablation procedure is entirely outpatient, performed while awake, and takes about seven minutes,\u201d Cuculich says. \u201cPatients walk out of the room. In fact, our last patient was treated over his lunch break and returned to work in the afternoon.\u201d

Meanwhile, over at Saint Louis University, SLUCare radiologist Dr. Nadeem Parkar collaborated with Kyle Collins, assistant vice president of ITS Enterprise Resources at the university, to develop a leading-edge technology that takes 3-D modeling to a new level for preoperative patients at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.

Using X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans, a 3-D model of the patient\u2019s surgical site is created. Surgeons then put on virtual reality (VR) headsets and use handheld controls, just like VR gamers, to navigate the patient\u2019s body and to plan exactly how they will approach and perform the surgery. The VR preview provides insight into the patient\u2019s individual anatomy so the surgeons are prepared with the most appropriate and accurate tools and surgical strategies.

\u201cI have a friend in the gaming industry, and he suggested I do something in virtual reality,\u201d Parkar says. \u201cAbout a year ago, I started thinking about importing cardiac CT or MRI scans and developing a 3-D virtual reality format.\u201d Collins provided the software know-how to build the program, which took almost a year to complete.

Parkar adds that surgeons who have a complicated case ahead typically request preparatory imaging. Now they can get the added benefit of those images being converted to VR. For instance, a neurosurgeon can get a 3-D immersive look at the nearby blood vessels and nerves in the brain before removing a tumor. \u201cThere are fewer surprises during the surgery itself as a result,\u201d Parkar says. \u201cIt can be used by any surgical or other specialty that does procedures.\u201d Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive as surgeons repeatedly come back to use the technology, he adds.

With all this happening already, you may wonder what\u2019s next. Parkar, like most of St. Louis\u2019 researchers and innovators in medicine, says he has more ideas to explore, no doubt revolutionizing the field even further.


Jeffrey Brown, M.D., a SLUCare radiologist and chair of radiology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, foreground, collaborates with SLUCare radiologist Nadeem Parkar, M.D., to create a 3-D model from a patient\u2019s personal scans and images, seen on a computer. That model will be viewed through a virtual reality headset to plan a high-precision and complex surgery.

"}, {"id":"5fb6c6be-7b73-5789-b1be-5f171e21df26","type":"article","starttime":"1519927200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-03-01T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Health Notes: Body Contouring","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_5fb6c6be-7b73-5789-b1be-5f171e21df26.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/health-notes-body-contouring/article_5fb6c6be-7b73-5789-b1be-5f171e21df26.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/health-notes-body-contouring/article_5fb6c6be-7b73-5789-b1be-5f171e21df26.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Connie Mitchell","prologue":"It\u2019s a rare person who has never looked in the mirror and imagined a little more curve here, a little less bulge there.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["health notes","body contouring"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"24495190-dfe6-5e0b-90b9-452db6ad0557","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/24495190-dfe6-5e0b-90b9-452db6ad0557/5a8f0a122ef2d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/24495190-dfe6-5e0b-90b9-452db6ad0557/5a8f0a122e2b3.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/24495190-dfe6-5e0b-90b9-452db6ad0557/5a8f0a122e2b3.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/24495190-dfe6-5e0b-90b9-452db6ad0557/5a8f0a122e2b3.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/44/24495190-dfe6-5e0b-90b9-452db6ad0557/5a8f0a122e2b3.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"5fb6c6be-7b73-5789-b1be-5f171e21df26","body":"

It\u2019s a rare person who has never looked in the mirror and imagined a little more curve here, a little less bulge there. Although diet and exercise remain key to maintaining a healthy weight, certain spots may seem never to change, no matter how many situps you do. Body contouring can help address those trouble spots and enhance your overall shape.

Dr. Brock Ridenour, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Ridenour Plastic Surgery, explains that body contouring creates a more aesthetically pleasing outline, and although the term usually refers to procedures below the face, a face-lift is technically a form of body contouring, as well.

A number of body contouring procedures exist to address specific areas and issues. Surgical body contouring following major weight loss, for instance, removes excess skin and fat while improving the tone and shape of underlying support tissue. As another example, fat can be emulsified by injecting a solution sold under the brand name Kybella, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat mild to moderate fat deposits under the chin.

\u201cNoninvasive or minimally invasive devices for body contouring include cryolipolysis [freezing fat], micro-needle radio-frequency, ultrasound, noninvasive laser and the so-called \u2018cold laser\u2019 therapy,\u201d Ridenour says. \u201cThese devices are meant for the treatment of discrete areas of resistant fat after diet and exercise. They can be used alone or in combination to smooth, tone and improve body contour.\u201d

Two of the most common body contouring procedures, abdominoplasty (also known as a \u201ctummy tuck\u201d) and liposuction, involve the abdomen. \u201cWith liposuction, the area in question is filled with tumescent solution to numb it and reduce bleeding. Then, a cannula, which is a thin tube designed for sucking fat, is placed and used to suction away fat,\u201d says Dr. Terence Myckatyn, a Washington University plastic and reconstructive surgeon. \u201cFor a tummy tuck, fat is removed and the abdominal wall muscles are also tightened.\u201d

Myckatyn notes that people who want to undergo either procedure should first make sure they are in optimal shape through diet and exercise, maintaining their weight for at least three months leading up to the procedure. \u201cBody contouring procedures are not weight-loss procedures,\u201d he stresses. \u201cYou will not lose weight. They are designed to treat people after they have maxed out on diet and exercise.\u201d

Also important to note is that liposuction and tummy tucks are not insignificant medical procedures. They do involve some risk, and recovery can take weeks. \u201cLiposuction is very effective, but patients should be aware of the risk of contour irregularities, areas of numbness and small scars,\u201d Ridenour says. Noninvasive devices can be very effective in properly selected patients, he adds, especially when two or more of the devices are combined for greater effectiveness.

\u201cPatients should see a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who is optimally trained to do these procedures,\u201d Myckatyn advises. \u201cOften, a couple options may be available to the patient. Other times, only one or two are reasonable. A practice that can offer several options, so that they are not biased to only offer you what they can provide, is most likely to match the procedure that meets your goals to what you get most appropriately.\"

"}, {"id":"e1511555-dee1-51f8-82cb-f7c6ee9c0b7e","type":"article","starttime":"1519927200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-03-01T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1519928178","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Kids MD: Caring for Children\u2019s Teeth","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_e1511555-dee1-51f8-82cb-f7c6ee9c0b7e.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/kids-md-caring-for-children-s-teeth/article_e1511555-dee1-51f8-82cb-f7c6ee9c0b7e.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/kids-md-caring-for-children-s-teeth/article_e1511555-dee1-51f8-82cb-f7c6ee9c0b7e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Joseph Kahn","prologue":"The day your baby\u2019s gummy smile gets its first tooth can be such a fun \u2013 and drool-filled \u2013 milestone.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["kids md","dr. joseph kahn"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"c64309e2-b2fb-587d-8899-af93e672788f","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64309e2-b2fb-587d-8899-af93e672788f/5a8f1a7c31cfd.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64309e2-b2fb-587d-8899-af93e672788f/5a8f1a7c31092.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64309e2-b2fb-587d-8899-af93e672788f/5a8f1a7c31092.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64309e2-b2fb-587d-8899-af93e672788f/5a8f1a7c31092.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/64/c64309e2-b2fb-587d-8899-af93e672788f/5a8f1a7c31092.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"e1511555-dee1-51f8-82cb-f7c6ee9c0b7e","body":"

The day your baby\u2019s gummy smile gets its first tooth can be such a fun \u2013 and drool-filled \u2013 milestone. But once more teeth pop through, parents often wonder how to care for them and when they should start taking the baby to the dentist.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics both have guidelines on the care of children\u2019s teeth.

Your baby\u2019s first tooth will likely erupt between 6 and 12 months of age. But before you ever see that first bit of white through the gums, remember to wipe your baby\u2019s mouth with a soft, moist cloth at bath time and after feeding. It\u2019s a great habit to get into because as teeth erupt, this time can be exchanged for twice-daily cleaning with a soft child\u2019s toothbrush.

To avoid tooth decay, don\u2019t give bottles of formula, milk or sugar-containing liquids when the baby is lying down or just before bed. This is a good rule of thumb even before teeth appear.

A preschool child should brush at least twice daily, after breakfast and before bed, using no more than a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on a child-size brush. Toothpaste should be spit out, not swallowed, after brushing.

Pediatric dentists recommend beginning routine preventive-care checkups at the age of 1 year, or shortly after eruption of the first teeth. Your dentist may recommend yearly checkups until the age of 3, after which you may wish to have them done every six months. Such dental visits should be a fun, positive experience, not threatening.

From school age and beyond, routine brushing and flossing along with regular checkups, fluoride supplementation, application of sealants when appropriate and careful monitoring of snacks and sweet drinks should keep your children\u2019s teeth and mouth healthy.\u00a0

Dr. Joseph Kahn is president of Mercy Kids (mercykids.org), an expansive network of pediatric care dedicated to meeting the needs of every child, every day.

"}, {"id":"f9d14ed4-8167-570e-8b6d-dbc1d0290a87","type":"article","starttime":"1519927200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-03-01T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Frank Cusumano Talks the Blues, Mizzou Basketball","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_f9d14ed4-8167-570e-8b6d-dbc1d0290a87.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/frank-cusumano-talks-the-blues-mizzou-basketball/article_f9d14ed4-8167-570e-8b6d-dbc1d0290a87.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/frank-cusumano-talks-the-blues-mizzou-basketball/article_f9d14ed4-8167-570e-8b6d-dbc1d0290a87.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Frank Cusumano","prologue":"Fans of Mizzou basketball should be really impressed with the direction of the program.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["frank cusumano","game on","mizzou","blues"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e","description":"Frank Cusumano","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"190","height":"239","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/55/655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e/583cad5d1d2bd.image.png?resize=190%2C239"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"126","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/55/655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e/583cad5d1d2bd.image.png?resize=100%2C126"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"377","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/55/655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e/583cad5d1d2bd.image.png"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"1288","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/55/655f894a-cbb8-5968-9dba-2429702c9f2e/583cad5d1d2bd.image.png"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"f9d14ed4-8167-570e-8b6d-dbc1d0290a87","body":"

Frank Cusumano

Here are a whopping 10 thoughts for the month:

1. Although in St. Louis Nick Foles was the worst quarterback on the planet, in my opinion, he just became the Super Bowl MVP. It\u2019s a little different story when your coach is Doug Pederson as opposed to Jeff Fisher. Foles\u2019 experience with the Rams was so bad he wanted to quit. Congrats to a good guy who deserved that special moment.

2. Isn\u2019t it amazing how all the former Rams blossom when they get out of there? Because of that terrific trio of Fisher, Kevin Demoff and Stan Kroenke, careers came to screeching halts. Now look at Foles, Chris Long and Danny Amendola.

3. Fans of Mizzou basketball should be really impressed with the direction of the program. Coach Cuonzo Martin is exactly what the doctor ordered for Mizzou. He\u2019s always been a big-time recruiter, his teams really defend, and he\u2019s a man of great integrity. When\u2019s the last time Mizzou had a guy like that?

4. I have no idea what will happen with the SLU Title IX investigation. I do know, though, that this is the best the team has played in three years. They have talent in the program, and they have some great players coming. I\u2019m not as optimistic as I once was, but I still think they could have a really good future.

5. The Blues\u2019 present situation is intriguing. Everybody in the organization keeps saying that Jake Allen\u2019s the No. 1 goalie, and he may end up continuing to be just that. But if you\u2019re trying to make the playoffs in the best hockey division, you play the hot hand. And nobody\u2019s been hotter than Carter Hutton.

6. I wonder if the Cardinals have enough starting pitching . I wonder if it wouldn\u2019t be a good idea to offer a two- or three-year deal to the Chicago Cubs\u2019 Jake Arrieta at some ridiculous number. If you can limit the years, paying him a lot of cash for a few seasons, it\u2019s a great move. I happen to really respect Adam Wainwright, but Father Time is undefeated against everybody except Tom Brady. Arrieta would be your No. 2 starter.

7. Here\u2019s one of the most baffling items in sports. We live in this ridiculous period where mediocre NBA players make $15 million a year while Tommy Pham, who was the best player on the Cardinals\u2019 team, will only make a little over the Major League minimum this season. His career started late, so Tommy can\u2019t get to arbitration yet, but it still seems wrong.

8. Have you been to Mac\u2019s Local Eats in Dogtown? I used to think Carl\u2019s Drive In served the best burgers in town, but I\u2019m not so sure now. If you haven\u2019t had one of those double cheeseburgers, take a shot. Incredible!

9. I\u2019m also a big fan of Faraci Pizza. Everything is homemade. The red sauce is special. However, I am also in love with Peel Wood Fired Pizza in Edwardsville. The pizza cooks in two minutes at 800 degrees. They\u2019re going to open up a place in Clayton. I\u2019m excited.

10. I must have \u201cissues\u201d \u2013 because a majority of the Netflix things and movies that I enjoy are vigilante-related. I\u2019m just about to finish up Dexter, and I can\u2019t wait for the remake of Death Wish, which will be released shortly.\u00a0

Frank Cusumano is a 17-time Emmy Award-winner on KSDK-TV; he also hosts The Pressbox on The All New 590 the Fan from 10 a.m. to noon each weekday and contributes to The Dave Glover Show on FM NewsTalk 97.1. Follow him on Twitter @frank_cusumano.

"}, {"id":"98066fe5-5ec4-591c-9873-f5700f1e32f6","type":"article","starttime":"1519927200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-03-01T12:00:00-06:00","priority":29,"sections":[{"promotions":"business/promotions"},{"promotions":"promotions"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center: Confident Inside and Out","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/promotions/article_98066fe5-5ec4-591c-9873-f5700f1e32f6.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/promotions/washington-university-facial-plastic-surgery-center-confident-inside-and-out/article_98066fe5-5ec4-591c-9873-f5700f1e32f6.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/promotions/washington-university-facial-plastic-surgery-center-confident-inside-and-out/article_98066fe5-5ec4-591c-9873-f5700f1e32f6.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Amanda Dahl","prologue":"Look good, feel good. The Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center delivers the ultimate pick-me-up to keep you feeling confident from the outside in.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["washington university facial plastic surgery center","dr. john chi"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"6d6128c5-63f4-5757-87be-b93382804c80","description":"","byline":"Photo by Mark Gilliland Photography","hireswidth":1682,"hiresheight":1232,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/d6/6d6128c5-63f4-5757-87be-b93382804c80/5a982c30a0640.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1682","height":"1232","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/d6/6d6128c5-63f4-5757-87be-b93382804c80/5a982c309f99d.image.jpg?resize=1682%2C1232"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"73","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/d6/6d6128c5-63f4-5757-87be-b93382804c80/5a982c309f99d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C73"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"220","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/d6/6d6128c5-63f4-5757-87be-b93382804c80/5a982c309f99d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C220"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"750","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/d6/6d6128c5-63f4-5757-87be-b93382804c80/5a982c309f99d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C750"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"98066fe5-5ec4-591c-9873-f5700f1e32f6","body":"

\u201cWhat\u2019s wrong with being confident?\u201d Pop singer Demi Lovato may have asked the question, but the answer is obvious. Confidence carries you through meeting new people, giving pitches and leading meetings, and it encourages you to live life to the fullest. The physicians of the Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center understand the importance confidence can play in your life \u2013 and they have the tools to keep you feeling at the top of your game.

\u201cThe more common complaints people come in with are not necessarily what we identify as their issue,\u201d Dr. John Chi says. \u201cWhether bags under the eyes are present or not, patients are more concerned with their overall youthful appearance. The bigger picture may reveal sun-damaged skin or loss of texture.\u201d

For younger patients in their 30s looking to maintain their outer form, Dr. Chi recommends a light laser resurfacing or chemical peel. \u201cThey can rejuvenate the skin without a big commitment,\u201d he explains, noting there is little downtime involved.

Facial rejuvenation can be done at a number of levels, depending on your needs. \u201cThe more aggressive the procedure, the longer your results will last,\u201d Dr. Gregory Branham says. \u201cEveryone perceives pain differently. We do numbing shots or a topical aesthetic to prepare the area. We can also administer a quick IV sedation, so you can have your laser procedure done in 30 minutes and wake up after.\u201d

The physicians at the Facial Plastic Surgery Center can even perform certain minor surgical procedures in-office, including tuck-ups and mini-lifts. \u201cFor older patients, we can smooth out the laxity around the jaw, rather than a full facelift, and the downtime is minimal,\u201d Dr. Branham explains. \u201cWithin a few days, you can get back to your normal routine.\u201d

Whichever procedure suits you, the best way to lengthen your results is through one tried-and-true method. \u201cStart a daily skin care regimen to maintain and prevent further damage,\u201d Dr. Branham recommends. \u201cUse a good moisturizer, with sunscreen, and some kind of retinol-based product.\u201d

Now, go on\u2026wear your confidence like a crown.

Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center, 1020 N. Mason Road, Suite 205, Creve Coeur, 314-996-3880, facialplasticsurgery.wustl.edu

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From left, Alana, NaKaila, volunteer Mark Viox, Kandace, and Jalila

Although small, Marian Middle School is having a big impact in the lives of students.

Marian \u2013 \u201ca Catholic school serving adolescent girls of all religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds,\u201d according to its 2016-17 annual report, its latest \u2013 has been thriving in St. Louis\u2019 Tower Grove South neighborhood.

At Marian, Sister Sarah Heger, CSJ, who serves as the school\u2019s principal, briefly reflects on what has helped Marian.

\u201cMarian stands out among other educational institutions as a well-established, faith-based, all-girls school with an extended-day/extended-year program and a well-developed graduate-support program that ensures student success through high school and postsecondary education into sustainable careers,\u201d Heger says. \u201cIn a group of peers, Marian students stand out for their leadership, their passion and insight, and the knowledge that they are already making and will continue to make a difference in our world.\u201d

More than nine-tenths of Marian\u2019s girls rank as students of color, according to its annual report, and roughly the same percentage \u201cqualify for free and reduced-fee meals programs, a national indicator of poverty.\u201d

\u201cSimply put, our mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education,\u201d Heger relates regarding Marian\u2019s greatest achievement. \u201cWatching that happen, one girl at a time, is our greatest success. While our capacity is only 75 students, I know that with the proper supports and opportunities and with a lot of hard work, each girl can become a force that changes the trajectory of her family and her community. They will accomplish dreams they never dreamed before they came to Marian.


Volunteer Janet Knobbe and Chloe

\u201cIt has been awesome to watch girls who couldn\u2019t sit in their seats or whose daily goal was to refrain from making chicken noises in class impress CEOs through their high school internships and accept full rides to prestigious universities. Our mission transforms lives and communities.\u201d

Marian, which cites a 97 percent high school graduation rate for alumnae \u2013 148 of them over time, spread among 26 schools ranging from Bishop DuBourg to Villa Duchesne \u2013 and an 84 percent matriculation rate, emphasizes five guiding values, its annual report states: a faith-filled life, quality education, family and community spirit, respect for the uniqueness of the individual, and service to foster justice, peace and equality.

It also demands rigorous commitment. Students attend Marian 10 hours each weekday from August to June, as well as take part in weekend and summer educational activities, according to the website, which adds: \u201cStudents learn communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership and life skills and thereby develop a strong sense of self-worth and confidence in their ability to overcome personal obstacles.\u201d

They also undertake a panoply of projects, ranging from refurbishing furniture to rebuilding a motorcycle to creating a women\u2019s empowerment website.

With similar diversity, recent \u201cenrichment\u201d activities at Marian in four areas \u2013 fine and performing arts, fitness and wellness, social awareness, and academics \u2013 involved anime (Japanese animation), yoga, a model United Nations and robotics.

Otherwise, in a recent career-centered \u201cshadowing\u201d experience, the annual report notes that \u201cMarian girls diagnosed chromosome disorders with a geneticist, queried an Olympic athlete and dialogued with a NASA engineer.\u201d

Accomplishing Marian\u2019s mission has, at times, proven difficult, Heger admits. \u201cOur students and families face a host of challenges that continue to push back against success,\u201d she says. \u201cWe not only need to maintain the high-quality education and range of supports that successfully develop our students holistically for the future, but we need to secure the funds every year to do so.

\u201cWhile we raise money to pay for students\u2019 middle school education, Marian also provides the financial means to allow students to attend some of St. Louis\u2019 outstanding, tuition-based high schools. The mission \u2013 and all that it implies \u2013 is no small charge.\u201d


NaKaila and Jalila

Marian\u2019s annual report states that its families pay based on financial capacity \u2013 a sliding scale based on gross household income \u2013 with $400 annually being typical. However, because the actual cost of educating a single Marian student exceeds $12,000, the report continues, the school relies on donors\u2019 generosity to continue \u2018Educating Girls for Life,\u2019 its tagline. In that respect, Marian will host its 17th annual Marian Magic fundraising event in two months, on April 21.

Looking forward to the school\u2019s third decade, Heger finally reflects on what challenges she and Marian\u2019s administrators most eagerly anticipate tackling.

\u201cOur first years were spent building the foundation of our middle school program \u2013 quality, core academics and an enrichment program developing the whole child,\u201d Heger says. \u201cWith that in place, we then established an unrivaled graduate-support program and innovative STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] programming that continues to erase barriers for success beyond middle school.

\u201cAnd recently, we expanded our mission statement to extend to career success. Towards that end, we\u2019re establishing partnerships with corporations and individual experts in their fields to develop workforce-ready women. While education is the foundation, [cultivating] life-giving professional careers, I think, is for us the next step in transforming lives.\u201d

Marian Middle School, 4130 Wyoming St., St. Louis, 314-771-7674, marianmiddleschool.org

"}, {"id":"6a441444-95e1-58ef-a0f4-31b272f1f19a","type":"article","starttime":"1519322400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-02-22T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"columns":"business/columns"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Connect the Dots: Serving the Customer","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/article_6a441444-95e1-58ef-a0f4-31b272f1f19a.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/connect-the-dots-serving-the-customer/article_6a441444-95e1-58ef-a0f4-31b272f1f19a.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/business/columns/connect-the-dots-serving-the-customer/article_6a441444-95e1-58ef-a0f4-31b272f1f19a.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Kevin M. Anderson","prologue":"On hearing the phrase\u00a0customer service, most folks likely think at once of the times they\u2019ve received poor service. Why?","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["connect the dots","kevin anderson"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"7d263393-77d0-5835-a2e9-1c56e985c0f5","description":"Kevin Anderson","byline":"","hireswidth":1662,"hiresheight":1246,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/d2/7d263393-77d0-5835-a2e9-1c56e985c0f5/5a8c6e904ec69.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1177","height":"1242","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/d2/7d263393-77d0-5835-a2e9-1c56e985c0f5/5a8c6e904dd9f.image.jpg?crop=1177%2C1242%2C189%2C0&resize=1177%2C1242&order=crop%2Cresize"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"106","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/d2/7d263393-77d0-5835-a2e9-1c56e985c0f5/5a8c6e904dd9f.image.jpg?crop=1177%2C1242%2C189%2C0&resize=100%2C106&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"317","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/d2/7d263393-77d0-5835-a2e9-1c56e985c0f5/5a8c6e904dd9f.image.jpg?crop=1177%2C1242%2C189%2C0&resize=300%2C317&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1081","url":"https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/d2/7d263393-77d0-5835-a2e9-1c56e985c0f5/5a8c6e904dd9f.image.jpg?crop=1177%2C1242%2C189%2C0&resize=1024%2C1081&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"6a441444-95e1-58ef-a0f4-31b272f1f19a","body":"

Kevin Anderson

Editor\u2019s Note: Kevin Anderson is a guest contributor sharing his experience and perspective on quality customer service and the important role it plays in business, whether that be in retail, advertising, etc.

On hearing the phrase customer service, most folks likely think at once of the times they\u2019ve received poor service. Why?

The answer? Poor service, alas, has more and more become the standard in too many businesses. Each of us can likely cite numerous occasions when a clerk ignored us, when we felt like an imposition rather than a paying customer or when a \u201ccustomer service rep\u201d did little or nothing to solve a problem in a friendly, timely fashion. It appears that serving customers \u2013 making them feel appreciated, valued and the most important person in a given moment \u2013 has become something of a lost art.

A maxim in the business world holds that customer service forms the lifeline of business. If so, then why do we so often see bad or nonexistent service? If customer service truly drives your business, then why does it self-evidently fail to earn more emphasis?

Customer service gives a business the chance to look through the narrow window of opportunity, that short period when a customer turns into a repeat customer. Good service sets businesses apart from competitors that may be offering the same or similar products. Good service allows you to strengthen your hold of a situation by assuring the customer you can deliver what\u2019s desired or needed. Good service leaves a refreshing impression of professionalism, while poor service probably prompts only disappointment \u2013 and perhaps a plan to seek service elsewhere.

Customer service remains forever in play in the business world. It matters little what kind of business you own or serve \u2013 customer service always comes front and center. Failing to return a customer\u2019s phone call, similarly failing to greet and help customers, engaging in personal texting in view of customers, conversing inappropriately with co-workers \u2013 all of these inactions or actions exemplify bad customer service too often displayed at businesses areawide.

If you\u2019re not serving the customer \u2013 greeting, smiling, listening, helping \u2013 then you\u2019re providing bad customer service \u2013 and bad service ultimately leads a customer to think, \u201cHey, maybe I don\u2019t want to do business here if I\u2019m going to be treated like my business doesn\u2019t matter.\u201d

Make a customer\u2019s shopping or other experience great simply by doing what customer service, at base, involves: serving the customer. Consider that the bare minimum. If you\u2019re really on your game, then the sky\u2019s the limit. You enjoy an awesome opportunity to wow your customers each time you interact with them. Doing so often takes only a simple smile, a compliment or a sense of urgency in recognizing the valuable nature of their time and business.

So brighten your customers\u2019 day by reassuring them their business matters and you\u2019re happy to help. In doing so, customers frequently become return customers. That may sound deceptively simple, but it works.

Kevin M. Anderson, an experienced retail stylist at Nordstrom, has a keen eye and sense of style that have enabled him to become a leader in St. Louis men\u2019s fashion.

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The Ford Mustang isn\u2019t just a car; it\u2019s a bacon cheeseburger, the Grand Canyon, the New York Yankees. No, the Mustang isn\u2019t just a hunk of metal and plastic; it\u2019s an icon that defines Americana in pop culture, movies and daily life. And just as if the Yankees decided to roll out all-new fuchsia uniforms, so too is the entire automotive press talking about the 2018 midcycle refresh for the Mustang. Touting a long list of performance and refinement improvements, this new Mustang deserves all the buzz.

Surprisingly though, it\u2019s not Ford leading the direction of evolution. When Chevrolet released the truly all-new Camaro in 2010, it might not have realized it, but it spelled the end of the traditional muscle car. Until then, the thinking was that ditching the antiquated live-axle rear suspension for a more modern independent setup would compromise straight-line performance. But when the zeta-architecture Camaro proved dominance over the Flintstones-esque Mustang of the time, Ford had no option but to respond. And in 2015, respond it did, with the internally code-named S-550 Mustang: a truly all-new car, for the first time designed around an independent suspension from the ground up.


For that year, momentum swung back in the Mustang\u2019s direction. The change was short-lived, however, because in 2016 Chevy released another new Camaro based on the alpha-architecture. This was the car I drove in April 2016, when I was gobsmacked by its legit sports car chops \u2013 gone was any last figment of muscle car feel. Again, Ford was playing catch-up. With the release of the GT350, Ford again proved it wants not just to play but to compete for the crown. The pony car wars had taken a new direction, one that bodes well for buyers of any performance car. Now, Ford and Chevy weren\u2019t just competing with themselves; shots were being fired into Europe, as well, with potential BMW, Mercedes and Porsche buyers having to justify their purchases against cars just as fast \u2013 or faster \u2013 at half the price.

That last point cannot be understated. Both Ford and Chevy have upped their game in a way that 20 years ago I would have never thought possible. As they have evolved together, along similar lines, the natural inclination to pit them against each other remains. This refreshed 2018 Mustang GT is the latest in that line.


Being unmistakably American, the car first poses the question of what\u2019s under the hood, and there are a host of changes. Still a 5.0, the new Coyote powerplant raises displacement from 4,970 cubic centimeters to 5,030 cubic centimeters by replacing the former cylinder liners with a spray-in coating and a machining process derived from the supercar Ford GT. All-new cylinder heads employ both port and direct injection, and the compression ratio is raised from 11:1 to 12:1. That\u2019s a short summary of changes, resulting in horsepower raised from 420 to 460, and torque gets a bump to 420 foot-pounds. All of this is good for 0-to-60 sprints in the low 4-second range and \u00bc-mile blasts around 12.5 seconds \u2013 with many reports of high 11s \u2013 which is borderline supercar fast. But maybe the biggest difference is in the redline, raised from 7,000 rpm to 7,500. On paper, this might not sound like much, but under full-throttle tip-in, this new engine begs to see the rev-limiter after each and every stoplight.

The LS-series motors in Camaros and Corvettes are also both spectacular in their way, but I\u2019m going to put myself out there and say neither has the soul of this Ford Coyote motor. It\u2019s like a little devil on both shoulders: Absent is the voice to take it easy, and all I hear is begging for more. Revs come freely and with much reward, and heard through Ford\u2019s Active Exhaust System, the sound is a glorious improvement. This isn\u2019t just a great motor; it\u2019s a great motor that makes you re-evaluate other great motors. Looking back, many of the great twin-turbo V-6s I\u2019ve experienced seem dull in comparison. In what\u2019s one of the great ironies of the automotive world, the big American V-8 has advanced to the point where it\u2019s now the unique and compelling alternative.

Like the barrel-of-monkeys fun of the Jaguar F-Type\u2019s exhaust note, it would be easy to spend all my time talking about the GT\u2019s motor, but that would make light of the other notable changes. For instance, Ford says a whopping 60 percent of all GT buyers opt for the manual transmission. For these folks, there\u2019s an all-new six-speed dual-clutch transmission with a variable-mass flywheel. Although I didn\u2019t get to drive that option, I certainly will in the future. Instead, Sunset Ford provided me with the also-new 10-speed automatic. (Yes, you read that right: 10 speeds.) This was a transmission co-developed by Ford and GM \u2013 turns out cats and dogs can live together. And apparently it\u2019s versatile: It can be found in the Raptor supertruck, the 650-horsepower Camaro ZL1 and the Mustang GT. Driving with a 10-speed is an unusual experience. It can row through gears without any tactile sensation, with only a slight change in exhaust tone to tip off the driver. Look down at 30 mph, see the indicator read sixth gear and wonder, \u201cHow did I get into sixth that fast?\u201d And when in sport or track modes, it displays a telepathic sense of knowing what gear is needed. In all, it\u2019s a very good show from an automatic transmission, but it\u2019s not perfect. Manual gear selection through the column paddles does have enough lag to be irritating at times, and downshifts during aggressive back-road carving can upset the car\u2019s balance enough to spike your heart rate. With a bit better programming, this transmission could be perfect, but as is, I\u2019d opt for the manual even knowing I\u2019d lose a tenth or two in my 0-to-60 sprints.


Typically, I spend much of my word count discussing how a car feels when being hustled through twisty back roads. This time, though, I\u2019m not doing that. Although the car I drove was very capable, it did display some less-than-admirable traits when approaching the limits. But there wasn\u2019t a loaner available that was optioned with the Performance Pack or Magnetic Ride shock package, both of which are options a driver such as myself would check the box for if purchasing. Both options would go a long way toward alleviating the shortcomings I experienced. My GT loaner was optioned in a semi-aggressive way, but one mainly about-town drivers might choose. And in about-town driving, it was seriously sublime. The Premier Package seats are supple and supportive, and ride comfort was high enough that I was tempted to take off for Gulf Shores, Alabama. I imagine Ford will sell mountains of Mustangs optioned just this way.

So while readers will have to wait before I draw a conclusion about which is the ultimate performance king, the Camaro SS or the Mustang GT, one thing I can tell you is it\u2019s easy to see why Mustang sales far outpace those of its crosstown rival. It\u2019s much more livable on a daily basis, primarily because of the coffinlike seating position and visibility from the Camaro. Either offers myriad performance and luxury options, but it\u2019s that fundamental design flaw that has almost certainly moved many buyers to the Ford camp. That said, the new Mustang GT is quite an achievement and stands the test of almost any cross-shopping comparison. In some ways, it\u2019s made me rethink what I want in my next car. And I\u2019m already salivating at the opportunity to test a six-speed and Performance Pack- or Magnetic Ride-optioned car in the future.

LOANER FROM: Sunset Ford (sunsetfordstlouis.com)


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