Emerson | St. Louis Public Radio

Emerson

Head shot of Chuck Knight
Fleishman-Hillard

Charles F. Knight, whose forceful personality and business acumen transformed Emerson from a successful, domestic manufacturer of motorized electrical products to a global technology giant, has died. He was 81.

When he was named CEO of Emerson at age 37 in 1973, he became the youngest person to lead a billion-dollar company. He retired nearly three decades later and had helped convert Emerson into a company that had more than $15 billion in annual revenue.

Lafayette Industries
(courtesy Lafayette Industries)

Lafayette Industries North Inc. has a unique employment role. The contract packaging company has about 380 developmentally disabled employees working between its two locations in Berkeley and Manchester.

Later this year the company plans to complete a $4.4 million expansion at its Berkeley facility. When the 19,200 square foot expansion is complete, executive director Rob Libera said they plan to hire 70-80 more people.

One of the United Way of Greater St. Louis' donations in the aftermath of the events in Ferguson went to providing boxes of food to area families impacted by the unrest.
Courtesy of United Way of Greater St. Louis

Updated at 5:20 p.m. on Wed., August 19 - A detailed accounting of donations aimed at helping Ferguson shows that Emerson Electric's Charitable Trust is providing more that $8 million in mostly new funding, with major contributions also coming from the United Way of Greater St. Louis and Deaconess Foundation.

The three organizations provided St. Louis Public Radio with a clearer picture of what programs their donations supported and how funding decisions were made.

St. Louis Advocates for Youth presents its "Resource Accountability Project" tracking Ferguson-related donations in the St. Louis area during a public forum.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of youth advocates is questioning how money donated to programs for young people in the aftermath of the unrest in Ferguson has been spent and whether the funds have made an impact. 

Jo Ann Harmon Arnold
Provided by the St. Louis Zoo

Jo Ann Harmon Arnold rose from temporary secretary to top executive at Emerson Electric Co. More than three decades after her arrival, she explained why she stayed.

“Interesting, challenging work to do with a lot of responsibility is a hard combination to walk away from,” she told the St. Louis Business Journal in 1999.

She began in Emerson’s human resources department. As she moved steadily through the ranks, Mrs. Arnold said each opportunity seemed “more exciting than the next.”

Lockerdome CEO Gabe Lozano (left) and project manager Kyle Cordia at the startup's headquarters in downtown St. Louis. 10/29/2014 Durrie Bouscaren/STL Public Radio
Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

Coding competitions have a way of bringing people together. And GlobalHack's next weekend hackathon will bring them to Ferguson

“Some of these people came from MIT, Wash U [Washington University], some of them came from their mom’s basement. Truth of the matter is, the only thing that matters in our world is that you can actually produce,” said local startup CEO Gabe Lozano, who co-founded GlobalHack.

GlobalHack III is the company's third quarterly competition and promises $50,000 in prize money. 

(courtesy Monsanto)

Monsanto is committing $1 million to support Ferguson and surrounding north St. Louis County communities.

Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant said Monsanto took its time and tried to strike the right balance between donating to short-term and long-term initiatives.

"[The non-profits] are also a balance of agencies we’ve worked with for many, many years and also some new initiatives that I think have tremendous potential to make change in the long-term," Grant said.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership website

The global manufacturing company Emerson is upping its investment in the Ferguson community to show "renewed commitment" to the place it has been headquartered for 70 years.

"We choose to be here and are committed to this community, especially now in its increased time of need," chairman and CEO David Farr said in a press release. "We...want to help remove barriers so that more of our neighbors can succeed."