Missouri Propane Council Elects industry leadership

Several local propane professionals have been elected to serve as Directors and Officers of the Missouri Propane Education and Research Council (MOPERC).

The Council recently installed its new leadership at the group’s winter meeting in Ridgedale. The slate was approved at the MOPERC fall meeting in Jefferson City and includes representatives from across the state who serve in various capacities.

Officers elected were:

·       Chair –James Greer, MFA Oil, Columbia

·       Vice-Chair – John Brokes, Big River Oil, Hannibal

·       Treasurer—Tim Peach, Pinnacle, Quincy IL

Directors were appointed to three-year terms:

·       Mitch Dane, Chilton Oil, Salem;

·       John Fling, GASCO-Ferrellgas, Eldon;

·       Russ Bales, Heritage Propane, Washington;

·       Brian Books, Brooks Gas, Marshfield;

·       John Brokes, Big River Oil, Hannibal;

·       Mark Porth, CHS, Lawson (reappointed);

·       Kent Metcalf, Queen City Gas, Ozark (reappointed);

·       Tim Peach, Pinnacle Propane; Quincy IL (reappointed).

Outgoing Directors were recognized for their service to the Council. They were Nick Goodrich, Goodrich Gas, Croker, and Derek Poe, AmeriGas, Strafford. The Council also expressed its appreciation to outgoing chair Mark Porth.

Directors continuing on the Council are:

·       Jeff Reitz, Central States Bus, Fenton;

·       Wayne Terpstra, Thompson Gas, Riverside;

·       Samantha Reed-Johnson, Reed Oil, Doniphan;

·       Ray Phillips, Growmark Energy, Ozark;

·       Steve Clayton, Gas Equipment Co., Earth City;

·       Luke Fitzpatrick, MFA Oil, Wardsville.

·       Steve Ahrens, Jefferson City, serves as MOPERC President.

MOPERC is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the Missouri legislature to administer a statewide check-off program. Proceeds are used for industry training, consumer safety, appliance rebates and market development programs. The Council is composed of 15 volunteer Directors and is administered by executive staff.

Since its inception, MOPERC has helped thousands of Missouri homeowners replace water heaters, furnaces and other appliances with new, more energy-efficient models. The Council created a groundbreaking Lawn Equipment Assistance Fund (LEAF) which has helped dozens of Missouri lawn contractors and landscape companies acquire propane-powered lawn mowers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving on operational costs. The Council’s Clean Bus Replacement Program has pledged $1 million over 10 years to help schools replace diesel buses with clean, quiet and cost-effective propane models. A new zero-interest financing program is also available for districts that lease-purchase bus fleets.

According to the U.S. Census, approximately 9% of Missouri’s households use propane for heating, hot water and cooking. Recognized for its environmental benefits, propane is also widely used in agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and transportation as a safe and versatile energy source. Propane, called “autogas” around the globe, is the world’s most popular alternative energy.

Payne Family Homes Breaks Ground on $400 Million Residential and Mixed-Use Project in O’Fallon, MO


Payne Family Homes Breaks Ground on $400 Million Residential and Mixed-Use Project in O’Fallon, MO

Project includes 657 single-family homes and townhomes located in the Wentzville School District’s Liberty High School community 

St. Louis homebuilder Payne Family Homes has broken ground on The Streets of Caledonia, a new $400 million mixed-use project in O’Fallon, Missouri, at Highway 64/40 and Route DD.

Payne will be building 657 single-family homes and townhomes on 153 acres. The project will also include 93 acres targeting a mix of retail development, entertainment, office, medical and hospitality space located to the north and east of the homes.

“We are very excited to break ground on this project,” said Ken Kruse, Payne Family Homes president. “This is a large project, and over the past two years, we have been working hard to get everything in place. This development will offer our home buyers a great location, top-quality home construction, green space, amenities adjacent to parks, and a quality school district.”

Home sales at The Streets of Caledonia will start in the fall of 2020. The development will offer traditional single-famil

y homes featuring ranch, 1.5 story, and two-story homes with open floor plans and lots available that back to 7,000 acre Busch Wildlife Reserve and O’ Day Park. The townhomes will feature two- and three-bedroom units, attached single-car garages, and an open-floor concept. The homes will be appealing to first-time buyers, families, active adults, and empty nesters. Lombardo Homes will join Payne, also building a section of the new home community.

The Streets of Caledonia will also offer 30 acres of common area, including several lakes with fountains, walking trails with benches and gazebos, a neighborhood pool with covered pavilion, playground, dedicated bocce ball area, and pickleball court.  The neighborhood is situated right next to O’Fallon’s crown jewel, the 57-acre O’ Day Park, which opened in the fall of 2019. Residents will have easy access to the Caledonia soccer park and eight acres of lakes with miles of meandering walking trails connecting Busch Wildlife to O’ Day Park, to which residents will have a new entrance and parking lot. Nearly $2.5 million will be invested in the creation of community amenities that complement and support the natural beauty of the surrounding area. This project is anticipated to take five years to reach final completion.

The Streets of Caledonia and neighboring areas will benefit from the millions of dollars already in place for regional improvements, which include:

  • $4 million for approximately one-half mile of DD, including additional right of way, a new traffic signal, a new roundabout, additional traffic lanes, and additional off-ramps at the highway interchange.
  • $5 million for between two and five lanes of connectivity between Highway N and Route DD. Caledonia Parkway, as it is named, will be finished late in 2020.
  • $3 million in two to three lanes called Dalriada Boulevard.

The Streets of Caledonia will include 93 acres of mixed-use commercial development, which will be available in early 2021 and is targeting retail, entertainment, office, medical, and hospitality businesses. The retail space is being marketed by Evan Barnett and Patrick Willett from Pace Properties. Mark Palmer and Artie Kerckhoff of CBRE are marketing the office space.

The Streets of Caledonia has been thoughtfully designed to provide easy access to work, grocery, shopping, dining, entertainment, and recreational amenities. Its walkability and range of affordability will serve families throughout all stages of life. Live. Work. Shop. All at the Streets of Caledonia.


Knoebel Construction completes The Learning Experience in St. Peters, MO


The location is the first to be built to a new design prototype


The Learning Experience early childhood center in St. Peters, MO is complete and open, with Knoebel Construction serving as the general contractor. This newly built location is the first to be built to the brand’s new design prototype. The 10,000-square-foot facility features ten, colorful classrooms; a spacious outdoor, fenced play area with soft turf; kitchen; offices; reception area; and an interactive, whimsical classroom that features a miniature Main Street, USA. The architect was CASCO + R|5.

The design goal of The Learning Experience’s purpose-built centers is to create an environment where children feel comfortable, safe and ready to learn. Additional facility features include secure, private access; rounded corners in hallways and classrooms; and bathrooms designed for age-appropriate use.

The Learning Experience in St. Peters will open this Fall. One of the fastest-growing childcare franchises in the United States, 300 The Learning Experience early education centers are open or under development.

Knoebel Construction, Inc. is a national general contractor specializing in retail center, multi-use, restaurant, grocery, healthcare and retail store construction. Projects range from major regional shopping centers to local restaurants. For more information, visit or call (636) 326-4100.

M Property Services Brings Multimillion Dollar Tech Mahindra Ltd. Center of Excellence to WingHaven in O’Fallon, MO


M Property Services (MPS) proudly welcomes Tech Mahindra Ltd., a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting, business reengineering and software solutions, to its WingHaven development in O’Fallon, MO.

Tech Mahindra held a ribbon cutting for its new 14,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Center of Excellence on June 3, 2019 in the Summit Place building at 2342 Technology Drive. M Property Services, which manages the building, worked with the landlord’s U.S. broker to land this major deal for the building.

“Due to the many amenities throughout O’Fallon and the WingHaven development, we were able to invite a world-class tech company to open a facility within the city’s boundaries which would allow it to continue supporting world-class companies in O’Fallon, MO and numerous other large companies outside of the O’Fallon area,” said MPS Chairman Paul McKee, Jr. “So many of Tech Mahindra’s employees currently live in O’Fallon and WingHaven, so the location for the new technology center was ideal.”

The new technology center will focus on developing cutting-edge technologies in areas such as micro services, automation, artificial intelligence, security, machine learning, cloud computing, big data, data and analytics, and blockchain. The center intends to create local employment opportunities and will leverage Tech Mahindra’s learning and development platforms to help train local talent in key digital skills.

“We are delighted to see that Tech Mahindra is expanding its presence and involvement in St. Louis with such significant investments and promising projects. Tech Mahindra’s investment in the experiential learning program designed for our students and young professionals, along with creation of local employment opportunities will further support us in building the future of St. Louis,” said Bill Hennessy, O’Fallon City Mayor.

The new Technology Center is in line with Tech Mahindra’s TechMNxt charter, which focuses on leveraging next generation technologies and solutions, like artificial intelligence, to disrupt and enable digital transformation, and to build and deliver cutting-edge technology solutions and services to address real world problems to meet the customer’s evolving and dynamic needs.

“As part of our TechMNxt charter, we are committed to inspire our partner ecosystem, academia and employees to focus on innovation in next gen technologies and customer experience. We believe it is our responsibility to invest in the local communities we operate in, and this is a step towards supporting increase in employability of future technologists, and delivering enhanced experience to our customers globally. We look forward to seeing the innovations that come out of this center as we develop real-world solutions for a digital future,” said CP Gurnani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Tech Mahindra.

Founded in 1990, M Property Services, LLC (MPS) is a full-service real estate development, property management and brokerage firm based in O’Fallon, MOFor more information about M Property Services, visit or call 636-561-9300.


Tech Mahindra represents the connected world, offering innovative and customer-centric information technology experiences, enabling Enterprises, Associates and the Society to Rise™. Connect with us on and our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Knoebel Construction Completes Construction of Melvin Brewing in Eureka, MO


The new Melvin Brewing in Eureka, MO is complete and open, with Knoebel Construction serving as the general contractor. The 12,700-square-foot brewpub seats 276 guests and features a full-service bar and restaurant as well as a brewery. Eureka is the fourth location for the Wyoming-based craft beer maker, distributor, and restaurateur.

Melvin Brewing in Eureka was built to merge a fully functioning brewery and an entertainment experience. Surrounded by a game room, a private event space and a full bar, the brewery is equipped to brew and package 1,500 barrels of beer. Loading docks will facilitate shipping of product to 15 states. Other features include outdoor patio seating for 50 guests, outdoor gathering spaces with firepit, a lounge area and a retail store.

Knoebel converted an existing space consisting of a restaurant, retail stores and storage spaces into the new brewpub.

The new Melvin Brewing Eureka features more than 20 selections on tap and an Asian-influenced pub fare menu. The location is expected to create 45 jobs.

Knoebel Construction, Inc. is a national general contractor specializing in retail center, multi-use, restaurant, grocery, healthcare and retail store construction. Projects range from major regional shopping centers to local restaurants. Founded in 1981, Knoebel Construction provides full-service development and general contracting services. For more information, visit or call (636) 326-4100.

WCOE National President meets with SBA in St Louis, MO


Women Construction Owners  and  Executives National President Sheila A Ohrenberg and Regional Director Dianna Richardson lead a meeting with local Women Construction Owners,   Maureen E Brinkley, District Director and Adrienne Foster, Region 7 Advocate  of the Small Business Administration, to discuss self-certification and upcoming opportunities for Women Construction Owners in Saint Louis, Missouri.

“Saint Louis is in need of a strong women’s organization”, Maureen E Brinkley, District Director, St Louis District Director Small Business Administration.
The event ignites a continued synergy for WCOE with more events to come including industry educational events, minority and women coalition meetings and networking events promoting women in construction industry.

The Core Purpose of WCOE:
To promote the role of women-owned businesses in the construction industry, to advance women in executive management positions within the industry, to provide resources to enhance the professional development of every member, to provide a network of executive women in the construction industry for peer-to-peer assistance and information, and to monitor and pursue legislation advantageous to women in general and the construction industry in particular.

Electrical Connection Donates Services to Make Electrical Improvements to Boy Scout Ranch near Farmington, MO


For the second year in a row, volunteers with the Electrical Connection will be donating skills and services to make electrical improvements to the Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America’s S Bar F Scout Ranch near Farmington, Mo.   The camp has served generations of scouts throughout eastern Missouri for more than 50 years.

On Saturday, May 18, 2019, about 30 volunteers from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and seven electrical contractor members of the National Electrical Contractors Associations (NECA) will donate services to repair and improve electrical systems.  Many of those helping will be IBEW trade workers who have dedicated countless hours as scoutmasters, like Ken Edgar.  Edgar is a fourth generation IBEW electrician.

“Two of my kids have been in the Boy Scouts and we have thoroughly enjoyed the experience at the S Bar F ranch,” said Edgar.  “We want to make it an even better experience for the next generation of scouts.” Edgar will be joined by his sons, Ken IV, who is also an IBEW electrician and Alex, who is a junior in high school.

Improvements will be made to five different camps on the 5,200-acre site to bring them up to 21st century standards, including:

  • General electrical infrastructure, including fiber optics improvements and better flood lighting;
  • Improving lighting in pavilions and three-sided bunk bed buildings.
  • Upgrading electrical and lighting needs for the Swift Base Camp, where the Boy Scout staff stays;
  • Improving electrical systems to the Healthcare Lodge.

“The Electrical Connection members are setting a great example for our scouts by their service to the community,” said Anthony Fouts, director of camping services for the Boy Scouts.

“Our members are eager to help and will ensure all wiring and installations met the standards of the National Electrical Code,” said Lee Asher, business representative, IBEW Local 1.

Among the NECA contractors that donated service trucks and tools to complete the work were Aschinger Electric Co.; Bell Electrical; RJP Electric, LLC; Sachs Electric Co; Schaeffer Electric, TriStar Electric and Warren County Electric, LLC.

IBEW/NECA unite to form the Electrical Connection, now celebrating its 26th anniversary. Members of the Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  For more information, visit

Global Pet Care Company to Build New Headquarters in O’Fallon, MO


A fast-growing pet care manufacturing firm with roots in western St. Charles County plans to break ground this spring on a 200,000-square-foot, $25.7 million global headquarters in O’Fallon.

Wentzville-based Cosmos Corporation employs more than 100 people and anticipates creating at least 60 more full-time jobs over the next several years, according to Amanda Roessler, office administrator for TropiClean Pet Products, one of Cosmos’ well-known pet care brands.

Founded by the Kassebaum family as a beauty products distributor in 1980, Cosmos entered the pet grooming industry five years later. Its roots have been in Missouri for 30 years. The company didn’t have the space to grow at its existing site in Wentzville, so it searched for another viable site within the same labor market. Cosmos found the ideal spot in O’Fallon, according to City of O’Fallon Economic Development Director Patrick McKeehan. The location is 521 Pearl Drive on the northeast side of O’Fallon near the MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. plant off Missouri Highway 79.

“This is a project we’ve been working on for almost one year,” said McKeehan, adding that the Missouri Dept. of Economic Development and the City of O’Fallon are supporting the company’s growth via the state’s Missouri Works Program and local Chapter 100 bonding authority.

“Cosmos’ opportunities in overseas markets are growing quickly,” McKeehan said. “This industry leader needed to grow its workforce and production capacity to keep pace with demand. Cosmos’ brands and its more than 150 products are available at nearly all major retailers. They are also supplying products to more than 65 countries.”

The family-owned business operates a separate foundation, Gifts of Love, with the mission of giving back and improving lives in the process. Gifts of Love’s headquarters will also operate in the future building that Cosmos will call its corporate home. Cosmos CEO Landon Hobson said a significant portion of TropiClean’s revenue goes directly to Gifts of Love to support the poor, widowed, orphaned and needy.

“We are very excited to continue our growth here in Missouri at our new O’Fallon headquarters,” said Hobson. “We appreciate the excellent business climate and workforce that the state and St. Louis area has to offer and look forward to bringing even more jobs to the region.”

Cosmos expects to move into its future O’Fallon headquarters in early 2020.

Leonardo DRS Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony in Bridgeton for New Engineering and Manufacturing Complex


Leonardo DRS Inc. recently broke ground on its new engineering development and light manufacturing facility and offices in Bridgeton, Missouri, to accommodate its growing Land Systems line of business.

The company is investing in a new, best-in-class engineering, research and development and laboratory space to serve as the focal point for the majority of the business unit’s development and platform systems integration activities.  This move will permit the company’s operations to grow and continuing to serve its U.S. military customer while supporting the region for years to come.

The $32 million build-to-suit facility is being developed by U.S. Capital Development.

The event was attended by U.S. Representative Ann Wagner, Terry Briggs, Mayor, Bridgeton, Mo., and Aaron Hankins, Vice President and General Manger, Leonardo DRS Land Systems business unit, and other local representatives.

The Leonardo DRS Land Systems business unit is a recognized leader in the design and integration of complex technologies into new and legacy systems and platforms for global military and commercial customers.  Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Leonardo DRS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo S.p.A. See the full range of capabilities at<> and on Twitter @LeonardoDRSnews.

Landwide Development Corporation Finalizing Plans for Urban Senior Independent Living Experience in Wildwood, MO


Construction on Independent Retirement Community Expected to Begin in Spring 2019

As the population of Baby Boomers ages in unprecedented numbers, the need for senior housing throughout the United States is increasing. The demographic growth for seniors in the City of Wildwood, MO, a suburb of St. Louis County, is a witness to that trend. Initial market research indicates a projected need for independent living retirement apartments in the Wildwood area and vicinity.

St. Louis-based developer Landwide Development Corporation (LDC) has plans to build a $22 million mixed-use, market-rate independent senior living community in the heart of Wildwood called The Prime Place at Wildwood Town Center to accommodate those active seniors.

Located at the corner of Main and Eastgate streets, the proposed development is within the city’s town center and within walking distance of a pharmacy, movie theater, restaurants, hotel, grocery store, gym, doctor offices, parks and trails, and other shopping.

“Our senior living community provides a new kind of independence, unlike anything else in the area. Our development will encourage residents to remain active within downtown Wildwood and promote interaction between residents and their families within the surrounding business, shopping and entertainment area. The Town Center district offers access to many important services and choices that will help our residents remain independent, healthy and active,” said Landwide Development Corp. President Michael E. Kennedy, Sr. “We refer to our development as the state rooms on the cruise ship, and the stores around it is the deck of the ship. I can’t think of any place safer than Wildwood Town Center.”

Landwide plans to begin pre-leasing the apartments in December 2018, with a ground breaking planned in summer 2019. Although the community will not be completed until 2020, interested seniors will be able to view model and perspective renderings of the apartments and lobby areas by visiting a leasing office that will be set up on the development’s proposed site.

KAI Design & Build has been contracted to serve as architect, engineer and general contractor on The Prime Place development.

For more information about The Prime Place at Wildwood Town Center, contact: Doreen Scarfino at 636-821-1400 or visit

Founded in 1980, Landwide Development Corporation is a real estate development and property management firm based in St. Louis, MO. Landwide founder and managing member Michael E. Kennedy, Sr. has more than 40 years of experience in real estate and architecture, having directed the design of more than 16,000 units of multifamily housing throughout Southern and Midwestern United States. 

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