Business memo 02/24/03

Monday, February 24, 2003

Corporate sponsors sought for alumni group

Southeast Missouri businesses will have the opportunity to promote their companies by becoming corporate sponsors of the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association.

Corporate sponsorship is available at no cost to businesses that agree to provide discounts on their products or services to Southeast alumni presenting a valid Alumni Association membership card.

The Alumni Association will promote sponsors through its printed publication including the Alumni Signal with a 50,000 biannual circulation and through its Web site visited by alumni nationwide.

Businesses interested in participating should contact Doug McDermott, Alumni Association staff resource person at 651-2976.

St. Francis wins Internet excellence awards

St. Francis Medical Center won an award and high praise from the 2002 Medicine on the Net Web Excellence Awards. In the category of Best Site Design, St. Francis received an honorable mention for The Roberts Group Inc. of Waukesha, Wis., created for St. Francis.

One of the judges praised the site for its excellence in customer service.

"I was very impressed that the entire leadership's phone list was available online," the judge said. "It shows commitment to customer service, as even the CEO's office number was listed."

The Medicine on the Net Web Excellence Awards recognize outstanding e-health Web sites in the areas of overall quality, user interface, design and content. Of the hundreds of entries in this year's competition, only 22 were recognized as winners.

The St. Francis Web site also won an eHealthcare Leadership Award from eHealthcare Strategy and Trends and a Show Me Excellence Award from the Missouri Hospital Association.

Big River Telephone opens office in Paducah

Big River Telephone has announced the continuing expansion of its sales team and the opening of another office in Paducah, Ky. Tony Osbron has joined the Cape Girardeau based company as an account executive based in Paducah, Ky.

Osbron is a native of western Kentucky and brings over 20 years of experience in the high technology sector. He has worked with customers throughout the region solving business issues with information technology solutions.

"The expansion of our sales team and the opening of our newest location in Paducah will help Big River Telephone be even more responsive to the needs of our customers." said Jerry Howe, chief executive officer. "It is also key to allowing us to be the premier service provider in tri-state area."

Big River Telephone brings network service solutions to Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois and western Kentucky. The Cape Girardeau-based company operates a regional fixed wireless network that delivers local, long-distance, data and Internet services to the region. The new office in Paducah is at 100 Fountain Ave., Suite 302 in the Century Building.

Business counseling sessions available

The Small Business Development Center of Southeast Missouri State University will be conducting counseling sessions for area small business people planning business ventures. The counselor, Gil Degenhardt, will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 19 at the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, 1267 N. Mount Auburn in Cape Girardeau. Call 335-3312 for an appointment. The sessions are free.

Degenhardt will also offer a session from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 20 at the Southeast Regional Planning Commission, 1 W. St. Joseph St. in Perryville. Call (573) 547-8357.

-- From staff reports

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