Cape brings home three Missouri Main Street Awards

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Cape Girardeau businesses and one local couple were recognized at the the Missouri Main Street Downtown Revitalization Awards presented Thursday in St. Louis.

Breakaway's Bar & Billiards won the Downtown Revitalization Award for best building facade rehabilitation of more than $10,000; Concord Publishing, Rust Communications and The Southeast Missourian won the award for Business Excellence, and Jim and Teresa Mauer won the Volunteer of the Year award.

After having problems with the facade of his bar crumbling off, Breakaway's owner Mike Hess worked to return the building at 15 N. Main St. to its original storefront and updated its plumbing and electrical systems. The first phase of renovations was completed in late 2009 and Hess said he hopes to start soon on a second phase to create three upstairs apartments. The building was built in 1896.

He worked with Dr. Steve Hoffman and Southeast Missouri State University's historic preservation program in an effort to get that block of main street placed on the National Register of Historic Places in order to qualify for state historic preservation tax credits.

Concord Publishing, Rust Communications and The Southeast Missourian were nominated for using their business enterprises, property holdings and philanthropy to help create and sustain a more vibrant downtown, said Marla Mills, executive director of Old Town Cape, which submitted the local nominees for these awards.

"The Rust family demonstrates and promotes volunteerism and community involvement in ways that go well beyond maintaining a business in the [Old Town Cape] district and promoting downtown revitalization in the pages of their newspaper," Mills said.

Jim and Teresa Maurer's volunteer work with Old Town Cape includes Jim Maurer's six years of service on the Old Town Cape board and Teresa Mauer's fundraising for and coordination of downtown Christmas decorations.

"In addition to donating significant amounts of time and expertise over the years, the couple has made substantial financial commitments to the organization and our activities both personally and through their family business," Mills said.

Jim Maurer is currently chairman of community improvement district steering committee for downtown Cape Girardeau, a group looking into forming a new taxing district to fund area improvements.

* Southeast to make presentation at Economic Development Conference: The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University was selected to deliver a presentation at the University Economic Development Association Annual Summit set for Nov. 7 through 9 in Reno, Nev.

The presentation is "Driving the 'E-Ship': Effective Techniques for Implementing Entrepreneurial Programs." Dr. James Stapleton, the center's executive director, and training coordinator Gina Harper will present information on business startup efforts including Operation Jump-Start, the nationally recognized, award-winning entrepreneurial training model the center created in 2006.

* Administrative professionals attend conference: Ten members of the Girardot Chapter of International Association of Administrative Professionals attended the annual Education Forum and annual meeting in July, in Boston. Members in attendance included Sherri Jenkins, Donna Wills, Debbie McKee, Carol Kitchen, Patty Eck, Frances Wissmiller, Lynn Moore, Wanda Lang, Sharon Hale and Barb Ostrenga.

Attendees participated in four days of business meetings and seminar presentations with well-known speakers, gaining recertification points for their Certified Professional Secretary and Certified Administrative Professional status. Girardot Chapter's members represent several different employers within the Cape Girardeau/Jackson/Perryville and Poplar Bluff area. Attendees are employed at Southeast Missouri State University and Procter & Gamble.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or

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