Business memo 9/10/01

Monday, September 10, 2001

Dow Automotive plant to close at Poplar Bluff

Dow Automotive is closing its facility at Poplar Bluff, Mo., at year's end, leaving 21 workers without jobs.

The Poplar Bluff facility produced material for glass bonding for automotive windshields.

Production at the plant has been halted since February after a fire and explosion shut down operations.

Employees reportedly may choose relocation to other facilities within Dow Automotive or Dow Chemical, take retirement benefits and/or severance packages.

Dow obtained the plant at Poplar Bluff when it acquired Essex Specialty Production in October 1998.

Midwest Forest Show moves to St. Charles

Remember the Midwest Forest Industry Show, previously held in Cape Girardeau every other year? The show, which attracted from 5,000 to 7,000 visitors annually here, has been moved to the St. Charles, Mo., Family Arena.

The show, sponsored by the Missouri Forest Products Association (MFPA), headquartered at Jefferson City, will feature about 200 exhibitions of new machinery, supplies, services and equipment used in the forest industry.

The two-day exposition Sept. 21-22 will showcase new forest and wood product technology. Exhibitors from 32 states and Canada will set up.

The show, largest forestry industry exhibition in the Midwest, has been held every two years since the early 1960s. The first Missouri show was held in Rolla, Mo., but the last nine were held at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau.

Magna-Tel wins awards in promotion competition

Magna-Tel, Inc. of Cape Girardeau recently received two Awards of Excellence, an Award of Merit and an Award of Distinction in the 2001 Business Promotion Awards Competition, sponsored by Screenprinting & Graphic Imaging Association International.

Magna-Tel's Awards of Excellence were for its "Be A Kid Again" packages in the customer relations category and "Survivor Kits," in the Promos $1,000-2,500 category. The Kid Again packages carried a youth-oriented theme with a thank-you card and various items that pertained to childhood and a monthly theme being portrayed. The promo award was for a survivor kit, which contained a jungle theme cover letter, service tips, discount coupons and a company rebate policy, along with a coupon to enter a drawing for an exhibit display.

The Award of Merit came in the Direct Mail category for a 2001 calendar flier mailing.

The Award of Distinction was in the Trade Shows category was for "Pre & Post Show" mailings and free sample display.

Advance bank branch purchase finalized

The purchase of the Union Planters Bank branch in Advance, Mo., by First Commercial Bank of Southeast Missouri in Chaffee, Mo., has been finalized.

Norman B. Harty, president and chairman of the board for First Commerce, said the Advance location offers the opportunity for First Commercial Bank to expand its presence in small towns in Southeast Missouri.

The bank has offices in Chaffee, Morley, Mo., Benton, Mo., Gideon, Mo., Morehouse, Mo., and Dexter, Mo.

The sale of the Advance office by Union Planters included the land and building and local deposit accounts.

Associated Electric Coop among Top 10 listing

Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., with headquarters in Springfield, Mo., retained its top 10 listing among the nation's generation and transmission cooperatives during 2000.

In the annual ranking by G&T Accounting and Finance Association, Associated Electric was seventh-best in the category of low member revenue per megawatt-hour and eighth-best in cost per megawatt-hour generated.

Increasing generation costs were evident for all G&T listings. Minnkota Power Cooperative Inc., of Grand folks, N.D., retained its No. 1 listing as a low-cost generator, but its costs increased from $12.62 in 1999 to $15.55 per megawatt-hour in 2000.

Associated's cost per megawatt-hour generated increased from $20 in 1999, when it was fifth best, to $22.34 per megawatt-hour in 2000. Associated's energy mix also includes more gas-based generation, which is more costly than coal-based resources. In 1999, gas was 1 percent of the cooperative's energy mix. In 2000, it was 6 percent.

Also contributing to the cost increased for Associated were the outage and loss of generation to tie in selective catalytic reduction equipment on Associated's facility at New Madrid, Mo.

Staples founder to be new executive

Staples founder Thomas Stemberg is moving upstairs to the executive chairman's office at the office supply superstore chain he founded in 1985.

His replacement as chief executive officer: Ronald Sargent, a longtime company veteran who, like Stemberg, got his start in the grocery business.

But don't be fooled by Sargent's low-key manner, Stemberg warns. The current president and chief operating officer once aspired to a career in Roller Derby before choosing to head to Harvard and the business world instead.

-- From staff, wire reports

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