Business memo 12/17/01

Monday, December 17, 2001

Economic outlook conference scheduled

"What's Ahead for the Year 2002?" is the theme of the Fourth Annual Economic Outlook Conference scheduled Feb. 15 on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.

The conference will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall.

Dr. Michael Owyang, research economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, will be key speaker, discussing "The Economy in 2002." Dr. Bruce Domazlicky, director of the center for Economic & Business Research at the Harrison College of Business, will give an address entitled "Why Were Forecasters so Wrong in 2001?" More information on the conference is available contact the Department of Economics, at the university, 651-2181, or Domazlicky, 651-2013.

Cement manufacturer Holnam becomes Holcim

Holnam Inc., one of the nation's largest cement manufacturers, has announced that it has changed its name to Holcim (US) Inc., effective immediately.

The move to a new name is not the result of an ownership change or corporate restructuring. The new identity aligns the company with its corporate parent, originally Holderbank Financier Glaris Ltd., which changed its name to Holcim Ltd. earlier this year. The name Holcim combines "Hol," which derives from the original Holderbank name, and "cim" from ciment, the French word for cement and the company's core product.

The conversion by Holcim Ltd. recognizes the advantages of a strong global brand in an industry that is increasingly competitive. It also establishes a framework to leverage the synergies that can be realized by its group companies under one overarching brand.

"We're proud to adopt this new brand identity," said Paul House, Holcim Inc. president and CEO, "and I'm pleased that our worldwide organization will be united and operating under a common name and brand. It's a significant step in a process designed to move the Holcim organization from a worldwide 'group of companies' to a unified 'worldwide group.'"

Holcim (US) Inc. is one of the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of cement and mineral components. The company operates 15 manufacturing plants and over 70 distribution facilities in the United States, and is awaiting permits for a new facility in the Ste. Genevieve, Mo., area.

Spartech wins environmental award

Spartech Corp., with headquarters in St.. Louis, has received the International Association of Plastics Distributors (IAPD) Innovative Environmental Program award.

The award is presented to companies who create new and different ways to recycle thermoplastics, reducing plastic wastes in the environment.

Spartech implemented several new recycling programs last year at various plants, including Cape Girardeau.

"We annually recycle more than 200 million pounds throughout plastic processing segments," said Spartech chairman, president and CEO Bradley B. Buechler.

New skyscraper plans in Chicago

Developer Donald Trump plans to build a 78-story skyscraper on Chicago's riverfront site now occupied by the Chicago Sun-Times building.

The 1,073-foot glass-covered building, called Trump Tower Chicago, would be the city's fourth-tallest skyscraper. The building along the Chicago River is a scaled-back version from Trump's original plans announced in July that indicated it would be the world's tallest building.

The tower's size was reduced when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks changed viewpoints on skyscrapers.

Charles Reiss, senior vice president of development for the Trump Organization, said scaling back from the original plans made business sense.

-- From staff, wire reports

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