Jon K. Rust

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-president of Rust Communications.


Innovation 2009

The stock market dropped beneath its three-month low last week and scraped its lowest point in 12 years, breaking through a psychological threshold that economists hope won't lead to emotional selling and another plunge. National economic news remains troubling, and a new president and divided Congress struggle to instill confidence during difficult times.

Locally, the Cape Girardeau area has suffered its own share of job cuts and slowed sales. The economic pressure is felt everywhere. Not all is gloomy, however, especially locally. And a special section in today's newspaper, Innovation 2009, showcases the hard work and creativity among our local business leaders.

The section is largely advertorial. Southeast Missourian staff asked local businesses what innovations they've made as the world changes around them. The business responses are printed inside, and they are both illuminating and reaffirming. Among the common themes: technological investment, quality service, staff development, new product lines and community commitment. It is an impressive list.

The publication is organized with the longest-serving businesses in the front to newly opened stores in the back. I highly recommend you read it. You will learn much about our community.

Of course, such a publication comes together only through much effort. At the top of the list are the local business leaders who took the time and invested the money to participate. Working with Southeast Missourian writers and advertising staff, they helped craft the publication. Those writers, sales staff, photographers, editors and designers deserve plaudits for putting the final publication together -- during a normally quiet time that was anything but, thanks to ice storms and other big news developments.

Meanwhile, here's the list of businesses you will find inside this special section: Saint Francis Medical Center, Bank of Missouri, Kasten Masonry, Southeast Missourian, Auto Tire and Parts NAPA, the Cape Girardeau Public Library, W.E. Walker-Lakenan, Notre Dame Regional High School, Southeast Missouri Hospital, Aramark, Patrick Furniture, Cape-Kil Pest Control, Jackson Chamber of Commerce, First State Community Bank, Capaha Bank, Davis Farm Supplies, Montgomery Bank, Garber's, Heartland Care and Rehabilitation Center, First Midwest Bank.

Other businesses: Cape Girardeau Urology Associates, Kiefner Brothers, Life Care Center of Cape Girardeau, Eye Consultants Inc., The Lutheran Home, Halbert Inc., Remodeling Room, Hacker Plumbing, Heating and Cooling; Holloway Carpet One Floor and Home Store, CPU Inc., the Industrial Development Authority of Cape Girardeau County, Cape Bicycle, The Chateau Girardeau, Advanced Pest Control, Horizon Screen Printing, Specialized Office Services, Van Matre Buick Pontiac GMC Cadillac, the Decor Centre, Columbia Construction.

Still more: ARI Jackson Manufacturing, Gastroenterology Associates of Southeast Missouri, Carpet Connections, Southeast Fabricating, United Way, March of Dimes, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Eye Care Specialists, Little Caesar's, Crown Nissan, NARS, Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET, Cross Trails Medical Center, Capital Insurance, Jackson Machine and Manufacturing, Cape Hyundai, Landmark Hospital, Healing Rays.

The section also includes several overview stories about how technology has changed services within local government, the Cape Girardeau Public Library and Southeast Missouri State University.

Not all businesses in the section have special stories about their innovations. Some focus on their histories. Others have simply run advertisements about what they do. These, too, should be recognized. They include: RSC Equipment Rental, Crites Street Consignment, Professional Tax Service, Deason Carpet, Family Health Care, the Scott County Signal, Quality Car Washes, Service Four, Family Practice & Internal Medicine, Targeted Publications, Davis Glass Company, The Pasta House Company, Technology & Networking, Southeast Innovation Center, ODACS Drug & Alcohol Testing Services, Mid America Rehab, Culvers and Concepts Styling Salon.

This special magazine-style section, Innovation 2009, also marks the first time the newspaper has produced a section in this format. We'd be interested in what you think. Please don't hesitate to call or e-mail Speak Out. Or, send me an e-mail directly. Thanks for reading.

jrust@semissourian.com ;