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March/April 2018

Chasing the Dragon

The Heroin Epidemic

Interview with YAK & Scotty Springer

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STREET LIFE Homelessness in St. Charles County

- a new series by Katy Kruze

Chef Colton Bemis Serves up... The Taste of Cottleville


PARTS &

LABOR


TABLE OF CONTENTS St. Charles County Municipality Mayors.....................page 4 Publisher’s Note | Meet the Team.............................page 5 com history.

Advertiser Directory..................................................page 6 The Easter Bunny.....................................................page 8

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The turies. for cen to Amers ced around been was introdu tion of eggts. have ora roo itions ortedly The dec older ater trad bunny rep hare. has even celebr ter ed Eas to the -laying parade cherish y, the Easof an egg itions ter many holida ries the Eas modern add le, but Christian r their sto rite of the Bib the ong in the bol of the ught ove , while are am them tury bro cussym th cen ter candy, of its an n’t find secular s who e 13 wo ant som igr ent You st the n of Eas but to pag , n imm promin at lea iday, ly linked life GS most the Germa back to consumptio new R EG us hol like e of gio STE by the are dat EA bol ating y. as to ica is a reli eggs, t sym celebr eggs such holida ieved Easter h as Easter an ancien festivals time is bel traditions, an spring Easter suc d, egg, m the h pag spective, Other this early g-eare s toms, ns. The d wit e fro is a lon tion of traditio n associate ristian per emergenc for Easter n of orated egg Y ntio s Ch erme NN dec egg Jesus’ nev th cen has bee From a R BU ivers ating day; n kes no . resent the 13 EASTE le ma re who del Easter Sun prominent spring d to rep ion. Decor at least explanatio Bib a to e ect The The creatu ldren on become back rces. On rly a forbid are sai resurr iday. iled chi this has me nt hol b and sou t dates would short-ta ehaved bunny st importa ins of are tom ition tha to some s were for people perill-b trad orig ing , so al to we , the Easter ity’s mo that egg season end of the ter , a , accord exact al mamm ian Eas ten the tom is tury rabbits theless of Christ on Len rk thic cus m the ma my r, but prolific eat the for this d during te them to symbol unclea to be an an, then den foo decora fasting wn are and kno e and ators, of fertility paint rolling penanc dprocre symbol . Accor od of ebration. ts and egg d tradilife cient ate a cel egg hun rces, new egg-rel ite House e sou ar- as and Easter popular lWh to som ny first ich chi ing ., the ter bun a in the are two the U.S race in wh oiled In the Eas Americ a n imhard-b in tions. Egg Roll, lawn, ted, rived with Germaled in y House decora s Easter push the White the Monda 1700 ts who sett transite dren d ran oss and l Wh of acr mig nt hel lvania ition eggs t officia 1878, ual eve Pennsy their trad schter an ann ter. The firs urred in presis “O ted s or por Eas ered roll occ Hayes wa us sighase” after ich this consid “Oster ts in wh d B. use egg , the religio ple have ng Jesus’ nes called ntually rab- Ho en Rutherfor has no hare n made blocki ection. nt e peo s. Eve fabled -laying ldre d egg e wh nt. The eve ough som the stone his resurr of to ide alth an egg” Their chi its colore . and the to includ ce, ding bolic ed ile Haws. could lay oss the U.S expand gifts, wh l- nifican ing sym away, lea re roll rolled egg creatu spread acr g deliveriescandy and onally, chi being he tomb custom ter mornin er types of nests. Additi in case ny Eas bit’s ate and oth replaced the bun s chocol ted basket carrots for g. pin decora n left out his hop ofte m all dren gry fro got hun gazine

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Up Coming Events..................................................page 12 O’Fallon - the beginning.........................................page 14 inbusiness with Jack Johnson...................................page 16 Street Life - Homelessness in St. Charles County.........page 22 Mind the Gap........................................................page 28

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Taste of Cottleville - Interview with Colton Bemis.........page 41 Chasing the Dragon - YAK & Scotty Springer.............page 42 TopBites in St. Charles County.................................page 45 Vision Leadership - Mark Hollander .........................page 48

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JOY | EN INK Cottleville 304 | DR ic EAT Located in Histortleville, MO 63 , Cot 9922 9ay N ighw (636) 93 Grill.com om .c os Grill .Bem www s@Bemos quet Ban

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Yo ,” Paffra t-throa sines good life ffrath y do ger Pro Vin ric the un y ou s an tha u jec t en by know in ming at the ha th peralrigh t ma d Se bu g peop t seek Thirs cent Hoan coun gh sp n soon ele t Pro mo ve to said. viron or le s try me It wa ilding “W t with ny of the y ad . It’s ment, remem “Suc ment. of ts to for rea who to build ject e mit they ir l wa in Lo Child Rwan Afric Paffra s throu ber cess tress- have them. theirs a resilie does a an is ter da. In frie proje hope wi socially s Ange ren in kids th dis gh the nce n’t me that jus isn come and-g a non-t fact, nds an St. LoThey ood-n radit game an the t they d rel ’t the cts ll en -cons les, dy tion is. They covered se ph all Ca 9-t ati uis ion at d .” re o-five ves the cious liforni , St. ews-jo al lifewelco If how ilanthrop over affec to help plan Louis glo ge urn the are succes ,” sa me ch entertai , wo ali ’ world bal wa neratio a. hone tionatel kids to one near an ic en Go doing s is wo own Fu st wh id the ange an n, an rkaday de n ter . stly, y ca attain day d od o d crisis soon dear avors Ma And ” with well. Th rking in nny Bo at on come d adve that’s hatm though. ll The their to the that set ne Co e tim dian-t ey ntu dr Jus the “D Seele “Dati most are show ir worlda Gand It’s sim reamy eams up a medy e did urned re. rec tin , wh sch hearts y an out ply wildl ng Na ently Walter busy. busines hi .” ola Cl stand -acich the ” Foun helpi d and of the It would said, you y popu ked.” you ca in partn Today s, Paffra ub. comb datio they rship up ng “B go inatio n. Th say found calle televisi od the be fai e the th an ugher and may ha lar Kin She wa n find ership Paffra athe th ey n of d Se she d “W on ho y wa r to sa change of theThe Sit ve ca dle Fir s also her on with FoSteho vestsNa the came y will st, y nt actua hat’s “W eley by: cus by numeuation” ught he e comm “May VH1’s a Go Paffra to shar that the that yo ir first lly ha 38| rol Ma da name it sees od” as th sta e wi coup u wi I en e. “The rous filmon MT r holdi ercials. y Am hit rea gazin t’s focu s. th the le ma sh to in the a rea rted joy lity e. y” Th sOn s an V’S “Je ng do own doingre are world ction a podc world de a see in wn ere’s in Am series d rse Ma also the azon Paffra becaus ,” Pa a lot of or sitc y Sh gazin and to the ast fou . An career for a ’s oms ore: thi e what disco to ge th do e I ha ffrath r ye actre After t with chan in sa ngs ss nn ar the every t to wh esn’t puve a vo id. “I that ma which Hours “Sno ce mediaect wi s ago ok th “I ma step ere I am ll any ice I wakeep up ke me she ha ” or an i tells what of happ s pla y wi ma-fre y have the jou today punche nt to her ye y ad th rep is s. . rne e as a dr life ortin and tha d “I ha d to y,” It did am is t powe too possible atic she wr n’t come ve wothe wo g on sh my ca rld ite rke . or r of ree r, bu s on heeasy, bu d ve .” And positi t. I be There t I ch r we t I’v ry dinner ve thi lieve is no oose bsite e en hard lunch, nking in kin time joyed ns for . 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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.........page

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Starring:

Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson,

Missouri

wS Moviby:eGabeRevie Sheets

Sam Rockwell

Rated R

to agree with the take a lot for anyone I don’t think it would we are raised we in an unjust world. As our socisentiment that we live or animosity towards are either taught complacency that can benefit both of these one craft from ety. There is really only Art can perform as a distraction mirin the attitudes – and that’s art. or as a brutally hard look Ebbing, all of our world’s problems “Three Billboards Outside ror. Martin McDonough’s as both. acts that films rare Missouri” is one of the of after the rape and murder Missouri, in place - deThe film takes - played by Frances McDormand signs her daughter, Mildred on three a controversial message paint and rent to cides enforcement holding the local law that line the road to town, perpetrator to jusinability to bring the accountable for their take this gesture department does not tice. The local police between the two forces. lightly and a conflict ensues

cast the film has an incredible In addition to McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage, including Woody Harrelson, magnificent Hedges. They all give realized. John Hawkes, and Lucas is layered and so well performances. Each character humor and very complex and dark The movie is littered with and mastered by that can only be honed quick-witted dialogue lead where certainly shines in the a shrewd a talented cast. McDormand of concealed pain behind right the we can see a great deal just deliver also being able to subportrayal of grief, while the film’s dark and troubling amount of humor to make as he portrays Rockwell also shines here jects accessible. Sam outright racism officer who displays a narrow-minded police great nuance film. However, he conveys throughout most of the villainous. easily be portrayed as in a character that could

the brilliant writalso reinforced with The performances are best I’ve ever dialogue is some of the distasteful ing of McDonough. The his use of explicit language heard. Some may find The film is not entertaining and honest. or offensive; I find it Police brutality, lot of unsettling themes. lite and deals with a speech are all and the lengths of free racism, complacency, covered very well. These are they and film discussed in this remain timeless relevant today and will themes are incredibly a fairly unpreBillboards” also has “Three ages. film as the that I didn’t many turns the film takes level. dictable plot. There are the material to a refreshing expect and the deepened

it shows powerful moments where show lots The film does have many We see many characters the rural town’s hypocrisy. but yet turn that goes without question of bigotry and racism hold a flawed Mildred for trying to and cast contempt upon great sense of accountable. It adds a law enforcement system way our culture questions some of the reflection to the film that how we appolitical climate and operates with our current accountable, understanding enforcement law holding proach are willing to and know how far we the limits of free speech, of justice. go to receive some level back the movie doesn’t hold When it comes to filmmaking, well and has a very consistent shot very much either. The film is is very good and material. The pacing look to the feel of the in the film. moment dull a never was well thought-out, there and leaves very impactful, ambiguous, Lastly, the ending was the film lacking ponder. Some may finish and adds you with something to this was clearly intentional to say. a feeling of closure, but to what the story is trying impact greater to a much it served the film the ending and thought Overall, I really loved

Page 50

well in its entirety.

relevant, well Ebbing, Missouri” is “Three Billboards Outside the mirror for our a good hard look in made, and serves as screenplay that incredibly well written The culture. It feels like an for the canvas of cinema. has been very well realized and the film the direction is moving, performances are strong, This comes highuntil the last second. itself is engaging up well for the me, and I hope it bodes ly recommended from awards season.

released in November Ebbing, Missouri was Three Billboards Outside 55m and holds a rating theatres. It runs 1hr and 2017 and remains in of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

50 | focusOn Magazine

Page 41

focusOn Magazine | 3


MUD JACKING 636-544-1696

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St. Charles County Municipality Mayors Sally A. Faith, Saint Charles 636-949-3268 sally.faith@stcharlescitymo.gov Len Pagano, Saint Peters 636-278-2244, ext. 1233 LPagano@stpetersmo.net Bill Hennessy, O’Fallon 636-379-5500 bhennessy@ofallon.mo.us Nick Guccione, Wentzville Nick.Guccione@wentzvillemo.org 636-639-0354 Kathy Schweikert, Lake St. Louis 636-561-4366 kathyschweikert@yahoo.com Jim Hennessey, Cottleville 636-498-6565 Ext. 100 jim.hennessey@cityofcottleville.com Donald D. Licklider, Weldon spring 636-441-2110 ext. 101 dlicklider@weldonspring.org

Hank Wiese 636-936-2460 5047 HWY N Cottleville, Mo 63304 hank@hankwiese.net

David C. Zucker, Dardenne Paririe 636-755-5306 mayorzucker@dardenneprairie.org David Rollins, Augusta 207-626-2300 loretta.lathe@augustamaine.gov Richard West, New Melie 636-578-9574 caninekopz@msn.com Mark Warner, Portage De Sioux 636-899-0640 mark@warnersgarageandguns.com William Richter, West Alton 636-899-0808 willie@richterfarms.com Doug Wynn, Flint Hill 636-327-4441 cityofflinthill@centurytel.net

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4 | focusOn Magazine


We’re delighted to bring you the 2018 spring issue of FocusOn St. Charles County Magazine. And to capture the springtime, we are so pleased to have gracing our front cover - “Wunderkind” Executive Chef, Colton Bemis. Check out his candid interview as well. Then again, the history write-up by Dorris Keeven-Franke on O’Fallon, Missouri, spotlighting the two German brothers, Nicolas and Arnold Krekel is indeed an eyeopener. It is always our goal to present our county with a magazine that captures the spirit, lifestyle and as well highlight social issues, of its diverse readers. We remain positive about where we are headed with much in the works and filled with anticipation. Katy Kruze new column “Street Life”, on the homelessness in St. Charles County, and our ongoing series about “Heroin Epidemic” is our classic testimonials. Many thanks for your continued interest if you are joining us again - and if this is your first time to pick up an issue of FocusOn, cheers and welcome. And as always, we love hearing from you. Your feedback and ideas are our heartbeat. Until next time Stephen Thompson, Ph.D. Publisher/Owner

shopping | dining | entertainment | news

Steve Naugher

Print Coordinator/Owner

Robin Jefferson

Special Correspondent

Darlene Fischer Contributor

Debbie DeClue Photographer

Dorris Keeven-Franke Historian

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Kayleen Ziegemeier Contributor

Cheryl Hohe Medical Minute

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focusOn Magazine | 5


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history.com

The Easter Bunny You won’t find them in the Bible, but many cherished Easter traditions have been around for centuries. The most prominent secular symbol of the Christian holiday, the Easter bunny reportedly was introduced to America by the German immigrants who brought over their stories of an egg-laying hare. The decoration of eggs is believed to date back to at least the 13th century, while the rite of the Easter parade has even older roots. Other traditions, such as the consumption of Easter candy, are among the modern additions to the celebration of this early springtime holiday. EASTER BUNNY

EASTER EGGS

The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration. Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In the U.S., the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll occurred in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The event has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus’ tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection.

8 | focusOn Magazine


EASTER CANDY Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s (although the jelly bean’s origins reportedly date all the way back to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight). According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and 60 feet wide. For the past decade, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep, a sugary, pastel-colored confection. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based candy manufacturer Just Born (founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born in 1923) began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks, but other shapes and flavors were later introduced, including chocolate mousse bunnies. EASTER PARADE In New York City, the Easter Parade tradition dates back to the mid1800s, when the upper crust of society would attend Easter services at various Fifth Avenue churches then stroll outside afterward, showing off their new spring outfits and hats. Average citizens started showing up along Fifth Avenue to check out the action. The tradition reached its peak by the mid-20th century, and in 1948, the popular film Easter Parade was released, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. The title song includes the lyrics: “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it/You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.” The Easter Parade tradition lives on in Manhattan, with Fifth Avenue from 49th Street to 57th Street being shut down during the day to traffic. Participants often sport elaborately decorated bonnets and hats. The event has no religious significance, but sources note that Easter processions have been a part of Christianity since its earliest days. Today, other cities across America also have their own parades.

focusOn Magazine | 9


O’Fallon: Green Cottlevile: Red Lake St. Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua MARCH 10th - SATURDAY

MASCOTS’ CRAFT BEER TASTE-OFF Hosted by FocusOn Magazine and Mascots • 4881 Mexico Road, St. Peters Proceeds go the Sts. Joachim & Ann Care Services 7:00 pm A NIGHT OUT AT THE MOUSE RACES Hosted by Dogs On Duty Harvester Lions Club • 4835 Central School Rd, St. Charles 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm www.dogsondutymo.org/mouseraces MOOLAH SHRINE PARADE Riverside Drive, St Charles 11:00 am www.moolah.org/shrine-circus-parade COFFEE WITH A COP Hosted by O’Fallon Missouri Police Department McDonald’s • 1001 N Main St, O’Fallon 9:00 am - 11:00 am

MARCH 14th - WEDNESDAY

SPRING WINE TASTING Hosted by The Rack House Kitchen Wine Whiskey • 5065 State Highway N, Cottleville 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

MARCH 16th - FRIDAY

ST. PATRICK’S DAY DANCE, LIVE MUSIC BY FANFARE St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre • One St. Peters Centre Blvd. 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm Tickets are $7 per person at the door

MARCH 17th - SATURDAY

COTTLEVILLE ST. PATRICK’S DAY RUN & PARADE www.stpatparade.org SHAMROCKS 7TH ANNUAL KEGS N EGGS Hosted by Shamrocks Pub and Grill • 4177 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, Saint Peters (636) 939-2000 or shamrocksgrill@yahoo.com

MARCH 21st - WEDNESDAY

JAKE’S FIELD OF DREAMS GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY Heartland Park Wentzville 4:00 pm

10 | focusOn Magazine


O’Fallon: Green Cottlevile: Red Lake St. Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua MARCH 23th - FRIDAY

UNDERWATER EGG HUNT FOR KIDS This event is for kids ages 4–12 Renaud Spirit Center (RSC) • 2650 Tri Sports Circle, O’Fallon 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

MARCH 24th - SATURDAY

SUSAN BREWER EASTER EGG HUNT Legacy Park, Cottleville 9:45 am - 11:45 am For more information, contact susan@susanbrewer.com or (314) 540-0734 BUNNY RUN 5K AND ONE-MILE FUN RUN Hosted by Wentzville Parks & Recreation at Rotary Park, Foristell 6:30 am Register at bit.ly/wentzvillesignup or call (636) 332-9236 EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA Hosted by Wentzville Parks & Recreation at Rotary Park 8:30 am - 11:30 am Purchase your tickets at Progress Park, located at 968 Meyer Rd. For information, call (636) 332-9236 ADULT EASTER EGG HUNT (21+ ONLY) CarShield Field, 900 T.R. Hughes Boulevard 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm Tickets: $20/advance Live music, food trucks and adult beverages. Registration includes a prize pack and a commemorative glass. Bring a flashlight and a basket for collecting eggs. Prizes will be awarded! Register at www.ofallon.mo.us/parks&rec ...or sign up at the Renaud Spirit Center... or the Parks and Rec Administration Office, 400 Civic Park Drive 63366.

MARCH 25th - SUNDAY

HOT WING MADNESS Hosted by BeerSauce Shop • 318 Mid Rivers Mall Drive, Saint Peters 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm Tickets are $15 - Only 50 tickets are available.

MARCH 31st - SATURDAY

EASTER EGG HUNT AND EARTH DAY FESTIVAL Hosted by City of Dardenne Prairie, MO 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Contact the Parks & Recreation Department (636)755-5308 or email Mathew@dardennepraire.org

APRIL 7th - SATURDAY

ADULT SKATE NIGHT Hosted by Great Skate • 130 Boone Hills Dr, Saint Peters (636) 441-2530 or greatskaterocks@yahoo.com 10:30 pm $10 cover includes skate rental

APRIL 13th - FRIDAY

BLOOM INTO SPRING DANCE - FEATURING VERA BLUM & THE SILVER WINGS BAND St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre • One St. Peters Centre Blvd. 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm Tickets are $7 per person at the door focusOn Magazine | 11


O’Fallon: Green Cottlevile: Red Lake St. Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua APRIL 21st - SATURDAY

1st ANNUAL TRIVIA NIGHT Hosted by Cottleville - Weldon Spring Chamber of Commerce

APRIL 26th - THURSDAY

DAY TRIP: STE. GENEVIEVE AND THE WINERIES Tour guided by Linda Koenig and meet in the west parking lot at City Hall, One St. Peters Centre Blvd. www.stpetersmo.net/day-trips-and-tours.aspx Contact Information: (636) 939-2386, ext. 1400

APRIL 27th - FRIDAY

FOOD TRUCK FRENZY & RASCALS’ FAN FEST 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm CarShield Field • 900 T.R. Hughes Boulevard, O’Fallon, Missouri 63366 Enjoy a great season of professional baseball. The rally features free admission, free activities for kids and adults and food trucks with delicious food for sale.

APRIL 28th - SATURDAY

THAT 80’S RUN 2018 St. Charles Community College, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Dr, Cottleville 7:30 am - 10:30 am For more details visit, www.that80srun.org

5k BLUE LINE RUN/WALK Hosted by Wentzville Police Department Blue Line Family, Inc. and Friendship Brewing Company • 100 E. Main Street, Wentzville 8:30 am - 6:30 pm www.wpdbluelinefamily.com DARDENNE PRAIRIE CITY WIDE SRING YARD SALE Registration deadline is Friday, April 20. Booklets will be available for purchase on Tuesday, April 24th, at City Hall. $6 per listing in booklet and $2 booklet purchase

MAY 5th - SATURDAY

ADULT SKATE NIGHT Hosted by Great Skate • 130 Boone Hills Dr, Saint Peters (636) 441-2530 or greatskaterocks@yahoo.com 10:30 pm $10 cover includes skate rental FOUNDERS’ DAY & GARDEN EXPO 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Fort Zumwalt Park, 1000 Jessup Drive, O’Fallon Live acoustic music, heritage demonstrations, gardening experts and clubs, an Arbor Day ceremony, a free tree seedling giveaway while supplies last, historic Heald Home and Zumwalt’s Fort self-guided tours ($5 package for ages 11+), and the St. Charles Model Railroad Club open house with a model railroad. Vendors will have hand-made items and live plants. For more event information, visit www.ofallon.mo.us/founders-day

MAY 11th - FRIDAY

O’FALLON’S PROJECT HOME GOLF TOURNAMENT Doors open at 10:00 am; shotgun start at 11:30 am The Falls Golf Club, 1170 Turtle Creek Drive, O’Fallon Registration is $100 per golfer and 100% of the proceeds will go toward assisting eligible, low-income homeowners in resolving code violations and much-needed home repairs. To register for the tournament, be a sponsor, or to donate funds and supplies for Project HOME, please call 636-379-5411 or email ajaegers@ofallon.mo.us.

12 | focusOn Magazine


O’Fallon: Green Cottlevile: Red Lake St. Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua MAY 18th - FRIDAY

SUMMER CONCERT & FOOD TRUCK RALLY Hosted by City of Dardenne Prairie • 2032 Hanley Rd, Dardenne Prairie 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm www.dardenneprairie.org/summer-concert

MAY 19th - SATURDAY

ARMED FORCES DAY CEREMONY 11:00 am Veterans Memorial Walk, 800 Veterans Memorial Parkway, O’Fallon Everyone is invited to attend this ceremony honoring US military personnel, which is hosted by the City of O’Fallon Veterans Commission.

MAY 23rd - WEDNESDAY

O’FALLON PUBLIC WORKS FAIR 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Ozzie Smith Sports Complex, 890 T.R. Hughes Boulevard, O’Fallon O’Fallon’s Public Works Fair allows kids a chance to sit in the driver’s seat of some of the working equipment the City uses to provide City services, such as a street sweeper, recycling truck (with kids getting a chance to operate the mechanical arm), snow plow, paint striper and many more. Both kids and adults will enjoy the working models of the City’s water treatment plant and the Enviroscape water pollution model. Additional activities include free rides on the City train, safety awareness games for kids, giveaways, and departmental booths with emergency preparedness handouts and information, and the chance to talk to City staff. A hotdog lunch with chips and water will be available for the asking.

MAY 27th and 28th - SUNDAY AND MONDAY

ALLIGATOR’S CREEK AQUATIC CENTER OPENS 11:00 am - 6:00 pm Sunday; 11:00 am - 6:00 pm Monday 405 Civic Park Drive (in Civic Park) Alligator’s Creek outdoor pool complex has expanded with a comfortable new bathhouse and other renovations: Three water slides, a longer lazy river, a water playground, and a poolside splash pad.

MAY 28th - MONDAY

MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY 11:00 am Veterans Memorial Walk, 800 Veterans Memorial Parkway, O’Fallon, Missouri 63366 All are welcome to attend this ceremony honoring and thanking our US veterans. The event is hosted by the City of O’Fallon and O’Fallon’s Veterans Commission, and includes welcoming remarks by Mayor Bill Hennessy.

JUNE 1st - FRIDAY

FOOD TRUCK FRENZY 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm O’Fallon’s Sports Park, 3589 Highway K, O’Fallon Free admission, free parking, family-friendly, food trucks, free live music RSC 1-MILE CHALLENGE RUN AND MOVIE IN THE PARK Race starts at 7:00 pm; Movie starts at 8:00 pm Renaud Spirit Center (RSC) The race features separate obstacle courses for kids (ages 5+) and adults. Afterwards, stay for the free outdoor party and a movie. Bring a blanket or lawn chair for seating and purchase tasty food and beverages from concessionaires.

focusOn Magazine | 13


By: Dorris Keeven-Franke

O’Fallon

- the beginning

Nicholas & Arnold Krekel By the time Missouri became a State in 1821, this area had seen settlement by both the Native Americans, presumably the Osage, Sauk and Fox nations, and other Americans from the east. Families from Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky had followed the famous trailblazer Daniel Boone and his kin. The Zumwalt family had established themselves, bringing their slaves, and “forting up” their house during the War of 1812 to help protect their friends and family. All of this had attracted the attention in Germany of those suffering in Germany after the war with Napoleon that had ended in 1813. This included a wealthy attorney turned writer named Gottfried Duden, who wrote A Report on a Journey with the Western States of North America and attracted the attention of thousands of Germans. Duden had spent a lot of time with his friends – the Boone’s and the Zumwalt’s. In Germany, one of those interested in what Duden had to say, was one of his personal friends, Franz Krekel. Franz was intent on setting off for America, so anxious he didn’t want to wait for the emigration society being formed, the Giessen Emigration Society, to depart. He and his family arrived in the New York harbor on the ship Isabella on November 1, 1832. As they traveled to Missouri, Franz’s wife died, leaving him with six motherless children. This included two sons, Arnold, age 18 and Nicholas, age 7, when the family settled near Dutzow, at the edge of St. Charles County. Little did they know the role they would take in founding today’s O’Fallon, Missouri. In 1855, Arnold Krekel purchased 320 acres of land, which included what would become O’Fallon. On August 6, 1856 his younger brother, Nicholas would arrive and build the first home, in what Arnold had platted as the town of O’Fallon. Neither the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers were the main byways of travel any more. The North Missouri Railroad was. Savvy businessman Arnold wanted his town to be a stop on the 14 | focusOn Magazine

railroad, and named it after his friend and associate, John O’Fallon, president of the railroad. The area was a strong mix of Germans immigrants, many of which had emigrated with the Giessen Emigration Society, and eastern migrants like the Zumwalt, Keithly and the Heald families who were slave owning families. Many of these families had intermarried by this time. Quite often this led to former slave owners becoming strong abolitionist by the arrival of the Civil War.

Original Plat Map of The Town of O’Fallon A. Krekel - Proprietor (July 19,1871)

And by 1857, Nicholas had brought his young wife, Wilhelmina “Mina” Moritz, from Bielefeld, Germany, to a small house he had built for her. By the 11th of February, Nicholas Krekel had been appointed Postmaster for O’Fallon, in addition to be the railroad’s Station Agent. Needing more room, he added an addition that was built in the traditional German style called fachwerk. Nicholas’ young family was growing, with two young daughters, Emma and Bertha. The young merchant needed a quiet home, in addition to place to conduct business.


The Civil War would create tensions between the German families and those that held slaves, but in many instances, the German abolitionists prevailed. While Arnold headed Federal troops and was Provost Marshal he resided in St. Charles on Main Street. Nicholas was head of the local Home Guards, assigned to protecting the railroad, keeping the town on track. After the war ended, on July 22, 1870 a public sale was held at his house to sell lots in O’Fallon. Nicholas and his wife were devout Catholics, and land was donated to create what is Assumption Parish today. Afterwards, these transactions would be recorded in the St. Charles County Recorder of Deeds office and a plat recorded in Plat Book 2, pages 38 and 39. In the center of this and the most important location of all was the Krekel house.

In 1890, Mina Krekel passed away. Soon many of the family had married and moved from the home, leaving just Nicholas, Bertha and Catherina in the home by 1900. Nicholas’ daughter Bertha, was a writer of local history, under the pen name of Clio, and publishing her stories in local newspapers. And when Nicholas Krekel passed away in 1910, Bertha would be named Executor of her father’s estate. The house became the home of Nicholas’ daughter Mary who had married William Westhoff in 1892, who had three children, Raymunda, Kathy and Corinne by that time. Next would come Nick and Bill who were born in the house, as well as their little sister Marie who came along in 1915. Bertha Krekel never married and remained living in the family home as well until her death in 1948. The active and well-loved Westhoff family home was often the center of activity right in the center of town. All the family’s wedding parties and pictures took place in front of the beautiful home. Across Main Street to the southeast (across the tracks) was the Westhoff store, which housed a large mercantile carrying on a large family business. The Westhoff family had emigrated from Germany in the 1800s. After William Westhoff death in 1941, Mary would sell a portion of the original Krekel block to the Cletus Orf family in 1945.

Krekel House - 1888

By the 1880s Nicholas’ family had grown to ten children, but three had been lost in early childhood. The house needed expanding! Nicholas had enlarged the building to be the two-story building we know today. The business was transacted in the western half and would be entered from the southern side that faced Depot Street. There was a long balcony which covered two doors on this side, one of which entered the business and one which entered the family’s home. There was also a beautiful little balcony that overhung another entrance (on the east side) to the family’s home facing O’Fallon’s Main Street. Nicholas’ daughter Mary Westhoff would pass away in 1964 and be the last of the Krekel family to live in the Krekel house. For many years it served as Happy Times Preschool, and it wouldn’t be until July of 2017, that Jason and Jessica Orf would purchase the property from the City of O’Fallon. The City realized the importance of this historic home, just as the Orfs did. Searching for a new owner who realized the importance, who wanted to maintain as much of the history of the house, yet bring the home into the 21st Century wasn’t easy. Today, the house has become a beautiful modern Bridal Shop called Cleo Bridal by White Traditions Bridal House. Now the building can serve as a daily reminder of the history that is alive in O’Fallon Missouri. focusOn Magazine | 15


er my input to the hungry entrepreneurial spirit that you may have. I bring simple snippets of information based on experiences m my own business life. As promised I’m going to talk about what to look for in hiring a sales person and how they can make or ak your business. A great sales person deserves respect. Many people think they can sell until they actually get the opportunity. en they find out that it takes a lot more than just the title of “sales person “to be successful at sales. Sales - No Business have but one God given talent it would be that I was born a natural salesman. I have always been wheeling and dealing, buying d selling. As a young boy my Mom was never surprised when I rode home on a different bike than I had left with. I traded somedy somewhere for something especially if it was a guitar or a bike because that was cool when I was 12, but this is now and you ed to hire a sales person! ou are in a niche type of business or even a new concept business it will be hard to locate experienced sales people. You will likely ve to train them in your field and then hope they can sell your product. Just because a candidate has a good history of selling dgets, that doesn’t mean they will be able to sell your product. Your sales person should have complete knowledge of your produc hout the use of a script for sales calls. Most people think that a great personality or gift of gab are qualities of a good sales person actually it isn’t at all. I’ve got friends with the best personalities in the world but they couldn’t sell make up to a clown! Your sale ople will likely need to listen more and solve problems in order to make sales. Look for the quick thinking, creative mind. Most portantly, the less they appear to be trying to sell something, the more comfortable your potential client will feel with them. No e likes a pushy sales person. A good sales person educates and helps the client understand why they need your product. e Face of Your Business ur sales person will be the welcoming committee to your products and business. Their voice will be the voice your client will assote with your business. Their face will hypothetically become the face of your business. When you’re interviewing for a sales person I had in a the great plan but need execution or they In my you process, learned thereget is ano single path to walk suc- throug yourself mindset of plans that candidate contacting youfizzle. and offering your I’ve product. If you chill when they door you should expect your client to feel the same way. How they present themselves will be exactly how they will present your cess, and everyone’s journey is their own. But for now, we’re here: me with my experience and you with your dream, siness. keep through in mind this everyone is on theiryou’ll best behavior oninsight the first interview. them off ofYou’re the normal interview andAlso perhaps series of articles gain some that might justGet work for you. “In Business withtrack. I ommend 2-3 interviews before deciding to hire. Use different locations like an office interview and if successful, try lunch or cock Jack Johnson.” s, include a key staff member and maybe then a mock selling presentation. Does the candidate have good social skills? Are they able and articulate? Have There all communications been professional and spelled correctly??? Seriously if they LinkedIn come across unintelligen The year was 1991. were no desktop computers or tablets, no scanners, email, smart phones, or even h something as elementary as misspelled words, keep in Louis. mind Itthat’s how they willphone, represent is, asfax stupid doe Facebook. I was working for a recruiting firm in St. wasexactly me, a desk, a black andyou….Stupid a thermal paper

in

business

with Jack Johnson

It’s crazy to think it was a little over 25 years ago when I first started a business...

machine. After about a year and a half behind that desk working for someone else, I had really had enough and to keep this simple let’s just say we parted ways. I went on to start my own physician recruitment firm in 1991 called Medicorp, Inc. I ran the day-to-day aspects of that business for eight years. As a natural entrepreneur, I was becoming bored with the daily business I had created, so I pulled myself out of the production side of Medicorp and into developing another business to be known as Profiles, The Online Database of Graduating Physicians. This would prove to be my best work and most exciting business I had built to date. I $old Profiles to a publicly traded Japanese company in 2015. I also recently closed on the sale of my original company Medicorp, Inc. and have pretty much retired except for writing this page…

DRIVING FORCE...

When starting a business, becoming independently wealthy - or at least more financially comfortable is a common goal. I know it was mine. I already knew what being poor felt like, so I wanted to see the other side and was willing to do whatever it took (pumping gas, cleaning carpets and even selling mobile homes) to get there.

GETTING STARTED...

When it comes to choosing what type of business to start, you need to make sure you know how that particular business works. Who could be your clients and how will you obtain them? Who else competes for those same clients? How will you be different? What are the challenges of owning that particular type of business? Will you be able to have a lifestyle with time off or will you become a slave to what you’ve created? What can you really expect to earn and - most importantly - how will you get paid? I knew the recruiting company I had been working for was poorly managed to say the least. I knew I had a vision of what I wanted and knew I could do it better. I was their top salesman and admittedly arrogant. I have humbled some over the years, but seriously, if you don’t believe in yourself - don’t quit your day job! There will be many things you have to handle and overcome, your confidence will be key to survival and success. I started a business I was very familiar with and was the company’s top producer at the time. So going out on my own didn’t feel nearly as scary as it should have. 16 | focusOn Magazine


BUILDING A TEAM...

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Hiring and training staff will prove to be one of your hardest tasks. Teaching a stranger about your business can be risky, especially when you’re in an easy-to-copy business. I highly recommend using a non-compete agreement, and will discuss their importance more in a future issue. Good employees are key, and as a small start-up company with no history or brand recognition, it’s going to be tough. Everyone has a college degree and wants to work for big firms and companies. This means you’ll likely be the head honcho for years, until you can train and mentor someone you hired at entry level who hasn’t already left to become your competition. Choose wisely, every hire will likely be important to the success of your business.

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Big companies are hard to compete with, but here’s an insider tip: they don’t usually offer much in the way of company-paid benefits. And they usually require the employee split the expense. Health insurance is expensive, but it’s something we all need. Being generous to your employees makes you stand out to job seekers.

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By being a small business employer, I have found that in order to hire top talent, you not only have to sell yourself and your capabilities, you must sell a future for them in your business. If you’re not excited about your business and where it’s going and where it can take them, they won’t be either. You must also offer a competitive salary with an even better benefit package. We offered 100% company-paid, top-shelf health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance. Our full-time employee package also included a 3% match IRA. Those things alone put me far and above what any large company was offering. Although it was very costly, it helped put my no-name company in competition with the Boeings, Express Scripts, and US Banks of the world when it came to attracting and hiring good talent. But building your idea and team is just the beginning, from challenges to successes and all the nitty gritty in between; “In Business With Jack Johnson” will go behind the curtain and show you how you can get to where you want to go. I promise you, it’s worth the ride. See ya next time! Jack Johnson - promedjack@yahoo.com

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by: Katy Kruze

STREET LIFE homelessness in St. Charles County

“We All Read the Cardboard Signs” This story starts off on a typical, albeit freezing cold, Monday night in December. My kids have their homework finished, we enjoyed a nice dinner, the kitchen is cleaned, dishes in the dishwasher, so now comes that coveted nighttime “downtime”. As we gathered in the living room, television on, my kids face down in their electronics, it dawned on me that I actually have time to catch up on the latest and greatest things happening on Facebook. Downtime to “creep Facebook” is not plentiful, but I try to “check in” whenever I can, after all, what kind of person would I be if I did not check out the latest in the life and times of my family and friends via the world of social media. Ok, yes, I have a large base of “Facebook Friends”, some very close, some not so close. On this particular night I started noodling through the posts when I saw some very desperate messages from Lori. Lori is one of those Facebook friends that is “not so close”, but someone I have known for several years. Her posts were rapid fire and more desperate as they went on. “Help, does anyone have a basement I can sleep in? I’m living in a tent at a campground and it’s freezing!” “Can anyone help, it’s too cold to survive out here, no place to go.” “Never mind, I might just end everything tonight, no reason to live.” As I continued to read on, I was stunned, there was no way I could just sit idly by, but what could I do to help, I needed to know more. I Immediately private messaged a person that had commented on one of Lori’s posts and was able to get some insight as to what was happening. Lori was indeed newly homeless, this person I contacted had bought her the tent and paid for a few nights at a 22 | focusOn Magazine

campground as a semi solution to the immediate problem. Due to lack of space in his home, it was the best he could offer. As I learned more, Lori’s, now homeless situation, was not due to drugs or alcohol. She neither uses or does anything more than enjoy an alcoholic beverage with a friend here and there. The reason she was now without shelter was about a 50/50 split of poor life choices and just plain bad luck.

Now that I was more “equipped with knowledge” to try and find her help, I started making phone calls, women’s shelters, Churches, community services agencies, anyone I could “Google”. The problem was, no one answered, I was being tossed into voice mails with the promise of a return phone call at some time. I finally reached a Suicide Hotline, who were wonderful to talk to and they did reach out to Lori, however, it was just a “well check” phone call. After the call, she was not deemed suicidal, so she was still in a tent, at the campground, the temperature outside was now 28 degrees.


In my flurry of phone calls, leading to the numerous voice recordings, I did learn that there are several warming centers in our area, and, even better, there are free rides to them. However, the temperature needs to be 20 degrees or lower for them to open.

So now here we are, four moths later. Thankfully I was able to pull some outside resources together that, along with help from two of her friends, got Lori off the streets and on her way to reestablishing herself. However, the big question/problem remains, what about the rest? What about the other 100’s of Homeless, or those on the verge of Homelessness in St. Charles, Lincoln, and Warren Counties that need help from an already strained system. Make no mistake about it, the system is beyond strained. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, my quest to know more about the Homeless living among us did not go away after Lori was settled. With the encouragement of one of this magazine’s ownership Steve Naugher, I contacted some of the amazing staff at Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service, one of the primary resource centers for those in crisis. After meeting with Karen, Jack and Pam who are leading the teams doing much of the crisis intervention, it was clear, there is a lot of work to be done, there are defined ways to help, and a mission to cut the number of Homeless in half, if not more, that can be accomplished!

Most of us don’t realize that currently there are close to 600 Homeless in our three county area. The majority of those are either single men or single women with young children, living with family, friends, or in women’s shelters and have no permanent address. Over 100 of those 600 Homeless, are in what is called the ‘Street Outreach Program’. This group is a primarily made up of single men, who are literally living on the street, under a bridge, on a park bench, etc. This group has an assigned Social Worker that conducts bi-weekly checks, providing them basic necessities such as food, water, blankets and toiletries. Currently, Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service, provide some level of assistance to around 6000 people every year. Several 1000’s of those are on the verge of being homeless. It is much more accurate to say, that now, seeing the even broader scope of crisis in our area, this is where the story really begins.

Myself, along with ‘Focus On St. Charles County’ magazine have decided to do our best to raise awareness and explore what can be done to assist Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service and their partners, in helping to transition a higher number of Homeless back to being self reliant. That said, welcome to my journey into journalism that will start right here, with a multi issue feature taking a look at homelessness in our area, the people, the problems, those who help and what we as a community can do.

focusOn Magazine | 23


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History of St. Charles County - The Village of St. Peters February 19, 1910 - The Village of St. Peters was incorporated. The town trustees laid out a set of ordinances, including a five-miles-per-hour speed limit for automobiles. They also made it a misdemeanor to ride a horse or drive a carriage through town “faster than a moderate trot.” The population stood at 269. By 1960, only 404 people lived there.

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By: Ken Willard

The term “mind the gap” is a visual or audible warning to subway passengers to be careful while crossing the spatial gap between the station platform and the train door. The origin of the phrase is typically attributed to being introduced in1969 on the London Underground in the United Kingdom. This is a great reminder for leaders everywhere. We too must mind the gap. While there are many different gaps we need to be aware of as leaders in our organization, let’s focus today on just three main areas: communication, values, and goals. Let’s look first at communication. As leaders, we are constantly communicating. In fact, if we are honest, it can sometimes feel like we are communicating the same things over and over again. We must be very cautious when we begin to feel this way. People tend to fill any real or perceived gaps in communication with their own stories. That can be very dangerous to any team or organization. Here is an analogy which might help. Imagine a marathon race with a field of runners so large that the start must be staggered. In other words, a group of runners start, then after a few seconds another group of runners start, and so on. The runners are not racing as much against each other as they are the clock. If the field was large enough, it might be possible that the last group of runners were just starting as the first group was finishing. How might the last group feel watching the first runners cross the finish line? Challenged? Defeated? Encouraged? As leaders we are often way out in front of our team. We are the ones creating the strategy, making the plans, determining the course for our organization. We need to ensure the communication is clear and consistent to everyone. Chances are good that when we are getting tired of talking about something, there are those on our team who are just hearing it for the first time. 28 | focusOn Magazine

Now let’s look at values. What are the values of your organization? (As long as you’re looking, go ahead and find your mission and vision too.) Every organization has values. You may or may not have taken the time to identify them, but they are there nonetheless. Values are what guide your decisions, plans, and how you treat people both internal and external throughout your organization. Think of them like the banks of a large river, determining the course and speed. If your organization has identified your values, take an honest look at them and see if they are real or aspirational. If people within and outside your organization were asked to list the values which come to mind when they think of your organization, would their list match yours? Remember Enron? Guess what, their values were: communication, respect, and integrity! What a gap between what they said were their values and their actions and behaviors. Your gap is certainly not that big. However, there very well may be a gap in your stated values and your actions and behaviors. As a leader, you must own this gap. It is not too late. Start today. Communicate your values again throughout your organization, and intentionally work on living into those values. The final area we are going to look at for closing gaps is goals. Does your organization have goals for this year? How about you, do you have personal goals for the year? If you have one or both, take them out now. Too many leaders and organizations create goals, and then file them away and forget about them until the end


of the year. This behavior creates a gap in importance. Creating goals but then forgetting about them sends the message that this is just an activity to complete, not a priority we feel will make any difference in ourselves or our organization. Again, it is not too late. Establish a habit now of reviewing goals at least monthly. Put it on your calendar. Share it with someone who can hold you accountable. Consider working with a coach who might help you with this habit. The other gap in many goals is the “why.” If you are familiar with SMART goals, this is the “S” – Specific. Why are you setting this goal? In my work with both individual leaders and organizations, this is the component missing most often. I would also share that it is my belief that this is the single most important component to ensure the success of a goal. Two things tend to lead to this gap. First, the reason why the goal is being set seems to be so obvious there is no reason to state it on paper. When organizations create a gap by leaving the “why” out of their goals, everyone tends to fill that gap with their own “why.” At best, this creates confusion. At worst, this creates conflict. The second thing

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which tends to lead to this gap is too much focus on the “M” or measurement component. As important as the measurement component might be, it should never be the main focus of a goal. When the “why” piece is missing in a goal, the measurement component tends to become the whole goal. And those types of goals are rarely accomplished. Here are a few suggested next steps:

Have an honest conversation with your team about communication. Be sure to include peers, supervisors, and those who report to you. Assess where you are, then make plans to improve. Try to listen without getting defensive. Work with a coach who can be a partner with you on the journey to close the gaps!

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focusOn Magazine | 29


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medical minute with Cheryl Hohe, MSN, ANP-BC

Give the Ultimate Gift There is nothing more painful than losing a loved one, especially a child. But there is one father who is turning his pain of losing his daughter, into hope for thousands of people waiting for an organ transplant. Bill Connor lost his daughter last year to a freak drowning in Mexico. Abigail Conner was 20 years old and a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Because of Abigail, 4 men had their lives saved. Her father got to meet one of those men on Fathers Day 2017. He was able to hear his daughter’s heart, beating again. Loumonth Jack Jr was the recipient of Abigail’s heart. Jack had suffered a heart attack at the age of 21. Doctors gave him days to live. Abigail saved his life. Bill is now riding his Trek bicycle 2,600 miles across the country to raise awareness of the impact of organ donation. He is asking people to register to become organ donors. He has a GoFundMe page to raise money for Donate Life America, an organization that helps people register to be organ donors. 115,085 men, women and children are on the national transplant waiting list, and every 10 minutes another person is added to the list. In 2016, over 33,000 transplants were performed. 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant. It has been reported 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation, but only 54% are actually signed up as donors. One person can donate up to 8 lifesaving organs. (heart, 2 lungs, liver, pancreas, 2 kidneys, intestines) What can be done to save more lives? • • • •

Register in your state: for Missouri, go to missouriorgandonor.com to sign up Talk to your family and friends-make your wishes known Get the word out on social media to help raise awareness Volunteer-go to organdonor.gov to join the effort.

Who Can Donate? All people should consider themselves potential organ and tissue donors-regardless of age, health, race or ethnicity. Don’t rule yourself out!

Please consider the gift of organ donation. Your selfless gift can literally save someone’s life. 36| focusOn Magazine


If you would like to read more about organ donation, read “Gifted”- a fictional story written by Robert Horsey, a Registered Nurse from St.Louis. This story was inspired by his time spent working at Mid-America Transplant Services here in St. Louis, as an Organ Procurement Coordinator. During this time in his career, he worked with donor families as they navigated the waters of grief and the unexpected loss of their loved one. This book was written as a tribute to each of the families and the thousands of donor families around the country that provide the gift of life through the selfless act of organ and tissue donation. His book can be found on Amazon.

This Self-Healing process, based on our body’s own light, assists the immune system to function at optimum levels, which enables the body to effectively heal itself. For details and appointemnts, contact

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(636) 566-0004 www.BionStar.com focusOn Magazine | 37


by: Robin Seaton Jefferson

A Candid Interview with Amy Paffrath

Happy, Healthy and Loving Life

The “Dreamy” Foundation... “That’s the name they plan to call the foundation they hope to start one day.” In the meantime they’re helping to build homes for veterans, bring clean water to kids around the world and simply to look for the good where they can find it. The two young actors, Amy Paffrath and Drew Seeley are pretty dreamy though. Married four years, the couple met some 12 years ago and set out on a journey together in show business and in real life... So far. So good. Born in St. Ann, Amy Paffrath hails from Ferguson, but packed up her car 14 years ago and headed for the City of Angels. That bold career move has since taken her all over the United States and all around the world. “My goal is to do something that will united people and give them hope and faith in humanity,” Paffrath said. She’s not kidding. She and Seeley, a Canadian-born American actor, singer and dancer spend almost as much time giving as they do performing. The two have taught gender equality through sports to African children in the landlocked East African country of Rwanda. They have also worked with St. Vincent Home for Children in St. Louis, Missouri and with the Thirst Project in Los Angeles, California. The Thirst Project seeks to build a socially-conscious generation of young people who they hope will end the global water crisis by building real water projects all over the world. It was through these philanthropic endeavors that Seeley and Paffrath discovered how near and dear to their hearts helping kids is. They plan to one day soon set up a scholarship foundation to help kids attain their dreams, which they say they will affectionately call The “Dreamy” Foundation. They came by it honestly, though. It’s simply the combination of their first names. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” It would be fair to say that the couple made a career out of the good they want to share with the world. An actress and television host, Paffrath started a podcast four years ago called “What’s Good” as a reaction to the disconnect with what she actually sees in the world and what the media tells her is 38| focusOn Magazine

there. “What I saw wasn’t reflecting the world around me. I travel the world, and I see positive, amazing and inspiring people who are welcoming and kind and generous, but when I turn on the news, that’s not what I see. I want to shine a light on the world changers.”Being positive and looking for the good in the world comes in handy when you work in a business known for its extremely competitive and often cut-throat environment. “Hollywood is a humbling place,” Paffrath said. “Success is only about the current project. You have to remember that just because you’re in a valley at the moment, doesn’t mean there isn’t another peak coming soon. It’s a resilience game.” Paffrath and Seeley admit theirs isn’t the 9-to-five, workaday life that many of their friends and relatives entertain, and that’s alright with them. In fact, they welcome change and adventure. “We have a non-traditional life,” said the comedian-turned-actress-and-good-news-journalist who at one time did standup comedy at St. Louis’ own Funny Bone Comedy Club. If success is working in show business, Paffrath and Seeley are doing well. They are busy. Today Paffrath hosts “What’s Good” with Justin Walter in partnership with Focus Magazine. And most recently you can find her on VH1’s hit reality series “Dating Naked.” She was also “Mayday Amy” in Amazon’s wildly popular Kindle Fire commercials. There’s also a chance you may have caught her holding down the fort with “Snooki and The Situation” on MTV’S “Jersey Shore: After Hours” or any of the numerous films and or sitcoms in which she has played a role. “There are a lot of things that make me happy and that I enjoy doing,” Paffrath said. “I keep up with reporting on my own because I have a voice I want to add to the world.” And Paffrath doesn’t pull any punches. “I have worked very hard to get to where I am today. It didn’t come easy, but I’ve enjoyed every step of the journey,” she writes on her website biography. “I may have a dramatic career, but I choose to live life as drama-free as possible. There is no time for pettiness or cattiness; life is too short. I believe in kindness, encouragement and the power of positive thinking. Anything is possible in the little time


we have on earth, in these bodies. Go after what you want and believe in yourself.” With her daddy as her biggest role model, Paffrath started her journey as the second of seven siblings in a blue collar St. Louis family. “My late father Mark worked several jobs to provide for his large brood. We had modest means, but somehow my parents managed to make our wishes realities. I definitely learned by example and channel that philosophy and work ethic into my own career. If I want or need something, I figure out how to get it.” As a toddler, Paffrath studied gymnastics and dance and loved performing even then. She and her siblings had the numbers to put on plays and newscasts of their own in their grandmother’s basement. An entrepreneur even then, she started early charging admission. Paffrath was introduced to broadcasting on AM radio at St. Tomas Aquinas Mercy High School where she worked behind the scenes editing and producing. She was also a cheerleader and worked full time at a local Steak ‘n Shake. She takes pride in that at 16, she paid cash for her first car—a purple Hyundai accent—with tip money she had earned. It was about the same time she hooked up with a local modeling agent, Kevin Long with the Edge agency. The two remain friends today. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in journalism from University of Missouri-Columbia (MIZZOU) and in 2003 began her on-air career anchoring and reporting for KOMUTV. Paffrath soon headed west and completed an internship at “Entertainment Tonight” alongside Mark Steines and Mary Hart. “It was then, in 2004 that my love affair with Hollywood began,” she said. Paffrath quickly got on-air jobs at Direct TV and Fuel TV as well as a casting job at MTV. And in 2009, auditioned for E!, where she spent every day of the next three years appearing on “E! News Now” and interviewing celebrities, co-hosting the “Daily 10” and filling in on G4’s “Attack of the Show.” Since then she has hit the hottest red carpets for TV Guide and served as a guest host on Fuel TV’s “The Daily Habit.” Though they were great jobs to sharpen her teeth on show business, Paffrath said the gossip kind of got to her after a while. “I don’t want to put my name on something just because it’s a job,” she said. “I guess you grow up and you just don’t care what the Kardashians are doing. I started becoming friends with more celebrities, and honestly the meddling in people’s lives became a little icky to me.” Seeley grew up in Ontario, where at the age of 11 he fell in love with performing. He was cast in Hal Prince’s revival of “Showboat” and stayed with the production for a year. At 13, he got his first guitar and started writing songs. In 2005, Drew co-wrote “Getcha Head in the Game” for Disney’s quadruple platinum “High School Musical” soundtrack with producer Ray Cham. The song garnered them an Emmy nomination for the “Best Original Song and Lyrics.” He also costarred in thethe North American and Latin American tours of “High School Musical: The Concert” playing in 60,000 seat arenas. His song and video “Dance with Me,” from the platinum “Cheetah Girls 2” soundtrack, can be seen on the Disney Channel. He also appeared in Belinda Peregrin’s music video “Ni Freud, Ni Tu Mama.” He wrote and performed music for the Disney Channel Original Movie “Jump In!” starring Corbin Bleu, and his spin on

America’s ‘Magic’ was released on the “Wizards of Waverly Place” soundtrack. Drew also made a guest appearance on the Chipmunks CD “Undeniable,” singing “Shake Your Groove Thing” with Alvin and the gang. He has recently been on a national tour performing original music from his debut album “The Resolution.” Drew’s acting career has included guest starring roles on “One Tree Hill,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Guiding Light” and more recently, Warner Premiere’s “Another Cinderella Story,” in which he stars as pop star Joey Parker opposite Selena Gomez. Drew also co-wrote and performs four songs in the film. One of these songs, New Classic, enjoyed a slot on Radio Disney’s Top 10 countdown for two months, and the music video has surpassed 3 million views on YouTube. In 2009, Drew tried his hand at Broadway, taking on the role of Prince Eric in “The Little Mermaid.” He later recorded an alternate version of Prince Eric’s song “Her Voice” which was released on the “DisneyMania 7” album. Drew starred alongside 30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden in “The Shortcut,” produced by Adam Sandler, and reunited with HSM alum Lucas Grabeel for the rock musical, “I Kissed A Vampire.” Most recently, Drew starred in the TBS series, “Glory Daze,” playing an aspiring politician named Jason Wilson. He just released his new music video, “She May Be the One,” for the first single from his new album coming mid-March. Paffrath says she’s “paffletic” and refers to herself as a “TRYAthlete” because she’ll try anything athletic. She likes to mix things up with boxing, yoga, Bootcamp class as well as hiking three to four times a week. She and Seeley recently ran the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Nashville raising over $3200 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has also run half marathons in Vegas and Los Angeles. Look for Paffrath in the teen thriller, “The Thinning,” where she plays a reporter in 2026 on an Earth suffering from overpopulation; “The Purge: Anarchy,” where she plays a newscaster in a story about three groups of people who intertwine and are left stranded in the streets on Purge Night, trying to survive the chaos and violence that occurs; “Eruption LA,” due out this spring where she plays a nurse as a massive volcano, under the city, threatens Los Angeles; or still to come, “Disrupted,” where she plays Natalie, the main character’s daughter in a story of the killing spree that ensues when a psychopathic venture capitalist relentlessly tracks down the people who are using his stolen credit card. “Each day is a new adventure and I can’t wait to see what it will bring. I am a passionate girl with a dash of sass and I truly love life. I can’t wait to wake up and see what is in store for me. I love to laugh and I do it as often as I can; it not only enriches the soul, it also gives you great abs,” Paffrath said. “My career is my passion and I love what I do, but nothing means more to me than my family and friends. They know who I am at the core and love me for ALL of me. Fame, money and success come and go, but the people you surround yourself will be there when it all fades. Each year presents wondrous new possibilities. Right now, I’m happy and healthy and having a blast navigating a hectic schedule and thriving career.” For more information on St. Vincent Home for Children, visit www.saintvincenthome.org. For more information on the Thirst Project, visit www.thirstproject.org. Find Paffrath and Seeley on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. focusOn Magazine | 39


The Perfect Venue for corporate meetings, birthday & anniversary parties, rehearsal dinners, holiday gatherings & more!

EAT | DRINK | ENJOY Located in Historic Cottleville

40 |

5373 Highway N, Cottleville, MO 63304 (636) 939-9922 www.BemosGrill.com Banquets@BemosGrill.com focusOn Magazine


by: Steve Naugher

Chef Colton Bemis Serves up... The Taste of Cottleville Bemo’s is a must-go in Cottleville when making plans for lunch, dinner or just a few drinks with friends.

The atmosphere is welcoming, the beer is cold, and the food is second to none. The man behind the food is Colton Bemis. Even as a kid, Colton had a passion for food. When he spent the night with friends, their parents would always find him eating food from their pantries at 3 o’clock in the morning! He wasn’t only eating... he was also cooking. The first dish Colton cooked was when he was nine years old. “It was french toast for my parents... at like five or six o’clock in the morning. “This was before anyone really woke up in my house. I think they were worried I would burn the house down.” Colton grew up in the restaurant business. He has worked for several different restaurants and has learned about the business from each one. Colton soon realized what he wanted to do... “I wanted to expand my knowledge behind the food, creating plates, and learning the science behind making all kinds of dishes, so I decided to make food my life’s profession.” Colton attended LeCordon Bleu Culinary School and graduated in 2014. After graduation, he accepted an internship in Orlando, Florida. “The internship was with Disney, in their Culinary Program. The program at Disney was a great learning experience for me, but when I had the opportunity to come back home and work at Bemo’s, I jumped on it!” Colton is very humble. The way he looks at his experience and passion for cooking is not only for the food, but also the people who come with it all. Colton works along side his father, Dave, every day and counts his many blessings. “My father and I wouldn’t have this amazing dream coming into our lives without the love and support from our family, friends and the hard working staff that we are so blessed with!” Colton added, “Cottleville is a very special place to many people and they have accepted us into this historic, magical and growing town. We love the people that come with it. Thank you all so much!” Colton sees no end in sight. “There is no end goal for me, I don’t see myself ever stopping. I want to always continue to grow, expand and learn as much as I can along the way.” My last question to Colton was... “What is your favorite dish?” His answer without hesitation... “Soups... The possibilities with soups are endless.” He asked me what mine was. My answer, without a doubt, was the Beef Medallions with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts... awesome!

focusOn Magazine | 41


Story by: Darlene Fischer

focusOn

Chasing the Dragon: The Heroin Epidemic is Here!

Yak & Scotty Springer 2 Local Guys with 1 Mission, “To Help Change the World!” Releasing their brand new Music Video “Heroin.” Joey “Yak” Pieper and Scotty Springer met about four years ago and quickly became the best of friends, even more like brothers. They both had the same vision but different musical inclinations. Joey is a rap artist who formerly signed a deal with Ali Jones of the group “St. Lunatics” (Ali is president of the record label “Derrty Ent.” which was founded by St. Louis rapper Nelly). Joey also recently toured with “Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.” Scotty is more of an acoustic pop artist. He’s had the opportunity to perform for artists such as Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus and Kid Rock, only to name a few. The two decided to blend their unique styles of music together into a whole new fusion of singer/songwriter/pop/rap influence. They also agreed that they didn’t want to make just any music together. They “wanted to do music with intention! Music that people could easily relate too!” And the results are highly emotive! I asked them why they picked the ultra sensitive, hard core topic of heroin? It was then that Joey told me he recently lost a good friend and they both have family and friends who are really struggling with addiction. They continued to tell me, “It’s a serious issue and it is not getting the attention that it needs!” So, they set out to raise awareness and bring this subject into the light. Although Scotty currently resides in Los Angeles, he grew up in O’Fallon. And Joey, who also lived in L.A. for awhile, has moved back into the area. I asked them why they were shooting the video here and not in L.A. where they have so many established resources in place already? Joey quickly responded, “I’m Hazelwood, not Hollywood. 42 | focusOn Magazine

We both decided we had to do this locally here in St. Charles County to bring this issue to reality. If you hear about us, it’s going to be for a good cause and that’s why we’re doing this.” With that vision and a song in their hearts, they set out to create “Heroin” the second track on their newest album due to be released later this year. To make it all happen, the first thing they did was to make a list of everything they were going to need. Joey and Scotty do everything together as a team, however, Joey excels more in marketing and social media. While Scotty is better at developing strong business relationships and the production aspect of things. Together they make a dynamic duo. They first reached out to Mark Loveless, owner of “Kubrick’s” on Main Street in St. Charles. Mark is a good friend of Scotty’s and once he heard about the project, he was 100% on board! He told Scotty, “whatever you need, you got it!” Mark then opened up the bar exclusively for them and gave them access to anything and everything they needed.

Kubrick’s on Main Street - St. Charles

The two knew they also needed a funeral home to help paint the vision for the video, so they contacted Baue Memorial Center and expressed to them what they were trying to do. Word eventually reached Vice President John Baue Devaney. Once he heard about their cause he knew he wanted to help them.


He graciously extended their hospitality to provide everything they would need for filming on site. He offered them the use of their chapel, a casket and provided a beautiful flower arrangement. He also gave them the use of their brand new hearse and even lent staff to serve as pall bearers to complete the visual. Others who joined in to help them were Videographer Matthew Goodman who assisted in co-producing the video by bringing it to life. Grammy award winning producer Jayson “Koko” Bridges and Jimmy Hargrove of the award winning St. Louis based “Basement Beats,” helped co-produce the song. Hip Hop Violinist Ash Meyers, also from St. Louis , can be seen playing throughout the video, adding a hauntingly beautiful touch to the whole production. Scotty’s close family friend, Jacque Logue, portrayed the grieving mother. And one of Scotty’s best and oldest friends, Derek First, was the acting addict. The video was also filmed on location at O’Fallon City Hall and St. Paul Church and ball field where Scotty, his family and friends grew up. While the video is a fictitious re-enactment depicting the nightmare many families are secretly dealing with, it is meant to help break the stigma and raise awareness. Joey and Scotty brought everyone together and produced an amazing, albeit hard hitting video. We hope you take the time to watch it and share it. You can access the video on YouTube and Facebook.

HEROIN

Screen Shots for the Music Video Local St. Paul resident and good friend of the family, Jacque Logue, is portrayed as the addicts mother.

Derek First, long time friend of Scotty’s, who took on the role as the addict.

The casket and flower arrangement courtesy of Baue Memorial Center at Cave Springs in St. Charles while filming in their chapel.

Baue Funeral Service Assistant Kent Geary, along with help from other staff members, serve as pall bearers in the video.

“Heroin”... Official Video by: Yak & Scotty Springer If you do not know anyone dealing with this far reaching problem, I’m sure your neighbor or family does. In 2016 alone, according to the CDC, over 64,000 individuals lost their lives to opioids in the U.S. That is more than 175 people a day, and 2017 numbers are predicted to be over 20% higher than that. This current total is more than homicides and motor vehicle deaths combined! As Joey and Scotty have repeatedly told me throughout the short amount of time I was able to spend with them, “we are all in this together and together we can change the world.” Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone who has lost someone in this terrible epidemic. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is help out there. Please contact the NCADA at (314) 962-3456 or go to NCADA-Stl.org. They offer free assistance, referrals and many other services. Everything is strictly confidential and with no legal repercussions.

Hip Hop Violinist, Ash Meyers, can be seen playing throughout the entire video near the lake at Baue’s in Cave Springs.

focusOn Magazine | 43


Hope  

   

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44 | focusOn Magazine


T pBites in st. charles county

Mad Dog & Cats

with kelly gardner

Restaurant & Bar

Sublime French Onion Soup Mad Dog & Cats Restaurant and Bar is located in a nondescript strip mall off of Wolfrum and 94, behind a Walgreens. When you pull up, the last thing you would expect to find is French Onion Soup nirvana. In fact, you would probably be surprised to find that they consistently crank out some of St. Charles County’s best and most approachable food. Of all the items on the menu, however, the one that keeps me coming back is the French Onion Soup. Chef & Owner Mark Dover, who began his career at the legendary Al Bakers Restaurant, has leveraged the equally legendary Famous Barr French Onion Soup recipe to create this unctuous concoction. From the load of carmelized onions, to the brown bubbly broth made with, get this, WHITE wine, to the perfectly melted swiss on top of a crispy baguette, this soup delivers at every level. My wife and I have tried french onion soup all over the country, and three times in France, and have yet to find an equal. It’s available in a cup or a bowl, but come on, you gotta get the bowl. Pair it with one of their giant entree salads, burgers, steaks, just about anything. I’ll bet it will make you say “Oui, oui”. Mad Dog & Cats is located at 1005 Wolfrum Road, Weldon Spring, MO (636) 300-9171 OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

kelly’s Insider

For those holding to their New Year’s resolution of healthier eating, the buffalo strips and chicken strips can be ordered grilled instead of breaded and fried, and it is a huge serving. Get the buffalo sauce or tangy, delicious honey mustard sauce on the side.

Would you like to your restaurant featured in TopBites? Contact us to for details.

focusOn Magazine | 45


programs in st. charles county

magazine

focuson

Skip Stephens recently sat down to a one on one with Mark Hollander, the Executive Director of Vision St. Charles Leadership.

Mark Hollander is the executive director of Vision St. Charles Leadership, but more importantly, is one of those people that just gives off “good vibes”. As the leader of a non-profit organization that focuses on building professional development, Mark Hollander is someone that exudes positivity and leadership from every ounce of his being. Mark retired last June after spending 35 years in the banking industry, working in almost every conceivable role from teller, supervisor, and branch manager, to commercial banker, division head and vice president. Admittedly, one of Mark’s biggest passions in life is leadership. In my short interview, we discuss life, his battle with cancer, leadership and his new position as Executive Director of Vision Leadership St. Charles. Mark Hollander is, without question, one of the most upbeat, intelligent, thoughtful and inspiring leaders in St. Charles County. The son of a police officer, Mark Hollander grew up a block away from Lindenwood in Old St. Charles. He attended St. Charles High School and came back to this area after a college career that was shortened when the federal government cut college grant funding. Disheartened but undeterred, Mark went to work at JC Penny as a stock boy before his coworker’s mom offered him a job at the bank she managed. The new job offered a ten-cent raise, better hours and the pleasing thought of no longer unloading trucks. Mark entered the banking industry as a teller in 1981 and quickly moved up the ladder. Community Federal Bank obviously saw potential in Mark because after only 2 years as a teller, he was selected for a management training program. After completing the program, Mark was utilized by Community Federal as a sort of plug in manager, filling temporary management vacancies as they occurred. According to Mark, this role became the real management training program. Mark reflected on this formative time in his career, “I was used wherever I was needed across their 40 area branches at that time. I was exposed to and was required to work with so many different supervisors and managers at all levels. I learned a lot about what to do from some great leaders and learned what not to do from others.” Mark spent his first 10 years in banking with Community Federal before they closed and then he went on to work for Farm and Home Savings and Loan, US Bank, and Heartland Bank before retiring as Vice President Relationship Officer at UMB Bank. As we get into the interview, you will fully understand why someone would give Mark the role of VP of Relationships.

Mark’s Passion Skip: Mark, you are in an elevator with someone and have 11 floors to go. They turn to you and ask, “what is your passion?” How do you answer? Mark: Serving others. My father was a St. Peters police officer. I come from a servant driven family. Skip: In what ways do you serve others? Mark: As a banker I helped people with their financial needs, I have volunteered for many non-profits. My life changed in the 2002 when I agreed to sit on the Board of Directors of Community Living. My exposure to their work and to their mission really impacted me and opened me up to serving in new ways. I began to get involved with other non-profits. Since then, I have volunteered for the American Cancer Society, Relays for Life, the O’Fallon Family YMCA, Sparrow’s Nest and Vision Leadership St. Charles. I have been a deacon in my church, Faith Chapel, for more than ten years. 46 | focusOn Magazine


Vision St. Charles County Leadership Skip You are the Executive Director of Vision Leadership St. Charles. Please describe your organization. Mark: Organized in 1998, it’s a non-profit organization that develops leadership and operates in cooperation with all of the Chambers of Commerce in the county. Every year, we select 30 participants, that are current and future leaders from various industries. We expose them to and educate them about various aspects of our county that they may not fully understand or be aware of. Over the course of the 9-month program, we focus on things like economic development, education, tourism, criminal justice, state and county government and more. Additionally, we provide the “classmates” with an abundance of networking and professional development opportunities. The goal is to get create a spark within the participants and get them more involved in whatever area their passions may lie, be it a non-profit, a civic organization, a chamber of commerce or some other organization. Skip: How did you get involved in Vision Leadership St. Charles? Mark: I first heard about when I was on the Board at Community Living, but in 2011, my employer had someone go

through the program. His boss couldn’t attend the graduation, so to represent the bank, I went instead. I was captivated by the people involved and their passion. I went back to work and told the bank that this was something I wanted to do. I was in the Vision class of 2012 and became the Executive Director in 2017. Skip: Why are you drawn to Vision Leadership? Mark: It hits all of my buckets: community involvement, networking, serving others to enhance their leadership skills,

the leadership experience itself. It fits my passion to serve and make this community better, making sure we leave this community better for our kids. My father did the same for me and my sister and so I want to do the same for my kids and grandkids.

Leadership Skip: What is the most difficult part of being a leader? Mark: Making the right decision and not being overly concerned with making everyone happy. Those things rarely go

and in hand. It’s the right decision vs. popular decision dilemma. Getting comfortable with making people uncomfortable is a tough thing to learn. Skip: What is the most important trait of leadership? Mark: Being honest, all of the time. There are so many opportunities to be unethical. So many times personal gain is

attached to making the wrong decision. What I have found is that the ethical decision is always the right way. Sometimes the ethical decision can keep you from moving up the corporate ladder, but in the end, it turns out to be the right decision. Skip: What get’s you out of bed in the morning? In other words, what motivates you, drives you? What is your why? Mark: Funny you ask this, I actually wrote this down earlier today. I am a big believer in writing down goals. Just this

morning I asked myself, “what are my current goals?” I want to continue to improve the Vision Leadership experience and enhance the impact that it has on the community. I want to work even harder, in collaboration with other leadership driven organizations to provide greater permanence and stability as they relate to our organizational goals. Simply speaking I want to help Vision Leadership to continually improve community impact. Skip: If you get go back in time and give advice to the 24 year old Mark Hollander? Mark: Slow down and smell the roses. It is something that is typical of young people. Driving and striving. All to get a

bigger home, better status, and move ahead in your occupation. These can also be the most formative time for your kids. I really wish I would have spent less time at the office and more time with my girls at home. I wish I would have had a few more tea parties with my daughters when they were young. Skip: What are you most proud of (except for kids)? Mark: That’s tough. I feel like I worked in the community and in my employment with a high level of ethics and our

reputation is all that we really have. So, I am proud that I have gotten this old and haven’t screwed up yet. I light of what I have gone through medically, trophies and plaques have gotten pale. Reputation, family, and faith have been pushed much more to the forefront. Skip: How do you find fulfillment? Mark: Strong faith and the knowing that I am doing what I am called, supposed to do. I get fulfillment by stepping

into situations and jobs being very comfortable knowing that I am doing exactly what I am called to do.

focusOn Magazine | 47


Skip: How do you know when you are doing what you are supposed to be doing Mark: Being a person of faith, there are moments that I felt led to step into certain opportunities. I feel like I am guid-

ed by God. My Mom used to describe God’s Perfect Will like this: Life is like driving down a two-lane highway and God’s will is the center line. He gives you leeway of your own free will, but when you drive off of the highway, you hit the rumble strips. I have felt the rumble strips and they remind you to get back to center.

Skip: You have had some medical challenges lately; can you talk about that? Mark: In 2008 I was diagnosed with skin cancer. I had it surgically removed and thought I was done with it. Later, I

discovered a small tumor on my left arm, right below where I had surgery, the spot of my skin cancer. The new tumor turned out to be cancerous. I had it removed and thought I was done. A new tumor came back the next year, I had it removed and it came back again the next year. I had surgery in four consecutive Septembers! One skin cancer and 3 tumors removed. I thought I was done. I went 18 months all clear. I went in for my checkup in March of 2016 and they found an egg sized tumor in my lymph nodes. In an instant, I went from all clear to stage 4 melanoma and was given 12 months to live. I started a treatment regiment of two different chemo’s and the medicine attacked my liver and I went into liver failure. So, I switched to a steroid treatment and my liver improved. Then, we decided to try immuno-therapy, a fifty-round treatment of Opdivo. Within three months my tumor went from the size of an egg to the size of a grape. Three months later my tumor was completely gone! I have completed 30 out of the 50 treatments and have now been cancer free for 9 months. This entire experience has helped me slow down and change my focus. I now spend extra time with my wife, Melissa, my daughters Maggie and Katie (and their husbands) and with my grandkids Blake and Jac. I am incredibly thankful for and try to make the most of every day.

VISION St. Charles County Leadership Program endeavors to provide opportunities ranging from management, leadership, training sessions, panel discussions with community leaders, group interaction, onsite visits, tours and individual participation.

PO Box 1104 St. Peters, MO 63376 info@visionleadership.org ph: 636-486-6005

The VISION Program meets once a month for a nine month period – from August through April. Most sessions meet for a full day on the third Thursday of each month. The initial program session begins with an overnight retreat at a local conference facility. Each monthly session takes place at various locations around the county specifically chosen to highlight different elements of our diverse St. Charles County.

For more information about Vision Leadership St. Charles, visit www.visionleadership.org

LOCATED IN THE HEART OF COTTLEVILLE IN THE 94 CROSSING SHOPPING CENTER

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focusOn Magazine | 49


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell

Movie ReviewS by: Gabe Sheets

Rated R

I don’t think it would take a lot for anyone to agree with the sentiment that we live in an unjust world. As we are raised we are either taught complacency or animosity towards our society. There is really only one craft that can benefit both of these attitudes – and that’s art. Art can perform as a distraction from all of our world’s problems or as a brutally hard look in the mirror. Martin McDonough’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is one of the rare films that acts as both. The film takes place in Missouri, after the rape and murder of her daughter, Mildred - played by Frances McDormand - decides to rent and paint a controversial message on three signs that line the road to town, holding the local law enforcement accountable for their inability to bring the perpetrator to justice. The local police department does not take this gesture lightly and a conflict ensues between the two forces. In addition to McDormand, the film has an incredible cast including Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, and Lucas Hedges. They all give magnificent performances. Each character is layered and so well realized. The movie is littered with dark humor and very complex and quick-witted dialogue that can only be honed and mastered by a talented cast. McDormand certainly shines in the lead where we can see a great deal of concealed pain behind a shrewd portrayal of grief, while also being able to deliver just the right amount of humor to make the film’s dark and troubling subjects accessible. Sam Rockwell also shines here as he portrays a narrow-minded police officer who displays outright racism throughout most of the film. However, he conveys great nuance in a character that could easily be portrayed as villainous.

The performances are also reinforced with the brilliant writing of McDonough. The dialogue is some of the best I’ve ever heard. Some may find his use of explicit language distasteful or offensive; I find it entertaining and honest. The film is not lite and deals with a lot of unsettling themes. Police brutality, racism, complacency, and the lengths of free speech are all discussed in this film and they are covered very well. These themes are incredibly relevant today and will remain timeless as the film ages. “Three Billboards” also has a fairly unpredictable plot. There are many turns the film takes that I didn’t expect and the deepened the material to a refreshing level. The film does have many powerful moments where it shows the rural town’s hypocrisy. We see many characters show lots of bigotry and racism that goes without question but yet turn and cast contempt upon Mildred for trying to hold a flawed law enforcement system accountable. It adds a great sense of reflection to the film that questions some of the way our culture operates with our current political climate and how we approach holding law enforcement accountable, understanding the limits of free speech, and know how far we are willing to go to receive some level of justice. When it comes to filmmaking, the movie doesn’t hold back much either. The film is shot very well and has a very consistent look to the feel of the material. The pacing is very good and well thought-out, there was never a dull moment in the film. Lastly, the ending was very impactful, ambiguous, and leaves you with something to ponder. Some may finish the film lacking a feeling of closure, but this was clearly intentional and adds to a much greater impact to what the story is trying to say. Overall, I really loved the ending and thought it served the film well in its entirety. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is relevant, well made, and serves as a good hard look in the mirror for our culture. It feels like an incredibly well written screenplay that has been very well realized for the canvas of cinema. The performances are strong, the direction is moving, and the film itself is engaging up until the last second. This comes highly recommended from me, and I hope it bodes well for the awards season. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was released in November 2017 and remains in theatres. It runs 1hr and 55m and holds a rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

50 | focusOn Magazine


Profile for FocusON St. Charles County

FocusON St. Charles County Magazine - March/April 2018  

Publisher's Note: We’re delighted to bring you the 2018 spring issue of FocusOn St. Charles County Magazine. And to capture the springtime,...

FocusON St. Charles County Magazine - March/April 2018  

Publisher's Note: We’re delighted to bring you the 2018 spring issue of FocusOn St. Charles County Magazine. And to capture the springtime,...

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