Bi-State Development (BSD) announced that President and CEO John Nations has been recognized by Construction Forum STL with a 2016 Building Tomorrow award. Presented by Construction Forum STL’s President Joe Blanner at the organization’s second annual awards luncheon in St. Louis October 21st, Nations received the award for Regional Unity. The award specifically honors Nations for his role as a long time champion of regionalism, job growth, and economic development.
Among Nation’s accomplishments highlighted was his role in leading the effort that resulted in the rebirth of the Chesterfield Valley after the flood of 1993, considered to be a model of TIF development. While in his third term as mayor of Chesterfield, he was enlisted by BSD to lead the 2010 St. Louis County campaign to fund public transportation, and delivered a landslide victory with more than 63 percent of the vote. The campaign has been described as one of the best civic collaborations in 50 years. He was then recruited to head BSD, which has thrived under his leadership.
Nations is the top official at Bi-State Development which operates five different enterprises that all are aimed at promoting economic development and improving the quality of life in the St. Louis region. The most well-known enterprise, the Metro public transit system, has become a national leader in efficiency and maintenance reliability, and has been recognized in 2016 as a national model for transit asset management. Another BSD enterprise, St. Louis Downtown Airport, is the third busiest airport in Illinois and the second busiest general aviation airport in the bi-state region. It has an economic impact of nearly $600 million to the region. BSD’s tourism enterprise is credited with generating $258 million a year for the local economy through visitors to the Gateway Arch, the Gateway Arch Riverfront attractions and surrounding businesses. One of BSD’s newer enterprises, the St. Louis Regional Freightway, is moving at record speed to put the St. Louis region at the forefront of the national freight and logistics revolution and is credited with forging unprecedented cooperation and collaboration between public and private entities in Missouri and Illinois. Nations also established the Bi- State Research Institute to develop focused data platforms to aid regional planning and investment decisions. In less than a year, it has successfully attracted more than $1.5 million in grant awards for projects including a mobile health clinic program which will launch next year.
In commenting on the special honor bestowed upon him, Nations talked about his love for St. Louis, which he is honored to serve and he strongly believes is the most resilient city in the United States.
“Right now, we are in the midst of a transformative, revolutionary time. St. Louis is perfectly positioned to be the key place in the nation,” said Nations. “We work on promoting our strategic location with regard to freight and logistics which is one of our top priorities. We provide accessibility through our Metro public transit system. Every day, in a variety of ways, I like to say we keep the St. Louis region moving forward. I am one of those optimistic guys about St. Louis. I love this town and I love the people. The people are its greatest strength. I really look forward to a city that is living up to its promise and continues to make great advancements in the 21st century.”
Nations practiced law in St. Louis for 22 years prior to joining Bi-State Development and had a sophisticated practice of business law, land use, zoning, economic incentives, and related fields. He has been – and continues to be – associated with many civic organizations. Nations received his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and his Law Degree from Saint Louis University.
About Bi-State Development
Bi-State Development (BSD) is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; 391 MetroBus vehicle fleet that operates on 77 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 120 vans. BSD also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center and Gateway Arch trams. BSD also operates the Bi-State Development Research Institute and the St. Louis Regional Freightway, the region’s freight district.