This past year was filled with big ideas and even bigger achievements. As we enter 2023, I’m reminded of the importance of hard work, human connection, and building our society back better. I’m humbled to see how much growth has happened throughout my 38-year tenure at Clayco and the remarkable impact on the communities where we have built projects across the country.
Clayco has evolved from a company I established as a college dropout into an industry powerhouse. The best part of our work is the impact our team has had helping our clients along their journey and watching our team members achieve their goals.
With each of our developments and initiatives, we ensure that what happens inside the buildings is always more significant than the brick-and-mortar work. Our team accomplishes so much together in business, for our families, and neighborhoods. We’ve had many transformative opportunities to make a difference with scholarship programs, internships, foundation research, innovative projects, and more.
Clayco Keeps Growing
Clayco has been back in the office collaborating since the vaccines became available. We are NOT participating in the great resignation OR the recession. We urge C-suite leaders of American businesses to get their teams back IN THE OFFICE. Collaborating and growing together makes the USA the most productive economy in the world.
Most of America is just realizing what we have seen coming for a while – an unbelievable transformation of the business landscape in our country. The Infrastructure bill, CHIPS and Science Act, and the IRA will pour investments into a sustainable economy full of blockbuster industrial growth in logistics, manufacturing, hyper-scale data centers, and new ways and locations of living that will bring decades of good jobs to our country.
Clayco facilitates innovation not only through our structures but through the creation of opportunities for underserved demographics and regions. Whether it is inspiring the next generation of builders with scholarships at Penn State, supporting the arts through the third class of Future Leaders in the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Fellowship program, or any of our inclusion initiatives such as Clayco NOW and CCDI, our mission is to provide resources and possibilities to communities that otherwise may not have access.
Starting the year serving as the White House appointed United States Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai introduced me to a tremendous number of people, experiences, and new concepts. After returning to the U.S., I wanted to keep immersing myself in global relations and was given an incredible opportunity to join the campaign for the 2027 Minnesota Expo bid. I am now co-chair with my good friend Marc Lore for the specialized “Healthy People, Healthy Planet” themed expo, which would be the first World’s Fair on American soil in almost 40 years. Minnesota would provide a great platform to advance the UN’s sustainability goals for good health and well-being.
My foundation goals and aspirations are taking shape and we were able to support SCAD, the St. Louis County Library enabling The Clark Family Branch, the Obama Scholars, the University of Chicago, Loyola of Chicago, After School Matters and many others.
2022 was also a great year for the advancement of RVCL research. Illumination was a record-breaking gala for the Clayco Foundation this past October, and Penn Medicine’s RVCL Research Center, led by Jonathan Miner, MD, Ph.D., has been recognized as a national leader pushing research forward faster than ever before.
I also attended the Aspen Ideas Festival and the Aspen Security Forum, an annual conference in Colorado where domestic and foreign government officials, business executives, leading academics, and journalists gather to discuss solutions to critical national security and foreign policy challenge.
A Bright Year Ahead
While it may look like I’m careening from one thing to the next and bouncing off the walls, I assure you I have been more focused and strategic than ever, and I feel like my rehearsal is almost over and now we can really get going. Our most productive and impactful years are ahead. Stay Tuned.
I wish everyone a very happy new year and for 2023 to be another era of transformation!
Stay Safe. Be Strong. Keep Innovating, and don’t forget WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!