North County Incorporated celebrated Chancellor Tom George’s 16 years of inspired leadership during its 42nd annual Leadership Breakfast on May 10 at the Marriott St. Louis Airport Hotel, honoring him with one of the regional development association’s Public Service Leadership Awards.
North County Inc. President and CEO Rebecca Zoll read off a list of accomplishments attached to George during his tenure at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, which will come to an end when he retires effective Sept. 1.
Zoll mentioned the $150 million in new construction and renovation that took place on UMSL’s campus during George’s time as chancellor as well as the awards bestowed upon him by other civic organizations such as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Missouri State Celebration Commission, St. Louis County branch of the NAACP, Greater North County Chamber of Commerce, North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice and Christian Hospital.
What really got the crowd in the ballroom buzzing, though, was when Zoll got to the part about George’s standing as a jazz pianist who has performed all around the United States and in China and Siberia.
Zoll also shared UMSL alumnus and retired Express Scripts CEO and Chairman George Paz’s words about the chancellor. At George’s retirement announcement in March, Paz pointed out the chancellor’s “passion for the students and propelling the school forward and making sure that this is a world-class organization developing the leaders for tomorrow.”
“As Tom retires, he leaves a legacy for the college and for this community,” Zoll concluded. “Thank you, Tom.”
George’s recognition was not the only way UMSL was represented at this year’s leadership breakfast. The university is also one of North County Inc.’s partners in its new True North campaign, which promotes the authentic stories of the many diverse communities and people that make up the northern part of the St. Louis metropolitan region.
“It was gratifying to earn this recognition from our partners at North County Inc., not only for myself but for the university,” George said. “As we continue to strive toward fulfilling our mission as a public research university and an anchor institution in the region, we look forward to doing our part in promoting the True North effort and offering our own unique, diverse contributions to life in North County.”
The True North effort is led by North County Inc. as part of its mission to foster growth and development in the county.
“It is an honest look at North County, to reveal the great things people don’t know about our area, to own our history and embrace our future, to show that we are resilient and we are strong,” Zoll said. “True North is a place to make a difference. It’s a place to give back and be part of something bigger. This campaign is aspirational and inspirational, acknowledging our challenges and making a memorable mark.”
Zoll also singled out the Community Innovation and Action Center’s collaboration with the Saint Louis Zoo to “assist with determining educational opportunities, needs and wants that the zoo can help with in our broader North County area.”