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Business briefcase 3-9

Sunday, March 9, 2008

SIKESTON - Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a multi-county area job fair from noon until 5 p.m. March 12 at the Clinton Building.

CHARLESTON -- FOCUS Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Leah Caton, of the Sikeston branch facility, to assistant vice president.

Caton joined FOCUS Bank in November of 2001 as a teller. Caton is an active member of the Sikeston community and proudly supports many clubs and organizations.

SIKESTON -- The Small Business Development Center of Southeast Missouri State University will be conducting counseling sessions for area small business persons and individuals planning business ventures.

The counselor, Gil Degenhardt, will be available from 9 to 11 a.m. March 11 at the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce, One Industrial Drive. Call 573-

471-2498 for an appointment.

The counseling sessions (approximately one hour) are free of charge to persons taking advantage of the service.

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) represents a "Partnership for Economic Development" between Southeast Missouri State University, the U.S. Small Business Administration, local financial institutions, area utility companies and Southeast Missouri municipalities. The goal of the SBDC is to stimulate diversity and growth in the small business sector of the economy by assisting new and existing businesses to become more productive and more profitable.

Dennis Bible, married to former East Prairie resident Jennifer Bible, was recently recognized by AmerenUE. The City of Ladue, where Bible is the director of Public Works, received a letter thanking Bible for his help and support, saying he stands out among his peers in other municipalities.

Bible's spouse is the daughter of Mrs. Leo Allen of East Prairie and the late Leo Allen.

JEFFERSON CITY -- Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr announced the appointment of Morris Westfall as the Missouri State Director for USDA Rural Development.

"Morris Westfall brings a keen understanding of the economic, housing, business and infrastructure needs of the state's rural communities," Dorr said. "He has a distinguished and lengthy record of service to Missouri residents."

A resident of Halfway, Westfall served for more than a decade in the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives. He also served for 12 years as the State Executive Director of USDA's Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service. Westfall has been involved with the family farm for more than four decades. He received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Cott Corporation, the world's largest retailer brand beverage company, which has a Sikeston, Mo. plant, recently announced the introduction of Fortifido-brand fortified water for dogs. The product was made to capitalize on the growing trends in the $40 billion pet industry.

In the past 50 years, Cott has developed an extensive beverage business spanning 60 countries and reaching almost $2 billion in sales with most of the major retailers around the world.

Driving an innovation pipeline has recently become a core strategy for the company, as Cott endeavors to diversify channels, markets, and portfolio beyond carbonated soft drinks. Entrance into the $40 billion pet industry represents an important diversification move, which leverages existing core beverage production and distribution assets.

"Dogs are more than just pets, they are part of the family and owners want to make the same healthy choices for their pets as they make for their kids or other loved ones," said Dave Vautrin, vice president of marketing and innovation for Cott.

"Cott expects to develop this new category together with current and new retail partners." Vautrin added, "Our retail partners and our team at Cott are confident the concept has 'legs.'"

After nearly 18 months of research and development with top veterinarians and food scientists, combined with extensive qualitative and quantitative testing with both dogs and owners, Cott has blended its beverage experience with new science and performance to create the first major entrant into this category. Fortifido Water for Dogs comes in four functional varieties available in both 1-liter and 2-liter sizes.

For more information about Fortifido Fortified Water for Dogs, please call Cott Corporation at 888-260-3776.