Our 3 all-volunteer groups support
their internet based radio station and newspapers!
50 Years of History in 2015!
St. Louis City Mayor Alfonso J. Cervantes launched the Saint Louis Ambassadors as its Founder & Honorary Chairman on October 28, 1965, which is the same day that the construction of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial was completed. The spellbinding ‘St. Louis Arch’ had finally arrived and our metropolitan area became proudly ordained as the ‘Gateway to the West’. Mayor Cervantes quickly garnered support from a very diverse group of men and women who were considered staunch supporters of the City of St. Louis. Two local businessmen, Cicardi A. Bruce and Ralph Turney, were among the first to be selected as Founding Charter Members of the Mayors new all-volunteer organization that would become prominently known as the finest advocate of ‘community service and goodwill’ in the City of St. Louis. The goal was to promote the ‘Gateway to the West’city as a great place to live, work and start a new business…and that they did!
Effective November 5, 1985 the Saint Louis Ambassadors (SLA) helped establish the Small Business Coalition of Missouri (SBC), which was originally designed as an 'advocacy group' that launched a campaign called 'Keep the SBA Alive!'. Congress was proposing to eliminate the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which is a branch of the U.S. Government that made loans to small businesses. President Ronald Reagan asked Congress to 'downsize...not eliminate' the SBA, which is finally what happened. The SBA would no longer make direct loans, but they where rewired to guarantee bank loans for small business start-ups and growth firms that would help create new jobs across our country. After the SBC Honorary Chairman, Jack Buechner, became a U.S. Congressman in 1987 he updated the SBC name to the U.S. Small Business Institute (SBI), which continues to 'provide consulting, coaching and mentoring to small businesses and charitable foundations that need help...at no charge.'
On March 14, 2002 the Saint Louis Ambassadors started a new public 501 (c) (3) charity that was established to reach out beyond the city limits of St. Louis and include the entire bi-state region in both Missouri and Illinois. They named this non-profit the 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation (1904) and launched it at the top of the Chase Hotel with nearly one thousand attendees. Leading the effort was MO Governor Bob Holden, St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive "Buzz" Westfall, Archbishop Justin Rigali with TV 4 News Anchors Julius Hunter & Vickie Newton. The keynote speaker was Frank Ferrara, the President of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, who enthusiastically supported the foundations objective and read a Proclamation from Governor Holden appointing Cicardi A. Bruce as Chairman and Richard T. Pisani as President of the newly formed charity. Their goal was to organize an all-volunteer and diverse group of individuals from the entire Bi-State Region to host and co-host events to celebrate the ‘100 Year Anniversary’ of the 1904 World’s Fair & III Olympics throughout 2004 in Forest Park. Then, once that mission was successfully completed, the group was requested to continue and raise funds for the Forest Park ‘beautification program’, the St. Louis Zoo ‘special projects’ and other local charities, which continues to this very day.
By 2008 the 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation had built the most impressive Honorary Board in our region. Plus, the charity had developed into a very exceptional public relations arm for the Saint Louis Ambassadors and had expanded the original ‘community service and goodwill’ mission to always include the City of St. Louis and added its 15 surrounding counties. The foundation now has over 1,200 volunteers and a multitude of groups as partners that help it promote the entire St. Louis Metropolitan Area, which is now the 19th largest economic engine in the U.S. with 2.8M residents, 193K businesses and over one thousand charities.
To participate as a volunteer in the Saint Louis Ambassadors and/or the U.S. Small Business Institute as a volunteer committee chair or advisory board member you must be a member of the 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation…the annual dues are a mere $19.04. Please feel free to contact our Chairman, Cicardi Bruce, at 314-941-0779 (c) or our President, Rich Pisani, at 314-952-2640 (c) any time to set up a meeting to see how you can help as a volunteer, chair or co-chair a committee or become an advisory board member.
Effective 2015 the new mission of the Saint Louis Ambassadors will be ‘to continue as an all-volunteer group of diverse individuals, move forward as a symbolic group of civic leaders and promote volunteerism, community pride and goodwill throughout the entire St. Louis Region.’ We will do this by spreading the word using the Saint Louis Ambassadors, U.S. Small Business Institute and 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation 50 member 'Speakers Bureau' and their internet based newspapers and radio station.
On 1-3-15 the Saint Louis Ambassadors merged with its two related organizations, which are the U.S. Small Business Institute and the 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation, launched the ‘Community Through Unity’ campaign. This effort will be led by our Sr. VP & ‘Community Affairs Committee’ Chair, Dr. Jim Logan, our SLA ‘Regional Affairs Council’ Chair, Rick Stream, our ‘Advisory Committee Chair, Rachel Hankerson, and our ‘Communications Director’, John Parker. Joining this team on May 4, 2015 is MO State Rep, Tommie Pierson, who is the Pastor of the Greater St. Mark Family Church and our new Honorary Chairman of the new Ferguson, USA ‘Hot Talk Radio’ station was launched on March 1, 2015 as an internet based radio station with newscaster, Robert Namer, and podcasts from CNN of the Michael Browne & Darren Wilson saga at Pastor Pierson's church. Additionally, radio and TV personality, Mark Kasen, has been elected as the Ferguson, USA Radio Station Manager, along with Fran Capra who is the new radio stations Executive Producer. This team will assist Dr. T.R. Carr who is a board member of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, the St. Louis County Police Commission and the Ferguson Commission. Our goal is to help Dr. Carr implement the STL Positive Change plan, which will be aired on our new Ferguson, USA radio station, written about in our internet based newspapers and personally presented to 300+ groups through our Saint Louis Ambassadors ‘Speakers Bureau.’ Our goal is to “help ease racial tensions and promote St. Louis as a good, safe, harmonious place to live, be educated and conduct business.” Our newspapers, radio station and speakers bureau will work together to spread the word throughout the St. Louis Bi-State Region.
On August 9, 2015 and as a response to the Ferguson Commissions and our Community Through Unity findings, Mark Kasen, the General Manager of the new Ferguson, USA 'Hot Talk Radio' officially launched the station with a 'grand opening' at the Greater St. Mark Family Church in Ferguson, which is located in St. Louis, Missouri, USA The internet-based station switched it static format to 'live, call-in and talk radio' so show hosts and co-hosts can cover specific topics and listeners can call in to comment...from around the globe! Kasen's first group of guests included Rich Pisani, Jim Berger, Tommie Pierson, Bob Williams, LaTeacha Tigue, John Parker and Dr. James Logan with callers and comments coming from listeners in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego California, USA, plus cities in Western Europe. On hand that weekend to salute the radio debut team was U.S. Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, Jr., MO Attorney General Chris Koster (candidate for MO Governor) and MO State Rep Tommie Pierson (candidate for MO Lt. Governor).
Thank you for taking the time to read this information! If you have interest in being a member of our organizations (Saint Louis Ambassadors, U.S. Small Business Institute or the 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation) please contact our President, Rich Pisani, at 314-952-2640. To become a columnist for our newspapers (Saint Louis Sun, The Trinity Tribune or the St. Louis Globe-Democrat) contact John Parker at 314-363-1102 or [email protected] Or, if you would like to be a host, co-host or regular guest on our radio station (Ferguson, USA 'Hot Talk Radio) simply contact our radio station General Manager, Mark Kasen, who can be reached at 314-609-0666 or at his email address [email protected] Feel free to call Mark Kasen 'on the air' from Monday thru Friday between 10 am and noon at 314-388-9622 or listen at www.hottalkfm.com.
Cicardi A. Bruce Richard T. Pisani