Sweeney environmental shot

Business Development

Sheila Sweeney Among Region’s Most Influential Leaders

She Will Be Recognized at a Luncheon on Aug. 11

Sheila Sweeney, who serves as chief executive officer of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, has been selected by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the Most Influential Business Women in the St. Louis region.

The honorees were chosen from nearly 200 nominations.  The group includes accomplished business leaders from a wide range of industries throughout the region. The recipients also have distinguished records of public service.

Profiles of each award winner will appear in the Business Journal on Aug. 11. They will be honored during an annual luncheon that same day at the St. Louis Marriott Grand Hotel (800 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, 63101).

Sweeney, who was named CEO of the Partnership in September 2015, spent more than 20 years as a St. Louis County Port Authority board member. She also served as the St. Louis County Economic Council’s board chair from 2005-13 and Partnership’s board chair in 2014.

Sweeney leads all aspects of economic development in St. Louis City and County. She was a driving force behind the united city/county effort to win the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s West Campus for the City of St. Louis, a $1.7 billion project on the near north side. She also led the competitive attraction of Pfizer’s new $200+ million research and development center in Chesterfield.

Recognizing St. Louis’s unique leadership position in the AgTech sector with the highest concentration of plant science PhDs in the world and many leading multinational corporations and world-class research operations headquartered in the region, Sweeney was instrumental in establishing the 39 North innovation district. The district capitalizes on the strong AgTech sector in the St. Louis region by creating a collaborative environment that promotes innovation and attracts top talent from around the globe.

In 2016, Sweeney and the Partnership also played a key role in helping TransLux, a global manufacturer of scoreboards and jumbotrons, bring manufacturing jobs from China back to St. Louis with a $2.3 million manufacturing line in Hazelwood and 100 expected jobs. Additionally, Sweeney and the Partnership collaborated with the Boeing Company to help bring construction of the 777x wing to the firm’s center in North St. Louis County and hundreds of jobs to the area.

A longtime real estate developer, Sweeney founded S.M. Sweeney & Co. She served as its president before moving to the Partnership full-time.

Sweeney’s list of public service includes nearly 10 years as a board member for the Society for the Blind & Visually Impaired and more than 20 active years with the United Way. In 2016, she was honored as Mentor of the Year by the Center for Women in Transition.