U.S. Small Business Institute

 Volunteers serving small businesses and charitable foundations...since 1985!        

Our Leadership Team

  The U.S. Small Business Institute (SBI) helps the Saint Louis Ambassadors '1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation' with their 18th. "A Taste of Italy', which raises funds for other worthy local charities.

  SBI leaders volunteer their time to help small businesses

and charitable foundations. In fact, from April 4, 1989 thru April 4, 2014 they and their group of members, supporters, donors and volunteers have raised just over $13M for 38 local non-profits...a true and untiring 'team effort!'

   Leadership by example is the only way to prove you believe in what you are doing, so 'help us help others'! 


Photo in 2010: (L/R)

Small Business Institute and 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation

President Rich Pisani with 1904 Foundation 'A Taste of Italy' Co-Chair

Fran Capra, VP - Archives Rob Mitchell, VP - Events Joanie Bengston,

Secretary/Treasurer & Legal Counsel Sean Clancy and our Chairman 

Cicardi Bruce.

  Rich Pisani the President of SBI, Cicardi Bruce the Chairman of SBI and Dave McNutt the President of Laclede Cab Co. and a small business advocate salute the efforts of all of the professionals at SBI

who volunteer their time to support small businesses and charitable foundations in the St. Louis Region.

  The three discussed a variety of new ways that SBI could become more active with their team of SBI 'Business Advisors' to supply more help to small business owners and charitable foundation leaders who need professional consulting, coaching and mentoring - at no charge - because they simply can't afford to pay an expert at this point in their history. 

Photo in 2005: (L/R)

SBI President Rich Pisani, SBI Chairman  Cicardi Bruce and Dave

McNutt the President of Laclede Cab

  SBI's leadership team continues to support the 'Annual Trip to the Governors Office' to meet with MO Governor Matt Blunt, Lieutenant

Governor Peter Kinder, MO State Representative Vicki Schneider, MO 

State Senator Chuck Gross and a host of other VIP's and political celebrities.

Photo in 2007: (includes):

MO Governor Matt Blunt, MO Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, MO State

Representative Vicki Schneider, MO Senator Chuck Gross, Dr. David

Campbell, Tom Ousley, Rich Pisani, Cicardi &  Susan  Bruce, Mark

Kasen, Dr. Jim Logan, Devin James, Regina Shapiro, and a host of

other  SBI  leaders, members, supporters and volunteers

  St. Louis County Executive presents a Proclamation to SBI leaders for the all-volunteer work the organization performs in the entire St. Louis Region, which now encompasses 15 counties in Missouri and Illinois, is home to 2.8M residents, houses 193K businesses, supports over 1K charitable foundations and is the 15th. largest economic engine in the United States. 

Photo in 2008: (L/R)

Sean P. Clancy - SBI Legal Counsel, Charlie A. Dooley

- St. Louis County Executive, Joan K. Bengston - SBI

Exec. VP of Events, Richard T. Pisani - SBI President

  SBI supports the American Cancer Society's planned giving division named the 'Heritage League Founders' that helped raise over $9.2M in a Charitable Remainder Trust' during its first three years to help researchers wipe out cancer.

Photo in 2004: (L/R)

Rich Pisani - President and holding Meagan who is

battling cancer, her brother Sean who is her steadfast

supporter and Cicardi Bruce - Chairman

  SBI garners support from Archbishop Justin Francis Rigali at 'A Taste of Italy' that benefited AMC Cancer Research for their 'breast cancer awareness' program. Rigali is now a Cardinal for the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy.

Photo in 2002: (L/R)

Cicardi Bruce - Chairman, Archbishop Justin Rigali and

Rich Pisani j- President

  SBI supports the dedication of the 'Hollywood Walk of Fame Star' dedication to our famous Wizard of Oz 'Munchkin, Mickey Carroll , who operated a small cemetery monument business in St. Louis until he sold it in 1995.

Photo in 2008: (Includes)

Wizard of Oz 'Munchkin' Mickey Carroll (C), Joanie

Bengston, Ralph Turney, Bob Bess, Barb O'Loughlin,

John Walsh, et al

  SBI supports Lou Brock, Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley with the dedication of the 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation's 'Time Capsule & Monument' in  the World's Fair Pavilion, which is located in  'Windows to the World' area.

Photo in 2006: (L/R)

St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay, Stacey Hovis, Cicardi

Bruce, Bob Krone, MLB 'Hall of Famer - 1984' Lou Brock

Carol Ann  Miller, Rich Pisani, St. Louis County Executive

Charlie A. Dooley, Dr. Jim Logan  and  John Walsh

  SBI supports the American Cancer Society's 'Annual Spirit of Health Awards Dinner'.

This event was staged annually to salute the local 'Top Doctors' in cancer research, raise funds for cancer research in the St. Louis Area and increase the monies donated to the American Cancer Society's 'Hope Lodge' that houses disadvantaged family members that are visiting their family members who are undergoing cancer treatment at the BJC Siteman Cancer Center.

Photo in 2001: (includes)

David Hatfield, Rich Pisani, Jenny Mahe, Gene

Tichacek, Cicardi Bruce, et al

  SBI supports the St. Louis University 'Symposium on International Business & Trade' by helping Dean Ellen Harshman of the St. Louis University 'John Cook School of Business' properly welcome Choi Young-Jon, the South Korean Ambassador to the United States.

Photo 2012: (L/R)

Mark Johnson, U.S. Ambassador from South Korean

Choi Young-Jon, Rich Pisani and Dean Ellen Harshman

 SBI and SBA supports the '6th. Annual International Trade Night' on May 7, 2014 at Saint Louis University in the Busch Center, which is the celebration of World Trade Month. Rich Pisani is a former adjunct professor at SLU and was the guest speaker at this prestigious event who gave a presentation to the 150 guests about the 250th. Birthday of the founding of the City of St. Louis and its entire region in 1764 by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau. 

Dr. Seung H. Kim (C) was honored for his 40th. Year Anniversary at Saint Louis University as their Director of the Boeing International Institute of Technology.

Photo: in 2014 (L/R)

Brad Reinhardt, Mrs  Seung Kim, Dr. Seung H. Kim,

Rachel Boone and Rich Pisani

  SBI supports the 'Lou Brock Scholarship Foundation Golf Classic' to help raise the needed funds that will assist qualified high school graduates continue with a college education.

Photo in 2007: (Includes)

MLB 'Hall of Famer - 1984' Lou Brock and

his wife Rev. Jackie Brock with Cicardi Bruce,

Rich  Pisani and the SBI leadership team

Emeritus: SBI 'Business Advisors'

Mr. Robert L. Harris

  • SBI: Co-Founder & First Chairman
  • Missouri State Bank: President
  • SBA: St. Louis District Advisory Board
  • StepUp! St. Louis: Chairman
  • Saint Louis Ambassadors: Board Member

Mr. Edward Bennett:

  • St. Louis Community College: Director - Continuing Education
  • SBI: Founding & Charter Member
  • Hendel's Market Café: Founder & President
  • Barn Deli: Founder & President
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Advisory Board
  • Born: 1959 - Passed 2009

Dr. Emery Turner:

  • St. Louis University: Dean - School of Business
  • University of MO-St. Louis - Interim Chancellor
  • University of Tulsa: Vice President
  • Fulbright Fellow: Taipei, Taiwan
  • University of Dubai: First Provost

Dr. Robert Brockhaus:


  • St. Louis University: Founding Director - Center for Entrepreneurship
  • St. Louis University: Emeritus Faculty
  • Kansas State University: Chair of Entrepreneurship
  • Who's Who in Finance and Industry
  • Who's Who: International Businessmen

Dr. Jerome Katz:

  • St. Louis University: Coleman Chair in Entrepreneurship
  • Billiken Angels Network: Director
  • Harvard University: Graduate School of Education
  • University of Memphis: Business
  • INC Magazine: Top Small Business Researcher
Ginni Campbell:

  • Saint Louis University: Small Business Development Center Director
  • Campbell Consulting Group: Founder & President
  • Squires & Ladies Charitable Foundation: Advisory Board
  • Squires & Ladies 'Cinderella Ball' Award Winner
  • Small Business Institute: Business Advisor

SBI 'Small Business Council'

  Ralph Turney, the current Chairman of our SBI 'Small Business Council' and the President of the Saint Louis Ambassadors in 2005, joins St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay. The two men were saluting the efforts of SBI volunteers for their untiring work with small businesses and charitable foundations in the St. Louis Region. Over 732K individuals volunteer their time annually in our metro area, which ranks us #9 in the U.S. in terms of ranking time donated to 'community service.'

  It takes leadership from the top of every organization to propel an idea, concept, product or service. And, with talented teammates that have an agreed-to short term action strategy and a long term operating plan they can 'make it all happen' for the business or charity.

Photo in 2005: (L/R)

Ralph Turney, SBI 'Small Business

Council' Chairman, with St. Louis

City Mayor and the Saint Louis

Ambassador Chairman, Francis Slay

SBI 'Small Business Council'
Business Advisory Board ~
(in alphabetical order and click on name for LinkedIn profile of website information)

John C. Barrett

  • Tec-Marketing: Marketing Manager/Telemarketing Firm
  • Toastmasters: Vice President of Membership
  • CAD Reprographics: Regional Sales Manager
  • APRIME: Independent Consultant
  • CARLSON: Director of Business Development
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Member

Rachel Boone

  • Southern Illinois University - Carbondale: BFA; Graphic Design 
  • Graphic Design Experience: SIUC; CERF Bros.; Freelance Designer
  • TriLeaf Design: Founder & President 2009 to present
  • Woman's Day St. Louis: Board: Promoting Woman Entrepreneurship
  • Referral Institute: member teach lead generation thru live referral
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Advisors
  • 2009 JCI Award:  'St. Louis Socially Responsible Business Award'

Susan Bruce

  • Private Investor: Real Estate, Stocks & Mutual Funds
  • TWA: Airline Pilot  
  • Professional Tennis Player 
  • American Marketing Group, Inc.: Advisory Board
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Executive Board
  • Saint Louis Ambassadors: Advisory Board

H. Stephen Caby

  • University of Missouri - Rolla: Masters in Engineering Management  
  • Olin Corporation: Engineering - Plant Management & Union Negotiations
  • American Marketing Group, Inc.: Senior VP (1980 - present)
  • Saint Louis Ambassadors: Board of Directors
  • Step Up! St. Louis: Executive Board
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): St. Louis Advisory Board
  • Small Business Institute: Sr. Business Advisor

Wm. Michael Clayton

  • Southeast MO State University: Political Science
  • Xerox Corporation: Area Sales Representative
  • American Marketing Group, Inc.: Executive VP (1981 - present)
  • Saint Louis Ambassadors: Board of Directors
  • Step Up! St. Louis: Executive Board
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): St. Louis Advisory Board
  • Small Business Institute: Sr. Business Advisor 

Nikki Gentry

  •  Southern Illinois University - Carbondale: Marketing
  • Cornerstone Financial Group: Sales Manager
  • St. Louis Business Alliance: Marketing
  • C ARSTAR: Field Marketing Manager
  • Internet Marketing Co.: Project Manager
  • Dreamlines: Founder & President
  • Worldpay: Marketing Executive
Kevin Harrman

  • Bridges for Education: Founder & President
  • XinXiang, Henan, China: Spoken English Educator
  • Applebees International: Restaurant Manager
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Historian
  • University of Missouri-Columbia: BA/History
  • Loyola University in Chicago: Masters in Arts

Seneca Hinds

  • Iconic Magazine: Founder & President
  • IT Expert: Web & App Developer
  • PHP Developer: Blayzer
  • Internet Radio: Founder & Show Host
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Advisory Board

  • University of Minnesota: International Business
  • OppenheimerFunds: Regional VP N. Central Region 
  • SportsmansResourceConnection.com: Founder & President
  • Wealth Resource Connection, LLC: Founder & President
  • Safari Club International Foundation: Nat'l Fundraising Com.
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Executive Board
  • Roman Butler Fullerton & Company: Wealth Advisor

Jim Jump

  • Lindenwood University: Professor of Economics
  • Walter's Walk Counseling Center: Vice Chairman
  • LUTV Show Host: 'Business Roundtable' with Jim Jump
  • American Marketing Group, Inc.: Sr. Advisor
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Advisory Board

Wayne Kaufman

  • United States Army: Vietnam Veteran 'Bronze Star'; 1968 -1971
  • REK Industries: Kaufman Brothers Operated; 1971-1990
  • National Association of Remodeling: Certified & Past Board Member
  • St. Louis Remodeling Association: Past President
  • United Homecraft: Vice President; 1990 - 2008
  • Independent Construction Consultant: 2008-present
  • Rotary Club: Past President - St. Louis (Ferguson) Chapter
  • Asthma & Allergy Foundation: Past President - St. Louis Chapter
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Advisor & Veterans Affairs Chairman

Angela Lieb

  • Century 21: Franchise Business Consultant
  • Regus: Director of Retail Concepts
  • OffiStart Business Centers: Founder & President
  • HQ Business Centers: Center Manager
  • City of Experts: Co-Founder
  • Webster University: Adjunct Professor
Dr. James Logan

  • Dr. of Chiropractic: Class of 1978 - Logan College 
  • Logan Racing: First Indy 500 Race Team 'Minority Owner'
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Car & Motorcycle Show Chairman
  • Racing to Read Charitable Foundation: Founder & Chairman
  • Honorable Order of the 'Kentucky Colonels': Commissioned by the Governor of KY
  • Key to the City: Greensboro, North Carolina

Richard J. Mueller

  • Wright Associates: General Partner
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): St. Louis Advisory Board 
  • St. Louis 'Small Business Coalition' (SBC): St. Louis, Missouri
  • Saint Louis Ambassadors: Board of Directors
  • Step Up! St. Louis: Past President
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Past Advisory Board Member
  • American Marketing Group, Inc.: Advisory Board (2005 - present)
  • FranSelect, Founder & Current Chairman
John Parker

  • College football coach for 25 years: Nicknamed 'The Coach'
  • NFL free agent: Seattle Seahawks
  • Charter Communications: 'Prime Time Sports' show host
  • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Board Member
  • Talent Plus Agency: Professional Speaker & Emcee
  • USA Today & St. Louis Post Dispatch: Freelance Sports Writer
  • Author: 'The Compartmentalized Life'
  • Parker Communications: Founder & President

Jeff Peters

  • Gateway LED Solutions, LLC: Founder & Partner
  • Sheraton Hotel in Clayton: Director of Sales
  • Interstate Hotels & Resorts: Director of Sales
  • Wyndham Hotels & Resorts: Director of Sales
  • Adams Mark Hotel: Manager
  • Southern Illinois University: BS/BA - Marketing

Jeanne Savel

  • Energy Petroleum Co.: Commercial Fuel Sales Specialist
  • American Brain Tumor Assoc.: Past Vice President
  •  Foodiestl: Fundraising Coordinator
  •  St. Louis Fall Festival: Founder & Chair
  •  St. Louis Transportation Club: Secretary
  •  1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Advisory Board

  • Samuel Solomon

    • Missouri Baptist University: Major in Business & Pre-Law
    • Gateway Learning Society: Chairman & Overseer
    • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Advisor & Sister Cities Chairman
    • The Missouri Adoption Exchange: Advisory Board Member
    • St. Louis - Georgetown, Guyana Sister Cities: Chairman
    • Diesel Gas Systems International: Co-Founder & CEO
    • Southern Hemisphere Consulting: Executive Trustee

    Joe Thibeault

    • Lindenwood University: BBA in Business & Management
    • Missouri Tech: Electrical & Electronics Engineering
    • Insurance Store, Inc.: Licensed Insurance Agent
    • Charter Communications: Project Manager & Trainer
    • MCI WorldCom: Custom Circuit Designer
    • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Advisory Board

    Brandon Twitty

    • Dead Inventory Management System, LLC: President
    • Mark Andy: Service Engineer
    • Outlet Machinery: Systems Engineer
    • Corporal: Electrical Equipment Specialist
    • Launch Code: Computer Science Developer
    • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Member

    John P. Walsh

    • St. Louis Data Destruction: Founder & President
    • Screens On-Site, LLC: Founder & President
    • 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation: Executive Board
    • Responder Rescue: Advisory Board
    • Cottleville Fire Protection District: Chairman of the Board
    • The Adoption Exchange: Advisory Board
    • St. Louis Community College: Speaker & Guest Lecturer

    Our Legislative & Media Support

        Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, appoints Frank J. Meyer, as a 'Commissioner' of the MO Quality Home Care Council, as well as recognizes his efforts by volunteering his time to help the Small Business Institute (SBI) with small businesses and charitable foundations.

        Frank Meyer was a very active entrepreneur for over 30 years as a real estate investor in over one hundred residential properties that were located in Western, New York. In order to give his children a better education, he relocated to St. Louis, MO in 1978 with his family and started another small business in the specialty construction arena making commercial window systems energy efficient. After being an  independent and very successful entrepreneur for over three decades he was accidentally disabled on July 18, 1994. A brain stem hemorrhage left him immobile and wheel-chair bound for the rest of his natural life. After his injury and partial rehabilitation Frank had a question to answer and a very big decision to make. Should he stay off of main street America and out of the small business arena that he was familiar with or assist and help others in the U.S. who have to deal with physical disadvantages like he does 24/7.  He decided to help others!


    Photo: (L - R)         


    1st. Lady of MO G. W. Nixon, Lisa Range, 

    Commissioner Frank Meyer and Missouri

    Governor Jay Nixon.

       As a community-minded citizen, disability consultant and small business advocate, Frank volunteers his time with a variety of non-profits to help others, which include the Saint Louis 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation, U.S. Small Business Institute, American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, St. Louis Cathedral, Second Presbyterian Church,  Lewis & Clark Institute and KETC TV-9. He also is an author and a major 

    contributor to Ezine.com and ArticlesBase.com.  He eagerly volunteers his time to help his peers that deal with on-going disabilities by 

    launching the 'Association of Disabled Volunteers of America' and you can help him by donating funds to GoFundMe to cover his direct expenses only, so Frank can continue to help those with physical disabilities.

    Honorable Vicki Schneider

    • Women Business Enterprise owner (WBE): Certified 
    • Schneider Construction Services - President: 1980 - present
    • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): St. Louis Advisory Board 
    • U.S. Small Business Institute: Political Affairs Chairman
    • St. Louis 'Small Business Coalition': Advisory Board 
    • Missouri State Representative - District 17: Served 4 two year terms
    • Missouri State Senate - District 2: Candidate 2014
    • 1996 & 1998 Woman of the Year: Leukemia Society

    Photo in 2006:

    MO State Rep., Vicki Schneider 
    and currently a candidate for MO
    State Senate salutes the U.S. 
    Small Business Institute for their
    efforts by volunteering time to 
    help small businesses and 
    charitable foundations...at no 

    LUTV 'Roundtable Discussion with Jim Jump'   

      Lindenwood University TV Anchor & Host, Jim Jump, celebrates his 10th. Anniversary with Cicardi Bruce

    Rich Pisani  in October of 2013 as host of the LUTV 'Business Roundtable with Jim Jump', which was launched in 2003.

     Jim and his guests discussed the topic of franchising whereby a small business can expand into a big business one day. In 1954 Ray Kroc opened his one franchise location in Chicago, IL. with nine

    employees and averaged 68 customers a day. In 2014 the chain now has over 34,000 locations, nearly 2 million employees and serves over 68M customers per day. "David became Goliath" and created the 'fast food industry' because of franchising.



    Photo in 2013: (L - R)

    Cicardi Bruce, Rich Pisani with Professor Jim Jump the News 

    Anchor for the Lindenwood University TV (LUTV) 'Business 

    Roundtable" show discussing franchising in America.