Introduction of Michael Niedorff

Good morning. I am Benjamin Ola. Akande, Dean of the School of Business and Technology at Webster University. Welcome to our campus.

We are honored to have with us today Dr. Richard S. Meyers, President of Webster University. with us this morning is Dr Neil George, Executive Vice President Webster University. I also would like to acknowledge my colleagues Dean Debbie Carpenter of the School of Communications and Dean Peter Sargent of the Gerdine College of Fine Arts. Thank you.

We have invited you here to meet and share in the wisdom of Michael Neidorff, Chairman and CEO of Centene Corporation, a multi-line managed care organization located in the heart of clayton. Centene provides Medicaid and Medicaid-related programs and specialty services including behavioral health and treatment compliance to health care organizations all over the nation.

Just this week Centene completed the purchase of MediPlan Corporation. The transaction will combine approximately 13,000 Medicaid members in the Canton, Ohio market to the 58,000 members already covered by Centene's Buckeye Community Health Plan.

Centene has many reasons to celebrate lately including being named to Forbes Magazine's exclusive list of America's Best Big Companies and Forbes' list of Best Mid-Cap Stocks.

Michael represents a small dynamic group of entrepreneurs in america today, people driven by the urgency of making a difference, individuals with a sense of constructive impatience. He has helped shape the managed care industry by creating new health plans; growing one from zero members to 175,000 members and 3,000 providers. Michael has pursued every new venture with the passion and sense of conviction focused on making the industry better by providing the highest quality customer service.

This institution, admires the inate contributions of those possesed of an entrepreneurial drive to the extent that we recently launched a new Certificate in Entrepreneurship. At Webster University we recruit and attract students who come to webster with the creative energy and entrepreneurial-mind set ready and willing to absorb the knowledge and expertise of our dynamic faculty before they embark on their chosen career paths. The Certificate in Entrepreneurship is the result of collaboration between the School of Communications, the Gerdine College of Fine Arts and the School of Business and Technology. The response so far has been spectacular. It is my hope that these students will become the Michael Neidorff's of tomorrow.

Michael's commitments extend well beyond Centene Corportion. in addition, He is a member of the board of trustees at Webster and has given generously of himself and his resources to this institution because he believes in the transformational power of education. Michael also has found time to share his keen business acumen and insights with the St. Louis Symphony, the Boy Scouts of America, Grand Center, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Science Center, his beloved alma mater Trinity University in San Antonio and the National Children's Cancer Society.

Let it be known to all that may not know this simple, humble and compassionate person, that success for Michael Neidorff is not about wealth; for Michael, success is a journey measured in large part by the ability to lift others up, and to make life a meaningful and fulfilling experience for everyone he encounters. He is a blessed man and has continiously shared this blessing. He is as charitable as the air we breath and his generousity is done quietly and in many instances anonymously.

This is why we have extended an invitation to Michael as our success to significant speaker because he is not just successful but has made it his calling to make others significant.

So please join me in giving a warm welcome to a man of exceptional success, character and integrity, Michael Neidorff.