The Richard A. King Award

The Richard A. King Award honors the memory of one of MEDFA’S founding and most dedicated members, Richard (Dick) King. As a development attorney, Dick was at the forefront of Missouri’s development tools and often paved the way for innovative applications of those tools in order to achieve goals.

MEDFA honors Dick’s memory each by presenting the “Richard King Award” to a person, company, project, or municipality who, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, has made a significant contribution to economic development in the state of Missouri. The award winner is recognized each year at the Annual Conference.

Congratulations to James E. Mello (Jim), MEDFA’s 2020 Richard King Award Recipient!

Jim Mello is a senior member of Armstrong Teasdale’s Public Finance practice group focused on public law. A primary part of his practice involves private-public development projects and governmental finance. His insights into the complex and changing world of public finance and knowledge of federal, state, and local governments allow him to provide clients with sound business advice.

As counsel to municipalities, development entities, small manufacturers, nonprofit organizations, and investment banking firms, Jim structures deals to finance cash flow borrowings, infrastructure projects, redevelopment projects, and other projects. His work has resulted in the financing or refinancing of many public/private projects including retail shopping centers, business headquarters, and manufacturing facilities.

In addition to his transactional practice, Jim has significant municipal law and public finance litigation experience. In actions relating to tax increment financing, zoning, and finance, he serves as trial and appellate counsel to parties through all phases of governmental litigation. Read Jim Mello’s Full Bio>>

Past Richard A. King Award Winners 

2007 – Kay Barnes, Former Mayor of Kansas City, MO
2008 – City of St. Joseph, Triumph Foods Project
2009 – Karen Messerli, Mayor of Lee’s Summit, MO
2010 – Mike White, Chairman, White Goss Attorneys at Law
2011 – Rob O’Brien, President, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce
2012 – Denny Coleman, President, St. Louis County Economic Council
2013 – Sallie Hemenway, Dir. Business & Community Svs, MO DED
2014 – Patrick Bannister, Deputy Exec Director, St. Louis Dev Corp.
2015 – Mark Grimm, Shareholder, Gilmore & Bell, P.C.
2016 – Mike Downing, Director, Missouri DED
2017 – Doug Stone, Attorney, Lewis Rice
2018 – Otis Williams, Executive Director, St. Louis Development Corporation
2019 – William B. Moore, Attorney, Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, P.C.


NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2020 AWARD CLOSED ON SEPTEMBER 4, 2020.

Awards Criteria

Nominees MUST display one or more of the following characteristics:
1. Dedication to the promotion of economic development in Missouri
2. Creative and innovative use of Missouri development tools
3. Noteworthy achievement in economic development in Missouri

Richard King Award Nomination Form