Southeast to Salute Outstanding St. Louis Alumni


by News Bureau on Thursday, Sep. 06, 2012

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 6, 2012 — The Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association will recognize five Southeast alumni from the St. Louis area at the 12th annual “Southeast Salutes” celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Ces and Judy’s, 10405 Clayton Road in St. Louis.

All alumni, spouses and friends are encouraged to attend. Registration is open, but space is limited. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, and a cash bar will be available. The cost is $10 per person, and reservations can be made through the Southeast alumni website, or by calling the University’s Alumni Relations office, (573) 651-2259.

The 11th annual celebration will honor Sherri Cliffe, owner and president of Cliffedge Marketing; Dr. Rich Hunter, president of the Hunter Research Group in St. Louis; Dale R. Joerling, attorney and partner at Thompson, Coburn, LLP, in St. Louis; Don Maurer, director of athletics at Mary Institute-St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS); and Gary Zide, retired senior staff vice president for Home Shows and Special Projects with the Home Builders Association of Greater St. Louis.

The St. Louis Chapter of the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association created Southeast Salutes in 2001 to honor outstanding alumni from the St. Louis area who have brought distinction to themselves and to the University through career and community achievements.

Sherri CliffeCliffe, a 1977 graduate of Southeast where she earned a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies, was a founding member of the Southeast campus radio station, KRCU.

As owner and president of Cliffedge Marketing, a sports marketing and events company, Cliffe works with the St. Louis Cardinals, Rams and Blues and the Chicago White Sox and Cubs. She creates and implements “touch the consumer” programs such as “Run the Bases,” “Ice Cream Sunday’s,” “Breakfast in the Bullpen,” “Babies Race to the Base,” “Nurses Day at the Ballpark” and “Legends on the Field.” Cliffe has raised more than $250,000 for cause marketing efforts supporting breast cancer research and area children’s hospitals.

She is the former marketing director of the Magic HouseᾰSt. Louis Children’s Museum, director of CBS Infinity Promotions Group, former KSHE disc jockey and Y98 FM news announcer. She was also the on-camera host of children’s programming for KETC public television. She writes, produces and voices her own radio and television commercials, including in-dome announcing for the Cardinals and Rams.

A member of Tri Delta Sorority, Cliffe says her Southeast education was pivotal to her success today. 

“Before attending Southeast, I didn’t understand or realize what my talents really were, but Southeast taught me how to mold them into a great profession,” she said.

She has been an active member of the St. Louis Attractions Association for the past 13 years, serving on the board for seven years and as president from 2002-2003. She is also past president and currently serving as chairman of the board of the St. Louis Area Food Brokers Association. She served on the board of the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club from 2005-2009. Cliffe is vice president of the Development Board of Children’s Miracle Network and is a member of the St. Louis Women’s Forum. She is state certified as a Women Minority Business Owner.

Cliffe and her husband of 32 years, Mick, have two children, Ryan and Jessica, and live in St. Louis, Mo.

Dr. Rich HunterHunter is a 1971 graduate of Southeast, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in both history and theatre. He has served as a management and research consultant to both the private and public sectors of business for nearly three decades.

In management, Hunter has assisted a broad range of corporate entities in matters of board governance and strategic planning along with conducting and evaluating internal corporate campaigns. In research, Hunter provides both quantitative and qualitative research services to service-intensive industries, such as healthcare, utilities and telecommunications, regarding new product testing and service evaluation.

After graduating from Southeast, Hunter earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology and a doctorate in communication, both from The Ohio University. He also holds a master’s degree in communication from Illinois State University.

“I am forever grateful for the opportunity of attending Southeast,” Hunter said. “The skills that I acquired have served me well, and the memories I cherish.”

Hunter is among the founders of St. Louis Cares, a Southeast alumni affinity group that seeks to develop scholarships for St. Louis youth. He has three adult children living in St. Louis.

Dale R. JoerlingJoerling, a 1971 graduate of Southeast where he earned a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in economics, is a partner with the law firm of Thompson Coburn, LLP, where he chairs the firm’s Antitrust Practice Area and the Advertising, Marketing and Promotions Practice Area. He also is the editorial director of the firm’s Sweepstakes Law Blog.

“Southeast Missouri State College, as it was known when I was there, was a wonderful place to be a student,” Joerling said. “The caring faculty, challenging courses, diverse student body, picturesque campus and authentic collegial atmosphere offered a unique educational experience.  Moreover, the pre-law program at Southeast provided excellent preparation for law school and my career as a lawyer.  In fact, I remember the Constitutional Law class that I took at Southeast as an undergraduate being as challenging as some of my law school classes.”

Following graduation from Southeast, he served two years in the U.S. Army as a personnel specialist in the Pentagon.  He then earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law where he was an editor of the UMKC Law Review. Joerling spent the first five years of his legal career as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., returning to St. Louis in 1981. 

He is the founder and chair of the Antitrust Committee of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and served on that organization’s Board of Governors. Joerling is a member of the American Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in Missouri, Illinois and the District of Columbia.  He successfully tried one of the largest antitrust suits filed in the Eastern District of Missouri and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 2005-2012.  In addition to his legal career, Joerling has served as chairman of the Webster Groves Historical Preservation Commission and was elected to two terms on the Webster Groves School Board, serving as president of the Board for two of his six years.  He is also an elder in the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church. Joerling and his wife, Peggy, live in Sunset Hills, Mo., and have two grown children, Jeff and Jill.

Don MaurerMaurer, a 1978 graduate of Southeast where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, currently oversees 28 interscholastic and club sports programs as the Director of Athletics at MICDS.

While Maurer attended Southeast, he was a member of the basketball team for two years and was initiated into the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. After graduating, he earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and began a 28-year career as a basketball coach and educator at area high schools, including St. Vincent in Perryville, Mo., Notre Dame High School in Cape Girardeau and St. Louis University High School. He also spent two years on the staff of coaching legend Lou Henson at the University of Illinois. 

“My experience at Southeast provided me the opportunity to establish the professional foundation which I continue to rely on today,” he said.

In 2002, following a state championship, Maurer was named the Missouri Basketball Coach of the Year by the National High School Federation and in 2003, he was inducted into the Notre Dame High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006.

In addition to serving as Director of Athletics at MICDS, Maurer serves on the Board of Directors of the Missouri State High School Activities Association, representing the St. Louis District.

Maurer and his wife Marla have two grown children, Jessica and Nathan, and one grandson, Bentley.

Gary ZideZide, a 1967 Southeast graduate where he earned a teaching degree with a major in biology, is a retired educator and recently retired from the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater St. Louis, where he was senior staff vice president for Home Shows and Special Projects.  He currently serves as consumer show specialist with USA Expositions, LLC.  

In 1971, he earned a master’s degree in secondary school administration from University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), and he taught science in the Parkway School District in St. Louis through 1982.

“Southeast provided a solid foundation for everything I have accomplished in my career,” he said. “At the time, it was a cost effective option for getting a quality education. Today, that is even truer for thousands of St. Louis children.”

For five years, ending in 1982, Zide also worked with the Home Builders Association (HBA) as their director of training, where he created a certification program for HBA’s middle managers. In 1982, he left Parkway to run Association Services and home shows for the HBA. In addition to growing the home show to become the largest in the United States, he created two new shows held at the St. Charles Convention Center. He created a series of Homearamas through the 1990s, culminating in the redevelopment of Gaslight Square with a Citirama in 2004. He retired in 2011 and now consults with 30 home shows across the country and tours the “Diana: The People’s Princess Exhibition.” Zide is also one of the original founders of St. Louis Cares, which works to help foster children attend Southeast Missouri State University.

Zide is married to his wife of 45 years, Charleen, and enjoys spending time with his five grandchildren.