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FOCUS News: Leadership

FOCUS St. Louis Names New President, Officers & Board Members

Thursday, June 18, 2015   (0 Comments)
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FOCUS St. Louis® is pleased to announce the incoming president and officers for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The organization will also welcome eight new members to its board of directors. Board members are community leaders who demonstrate interest and commitment to FOCUS’ mission to create leadership for a thriving St. Louis region.


FOCUS’ new board president is Tim Eby, who has served as General Manager for St. Louis Public Radio since 2009. Eby has served as chairman of the board of directors of National Public Radio, trustee of the NPR Foundation and on the boards for several nonprofit organizations. He completed the Experience St. Louis program in 2009 and joined the FOCUS board in 2010.

FOCUS would like to thank outgoing president Mark Lindgren, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Ameren, for his outstanding service to FOCUS.


Officers for July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 are:


Board President – Tim Eby, General Manager, St. Louis Public Radio

Board Vice Presidents

  • Molly Cline, Community Volunteer
  • Michelle Tucker, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility Market Manager;
    Bank of America

Board Treasurer Dwight Erdbruegger, Executive Vice President, Commerce Bank

Board Secretary Rev. Starsky Wilson, President & CEO, Deaconess Foundation


New board members are:

  • Matt Aubuchon, Vice President Employee Relations, The Boeing Company
  • Gay Burns, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer for Reinsurance Group of America, Inc.
  • Mark C. Darrell, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of The Laclede Group
  • Jermaine Holt, Senior Manager SAP, Energizer Holdings, Inc.
  • Eric Koestner, General Partner, Edward Jones
  • Dr. Susan Mangels, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Lindenwood University
  • Dr. Molly Tovar, Director of the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies and Professor of Practice at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University
  • Jimmy Williams, Jr., President of Estel Foods, Inc.

In addition, FOCUS St. Louis® welcomed two youth members, who are recent graduates of FOCUS’ Youth Leadership St. Louis program: Priscilla Joel from Francis Howell North High School and Semhar Mekonnen from Ladue Horton Watkins High School, who will both serve one-year terms.


About Our New Board Members


Matt Aubuchon, Vice President of Employee Relations for The Boeing Company

Aubuchon was recently promoted to Vice President of Employee Relations after serving as HR Director for the BDS Development Division and HR Site Leader for the St. Louis site of Boeing. Previous assignments included serving as Director of Human Resources for Global Services and Support, Director of Human Resources for Boeing Military Aircraft and Global Strike, and Director of the Human Resources Service Center within the Shared Services Group (SSG). He is a member of the Missouri Bar, President of the St. Ann Catholic School Board and a member of the AAIM and Missouri Workforce Investment Boards. 


Gay Burns, Executive VP & Chief HR Officer for Reinsurance Group of America, Inc.

Burns joined RGA in 2011 and is responsible for all of the company’s global human resource strategies, including organization design, workforce and succession planning, talent acquisition and development, compensation and benefits, change management, and process efficiency. Previously, she was with Swiss Reinsurance, where she was Managing Director of Talent Development and Managing Director of Global HR Operations, and spent three years at the company’s Zurich (Switzerland) headquarters. She is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.


Mark C. Darrell, Senior VP, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer of The Laclede Group

Prior to joining Laclede in 2004, Darrell served in various executive legal and non-legal roles at NiSource Inc., Columbia Energy Group and New Jersey Resources Corporation. He is vice chair of the Gas and Corporate Governance Committees of the ABA’s Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law, vice chair of the American Gas Association’s Legal Committee, a member of the Energy Bar Association and serves on the advisory boards of the Corporate Counsel Institute at Georgetown University Law Center and the Financial Research Institute at the University of Missouri – Columbia. He is also Vice Chair of Grace Hill Settlement House and serves on the boards of United Way of Greater Saint Louis and Life Skills Foundation.


Jermaine Holt, Director – Senior Manager SAP for Energizer Holdings, Inc.

In his current role, Holt is responsible for directing the technical development of SAP (Systems Applications and Products) solutions to include application implementation, support and monitoring, application integration, application development, application security, risk compliance and enterprise architecture. Previously, he held SAP positions with Sigma-Aldrich and Hubbell. Holt’s career began as a program analyst at Union Pacific and then Transentric, and he holds a master’s degree from Webster University in Leadership and Management and a bachelor’s degree from Central Methodist College in Computer Science.


Eric Koestner, General Partner, Edward Jones

Koestner began his Edward Jones career in 1998 and during his tenure has worked in the Equity Trading, Corporate Bond Trading and Investment Advisory divisions. In addition, he also led the firm’s Rotational Development Program. He was named a principal with the firm in 2010. Koestner is a member of the Security Traders Association of St. Louis. He is also actively involved with the United Way of Greater St. Louis, sits on the executive advisory aboard at CharacterPlus and is on the Arts and Education’s Council’s executive committee.


Dr. Susan Mangels, VP for Institutional Advancement at Lindenwood University

Before joining Lindenwood, Dr. Mangels was President of Lexington College in Chicago from 1997 to 2011. She serves on the Board of Catholic Charities of St. Louis, the St. Louis Planned Giving Council and the Cabinet of the Women’s Leadership Society of the United Way of St. Louis. She has also served on the American Council on Education’s Commission on Women in Higher Education and the national board of the Women’s Foodservice Forum. Mangels is a past trustee of Morgan Park Academy, Kingswood Academy, and past Board chair of the Chicago Culinary Guild. She is a member of the St. Louis Forum and the 2013-2014 class of Leadership St. Louis. Her research centers on leadership, work-life balance, and female executives.


Dr. Molly Tovar, Director of the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies & Professor of Practice at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University

Dr. Tovar earned a doctorate in higher education and administration from Oklahoma State University, where she later was the director of student academic services for the graduate college. Her previous positions include serving as director of leadership for the Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholars Program in Fairfax, Va., chief operating officer for the American Indian Graduate Center, and director of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program for American Indian/Alaska Natives in Albuquerque, N.M. Tovar co-authored a book, The Entrepreneur's Spirit: American Indian Women Entrepreneurs, and is an advisory member of the Missouri International Women’s Forum. 


Jimmy Williams, Jr., President, Estel Foods Inc.

Jimmy Williams, Jr., an East St. Louis native, graduated from Dickinson College and served for nine years as a U.S. Navy Pilot and Officer.  Following his retirement, he launched Estel Foods, Inc. to become a McDonald’s Franchise owner.  He currently owns 10 restaurants in Illinois and Missouri. He is a past or current member of numerous boards including the Ronald McDonald House, the Lessie Bates Neighborhood House, One Hundred Black Men of St. Louis, the Granite City Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce, Mathews-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club, Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, Downtown STL, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Boy Scouts of America, and US Vets. He also launched the James E. Williams, Sr. Mentoring Program.

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