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FOCUS News: Leadership

Announcing the 2016-17 Leadership St. Louis® Class

Wednesday, June 22, 2016   (0 Comments)
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FOCUS St. Louis has selected 60 outstanding individuals from the private, public and nonprofit sectors for the 41st Leadership St. Louis (LSL) class. These participants join a prestigious group of more than 2,000 leaders who have graduated from the LSL program since its inception in 1976.

Leadership St. Louis is a highly respected program for emerging and established leaders who have demonstrated a deep commitment to improving the St. Louis region. The 18-day, 9-month curriculum explores such issues as economic development, education, poverty and social services, racism, arts and culture, and the criminal justice system. Participants visit key sites in the bi-state region, engage in face-to-face dialogue with regional decision makers and gain a deeper understanding of leadership approaches that produce results.


“We are excited to welcome this talented and diverse group of participants into Leadership St. Louis. Over the next year, they will experience this region in new ways and gain knowledge, skills and connections they can use to make a difference within it,” said Yemi Akande-Bartsch, Ph.D., President & CEO of FOCUS St. Louis and Director of the Leadership St. Louis program.

Leadership St. Louis is one of eight leadership programs offered by FOCUS St. Louis to achieve its mission of preparing diverse leaders to work cooperatively for a thriving St. Louis region. To learn more about FOCUS St. Louis and its other programs, visit


Individuals Selected for the 2016 – 2017 Leadership St. Louis Class:

Ann Balsamo

Vice President, Accounts



Scott Barthelmass

Public Information Officer

Eureka Fire Protection District


Elizabeth Bleier

Director of Talent Acquisition

KIPP St. Louis


Melissa Bowman

Advocacy Director – Illinois, Post Acute Care, and Regulatory

SSM Health


Chandler Branch

Executive Director

Art St. Louis


Lucy Brennan


Parents as Teachers National Center


Becky Bromberg

Vice President, Associate General Counsel

Maritz Holdings, Inc.


Tiffani Burris

Executive Director

Isaac Bruce Foundation


Apollo Carey


Lewis Rice, LLC


William Catalano

Director of Economic Development and Brand Marketing Director

Village of Godfrey


Francis Chmelir

Executive Director



Patti Christen

Executive Director of Development

Jefferson College


Carol Clark

Senior Vice President



Paul Costigan

Vice President, Program Development & Quality Assurance

International Institute of St. Louis


Nikki Davis

Director, Biotech Strategy and Operations

Monsanto Company


Riisa Easley

Independent Consultant (Project Director)

St. Louis Regional System of Care


Jacob Engle

Vice President

Twain Financial Partners


Karen Fincutter

Director, Boeing Defense and Space Development Communications

The Boeing Company


Julia Flood

Artistic Director

Metro Theatre Company


Mike Gibbons

Chief Information Security Officer

Edward Jones


Ellie Glenn

Government Relations Director

St. Louis Children’s Hospital


Jackie Hamilton

Chief Development Officer

Beyond Housing, Inc.


Jaime Haro

Senior Director, Enterprise & Market Risk Management



Sharon Harvey-Davis

Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, & Chief Diversity Officer



Joseph Havis

Vice President, Enrollment Management

Fontbonne University


John Headrick

Technology Development and Commercial Operations Lead

Monsanto Company


Merrilee Hertlein

Architect, Principal

Mackey Mitchell Architects


Lynn Huelsmann

Executive Director

Anderson Hospital Foundation


Karen Kharasch

Executive Director, Business & Research Administration, Siteman Cancer Center

Barnes Jewish Hospital & Washington University School of Medicine


Jason King

Director of Real Estate

IronRock Investments, LLC


Mary Kitley

Chief Development Officer

St. Patrick Center


Allison Klouse


Wildwood Middle School


Emma Klues

Director of Communications and Outreach

Great Rivers Greenway


Kristin Lappin

Vice President – Administration

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership


Christina Lawrence

Vice President/Managing Director, MDO, Shopper Marketing

Nestle Purina Petcare


Darci Madden


Bryan Cave LLP


Kacey Mahrt

Vice President – Assistant Director of Project Management

U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation


Amy Mistler


Spencer Fane LLP


Greg Mohler

Vice President, Design and Construction

BJC HealthCare


Beth Orwick

Chief Trial Assistant

Circuit Attorney’s Office


Daniel Pate

Vice President, Asset Management

Blue Sky Capital


Rajiv Patel

Vice President – Medical Affairs

SSM DePaul Hospital St. Louis


Jason Penfield

Senior Vice President, Manager Commercial Real Estate

Commerce Bank


Stacy Reliford

Missouri Government Relations Director

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.


Richard Ryffel

Senior Lecturer

Washington University in St. Louis


Elizabeth Schmidt

Owner and Sole Proprietor

Betsy Marketing Archeology


Ann Seeney

Director, Human Resources

St. Louis Cardinals


Jarrod Sharp


Thompson Coburn LLP


Mariah Small

Director, Human Resources

Emerson – White-Rodgers Business Unit


Gerald Smith

Recorder of Deeds

St. Louis County Government


Brenda Stewart

Vice President of Development

Alzheimer’s Association, St. Louis Chapter


Rikki Takeyama

Director of Strategic Engagement

St. Louis Regional Health Commission


Amanda Thompson Rundahl

Director of Learning and Engagement

Saint Louis Art Museum


Hannah Verity

Director of Global Program Development

Webster University


Charles Walker

Accounting Manager

Enterprise Holdings


Johnny Wang


Stinson Leonard Street LLP


Alisa Warren

Executive Director

Missouri Commission on Human Rights


Pamela Westbrooks-Hodge

Senior Director – Governance & Systems – Corporate Procurement

Express Scripts


Eric Winkles

Chief Program Officer – Education

Great Circle


Rebecca Zoll


North County Inc.

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