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FOCUS News: Leadership

FOCUS St. Louis Announces 2016-17 Officers and New Board Members

Wednesday, July 6, 2016   (0 Comments)
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FOCUS St. Louis® is pleased to announce the incoming president and officers for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The organization also welcomes six new members to its board of directors. Board members are community leaders who demonstrate interest and commitment to FOCUS’ mission to prepare diverse leaders to work cooperatively for a thriving St. Louis region.


Board Chair Tim Eby, Treasurer Dwight Erdbruegger and Secretary Ben Johnson will continue in their roles for another year, alongside new Executive Committee members and Vice Chairs Mark Grieman and Sarajeni Hammond.


Officers for July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 are:

Board Chair– Tim Eby, General Manager, St. Louis Public Radio | KWMU 90.7
Board Vice Chairs

  • Mark Grieman, CEO, ROI Search Partners
  • Sarajeni Hammond, Director, HR Shared Services America, Monsanto Company

Board Treasurer Dwight Erdbruegger, Executive Vice President, Commerce Bank

Board Secretary Ben Johnson, Vice President, Programs, BioSTL


New board members are:

  • Sharon Harvey Davis, Vice President, Diversity, and Chief Diversity Officer, Ameren
  • Emily Knippa, Content Marketing Manager, United Way of Greater St. Louis
  • Dr. Frances Levine, President, Missouri History Museum
  • Matt Menietti, Executive Director, GlobalHack
  • Felicia W. Shaw, Executive Director, Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis
  • Christopher Terry, Custom Residential Real Estate Credit Executive, Merrill Lynch

In addition, FOCUS St. Louis® welcomes to the board two youth members, who are recent graduates of FOCUS’ Youth Leadership St. Louis program: Sam Chechik from Saint Louis University High School and Antonio Snow from Grand Center Arts Academy. Both will serve one-year terms.


New Board Members

Sharon Harvey Davis is the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Ameren, where she is responsible for diversity training, Employee Resource Groups, community partnerships, diversity communications and the Corporate Diversity Council. Sharon joined Ameren in 2002 as Diversity Manager and was promoted to Diversity Director prior to her current position. Ameren’s diversity programs have received several awards including the number one ranking on the 2015 DiversityInc Top Utility Company Award, 2009 to 2013 Association of Diversity Council Top 25 Honors Award, and the Human Resource Management Association of Greater St. Louis Diversity Leader Award.


Prior to Ameren, Sharon worked for HBE Corporation, American Express, Inroads, Inc., Dayton Hudson Stores, McDonnell Douglas and A.G. Edwards & Sons. A native of St. Louis, she graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, St. Louis University with an Executive Master’s Degree in International Business and Cornell University’s Diversity Management Certification Program. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by the Society of Human Resource Management and as a Certified Diversity Professional Advanced Practitioner by Cornell University. Sharon is extensively involved in the St. Louis community and serves as Chairman of the National Coalition of Community and Justice and Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation board member. She was recently accepted into the 2016-17 class of Leadership St. Louis.


Emily Knippa began her career by making a year-long commitment to building capacity for youth in St. Louis as an AmeriCorps VISTA. After her year of service, Emily joined The Arland Group, where she created recruitment-focused content strategies for nationwide corporations. In 2014, she joined United Way of Greater St. Louis’ marketing department as the content marketing manager, where she drives the content and strategy for millennial engagement as well as for Move Up, Give Back – a website for professionals in the St. Louis region who care about investing in their careers and community.


Emily was accepted into the Fall 2014 class of FOCUS’ Emerging Leaders program, and since graduating, has been an active FOCUS alumna. She has served as a site lead for 2015's Connect with a Purpose, hosted FOCUS-wide and Emerging Leaders-specific alumni dinners, and sits on the planning committee for the Connect With St. Louis Young Professionals Happy Hour. Emily also serves on Maplewood's Plan & Zoning Commission, volunteers as a tutor at Humboldt Academy of Higher Learning and enjoys meeting people who are cultivating inspiring career paths.


Dr. Frances Levine became the President and CEO of the Missouri Historical Society and Missouri History Museum in the spring of 2014. Now a resident of St. Louis, she is quickly learning to love what makes this city great: its important historical location at the confluence of two major rivers, its parks and historic architecture, and its vibrant cultural life.


She was the director of the New Mexico History Museum from 2002 until spring 2014. There she oversaw the development of the newest museum in the Museum of New Mexico system, the New Mexico History Museum, the campus addition to the Palace of the Governors, and the Native American Portal Artisans Program.


A native of Connecticut, Frances received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. She was the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences at Santa Fe Community College. In 2009, she attended the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute, and she is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, the American Society for Ethnohistory, and the Santa Fe Trail Association. Dr. Levine is the author, co-editor or contributor to several award-winning books including Our Prayers Are in This Place: Pecos Pueblo Identity over the Centuries, Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe, Telling New Mexico: A New History and Dona Teresa Confronts the Spanish Inquisition: A Seventeenth Century New Mexican Drama. She currently serves on the board of Forest Park Forever as a Park Partner and the Regional Chamber.


Matt Menietti is the Executive Director of GlobalHack, a St. Louis-based nonprofit that is building a better tech ecosystem through civic-minded software competitions. Before GlobalHack, Matt ran day-to-day operations for two nationally-ranked accelerator programs, SixThirty and Capital Innovators. In 2010, he was accepted into the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, an intense, cross-sector, experiential learning fellowship, now operated by FOCUS St. Louis. Prior to Coro, Matt served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, providing communications and fundraising support for a local afterschool program.


Matt is also a co-founder of an online resource-sharing tool for nonprofits called GoodMap, which won $30,000 in non-dilutive capital through the Youth Bridge Social Enterprise Competition in 2013. In 2012, he was named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30. A St. Louis transplant, Matt is originally from Iowa City, Iowa, and holds degrees in electrical engineering and entrepreneurship from the University of Iowa.


Felicia W. Shaw joined the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis as its Executive Director in 2015. A native St. Louisan, Felicia brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the public and nonprofit arts and culture sector. Previously, Felicia served for eight years as Director of Arts and Culture Strategy and Analysis at the San Diego Foundation, where she directed a portfolio of community and civic engagement programs including a fellowship program for creative entrepreneurs, a grant program supporting neighborhood revitalization efforts, an arts-based placemaking and community building initiative, and a leadership training program for early career arts administrators. Prior to that, she was Program Manager at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.


Felicia currently serves on the boards of Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), and Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+).  Locally, she serves on the board of the Greater St Louis Community Foundation. She has been recognized by several entities including the 2015 Amherst Wilder Foundation Shannon Leadership Institute, San Diego Magazine “Women who Mean Business” Award (2012), and numerous other awards. A graduate of Northwestern University with a B.S. degree in Communications, Felicia completed post-graduate studies at the University of California, San Diego in Art History, Theory, and Criticism. Felicia is also a graduate of FOCUS’ Experience St. Louis program.


Christopher Terry is a Custom Residential Real Estate Credit Executive in the Merrill Lynch/GWIM Credit & Banking Group. Custom Residential Real Estate Lending is a highly customized approach to meeting the residential mortgage financing needs of ultra high net worth clients and prospects Serving a select group of clients, Chris seeks to tailor financing solutions for each client’s specific goals and objectives. 


Chris joined Bank of America in 1990. In 1996, he served as the St. Louis Consumer Market Executive and was appointed Central Region Business Lending Manager in 1999. Since 2000, he has served in a number of key positions, including Central Region Marketing Manager, Consumer Real Estate Sales Strategy and Process Design Manager, Central Division Credit Sales Executive, Midwest Wealth Management Banking Regional Manager, Division Credit Director within Wealth Management Banking for the PBIG and International lines of businesses, and Credit and Banking Market Executive for the Heartland Market. Chris previously served on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee for Forsyth School and is Past President for the Northside Community Center. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Missouri.



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