At the 24th Annual What’s Right with the Region Awards Celebration on May 13, FOCUS St. Louis will honor Leadership St. Louis alum Kathy Lambert, Co-founder of Connections to Success, with its 2021 Legacy Alumni Award.
“Each year, more than 300 individuals graduate from our FOCUS programs and take what they’ve learned into their personal, professional and civic leadership roles,” says Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch, President & CEO of FOCUS St. Louis. “Our alumni awards are designed to recognize FOCUS graduates who have demonstrated this commitment to putting their leadership into action for our St. Louis region.”
A 2001-02 graduate of Leadership St. Louis, Kathy Lambert opened the first Dress for Success affiliate in the St. Louis region in 1998. Recognizing that interview attire was just one piece of the puzzle in helping women break the cycle of poverty and achieve economic independence, Kathy, in partnership with her husband Brad, went on to launch Connections to Success in 2001. Known for its evidence-based model for economic stability and mobility, the nonprofit organization integrates personal and professional development training, employment training, life transformation coaching, job development, mentoring and ongoing support services. Under Kathy’s leadership, Connections to Success grew to serve individuals in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois, along with 13 membership sites in seven states. After serving as CEO for 23 years, she recently transitioned to consulting and coaching with other individuals, organizations and programs.
Kathy’s work has been recognized both locally and nationally. She received the 2019 Women of Influence Award by RISE Collaborative and the 2017 St. Louis Women of Achievement Award for Social Enterprise, in addition to awards from the State of Missouri and the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2013, Kathy received the Volunteer Service Award from President Obama and in 2014 she participated in an invitation-only White House Summit for Working Families. She is a graduate of NSC’s Nonprofit Women’s Leadership Academy, the NIC Offender Workforce Development Specialist Train the Trainer and the National Practitioners Leadership Institute, where she served as a faculty member. Kathy served as the first Board President for Dress for Success Worldwide, was a mentor for the DeVos Urban Leadership Program, and has been a TEDx speaker. She serves on the Missouri State Workforce Board of Directors and is a member of the Taskforce for Job Centers of the Future.
All are invited to join us to recognize this outstanding FOCUS alum, as well as the 20 What’s Right with the Region award honorees and Leadership Award recipients Constance Gully and Michael McMillan, on May 13.PURCHASE TICKETS