We’re thrilled to announce that FOCUS President & CEO Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch has been named as 2023 Non-Profit Executive of the Year by the St. Louis American Foundation. The St. Louis American is a 13-time recipient of the Russwurm Award, recognizing the top African-American newspaper in the country, by the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NNPA).
She will be honored at the 21st Annual Salute to Business Luncheon on Feb. 16 at the Ritz Carlton St. Louis, featuring keynote speaker St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones.
Dr. Akande-Bartsch has been with FOCUS St. Louis since 2012 and has served as President & CEO since 2014. In this role, she leads strategy, governance and operations for the nonprofit, as well as serving as Director for the Leadership St. Louis and Experience St. Louis programs. She has more than 20 years of experience in designing and facilitating leadership training, development, and coaching programs, including previous roles at the Cleveland Leadership Center and the YsA Group.
Dr. Akande-Bartsch holds a doctorate in communication from the University of Oklahoma. She also earned two master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma, the first in human relations and organizational development, and the second in public relations, journalism, and mass communication. She earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo.
Dr. Akande-Bartsch currently serves on the boards of directors for the Sheldon Arts Foundation, Greater St. Louis, Inc. and the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy. She has been recognized as a YWCA Leader of Distinction, named as a Most Influential Business Woman and Diverse Business Leader by the St. Louis Business Journal, and received the Royal Vagabond Leadership Award.