FOCUS Board of Directors
2018-19 Board of Directors
As CEO of ROI Search Partners and Partner at BreakthroughROI, Mark focuses on helping clients successfully accomplish their business objectives through their people – Executive and Leadership Recruiting, Executive Coaching and Team Effectiveness.
He has represented the U.S. Peace Corps in Botswana, and has provided leadership in various civic and business organizations including Support Dogs, Inc., First Tee of Greater St. Louis, St. Patrick Center, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Saint Louis University John Cook School of Business, Paramount Planning Group LLC, Junior Achievement, Cancer Support Community and Norwood Hills Country Club. He is a graduate of Leadership St. Louis 2008-09 and has served on FOCUS’ selection committees for LSL and What’s Right with the Region.
Mark is a graduate of Amherst College and holds an executive master’s degree in international business from Saint Louis University. He and his wife, Sara Paynter, are proud parents of Kaitlin and Kennedy.
As Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Gay is responsible for all of RGA’s global human resource strategies, including organization design, workforce and succession planning, talent acquisition and development, compensation and benefits, and change management. She is also a member of RGA’s Executive Committee. Prior to joining RGA in 2011, she was with Swiss Re, where she was Managing Director, Talent Development and previously Managing Director, Global HR Operations. Before that, she was an HR executive with Employer’s Reinsurance Corporation. She is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.
Gay received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Missouri Southern State University and her MBA from Webster University. In 2013, she was recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of St. Louis’s “25 Most Influential Business Women.” She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Webster University, the Immigration & Innovation Steering Committee of the St. Louis Mosaic Project, and the United Way’s deTocqueville Society and Women’s Leadership Society.
Felicia joined the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis as Executive Director in 2015. A native St. Louisan, she has 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. Prior to that, she was Program Manager at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.
Felicia 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 and San Diego Magazine “Women who Mean Business” Award (2012). 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. She is a graduate of FOCUS’ Experience St. Louis program.
As President, John is responsible for the strategic direction and management of First Clearing, including developing strategic partnerships with current and prospective broker-dealer principals. He is a member of the Wells Fargo Advisors Operating Committee. Previous positions included serving as President of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network and Managing Director in the Private Client Group.
He is a past chair of the SIFMA Independent Firms Committee, a former board member of the Wealth Advisory Institute and a former executive member of the Athletic Educational Foundation of the College of William & Mary. John has served on the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Development Board. He earned his bachelor’s in economics from the College of William & Mary and his MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed the Wachovia Executive Leadership Program at the Keenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and is a graduate of the SIFMA Securities Industry Institute at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
As Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, Mark is responsible for advising the board of directors, CEO and senior management on legal matters affecting Spire and its subsidiaries and for the company’s corporate security, internal auditing, enterprise risk management and business integration functions. Before joining Spire in 2004, Mark had more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry.
Mark earned his bachelor’s in political science from Syracuse University and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Mark has been recognized as one of the “Nation’s Most Influential Minority Attorneys” on the Lawyer of Color’s Power List and a “Diverse Business Leader” by the St. Louis Business Journal. He is chair-elect of the American Bar Association’s Infrastructure & Regulated Industries Section, past chair of the American Gas Association’s Legal Committee, a member of the Energy Bar Association, and serves on the advisory board of the Corporate Counsel Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. He also serves on the boards of Mercy Hospital, United Way of Greater Saint Louis, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, and Easter Seals Midwest.
Maria is one of the founding partners of the Omega Group, providing advisory and brokerage services across the U.S. the last 25 years. After receiving both her bachelor’s and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, she earned both the CFP and CIMA designations in Financial Planning and Investment Management Analysis and has been recognized as one of America’s Top Financial Planners. Prior to joining UBS, she was with Smith Barney 17 years and has management, operations and lending experience from Boatmen’s Bank, Community Federal Savings and Loan and Citicorp Mortgage.
Maria has received multiple President’s Volunteer Service Awards for her time given to Mentor St. Louis, St. Louis Tax Assistance Program and Habitat for Humanity. She was in the 2008-09 Leadership St. Louis class and currently serves on committees for Rosati-Kain High School, Washington University and Forest Park Forever. She is a St. Louis Mosaic Project ambassador and was one of the founding board members of Belas Artes Multicultural Center and Art Gallery.
Steven serves as President and Regional Service Line Director for Pediatrics and Women’s Health, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. His professional experience includes serving as CEO of Holtz Children’s and The Women’s Hospital at University of Miami / Jackson Memorial Medical Center, where he helped lead Jackson’s 421-bed tertiary and quaternary referral center for complex OB/GYN, GYN Oncology and Pediatrics. Before Jackson Health System, he worked for Tenet Healthcare in regional and hospital roles and served as COO at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach and COO at Hialeah Hospital.
Steven graduated from Baylor University and earned master’s degree in health care administration from Trinity University. He is a three-time winner of Becker’s “40 under 40” Hospital Executive Rising Stars (2011-2013). He has served on several community boards, including Faith Hope Love Charity’s “Standown House” for Veterans, Meals on Wheels, Doral Business Council and Ukulele Kids Club.
Since 2010, Jason has overseen Aegis Strategies’ growth from a one-man consulting firm to the region’s “#1 Fastest Growing Company,” as highlighted by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2017. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla with a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering and served in the U.S. Navy for over 20 years. He retired from the Navy as a Commander in 2009. Jason graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School with a master’s degree in information technology management. He is also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, with a master’s degree in military operational art and science.
Jason is active in the community, serving as President of the Midwest Cyber Center, President of the Aegis Strategies Foundation and Executive Vice President for the Navy League – St. Louis Council. He serves on the board of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois and is past president and permanent board member of the Scott-St. Louis chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. He is also a Mentor and Limited Partner in SixThirty Cyber Accelerator.
Leann serves as vice president for BJC HealthCare, one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States. She works collaboratively with elected and appointed government officials at the state, local and federal levels on behalf of BJC’s hospitals and service lines including inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation and hospice. Prior to joining BJC HealthCare in 1999, she worked in Denver and Washington, D.C. and St. Louis in the telecommunications field.
A 2001 graduate of Leadership St. Louis and a 2016 graduate of FOCUS Impact Fellows, Leann serves on the Public Policy Council of the Regional Chamber. She also serves on the Missouri State Chamber Board, the Women’s Policy Network, the Academic Health Center and the St. Louis Metropolitan Hospital Council. She was named among the Most Influential Business Women Class of 2003 by the St. Louis Business Journal. She has an MBA from Washington University and has called St. Louis her home since 1985.
Sarajeni is a strategic human resources professional with experience in developing strong working relationships at all levels of the organization. Originally from St. Louis and employed with Bayer since 2013, Sarajeni earned her bachelor’s in business administration and organizational development from the University of Missouri St. Louis and her MBA from Fontbonne University. She earned her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification and has achieved her SHRM-SCP.
Sarajeni was a member of the 2012-13 class of Leadership St. Louis and is a graduate of the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative. She was recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal with a 40 Under 40 award in 2012 and as a Diverse Business Leader in 2013. She has also received leadership awards from the St. Louis American Foundation and the YWCA of Metro St. Louis. She serves on the HR committee for the Magic House, the Council of Regents for Fontbonne University and as President of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources of St. Louis.
As Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Ameren, Sharon is responsible for diversity training, Employee Resource Groups, community partnerships, diversity communications and the Corporate Diversity Council. Prior to joining Ameren in 2002, Sharon worked for HBE Corporation, American Express, Inroads, Inc., Dayton Hudson Stores, McDonnell Douglas and A.G. Edwards & Sons.
A native of St. Louis, Sharon graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s 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 is a graduate of the 2016-17 class of Leadership St. Louis.
Molly was named as Senior Vice President, Community Relations and Government Relations, for Commerce Bank in 2015. In this role, she is responsible for strategy and team leadership for all community relations and charitable contributions activities within the St. Louis market and she develops and manages government relations strategy, relationship building and communications between Commerce executives and local, state and federal elected officials. She joined Commerce Bank in 2007 in a public relations and investor relations role and has more than 25 years of experience in strategic communications, advocacy and nonprofit board experience. Prior to Commerce, she held positions at KMOX Radio and FleishmanHillard.
Molly holds a bachelor’s in communications and marketing from Marymount University in Arlington, Va. She is currently a member of steering committee for the Mosaic Project and chairs the St. Louis Regional Chamber’s Economic Growth & Fiscal Policy committee. She was a member of Leadership St. Louis class of 2002-03 and completed the Commerce Bank Advanced Leadership Development Program.
As head of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.’s Franchising & Distribution industry group, Dawn leads a team of transactional and litigation attorneys who represent clients nationally and internationally, from startups to some of the most recognized brands. She is also co-leader of the firm’s appellate practice and has argued before the Missouri Supreme Court and Missouri Court of Appeals, the Illinois Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Before receiving her law degree from Washington University, Dawn was an award-winning reporter for the Herald & Review daily newspaper in Decatur, Illinois. After law school, she served as law clerk to U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.
A graduate of the 2011-12 class of Leadership St. Louis, Dawn serves on the boards of directors for Safe Connections and Gateway Legal Services, Inc. She also served on the Citizens Advisory Committee for CityArchRiver 2015 and as chair of the College Summit Missouri Site Advisory Board.
Eric 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.
He is a member of the Security Traders Association of St. Louis.
Eric is 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. He received his MBA from Saint Louis University.
Dr. Krosley is Executive Pastor of Leadership Development and Operations at First Free Church. He has more than 25 years of leadership and leadership development experience in for profit and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Krosley worked at Sigma-Aldrich (now MilliporeSigma) for almost 25 years in a variety of operations, strategy and staff roles. In every role, a focus on people development and system improvement marked his impact.
Kevin received his B.A. in Chemistry from Point Loma Nazarene College and his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from Oregon State University before doing a postdoc at The University of Texas in Austin. He is a certified executive coach through the John Maxwell Company and has coached more than fifty nonprofit executives and business leaders. In addition to serving on the FOCUS St. Louis Board since 2013, Kevin has served on the board of Heritage Classical Christian Academy and on the elder board of First Free Church.
Dr. Levine became the President and CEO of the Missouri Historical Society and Missouri History Museum in 2014. Before coming to St. Louis, previous positions included serving as Director of the New Mexico History Museum and Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences at Santa Fe Community College.
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. 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 and the St. Louis Regional Chamber.
Nalini has been in practice since 2003, specializing in Immigration, Estate Planning, Special Needs and Elder Law. She is outside General Counsel for Phinix Group of Companies and serves as Alderperson for the City of Frontenac, Missouri. Her career started off as a corporate lawyer in India for five years before relocating to the U.S. She holds an undergraduate degree in accounting, a master’s degree in law from the University of Mumbai, India, an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and obtained a JD from Saint Louis University.
Nalini volunteers as an advisor to several local nonprofits, including The Arya Foundation, The Hindu Temple of St Louis, and South Asian Women Empowerment Regional Association St Louis (SAWERAA). A 2014 graduate of Leadership St. Louis, she taught Law Practice Management and Immigration Law as an Adjunct Professor at Saint Louis University School of Law. She was the chair of the Missouri Bar Immigration Committee and one of the founding members of the South Asian Bar Association of Metropolitan St Louis (SABA). Her book, How to Start a Law Practice and Succeed, is based on her personal experience.
Matt is the Executive Director of GlobalHack, a St. Louis-based nonprofit that is building a better tech ecosystem through civic-minded software competitions. Before joining GlobalHack, he served as the Director of Operations and Venture Partner, respectively, for two nationally-ranked accelerator programs, Capital Innovators and SixThirty. Matt is a former AmeriCORPS VISTA member and is an alumni of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs in St. Louis.
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.
As Senior Vice President of Engagement and Content at the Nine Network of Public Media, Amy oversees the station’s content creation, digital, and community engagement priorities. She is recognized as a national leader in community engagement and public media. Working with a team of talented producers, project managers and evaluators, Amy leads the station in groundbreaking work that leverages on-air, online and community engagement for measurable impact around important and complex issues facing communities.
In 2015, she was selected as one of ten inaugural Eisenhower Zhi-Xing Fellows. The Fellowship engaged 10 outstanding American mid-career leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to advance bilateral dialogue and understanding between the China and the United States. Amy was a member of the 2012-13 class of Leadership St. Louis. She serves on numerous local and national boards and is deeply committed to the power of public media and the strengthening of communities across the country.
As Senior Director of Community Affairs at Anheuser-Busch, Julio sets and leads the company’s multicultural outreach strategy in the U.S. and collaborates with internal stakeholders in support of the Anheuser-Busch’s Better World programs. Before joining Anheuser-Busch in 2014, he was Director of Diversity Outreach at Darden Restaurants and served in a variety of positions at Sprint over the course of nine years.
Julio holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration and communication studies from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Baker University. Throughout his career, he has served on multiple community boards, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Advisory Council and the Florida Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities. He is currently a board member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis Foundation and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.
Chris 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.
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. He has 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’s degree in finance and accounting from the University of Missouri.
As a domestic, international labor and employment attorney with the firm of Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Johnny helps his clients develop and retain their most valuable asset – their employees, around the world. He presents frequently on employment law and workplace-related subjects and helps employers build productive, sustainable diversity and inclusion programs.
He is founder of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis and served as president of the Missouri Asian-American Bar Association in 2012. Nationally, he is involved with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and will serve as the Regional Governor for the Central Region in 2020-2022. He has received the Diverse Business Leader Award from the St. Louis Business Journal and been named an Up and Coming Lawyer by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. He was also selected as a member of the inaugural class of Leadership 100, which consists of members from the Young Professionals Network of the Regional Business Council. He earned a law degree from Washington University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a 2017 graduate of Leadership St. Louis.
In addition to her role as Professional School Counselor at Ritenour High School, Lindsey is the counseling department leader. She has helped to lead initiatives to increase mental health awareness and college/career readiness. Lindsey entered the counseling and education profession because she loves to help youth overcome and work through social and emotional challenges they may face along their education journey.
Lindsey was born and raised in St. Louis. She earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an M.A. in counseling from Lindenwood University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She is a 2016 graduate of the FOCUS Emerging Leaders program and she also serves on the FOCUS Connect With Committee.
A Senior Vice President and Partner in FleishmanHillard’s public affairs group, Tony has worked on behalf of several Fortune 500 companies on reputational and issues based campaigns since he joined the firm in 2005. His areas of expertise include public affairs campaign planning, business-to-government outreach, coalition building and community affairs. In addition to his client work, Tony is the Director of Culture and Engagement for FleishmanHillard’s headquarter office in St. Louis.
Before joining FleishmanHillard, he worked for former New York Governor George Pataki in his Office of Federal Affairs in Washington, D.C. Tony graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a bachelor’s degree in public policy and was a member of the FOCUS Leadership St. Louis class of 2012-13.
“I served FOCUS St. Louis as a board member with great pride because of the quality of its leadership and commitment to our region.”
Director, Customer Care, Ameren
Leadership St. Louis 2007-2008