FOCUS Staff

Yemi Akande-Bartsch, President & CEO

President & CEO
Tel: (314) 657-4019
Email Yemi

Yemi Akande-Bartsch, Ph.D.

Dr. Akande-Bartsch has more than 20 years of experience in designing and facilitating leadership training, development, and coaching programs. Prior to assuming the role of President and CEO in 2014, she served as Vice President of Leadership and Alumni Programs for FOCUS. Previous positions include serving as Senior Director of Civic Education for the Cleveland Leadership Center and Managing Partner at YsA Group, a leadership training and development company. She was a lecturer at The Boler School of Business and Assistant Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts at Ohio’s John Carroll University, and was the host of a weekly radio show called Making the Case on Cleveland’s WJCU 88.7 FM. She also worked in the field of International education for many years.

Dr. Akande-Bartsch holds a doctorate in communication (with specialty in intercultural, organizational, and political 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 serves on the Board of Directors of The St. Louis Regional Chamber, The Sheldon Arts Foundation and Downtown St. Louis. She is a member of  Urban Land Institute Advisory Committee (St. Louis), and a Commissioner of the Botanical Garden Sub-district. She is also a member of the Association of Leadership Professionals, the International Leadership Association and a graduate of Missouri Leadership Challenge, 2013-14.

Dr. Akande-Bartsch is a recipient of the following awards:

  • StreetScape Magazine Award (St. Charles, Missouri), 2014
  • Royal Vagabond Leadership Award, 2015
  • YWCA of St. Louis Leader of Distinction, 2015
  • Who’s Who Diversity in Color, 2016
  • St. Louis Business Journal, Most Influential Business Women Award, 2017

She is an avid hiker, photographer and traveler. She loves hiking the trails and following the seasons along many of Missouri’s trails.