Meet Our Alumni
Michelle D. Tucker is no stranger to civic and nonprofit leadership, having served on the boards of Downtown STL, Inc., the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Christian Hospital, FOCUS St. Louis and many more. In 2017, she went a step further, retiring from a successful 20-year career at Bank of America to lead Epworth Children & Family Services as President & CEO, before becoming President & CEO of the United Way of Greater St. Louis in 2019.
What prompted your move to the nonprofit sector?
For the past 10 years while managing the bank’s community outreach and philanthropic giving efforts, I saw the impact funding could have on addressing significant challenges faced by our most vulnerable populations. What I also learned through participating on nonprofit boards, in community feedback sessions, and volunteering is that there aren’t enough leaders to spearhead strategic planning, programmatic execution, and funding stewardship to address vital issues and challenges. When asked to take on the role of President & CEO at Epworth, I knew the time was right to connect closer to a mission and to continue making an impact by positioning my experience inside a nonprofit I believe in.
I am most passionate about ensuring that our community reaches its fullest potential, especially our youth from disadvantaged areas.
How did you find your way to Leadership St. Louis?
At the time, I had just transitioned into the Enterprise Business and Community Engagement role at Bank of America and wanted to connect more broadly across the community. The experience enabled me to quickly establish and bond with a network of leaders from various industries while learning more about key challenges in our region.
I remain connected to over 60% of my Leadership St. Louis classmates via professional networks, social gatherings, and friendships. Even today, I find myself still reaching out to fellow alumni to help challenge and balance my perspective.
What did you gain from the program?
My biggest takeaway was the realization that challenges across our region are extremely complex. I recognize that it will take the majority of us striving towards a common slate of goals to make significant headway. My hope is to see increased traction and progress in the very near future.
I also gained in-depth knowledge around some of the “whys” and root causes fueling longtime debates and regional issues. By broadening my perspective, I am able to make more informed decisions in my daily work routines.
There is incredible talent across our region capable of tremendously positive impact if given the support and opportunity needed to do great things. I aspire to be a leader who takes the opportunity to make today better than yesterday by continuing to reimagine tomorrow.