2018-19 FOCUS Officers and New Board Members Announced

Becky RasmussenNews

New 2018-19 Board Members

FOCUS St. Louis® is pleased to announce the officers for the 2018-19 fiscal year, as well as five new directors who have been named to the board. Board members are community leaders who demonstrate interest and commitment to FOCUS’ mission to educate leaders, connect leaders and facilitate the important conversations in the St. Louis region.

Board Officers for July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 are:

Chair – Mark Grieman, CEO, ROI Search Partners (2nd term) (Leadership St. Louis 2009)
Vice Chair – Felicia Shaw, Executive Director, Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (Experience St. Louis 2015)
Vice Chair – Gay Burns, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Reinsurance Group of America, Inc. (Experience St. Louis 2012)
Treasurer – John Peluso, Senior Managing Director, Wells Fargo Advisors (2nd term)
Secretary – Mark Darrell, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Spire, Inc. (Experience St. Louis 2004, Leadership St. Louis 2012)

New board members are:

  • Jason Carter, President, Aegis Strategies LLC
  • Leann Chilton, Vice President and Director, Government Relations, BJC HealthCare (Leadership St. Louis 2001 / FOCUS Impact Fellows 2016)
  • Nalini S. Mahadevan, Principal Attorney, Mahadevan Law Office LLC, and Alderperson, City of Frontenac, Missouri (Leadership St. Louis 2014)
  • Johnny Wang, Partner, Stinson Leonard Street LLP (Leadership St. Louis 2017)
  • Lindsey Webster, Professional School Counselor / Department Leader, Ritenour School District (Emerging Leaders 2016)

In addition, FOCUS St. Louis® welcomes to the board two youth members, who are 2018 graduates of FOCUS’ Youth Leadership St. Louis program: Briana Chandler from Nerinx Hall and Austin Sexton-Warner from Saint Louis University High School. Both will serve one-year terms.

New Board Members

Jason Carter, FOCUS Board Member

Jason Carter is President and founding owner of Aegis Strategies LLC. Since 2010, he has overseen Aegis’ 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. Carter 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 in Joint and Navy positions, overseas and in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. He retired from the Navy as a Commander in 2009. While in the Navy, 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.

Carter is active in the community, including 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 Chilton, FOCUS Board Member

Leann Chilton 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, Chilton 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, Chilton serves on the Public Policy Council of the Regional Chamber and co-chair of the FOCUS Community Policy and Engagement Committee.  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. In 2003 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.


Nalini MahadevanNalini S. Mahadevan is the Principal Attorney with MLO Law LLC and has been in practice since 2003, specializing in Immigration, Estate Planning, Special Needs and Elder Law. Her clientele includes both corporate and individuals. She is outside General Counsel for Phinix Group of Companies and Alderperson, City of Frontenac, Missouri. Mahadevan’s 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. She is a member of the Missouri Bar, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL), and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Mahadevan is passionate about community development and volunteers her time as an advisor to several local non-profits, 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, a primer for new lawyers and those transitioning from a large law firm is based on her personal experience.


Johnny Wang, FOCUS Board Member

Johnny Wang is a domestic, international labor and employment attorney with the firm of Stinson Leonard Street LLP. He 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, including diversity and inclusion efforts, and helps employers build productive, sustainable diversity and inclusion programs.

Wang 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. In 2012, Wang received the Diverse Business Leader Award from the St. Louis Business Journal, and in 2013, was 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. Wang earned a law degree from Washington University School of Law in 2005. He earned an undergraduate degree, cum laude, from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2002. He is a 2017 graduate of Leadership St. Louis.


Lindsey Webster, FOCUS Board Member

Lindsey Webster is a Professional School Counselor at Ritenour High School. In addition to her role as a counselor, she is the counseling department leader. She has helped to lead initiatives to increase mental health awareness and college/career readiness. Webster 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.

Webster was born and raised in St. Louis. She earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a M.A. in counseling from Lindenwood University. Webster 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.