FOCUS Names Deborah Patterson and Antoinette Carroll as Alumni Award Honorees

Becky RasmussenAlumni, News

At the 23rd Annual What’s Right with the Region Awards Celebration on May 7, FOCUS St. Louis will recognize two alumnae of its civic leadership programs:

2020 FOCUS St. Louis Legacy Alumni Award
Deborah Patterson – Leadership St. Louis 1977-78

2020 FOCUS St. Louis Emerging Alumni Award
Antionette D. Carroll – Emerging Leaders 2013

“Each year, more than 300 individuals graduate from our FOCUS programs and take what they’ve learned into their personal, professional and civic leadership roles,” says Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch, President & CEO of FOCUS St. Louis. “Our alumni awards are designed to recognize FOCUS graduates who have demonstrated this commitment to putting their leadership into action for our St. Louis region.”

Deborah Patterson

A graduate of FOCUS’ Leadership St. Louis program, Deborah Patterson retired from Monsanto in 2016, where she served as Vice President of Global Contributions and Employee Engagement. Prior to her 22 years at Monsanto, she was Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri. She also worked in St. Louis City government, holding two cabinet positions concurrently: Executive Director of the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) and Director of the Community Development Agency. As director of development, Deborah was the mayor’s top advisor for housing and economic development. Today, she lends her expertise as a consultant to the Bayer Foundation, BioSTL and STEMpact.

An active and recognized community leader, Deborah is currently on the boards of directors for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Delta Dental of Missouri, St. Louis Public Library Foundation, Pulitzer Arts Foundation and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. She has also served as president of the FOCUS St. Louis board and as a board member for United Way of Greater St. Louis. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice and Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and participated in the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.

Antionette Carroll An alumna of FOCUS’ Emerging Leaders program for young professionals, Antionette D. Carroll is the Founder, President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit educating, training, and challenging Black and Latinx youth to become leaders designing healthy and racially equitable communities. In this capacity, Antionette has pioneered a new, award-winning form of creative problem solving called Equity-Centered Community Design – named a Fast Company World Changing Idea Finalist in General Excellence and Urban Design. Throughout her career, Antionette has worked for nonprofits addressing social justice, human rights, diversity, equity, and inclusion as a communications specialist. She previously served as Head of Communications for Diversity Awareness Partnership.

In her almost 10 years of volunteer leadership, Antionette was named the Founding Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of AIGA: The Professional Association of Design. She’s a former AIGA National Board Director and Chair Emerita of the Task Force. She’s founded and launched several initiatives, including the Design Census Program with Google, Racial Justice by Design Initiative, Diversity and Inclusion Residency, and national Design for Inclusivity Summit with Microsoft. Antionette is the co-founder and co-director of the Design + Diversity Conference and Fellowship. She also sits on several awards and programming committees for local and national nonprofits and is an international speaker and facilitator.

The St. Louis community is invited to join us to recognize these outstanding alumnae, as well as the 20 What’s Right with the Region award honorees and Leadership Award recipient Otis Williams, on May 7 at the Sheldon.