Meet the Spring 2021 Class of Emerging Leaders

Becky RasmussenNews

FOCUS St. Louis® has selected 29 talented young professionals for the Spring 2021 cohort of Emerging Leaders. This competitive program provides participants (ages 22-35) with an increased sense of engagement in the region, as well as the tools to take an active role as the next generation of St. Louis regional leaders.

Since its launch in 2012, the FOCUS Emerging Leaders program has trained more than 450 young professionals from across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The three-month program includes a two-day opening retreat, group Civic Action Project and seminar days covering a variety of leadership and regional issues, for a total of 40 hours of civic leadership development.

“Emerging Leaders offers a unique opportunity to connect with both peers and mentors across industries, sectors and background,” says Program Director Matthew R. Kerns. “Participants leave the program with a  better understanding of themselves and our region and a clearer vision for their future.”

During the program, participants meet with area leaders to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of St. Louis, explore their personal, professional and civic leadership styles and gain a diverse network of peers. Upon graduation, participants become part of the FOCUS network of more than 10,000 leadership program alumni.

Spring 2021 Emerging Leaders Class

Tomi Akinyemi
Corporate / Real Estate Attorney
Spencer Fane LLP

Anna Lisa Baguio
Supervisor, Patient Access
BJC HealthCare

Sam Beffa
Associate Attorney
Hamilton Weber LLC

Maggie Brockmeyer
Manager, Social Capital & Volunteer Programs
Rung for Women

Elizabeth Casale
Thompson Coburn LLP

Dashawn Cason
Assistant City Counselor (Attorney I)
St. Louis City Counselor’s Office

Shanae Chapman
Senior UX Designer
SmartBear / Nerdy Diva

Dr. Maurya D. Cockrell
Founder & Consultant
YKNOT Consulting LLC

Jazmyn Ferguson
Senior Nonprofit Solutions Consultant
LinkedIn Corporation

Jon Givens
Development Officer
Webster University

Jessica Grafton
Senior Interior Design Professional

Tiarra Harris
High School Coach
Wyman Center

Jeff Hood
Community Development Specialist
Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation

Greg Howard
Web & Social Media Marketing Coordinator
Intrado SchoolMessenger

Praisy Isaac
Career & Workforce Readiness Specialist
St. Louis Internship Program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis

Jessiree Jenkins
Grants & Programs Coordinator
Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis

Jacque Knight
Multimodal Planner
CBB Transportation Engineers + Planners

Justin Kralemann
Director of Development
Food Outreach

Lindsay Kramer
Vice President – Governance Manager

Joel Longanecker
Senior Operational Excellence Consultant
Centric Consulting

Hannah Moore
Grants Manager
Safe Connections

Adriana Osorio
Senior Human Resource Services Representative

Amber Overton
Diversity and Inclusion Specialist
Nestlé Purina North America

Ruskin Singh
Project Manager – Operational Strategy Group
MilliporeSigma / Sigma-Aldridge / Merck KGaA

Jermecia Starks
Primary Care Development Coordinator
Washington University Medical School

Erica Thum
Landscape Architect

Taquera Walker
Therapist and School Counselor
Terrace House STL / MICDS

Alexus Williams
St. Louis County Government

Aja Williams
Capital Planning Specialist
Ameren Missouri