Announcing the 2023-24 Class of Leadership St. Louis

Becky RasmussenNews

FOCUS St. Louis has selected 62 outstanding individuals from the private, public and nonprofit sectors for the 48th Leadership St. Louis (LSL) class. These participants join a prestigious group of more than 2,600 leaders who have graduated from the LSL program since its inception in 1976.

Leadership St. Louis is a highly respected program for experienced leaders who have demonstrated a deep commitment to improving the St. Louis region. The immersive nine-month curriculum explores issues such as economic development, racial equity, education, criminal justice, health care, immigration and more. Leadership St. Louis is designed to challenge participants’ thinking, expose them to new ideas and perspectives, and promote discussion, reflection and action. Many graduates describe the experience as “transformative,” arming them with the tools, resources and connections to lead more effectively in their personal, professional and civic roles.

“The need for collaborative leadership has never been greater in our region,” says Yemi Akande-Bartsch, Ph.D., President & CEO of FOCUS St. Louis and Director of the Leadership St. Louis program. “We’re excited to bring together this diverse group of leaders to gain a deeper understanding of St. Louis’ civic landscape by exploring the institutions and systems shaping it and leverage their collective strength and passion to address critical issues facing our region.”

Leadership St. Louis is part of the continuum of leadership programs offered by FOCUS St. Louis to further its mission of educating and connecting leaders to work cooperatively for a thriving St. Louis region.

2023-24 Leadership St. Louis Class

Aramide Ayorinde
Chief Executive Officer
Family Care Health Centers

Krystal Barnett
Founder/ CEO
Bridge 2 Hope Parent Institute

Doneisha Bohannon
Director, Community Health Partnerships and Collaboration
BJC HealthCare

Michael Brockland

Lisa Capone
Vice Chancellor for Advancement
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Candice Carter-Oliver, Ph.D.
Confluence Academies

Tiffany Charles
VP Public Relations & Brand Strategies Manager
Commerce Bank

Kira Cheree Cobb
CEO and Founder
Entrepreneur Business Basics, LLC

Rebecca Cornatzer
Chief Human Resources Officer
S.M. Wilson & Co.

Kristin Croce
Shareholder and Co-Chair Capital Markets and Commercial Lending Practice Group

Dr. Kanika Cunningham
St. Louis County Public Health Department

Shaughnessy H. Daniels
Director, Civic Engagement
Great Rivers Greenway

Heather Dell
Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Edward DeVault
Edward Jones

Christopher Fan
Director, Language Services
BJC HealthCare

Deanna Finch
Executive Director
United 4 Children

Gina Fromme
Chief Development Officer
Humane Society of Missouri

Delesha George
Program Manager
Deaconess Foundation

Susan Gobbo
St. Louis Mosaic Project – St. Louis Economic Development Partnership

Chris Gordon
Associate Dean
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Mary Jo Gorman
Harris Stowe State University Foundation Board

Mandy Greeno
Director Human Resources
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company

Katrina Harrison Peoples
Vice President, School Age Initiatives

Kate Hatfield
City of Frontenac

Amanda Hettinger
Thompson Coburn LLP

Melissa Hoffmeister
Client Account Manager – Midwest Water

Lydia Huston
Executive Director
Kwame Charitable Foundation

Jordan Iverson
Global Go To Market Strategy Lead
Bayer Crop Science

Andrea Jackson-Jennings
Managing Director
Regional Response Team

Jassen Johnson
Renaissance Development / Tower Real Estate Group

Lalage Katunga, Ph.D.
Therapeutic Area Manager- Hematology

LaTonya Keaton
Regional Vice President

Shannon Koenig
Executive Director and CEO
Housing Authority of St. Louis County

Dan Lawrence
National Sector Executive, Healthcare and Life Sciences

Adam Layne
City of St. Louis

Laura Lyon
Vice President of Program Strategy & Impact
HeartLands Conservancy

Andrew Marti
Director of Facilities Management
Saint Louis Zoo

Rev. Kim Mason
First Unitarian Church of St. Louis

Jason McClellan
Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Services
Washington University in St. Louis

Matt Miller
Executive Director
Send Me St. Louis

Brian Nolan
Carmody MacDonald P.C.

Allen North
Vice President, Supervision Division
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Kenneth Patrick
Sr. Manager Electrification Policy and Innovation

Virgil Pearson
Dean of Students
Harris-Stowe State University

Kate Polokonis
Executive Director

Erica Raphael-Randall
Talent Acquisition Partner

Malachi Rein
Building Energy Exchange St. Louis

Rosalynn Robinson
Chief People Officer
Ranken Technical College

David Sandler
Vice President, Major Gifts
Muscular Dystrophy Association

Toni Schneider Finch
Vice President of Development
Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri

Jeffrey Shaw
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Harris-Stowe State University

Kristen Slaughter
President and CEO
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri

Julie Scott Soffner
Executive Director
Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation

Andrea Spates, MSN, RN
Director of Operations
Care STL Health

Chris Stephen
V.P. Digital Human Resources

Christine Stewart
Executive Director
St. John’s Community Care

Dawn Suggs
Digital Director
St. Louis American

Kim Tate
Vice President, New Business North America
Ezra Coaching

Cort VanOstran
Gray Ritter Graham

Francine Voss
Director, eCommerce

Ashley Wiehle
Senior Vice President and Partner

Travis Wools
Vice President, Asset Protection & Specialty
Protective Life Corporation