FOCUS St. Louis Pilot Tests New Board-Matching Program

Becky RasmussenNews

FOCUS St. Louis® is now accepting applications from nonprofit organizations and individuals for the pilot test of BoardBridge, our new board-matching service. The initiative is being led by FOCUS Executive-In-Residence Anna Crosslin to help nonprofit organizations diversify their boards, especially in connecting with immigrants and those who have who have grown up in immigrant households.

“In my 42 years as President & CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis, I referred many ethnically diverse candidates for potential nonprofit board positions,” said FOCUS Executive-In-Residence Anna Crosslin. “Now that I am retired, I am deeply aware that such a process needs to be institutionalized so our efforts can be sustained and grow. Including ethnically diverse St. Louisans on our nonprofit boards is essential if we are to think, act, and be more inclusive in a region that is evolving racially, culturally, and socially.”

There is no cost for organizations or individuals to participate, and applications for the pilot program are being accepted through Oct. 20, 2023.

“Connecting individuals with meaningful opportunities to lead and engage in our St. Louis region is central to our FOCUS mission,” said FOCUS President & CEO Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch. “We’re excited for this opportunity to both serve our nonprofit community and ensure more voices and perspectives are brought to the table.”

BoardBridge aims to complement other St. Louis board recruitment initiatives, not replace them. Joining Anna Crosslin on the steering committee for the pilot launch are:

  • Betsy Cohen, Executive Director, St. Louis Mosaic Project
  • Nhi Doan, Board Member, Asian American Chamber of Commerce-St. Louis
  • Robin Feder, Executive Director Emeritus, Central Institute for the Deaf
  • Martha Garcia Kampen, Executive Director, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro St. Louis
  • Geoffrey Soyiantet, Executive Director, Vitendo4Africa

Learn more and apply at