Introducing Our Spring 2024 Class of Emerging Leaders

Becky RasmussenNews

FOCUS St. Louis® has selected 32 talented early-career professionals for the Spring 2024 cohort of Emerging Leaders. This civic leadership program provides participants 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, FOCUS Emerging Leaders has trained more than 600 young professionals from across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

“Emerging Leaders is the perfect opportunity for any early-career professional who wants to take on a greater leadership role in our region,” says Emerging Leaders Program Director Dr. Yolanda Alovor. “Participants leave the program with a better understanding of themselves and our community and a clearer vision for their future.”

During the four-month 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 11,000 leadership program alumni.

The Emerging Leaders program is presented with support from Ameren Missouri, Big League Impact, Dierbergs Markets, Kwame Charitable Foundation, the Asian-American Chamber of Commerce – St. Louis, and RGA Foundation.

Learn more about Emerging Leaders and the other FOCUS civic leadership programs at

Spring 2024 Emerging Leaders Class

Katie Buck
Digital Communications Coordinator
Missouri Historical Society

Ashley Cook
Outreach Coordinator
Angels’ Arms

Erica Driver
Vice President of Compliance and Programs
The Little Bit Foundation

Dr. Elizabeth Eikmann
Program Coordinator
Washington University in St. Louis

Deionna Ferguson

Dr. Brian Gant
Assistant Dean / Assistant Professor
Maryville University

Spencer Gould
Environmental Program Manager
Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Gwendolyn Harris-Cockrell
Recruitment and Retention Manager
Special School District of St. Louis County

Katie Hayes
Communications Specialist

Danna Hilleren
Outreach Coordinator
Great Rivers Greenway

Skylah Hunter
College & Career Counselor
Saint Louis University – Access Academies

Gunnar Johanson
Stinson LLP

Sarah Jones
Account Manager

Tyler Joy
Urban League of Metropolitan Saint Louis, Inc. Women’s Business Center

Christopher King
IT Manager
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Joy Kuhlo
Social Service Coordinator
Horizon Housing Founation

Courtney Lee
Assistant Manager
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Tysha Long
Product Designer
Worldwide Technology

Theresa Martin
Technical Accounting Manager
Edward Jones

Robert Mason II
DoubleWolf Enterprises LLC

Emily McCurren
Substation Design Engineer
Ameren Transmission

Stewart L. McDowell, MA, NCC, PLPC
Clinical Manager
Behavioral Health Response

Calencia Mitchell
Manager, Community Health Improvement
BJC HealthCare

Sofia Moore

Lauren Morton
Manager, Risk & IT Operations
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Gianna Nawrocki
Advocacy Manager
American Association of Orthodontists

Robert Nelson V
Director of Coaching
Prosperity Connection

Aaron Seidel
Assistant Branch Manager
St. Louis County Library

Steward Stiles III, M.Ed.
Associate Director of Student Recruitment & Family Partnership
St. Louis Voices Academy of Media Arts

Mary Tomlinson
Senior Writer
Gorilla 76

Gabrielle Weeden
Community & Program Coordinator
Washington University – African & African American Studies Department

Rulin Olivia Zhang
Audit Senior Manager