Valerie Patton Named As FOCUS Legacy Alumni Award Honoree

Becky RasmussenAlumni, Events, News

Valerie Patton

At the 27th Annual What’s Right with the Region Awards Celebration on May 9, FOCUS St. Louis will honor Valerie E. Patton, Greater St. Louis, Inc’s Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and President of the Greater St. Louis Foundation, with its 2024 Legacy Alumni Award. Valerie is a 1990 graduate of the FOCUS Women In Leadership program and 1992-93 graduate of Leadership St. Louis.

“Each year, more than 250 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.”

Valerie has spent the last two decades building, leading and designing diversity and inclusion strategies. In her current role, she is responsible for the strategic direction and management of diversity, equity, and inclusion and workforce/talent for the business community in the St. Louis region through training, convening and consulting and regional economic inclusion initiatives. She is founder of The Fellows Experience, a yearlong leadership development experience, and Gateway Connections, a welcoming orientation for professionals of color.

She has held numerous management positions with St. Louis Regional Chamber, Bank of America and AT&T (formerly SBC and Southwestern Bell). She serves as an adjunct professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and has served as an adjunct instructor at Harris-Stowe University and St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.

Valerie has served on numerous boards and committees, including United Way of Greater St. Louis, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Regent-Harris Stowe State University, Joint Governing Board-Normandy Schools Collaborative, St. Louis Delta Foundation, Former Trustee-Fontbonne University, and Former Board of Visitors for Howard University School of Business. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.-St. Louis Alumnae Chapter and member of the Education Committee. She has been featured in Black Enterprise Magazine and Diversity and has received the St. Louis Business Journal’s Most Influential Women in Business Award, NCCJ’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Webster University’s Champion for All Award, and the St. Louis American Foundation’s Non-Profit Executive of the Year.

All are invited to join us to recognize this outstanding FOCUS alum, along with all of our What’s Right with the Region honorees, on May 9. Tickets are on sale now!