Announcing the 2024-25 Class of Leadership St. Louis

Becky RasmussenNews

FOCUS St. Louis has selected 60 outstanding individuals from the private, public and nonprofit sectors for the 49th Leadership St. Louis (LSL) class. These participants join a prestigious group of more than 2,700 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, local government 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.

2024-25 Leadership St. Louis Class

Abdul-Kaba Abdullah
Executive Director
Park Central Development Corporation

Michael Adams
Vice President & Chief Actuary
Protective Asset Protection

Maurice Allen
Regional Community Development Relationship Manager
Midland States Bank

Lindsey Alt
Director, Leadership Development and the Institute for Leadership Excellence
Washington University in St. Louis

Jason Archer
Vice President, Business Development
St. Louis Economic Development Partnership

Sean Armstrong
Dean School of Continuing & Professional Studies
Washington University in St. Louis

Kathryn P. Banks
Associate Dean of Experiential Learning
Saint Louis University School of Law

BreAnne Maynard Best
Manager, Outreach and Engagement
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Candace Bingham
Director of Purchasing and Supplier Diversity
Saint Louis Zoo

Matt Burkemper
Director of Finance & Corporate Development
Commerce Bancshares, Inc.

Dr. Kristine Lee Callis-Duehl
Executive Director of Education
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Anne Marie Carroll
Director of Development
Veterans Community Project, St. Louis

Vanessa Cooksey
President & CEO
Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis

Adrienne Dawson
Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging, NA & LATAM

Natasha Dunwoody
Studio Lead | Project Architect

Jennifer Engeling
Edward Jones

Ronke Faleti
Korédé House

Lathon C. Ferguson
Area Executive Director, Missouri
ALSAC / St. Jude

Latosha Fowlkes, LCSW
President & CEO
The Core Collective at Saint Vincent

Ta’Lisha Franklin
Center Director
Cornerstone Center for Early Learning

Dr. Marissa Hardwrict
Education Specialist / Training Navigator
Washington University in St. Louis

Reggie Hill
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Enrollment and Career Advancement
University of Missouri- St. Louis

Dr. Yu-Ting Hsu
Principal Scientist

Cindy Hults
Senior Scrum Master
Edward Jones

Zasmine Johnson
Director Of Programs
Girls Inc. of St. Louis

Marius Johnson-Malone
Senior Director of Projects and Partnerships
Center for Civic Research and Innovation

Scott Kinley Jones II
Development Officer
Lift for Life Academy

Usha Kesavan
Growth Officer

Fatima Khan
Thompson Coburn LLP

Ashwini Kherdekar
LCSW, Owner
Paisley Advising and Consulting
Senior Advisor
Youth In Need

Emily Koenig
Executive Director
St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund

Monique Levy
Levy Consulting Co.

Dierre Littleton
Vice President of Equity
KIPP St. Louis Public Schools

Michelle McClay
Vice President, Chief Strategic Integration Officer

Kathleen Navin
Senior Business Economist
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Joseph Neely
Behr, McCarter, Neely & Gabris, PC

Erika Nilles-Plumlee
Vice President, Human Resources
StoneBridge Senior Living

Crystal Officer
Beverly Farm Foundation

Angela Pancella
Community Empowerment Assistant
Dutchtown South Community Corporation

Patricia Parchmon
St. Louis Community Credit Union

Colleen Polak

Rachel Pourchot
Associate Director
BJC Behavioral Health

Rachel Powers
Partner, Communications and Coalitions
The Opportunity Trust

David Pradhan
Director Business Development
The Haskell Company

Sierhah Price
Marian Middle School

Dan Richter
Director of Volunteer Engagement & Service Learning
LifeWise StL

Alex Roberts
Senior Vice President

Christopher Ryan
Director & Once Films

Tayesha Schuldt
VP Associate Experience & Engagement
Enterprise Bank & Trust

Wes Seaton
President of Operations
KIPP St. Louis Public School

Adrienne Sharp
Managing Director of Communications
Missouri Historical Society

Tamara Sheffield
SVP- Finance and Administrative Services
Forest Park Forever

Arinola Solanke
Founder / CEO
MyEventsCoordinator Party Rentals

Laura Stallings
Director of Education
International Institute of St. Louis

Geoffrey Vaughn
Senior Associate | Architect
Mackey Mitchell Architects

Jeff Wade
Executive Director
Asian American Chamber of Commerce St. Louis

Scott Weindel
Edward Jones

Roy Whitley
Chief Operating Officer
Rx Outreach

Patrick Wilkins
Senior Operations Manager (STL5 Site Lead)

Chelsey Winsor
Senior Audit Manager
Armanino, LLP