Meet Our Alumni

Although it’s been 10 years since Marti Cortez went through Leadership St. Louis, she continues to stay connected to FOCUS St. Louis. After the program, she went on to serve on the FOCUS board of directors for six years and and continues to serve as a committee member. She’s also a long-time FOCUS member and a regular attendee at alumni dinners and events.

What drew you to Leadership St. Louis?

At the time, the head of my organization talked to me about FOCUS and said that with the passion and energy I had around serving in our community, this would help me expand my network and help me meet others with similar interests.  Leadership St. Louis was all I expected and more.

What was the biggest lesson you took away?

Two things: First, everyone can make a difference, even if you only serve to connect others. Networking and getting to know your cohort is key to a successful experience in the FOCUS programs. Also, I learned how much the FOCUS Leadership St. Louis Program (LSL) can fast-forward your exposure to the issues in our region that we must understand in order to collaborate in creating a thriving St. Louis region.   

Because of my FOCUS St. Louis program, I’m much more aware and keen to issues related to integrity, fairness, and equity. I can now make decisions with greater conviction and confidence.

What impact have you seen in your life and career as a result?

After every session, I’d share some insights with my family and it helped me start some conversations at home, we might not have had.  In addition, many of the relationships formed through Leadership St. Louis blossomed into life-long friendships.  Even after 10 years, I feel I can call on any of my cohorts and seek advice or help.  I am so enriched by the diverse group of people I met through LSL and am honored to have expanded my service to our community as a result of this expanded network of caring people.

Marti Cortez, Leadership St. Louis

Marti Cortez

Leadership St. Louis 2007-08
Director of Business and Community Relations, Ameren Missouri