Meet Our Alumni
A native of Buffalo, NY, Tony Zagora moved to St. Louis in 2005 to join the public affairs team of FleishmanHillard. While much of his time is spent advising clients on government relations, coalition building and community affairs, he felt there was still more to learn about the region where he’d made his home.
What prompted you to apply for Leadership St. Louis (LSL)?
As someone who grew up outside of St. Louis, I was very eager to learn about and experience firsthand many of the aspects of our region still unfamiliar to me. I knew I could learn a lot through the program.
Along the way, I made some incredible connections, and it’s great to see some of my friends and classmates popping up all over the region doing wonderful things that are truly making an impact. FOCUS and LSL people are everywhere!
What program day made the most impact for you?
The day we spent visiting schools in different parts of St. Louis definitely stands out as the most transformative for me. Over the course of the program we addressed several big and difficult topics, but seeing the impact a school or an educator or the various resources (or lack therof) can have on a child is really incredible. It all starts in the schools.
What did you gain from the program?
To me, the most valuable aspect of Leadership St. Louis is exposure – to topics, programs, organizations and people who are impacting our region every single day. If everyone in St. Louis could be exposed to the issues we face through a program like LSL, I believe people would have a very different perspective on how we should act as a region.
I certainly have a broader view of what goes on in our community and the extent to which we need to use our roles within our companies to be a positive force in St. Louis.
We have some very big issues to tackle, but I truly believe we are headed in the right direction. FOCUS is quietly convening some very difficult conversations among the leaders in St. Louis. It brings together the right people on the right topics to find solutions.