Finding Common Ground Through Civil Discourse
Date(s) - February 07, 2024
8:00 am - 9:30 am
Missouri History Museum
5700 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63112
Registration is now closed. If you need to make changes to an existing registration, please contact Kayla Dix at email@example.com.
Civil discourse is more than just a mutual exchange of ideas; it’s a vital ingredient to better public policy and leadership. How do we foster meaningful and productive discourse? Join FOCUS St. Louis and the Missouri History Museum, as we bring together experienced politicians and leaders to share their perspectives on finding common ground and working across divides in our region.
- Moderator: Jody Sowell, Ph.D., President & CEO, Missouri Historical Society (FOCUS Board Member)
- Charlie Dooley, Former St. Louis County Executive
- John Nations, Former President & CEO of Bi-State Development and Mayor of Chesterfield
- Francis Slay, Former St. Louis City Mayor
- Colleen Wasinger, Former St. Louis County Council Member
8:00-8:30 a.m. – Check-in and Networking
8:30-9:30 a.m. – Panel Discussion
There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is required.
About Our Panelists
Charles A. Dooley grew up in St. Louis, attending the St. Louis Public Schools and graduating from Wellston School District. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged in 1968. After his military service, Dooley went to work for McDonnell Douglas/Boeing and retired after 30 years of service in 1999.
His political career began with positions in Northwoods, where he was elected as Alderman in 1978 ad as mayor in 1983. He served as mayor until he was elected to the St. Louis County Council in 1994. He was the first African-American elected to the council, and was re-elected in 1998 and 2002. In 2003, Dooley was appointed St. Louis County Executive, following the death of County Executive Buzz Westfall. In 2006, Dooley was reelected to a full term and continued to serve in the position until Jan. 1, 2015.
During his career, John M. Nations has negotiated opportunities with a range of public officials including Presidential Cabinet Secretaries, federal agency leaders, Governors, state agency leaders, county leaders, municipal officials, and special district leaders. Prior to joining Evans & Dixon as a Member and Practice Chair in the firm’s Business Services Group, Nations served three terms as Mayor of Chesterfield. Later in 2010, he was recruited to be the President & CEO of Bi-State Development. Nations lead this organization for 8 years and was the longest serving President and CEO in Bi-State Development history.
Nations has served, and continues to serve, on many regional boards and commissions and has been recognized with commendations from the Missouri Senate, Missouri House of Representatives, the St. Louis County Council, St. Louis County Executive, St. Louis Board of Aldermen, Mayor of St. Louis, as well as business and civic groups ranging from the St. Louis Major Case Squad and the Municipal League of St.Louis to Little League Baseball, and has repeatedly been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential St. Louisans.
Francis G. Slay was the longest-serving mayor in St. Louis history, elected to the office four consecutive times and holding the position from 2001 to 2017. Key initiatives of his administration focused on improving the quality of life in neighborhoods, the revitalization of North St. Louis, better public education, and the efficient and equitable delivery of City services. Prior to being elected mayor, the St. Louis native served as an alderman for 10 years, then as president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen from 1995 to 2001.
An attorney by trade, Slay joined the law firm of Guilfoil, Petzall and Shoemake in 1981, where he practiced for 20 years and became a partner specializing in commercial litigation and business law. Slay received his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law. He holds a degree in political science from Quincy College and is a graduate of St. Mary’s High School.
He currently serves as the Executive Director of the St. Louis Regional Crime Commission and was recently appointed to Missouri’s State Highways and Transportation Commission.
Colleen Wasinger served on the St. Louis County Council, representing the Third District, from 2007 to 2018. While on the Council, she served on the Public Improvements Committee, Committee on Justice, Health and Welfare, and Committee of the Whole. Prior to being elected to the County Council, she served on the Town and Country Board of Aldermen. Colleen has served on the board for Angels’ Arms, Mercy Foundation’s Women and Children Advisory Board and the Community Advisory Board at Missouri Baptist Hospital.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from Missouri State University and an MBA and law degree from St. Louis University. As an attorney, she focuses on real estate investment and property rights.