As Vice President, Economic Inclusion and Executive Director for the Saint Louis Business Diversity Initiative for the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Valerie Patton is responsible for the strategic direction and management of workforce diversity and inclusion for the business community in the Saint Louis region through training, convening and consulting and regional economic inclusion initiatives. She is the first Executive Director of the Initiative. She is founder of the Initiative Fellows Program (a yearlong leadership development experience) and Gateway Connections (a welcoming orientation for professionals of color.) Patton’s work was featured in the May 2008 edition of Black Enterprise Magazine. She is leading, serving and making a sustainable difference in the business community she serves.
Prior to being appointed in April 2002 to her current position, Patton served as Vice President – Telephone Banking Change Management for Bank of America – St. Louis and was responsible for the management of large projects as they related to sales and marketing initiatives in the call/contact centers.
Patton has held numerous management positions with Bank of America and Southwestern Bell. She served as Vice President – Supplier Diversity and Development, Midwest Region; Vice President – Network and Desktop Technology, Midwest Region; Director – Product Management (Advance Intelligent Network Products) and Process Specialist – Information Systems.
She currently serves as an adjunct professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. She has also served as an adjunct instructor at Harris Stowe State College and Saint Louis Community College at Forest Park in the fields of management, accounting, information technology and business administration.
Patton has received numerous awards and distinctions, including:
- 2005-2011 Civil Service Commissioner, Metropolitan Sewer District of St. Louis
- 2012 St. Louis Community Empowerment Foundation Salute to Women in Leadership Business Leadership Award
- 2012 Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. Unsung Heroine Award
- 2011 St. Louis American Foundation Non-Profit Executive of the Year
- 2010 Women of Women of Achievement for Women’s Empowerment
- 2008 St. Louis Business Journal Most influential Minority Business Leader
- 2005 Washington University in Saint Louis George Warren Brown School of Social Work Danforth Urban Fellow
- 2000 MBE Coordinator of the Year, Saint Louis Minority Business Council
- 2000 Special Leader in Business/Corporate, YWCA of Metropolitan Saint Louis
- 1992 – 1993 Graduate of the FOCUS St. Louis Leadership Saint Louis Program
- 1991 Graduate of the CORO Women in Leadership Program
- Recognized as “Women Who Means Business” in the Minority Business News USA
Patton has served on numerous boards and board committees and is currently on the board of directors for the United Way of Greater St. Louis and Washington University in St. Louis Alumni Board of Governors. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.-St. Louis Alumnae Chapter and the LINKS-Gateway Chapter. She is active in the Howard University Alumni Club of St. Louis where she was a past President.
Patton is a native of Saint Louis, Missouri and holds degrees from Washington University in St. Louis George Warren Brown School of Social Work (MSW) with an emphasis in Social and Economic Development, Webster University (MA) and Howard University (BBA) and has done post graduate studies in Business Management. Patton is single and enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, sports, working out and helping others through enlightenment, engagement, empowerment and influence.