Harriet Baron taught elementary school for many years. She recently retired as the Director of Washington University's "January Student" program for those who being their freshman year with the January Semester. In that position she provided counseling to these students throughout their undergraduate career. She is a graduate of Michigan University, receiving a B.S. in Education, and an M.S. in Special Education.
Director, Department of Revenue
Alana Barragán- Scott served as acting director of the Department of Revenue for four months before being appointed director by Gov. Jay Nixon in October 2009. She had been the deputy director and general counsel. She is also a 15-year veteran of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. A graduate of MU, Barragán-Scott holds dual major in biological science and psychology, and a jurist doctor from the School of Law. She served as an adjunct professor for the law school from 2004 to 2009.
Dean, College of Education at UMSL
Dean Basile has led the College of Education at UMSL since August 1, 2012. She served previously as professor of education and chair of the Advanced Urban Education program at the University of Colorado Denver.
Dr. Brenda Bethman
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Brenda Bethman has been Director of UMKC Women’s Center since January 2007. She also holds appointments as Acting Director of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program and as Affiliated Faculty in German in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Before landing at UMKC, she worked as the Director of the Women’s & Gender Equity Resource Center at Texas A&M University and in a variety of graduate positions at the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst. Brenda has presented and published on altac careers, social media, assessment, women's leadership, women's literature, Austrian literature, and feminism in a variety of venues. She was recently appointed to the Modern Language Association's Committee on Academic Freedom, Rights, and Responsibilities.
Founder and Managing Director, Monkey Tales Theatre
Tracy Bono is managing director for Monkey Tales Theatre, a professional non-profit 501©(3) theatre company entertaining children of all ages through live stage performances. She also manages a program at St. Charles Community College, offering classes to adults with developmental disabilities. Tracy holds a BS from Missouri State University and a MS from Lindenwood University. She has worked in executive level human resources and has 16 years of experience working in human services. Tracy has participated in various theatrical productions as a performer and worked on many stage crews. She has also worked in television radio and film documentaries. In 2008, she had the opportunity to direct on original one-act play she wrote for the History Theatre Festival at St. Charles Community College. She, and her husband, have three children ranging in age from 5 to 18.
CEO, YWCA Metro St. Louis
Adrian E. Bracy has been the chief executive officer at YWCA Metro St. Louis since August 2009. While she moved here from Arizona to assume the position, she is no stranger to St. Louis having previously worked for more than a decade as an executive for the St. Louis Rams. She left to become the chief financial officer for the Arizona Cardinals in 2007. Bracy has more than 20 years of senior management finance experience with professional sports teams that include the St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins/Joe Robbie Stadium. She has served on a number of non-profit boards, including that of YWCA Metro St. Louis. She graduated from Morgan State University in Baltimore with a degree in accounting and has a master's degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University. She has completed the Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Leadership Program.
Chief of Staff, St. Louis Regional Health Commission
Jennifer joined the St. Louis Regional Health Commission in 2010 as Chief of Staff. In this position, she leads the Commission's planning efforts to develop a pilot coverage model for the uninsured as part of the Gateway to Better Health demonstration project, which was awarded to the State of Missouri in 2010. Prior to joining RHC, Jennifer was a senior vice president at Standing Partnership. Jennifer also served as president of Patrick Davis Partners, a brand strategy and brand management firm. She also worked for BJC HealthCare in their corporate communications department. Jennifer's work has appeared in Vital Speeches for the Day, which published a speech prepared for a surgeon about the importance of patient/physician relationships. She earned her undergraduate degree with honors from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, where she currently serves as the president of the alumnae board.
Nadia Brown, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor, Saint Louis University
Dr. Nadia Brown, Assistant Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Saint Louis University, teaches and conducts research in the areas of American politics, race and ethnicity, as well as women and politics. Dr. Brown received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2010 in the field of women and politics and American politics with a certificate in Women's and Gender Studies. Dr. Brown received a B.A. (also in Political Science) from Howard University in 2004. She has previously taught at Rutgers University, University of Hartford, Fairleigh Dickerson University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Middlesex Community College. Dr. Brown's current research focuses on the role that identity plays in legislative decision-making and representation.
Retired Circuit Judge
Judge Burger retired from the bench in 2008 after 13 years as a Circuit Judge in the Twenty Second Judicial Circuit (1995-2008). She was the trial judge for many complicated civil cases including multi-week trials and one trial lasting three months. In 1997, she was appointed to sit on the Missouri Supreme Court to hear cases as a special judge. She was Presiding Judge for the St. Louis Drug Court for two years; Truancy Court Judge at Roosevelt High School for four years. Before becoming a judge, she practiced law for nineteen years; first as a prosecutor for four years with the Juvenile Court and then as an Assistant Circuit Attorney. For the next fifteen years, she practiced law with small firms or in solo practice. She served as a Hearing Officer for the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners during that time.
Missouri Secretary of State
Robin Carnahan was first elected Missouri's Secretary of State in 2004. While in Office, she has modernized Missouri's elections system. In addition, she successfully fought for the creation of, and currently administers, Missouri's Safe at Home address confidentiality program, which helps protect victims of domestic violence from continued abuse. Prior to her election, Carnahan had a successful career in business and law. She served at the Export-Import Bank of the United States and also specialized in business and corporate law at a major Missouri law firm. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Carnahan worked in central and eastern Europe with the National Democratic Institute helping rebuild the region's economies and governments by drafting voting laws, training new political leaders and monitoring elections. In 2008, she served as co-chair of the Elections Committee for bi-partisan National Association of Secretaries of State. A fifth generation Missourian, Carnahan grew up in Rolla, Missouri, and graduated from Rolla High School. Carnahan earned a bachelor's degree in economics, graduating magna cum laude from William Jewell College, a small Baptist college in northwest Missouri. She earned her law degree from the University of Virginia. Today, in addition to her duties as Secretary of State, Carnahan continues to manager her family's 900-acre farm and cattle operation near Rolla. She is also an avid runner (having completed five marathons) and an instrument-rated pilot. Her husband, Juan Carlos, develops and maintains business computer systems.
MU Office of Service Learning
Anne Case-Halferty is the Sue Shear advisor for the University of Missouri - Columbia campus and current program coordinator for the Office of Service-Learning at the University of Missouri. In her current role, she works closely with the local Columbia community to create and expand opportunities for Mizzou students to engage in meaningful service activities and make an impact in their community. Born in Columbia and raised on a farm in nearby Ashland, Anne is a third-generation MU graduate, earning a bachelor's in English and political science in 2008. She later completed her Master's in Public Administration from the Truman School of Public Affairs, also at MU, with a focus on organization and community change. In addition to her role as program coordinator, Anne works extensively with veterans issues at the University to assist student veterans in their transition from the military to higher education. In the summers, Anne coordinates an international service-learning program in Cape Coast, Ghana, where she serves alongside twenty undergraduate students at a range of public health and education organizations.
Associate Provost and Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
Professor Cohen joined the University of Missouri - St. Louis faculty as a member of the College of Education in 1980. As Director of the Center of Teaching and Learning, she leads programs to engage faculty, graduate students, staff, and administrators in campus-wide discussions about teaching and learning, civic engagement, diversity, and other emerging issues. She serves on the Advisory Committees of two University of Missouri System Initiatives, the President's Academic Leadership Institute and the UM New Faculty Teaching Scholars Program.
Director of Health and Senior Services
Margaret Donnelly was appointed director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services by Governor Jay Nixon on January 12, 2009. As director of DHSS, she serves as the state's top public health official, overseeing 1,800 employees and a budget of over 900 million. Her responsibilities range from planning Missouri's response to disasters to inspecting hospitals and child care centers to supervising programs that allow seniors and people with disabilities to live independently. Ms. Donnelly, who holds both a master's degree in social work and a law degree, previously spent six years (2003-2009) in the Missouri House of Representatives representing part of St. Louis County. In addition to her service in the House of Representatives, Ms. Donnelly was an attorney in private practice fro 20 years. She previously worked as a social worker at schools in Missouri and Wisconsin and with the Missouri Department of Social Services. She was a member of the Ferguson-Florissant School Board from 1986 to 1992, including one term as president of the board. From 1991 to 1992, she was the chair of the Commission for Abused Women and Children, which established the first domestic violence shelter in St. Louis County. She was a member of the METRO Board of Commissions from 1999 to 2002 and the board of directors of Beyond Housing from 1981 to 1984. Previously, she served on the board of directors of the Family Support Network. A 1988 graduate of St. Louis University's law school, Ms. Donnelly earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in social work from the same university in 1975 and 1977, respectively.
Mayra Flesner, 2003 Shear Fellow
Attorney at Law
Mayra was a student at the University of Central Missouri when she attended the Leadership Academy in 2004. She subsequently transferred to UMSL and was an intern at the Sue Shear Institute until she graduated in 2007 with degrees in Spanish and Political Science. Mayra is a graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law where she earned a Juris Doctorate along with a certificate in International and Comparative Law. In 2010, Mayra and a law school classmate opened their own woman-owned law firm. Mayra practices in the areas of criminal defense, family law, traffic and DWI, and immigration. In her free time she enjoys running half-marathons and Tae Kwon Do.
Educator and elected official
As a high school history teacher, Barbara Fraser was deeply committed to education and public accountability. She served four terms on her local school board before Rep. Sue Shear suggested that she run for her State Re. seat, upon her retirement in 1998. Triumphing in a hotly contested primary and general election, Barbara served four terms in the Missouri house. She championed education issues, from pre-K through funding for the University of Missouri campuses, while also advocating for the health and safety of children, seniors and women. Term-limited out of the House in 2006, Fraser then beat a three-term incumbent to win a seat on the St. Louis County Council. She became the champion of the effort to protect the health of restaurant employees and the general public by fighting for country wide limitation on smoking on public places. These efforts resulted in placing the “Clean Indoor Air Act” on the ballot in 2009. Approved overwhelmingly by the voters, this victory resulted in a similar law going into effect in the City of St. Louis. In 2010, she ran for the State Senate and lost by 150 votes out of 61,112 cast. Barbara has two grown daughters and is married to Norm Jones.
Senior Vice President of Community Investments of United Way of Greater St. Louis
As senior vice president of community investment, Kathy is responsible for oversight and direction of the distribution of more than $60 million to 180 health and human service organizations in a 16-county region. Kathy manages additional initiatives including specialized regional activities ensuring that public and private resources are used to coordinate system change and improve service delivery. She is a member of FOCUS St. Louis, and a board member of Gateway Center of Giving, Shearwater school, and the Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI). Kathy was named one of the St. Louis Business Journal's 2011 Most Influential Business Women.
Family Financial Education Specialist, UM Extension
Suzanne Gellman is a Consumer Economics Specialist with the University of Missouri Extension Program. Suzanne develops educational materials and curriculum, coordinates and presents seminars and does consulting on financial planning, financial management practices, and various legal topics. Suzanne works with a variety of community organizations, agencies, and companies to provide high-quality educational information and programs to help individuals and families address challenges and improve their lives. Suzanne coordinates the Women's Financial Education Series locally that has had over 700 participants. She is also the coordinator for the Get Checking program in the East Central Region of Missouri, a program that helps people without a checking or savings account establish or re-establish a relationship with a financial institution. Suzanne has her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Consumer Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has her Law degree from St. Louis University School of Law. She is a member of the Missouri Bar.
Thomas F. George,
Chancellor, Professor of Chemistry and Physics, UMSL
Thomas F. George has held the role of chancellor and professor of chemistry and physics at the University of Missouri - St. Louis since 2003. As chancellor, he oversees academic and administrative operations fo a university with 16,800 students, 2,500 faculty and staff, 40 academic buildings and a $200 million annual operating budget. An accomplished jazz pianist, Chancellor George has studies with faculty at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
Brittany Gholson, 2010 Shear Fellow
Brittany Gholson graduated from Southeast Missouri State University this May, with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies emphasizing in the areas of Political Science, Speech Communication, Criminal Justice, and Business. At SEMO, she was an active member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, and was President of the Southeast Dance Marathon, raising money for the Children's Miracle Network. She was an active participant in the Model United Nations club, Internationals Business Club, and served as a Presidential Ambassador. In the summer of 2011, she was part of a 15-member delegation to Rwanda with Global Youth Connect, working to advance human rights. This summer she is leaving for a 10 month Idex Fellowship in India, working to expand sustainable social enterprises in schools near Hyderabad. Her long-term goal is to attend law school and work on international human rights issues.
Comptroller, City of St. Louis
The Honorable Darlene Green, Comptroller of the City of St. Louis, serves as the City's Chief Fiscal Officer. She directs all the fiscal affairs of the City for a combined annual budget of more than $900 million. As Chief Fiscal Officer, she is a member of the Executive Branch of City government, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. Ms. Green is a member of many citywide boards and commissions, including the Airport Commission, and is a Trustee for the City's Retirement Systems. She is the first woman elected to the position. During her tenure in City government, first as Budget Director and now as Comptroller, St. Louis recorded nine consecutive years of multi-million dollar budget surpluses and seven credit rating upgrades. In May 2008, the City was upgraded to an A+ credit rating for the first time in 35 years. Darlene Green is a native St. Louisan and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Washington University. She has over 30 years of experience in both the public and private finance sectors. Ms. Green actively works in her community with both charitable and professional organizations. She is a member of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA); Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA); and Friendly Temple M.B. Church. She is also a member of the National Women's Political Caucus of Metro St. Louis.
Professor Emeritus, St. Charles County Community College
Nancy Greenwood is a former Mayor of the rapidly growing west St. Louis County city of Chesterfield. She served from 1997 to 2001 and is the first woman to hold that office. She was Ward 1 City Council member from 1990 to 1994. During her administration, Nancy oversaw the acquisition of land for Chesterfield City Hall, established a Charter Commission and worked to assure that this new community had ball fields and walking paths. In her professional life, Nancy was Professor, Computer Science/Web Page Development at St. Charles Community College. She retired from this position in 2010. Her volunteer service includes Vice President fo the Municipal Park Grant Commission of St. Louis County and a founding and current Board Member of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life. She and her husband have two adult daughters.
Trustee, St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees
In April 2008, Melissa Hattman won 48 percent of the vote in a four-way election to win a seat on the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees. It was her first run for public office. She is a graduate of the 2008 Pipeline to Local Office program and serves as Director of Community College Relations for the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Director of Executive Leadership Consortium at UMSL
Malaika Horne is founding director of the UMSL Executive Leadership Consortium - Division of Continuing Education at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. Previously, she served as a professor at Webster University - School of Communications and Journalism. Before that, she was managing director of Narcotics Service Council. Dr. Horne is Curator Emeritus of the University of Missouri System, serving as president in 1997. She currently serves as board member of te St. Louis Art Museum, POW (Professional Organization of Women), the Sue Shear Institute, and a member of Ready Readers, a program that promotes reading to underserved children. A longtime advocate of character education for children, she serves on the national advisory council of Sri Sathya Sai Baba Education in Human Values, a worldwide organization. She is recipient of the 2001 Women of Achievement Award, 2009 Hellenic Spirit Award and has received numerous other recognitions and awards. Malaika is married and lives in the Central West End neighborhood with her husband, Prince A. Wells, III, music professor at SIUE. She has a bachelor's degree in Sociology from UMSL; a master's degree in Urban Affairs from St. Louis University; a doctorate in public policy studies from Saint Louis University and a post-doctorate in psychiatric epidemiology and bio-statistics from Washington University School of Medicine - Department of Psychiatry.
Chief of Staff, Illinios Lt. Governor's Office
Hirner holds a Bachelor's and Master's in Park and Resource Management from the University of Missouri - Columbia; a Ph.D. in Land Use Planning from Texas Tech University; and a law degree from Saint Louis University. She met Lt. Governor Simon on the campaign trail during the 2010 election cycle, at which time Hirner was running for a Congressional seat. When she lost, Lt. Governor Simon asked her to serve as her Chief of Staff. In that role since December 2010, Hirner formerly served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group, a trade association; the Conservation Federation of Missouri, an advocacy organization representing the interests of hunters and anglers; the Policy Director for Governor Mel Carnahan of Missouri, and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Bob Holden of Missouri. She has more than 25 year career in natural resource management, having a long stint with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Hirner began her career as a ranger naturalist with the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation, where she served as a member of the horse mounted unit.
Mayor of Greendale
Monica Huddleston is serving her second term as mayor of Greendale, MO. She was first elected in 2003 and was the first female and first African-American to be elected to this position in her municipality. She chose not to run for reelection in 2007, but couldn't stay away; she ran again and defeated the incumbent in April 2011. A former business executive, Mayor Huddleston retired in 2000 after a 25 year career with Southwestern Bell. She is a member of the Advisory board for the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public and serves as Vice President of The Great Rivers Greenway Board of Directors. She is a former President of the National Association of Black Telecommunications Professionals, and a member of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors and the St. Louis County Municipal League Program Committee. She earned a B.A. in Economics at the George Washington University and a M.A. in Telecommunications Management from Webster University.
American Association of University Women
Nancy Hutchins has worked as a teacher, guidance counselor, psychological examiner, and educational diagnostician in inner city, suburbs, and rural settings. She has also worked as a marketing analyst and sales analyst in the automotive industry. She is the past Public Policy Co-chair for AAUW-MO. Nancy earned a BA and MEd from UMSL, and an MBA from SIU-E.
Bethany Johnson-Javois, CEO
St. Louis Integrated Health Network
As CEO of the Integrated Health Network, Ms. Johnson serves as the liaison between the region's health care providers and the local community. She possesses over 15 years of broad based experience working and volunteering in the non-profit sector for organizations that positively impact life chances for disadvantaged populations. Her leadership in managing the region's access to behavioral health initiative for the St. Louis Regional Health Commission won the National Alliance on Mental Illness' (NAMI) 2007 Outstanding Civic Leader Award. Additionally, she was chosen to be a delegate in 2002 Global Alliance for Justice Education Summit in Durban, South Africa. Bethany has a BS in International Business Management from Missouri State University. She also holds a Masters in Social Work from Brown School at Washington University where she was a Danforth Urban Fellow and was selected for the Missouri Education Policy Fellowship Program. She is a frequent guest speaker, trainer, and facilitator around spiritual development, leadership, and youth capacity building and is licensed Evangelist Missionary in the Churches of God in Christ.
State Representative (D-District 63, St. Louis City)
Rep. Tishaura Jones was elected in 2008 and represents the 63rd District, which includes all of Downtown St. Louis and several historic neighborhoods South and West of Downtown. Currently in her second term, Rep. Jones serves as Assistant Minority Floor Leader. She is the first African American ever to hold this post in the Missouri House of Representatives. Currently, Tishaura is the Vice President of Public Finance at a minority owned investment banking and financial services company, as well as an active volunteer with her Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. In 2005, she was selected to represent the United States on an American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and she was recently selected for the prestigious Toll Fellowship Program sponsored by the Council of State Governments. Rep. Jones received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Hampton University in 1994 and a master’s degree in Health Administration from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health in 2001.
General Counsel, METRO
Dee Joyce-Hayes is the General Counsel for Metro, which owns and operates St. Louis' public transportation system. From 1993-2000, she served as the elected Circuit Attorney for the City of St. Louis. In this role she was the lead prosecutor for the City, and oversaw a staff of over 50 attorneys. She has also worked in a private law firm, and is an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Metropolitan Sewer District, and serves on the Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission. Joyce-Hayes is active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scout Council of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis Children's Advocacy Services and St. Louis for Kids. She also serves as president of The Backstoppers. She is a member of the Missouri Bar, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Mound City Bar and the Women Lawyers of Greater St. Louis. Joyce-Hayes earned a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and her law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law.
JD, RNC, MSN, WHCNP
Teaching Associate Professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis
In addition to her ongoing teaching at UMSL in the areas of Health Policy and Women’s Health Management, MS Kendig began practicing law in these areas after obtaining her law degree from the University of Missouri in 2007. She was the only nurse appointed by Gov. Holden to the MO Commission on Patient Safety (2003-4) and has been appointed to the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee. Her research interests include collaborative community-based program development, health needs of adolescent women athletes, mid-life women’s health and integrated women’s health care. She earned her BSN from Maryville University and her MSN from UMKC.
Shear Fellow 2007
Traci Kennedy currently serves as administrative coordinator at Missouri Health Connection. Prior to joining Missouri Health Connection, Kennedy worked with the University of Missouri Wellness Resource Center, where she was Coordinator for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation grant programs. Her experiences as an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Missouri including serving as legislative, lobbying and campaign intern as well as organizing GOTV efforts and candidate forums through the Associated Students of the University of Missouri.
Administrative Director of ADR Programs and Senior Lecturer, Washington University School of Law
CJ Larkin is the Administrative Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Programs and Senior Lecturer in Law at Washington University Law School. Professor Larkin has an extensive legal background as a public defender, appellate attorney, bank counsel, family lawyer and guardian ad litem. She has served as lobbyist and as political staff for a county elected official and U.S. Senate party nominee. Professor Larkin has worked in intercultural conflict resolution leadership training, most recently for the Ethiopian Community Association of Missouri’s Workshop on Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures, co-sponsored by the International Institute and Washington University School of Law. She provides conflict resolution consultation and training for St. Louis immigrant-refugee agencies, such as the International Institute St. Louis, the African Mutual Assistance Association of Missouri and the Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma. A Fulbright Senior Specialist in Dispute Resolution in Utrecht, The Netherlands, she has served as the project coordinator and trainer for a U. S. State Department grant in Nepal and as a co-mediator with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service. In spring 2004, she was selected as a cultural competence trainer on Arab, Muslim and Sikh Americans for the United States Department of Justice’s Community Relations Services. She is Chair of the Missouri Bar’s ADR committee and serves as the faculty advisor for the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute.
Mary Ann Lazarus
Director of Sustainable Design, HOK
Mary Ann Lazarus, AIA, is a founder of sustainable design initiative and serves as Director of Sustainable Design at Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, Inc. (HOK), a global architectural design and services firm. In that role, Mary Ann promotes the implementation of sustainable strategies in all HOK’s work through development of training, resource material, case studies, and direct consultation with design teams. Under her leadership, LEED accreditation has become a requirement for all firms’ design professionals. As a result, more than 1,000 HOK designers have become LEED accredited during her tenure. In 2005, she co-wrote the book “HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design, 2nd edition,” a reference for a green building integration that is used in college classrooms. Lazarus is the architecture chair of Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ National Council. In addition, she serves on various “green” councils both nationally and locally, including the program committee of the U.S. Green Building Council’s St. Louis chapter and the advisory board of Sustainable St. Louis. She was recognized in 2008 as one of the “Most Influential Businesswomen” by the St. Louis Business Journal. She holds a Masters of Architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a BA from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
Principal and Owner, Reputare Consulting
As a journalism major at K-State and then a graduate student at Mizzou, prior to joining the Peace Corps, Linda couldn't have imagined that she would one day be the Group Head, Senior Vice President of MasterCard Worldwide. Her great communication and people skills combined with creativity and serious work ethic provided her with the opportunity to live in New York City and travel the world. She has returned to St. Louis and started a business "Reputare Consulting" that helps business learn how they are perceived and trusted by their stakeholders. She asserts that "corporate reputation is hard to building and easy to destroy." Linda began to apply her talents as a campaign worker while living in Columbia in 1980 and has maintained an interest in politics. She is married to Missouri State Representative Rory Ellinger; they have two adult children.
Director, Gateway Center for Giving
Mary McMurtry is currently President of the Gateway Center for Giving (formerly The Metropolitan Association for Philanthropy). Prior to joining the Center, she served as Executive Director of Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis. Before changing sectors to human services, she served as the Executive Director of the Wildlife Rescue Center (now the Missouri Wildlife Center). Mary serves on several boards including the Advisory Board of the Better Business Bureau of St. Louis, the Steering Committee for the Statewide Association of Nonprofits, the Women's Foundation of Greater St. Louis, the St. Mary's Hospital Foundation, and the Advisory Board of the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program at UM - St. Louis. She is involved with St. Louis Planned Giving Council as a contributor to their 2011 Legacy Awards Committee and regularly lends her experience to nonprofits and the community including the University City Children's Center and the Mission Continues as their current board chair. She is both a mentor to young women entering the nonprofit field as well as a community advocate who shares her knowledge freely and broadly within the community. Mary lives in University City with her husband Michael and their children, Sophia and Lyla.
State Representative (D-District 78, St. Louis County)
Margo McNeil was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2008 and was re-elected in 2010. Her district covers parts of Hazelwood, Florissant, and Bridgeton, in north St. Louis County. Rep. McNeil also serves on the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees in 2006, where she is responsible for approving the approximately $140 million budget and collaborating on the strategic plan for the college. She is a member of a number of organizations, including the Missouri National Education Association, National Art Education Association, League of Women Voters, and the Missouri Women’s Network. She also serves as Secretary of Women’s Democratic Caucus. Rep. McNeil attended Stephen’s College in Columbia, Missouri and received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and a master’s degree in art Education from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to her legislative duties, Rep. McNeil worked for 22 years as an art teacher with the Ferguson Florissant School District.
Vice President, Normandy School Board
Joyce McRath was a candidate for the Normandy School Board when she participated in the Pipeline to Local Office program in 2009. She was the top vote-getter of four candidates running for two seats in April 2009, and beat her closest opponent by almost 600 votes. Elected to a three-year term, Joyce currently serves as vice president of the board. She was the school district’s Parent of the Year in 2008.
Commissioner for the Administrative Hearing Commission
Mary E. Nelson is an administrative law judge for the Administrative Hearing Commission. Previously, she served as Director of Boards and Commissions, overseeing the screening of applicants and nominations for the appointments to public boards and commissions for the Governor's Office. Ms. Nelson has practiced law in a variety of capacities in St. Louis for nearly three decades. Prior to joining the Governor's Office in 2009, she was an officer in the firm of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., working in the construction and corporate practice groups. From 2006 until March 2008, she was General Counsel for the Kwame Building Group, Inc. In addition to positions with other private firms, Ms. Nelson served as General Counsel and Legislative Director for the Speaker of the Missouri House of Representative from 1996 to 1997; was General Counsel for the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) from 1993 to 1996; and was Director of Small and Minority Business Development for the SLDC's predecessor organization from 1982 to 1986. She is also a former president of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. Ms. Nelson earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1977 and her juris doctorate from the University of Missouri - Columbia in 1980.
Commissioner, Elementary and Secondary Education
Dr. Christ Nicastro was appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon to serve as Commissioner of education in August 2009. She is the first woman to serve as Missouri's Commissioner of Education since the office was created. From 2002-2009, she served as superintendent of the Hazelwood School District (St. Louis County), Missouri's fifth-largest school district. She was the first woman to serve as president of the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) and she was honored as MASA's 2009 "Superintendent of the Year". She previously served seven years as superintendent of Riverview Gardens schools and was assistant superintendent in Ritenour School District for 11 years prior to that. She started her career as a social studies teacher and administrator at Northwest R-1 High School in Jefferson County. Dr. Nicastro earned a bachelor's degree in history at Indiana University; a master's degree in educational administration at the University of Missouri - St. Louis; and a Ph.D. in educational administration at Saint Louis University. Dr. Nicastro and her husband, Charles, have four children and four grandchildren.
Sr. Vice President, Business Enterprises, Metro St. Louis
Jenny is a graduate of CMSU (now UCM), with a BS in Social Services and UMSL with a master's in public policy administration. Between those two degrees, she taught in the junior high schools. She has worked at the Metro areas' transit authority since 1981. She has done project development work there, including insuring funding for the infrastructure program at St. Louis' Parks Airport, constructing the $8 million, 1200 space parking garage near the Gateway Arch as well as ticketing and visitor facilities at the Arch. She also served a term on the Central Missouri State University Board of Governors.
Political Director, Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate Campaign
Chalana Oliver is an attorney, and was the political director for former State Rep. Jake Zimmerman's successful campaign to become the first St. Louis County Assessor. After the campaign she became the assessor's director of policy review and community engagement. Chalana left the assessor's office in April when she became the political director for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill's re-election bid. A St. Louis native, she is a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan.
Missouri State Representative
Rep. Sharon Pace represents part of St. Louis County (District 70/74 (old/new)) in the Missouri House of Representatives. She was first elected to the House in Nov. 2008, and recently won re-election to a third term. Prior to her legislative duties, Rep. Pace was employed as the Director of Patient Accounts in the health care industry and was elected as an Alderwoman for the City of Northwoods for nine consecutive years.
Director of Government Affairs, St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association
Christine leads the development of the RCGA's annual legislative agenda, tracking and advocating for key policy issues throughout the year. She provides professional staff support for the RCGA's Public Policy Council and is responsible for planning government affairs events, managing the RCGA's state Political Action Committees in Missouri and Illinois, and coordinating RCGA's work with a number of organizations, including the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Missouri Biotechnology Association, and the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis. Prior to joining the RCGA in 2007, Christine worked for the Missouri Republican Party's Get Out the Vote effort in 2006 as a Field Marshal in Mid-Missouri. She also interned for Jack Oliver at his lobbying firm Bryan Cave Strategies in Washington D.C. and with then-Missouri Rep. Jane Cunningham in Jefferson City. Christine received her Bachelor's degree in Political Science from University of Missouri - Columbia, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and received her Master's degree in Political Management from George Washington University.
Presiding Judge, 23rd Judicial Circuit
Lisa Page was elected Jefferson County's first female circuit judge effective January 1, 2007, and currently serves as the Presiding Judge. Prior to her election she was the appointed family court commissioner in the circuit. From 1997 to 2005 she practiced law with a strong emphasis in alternative dispute resolution and domestic relations. Judge Page graduated magna cum laude in 1988 from Southeast Missouri State University and cum laude from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1997. She has been married to Eddie Page since 1988. They have three children, Maggie, Joe and Anna-Lisa.
Interim Dir. of Boards and Commissions, Governor’s Office
Deborah Price is the Interim Director of Boards and Commissions in the Office of Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon. She also serves as the Governor’s liaison to the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration and as the Governor’s designee to the Missouri Workforce Investment Board. She previously served as liaison to the Department of Health and Senior Services. From 2004 to 2009, Deborah worked as an assistant attorney general prosecuting civil and criminal consumer fraud cases in the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. She also served as an adjunct assistant professor at St. Louis University School of Law. She earned her law degree in 2004 from St. Louis University and B.A. in history from Washington University in St. Louis. Deborah is a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Greater St. Louis.
Angela Turner Quigless
Circuit Judge, 22nd Judicial Circuit
Angela Turner Quigless was appointed Circuit Judge in the City of St. Louis in March, 2003, after over eight years as an associate circuit judge in the court. She received her Undergraduate Degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her Law Degree from Saint Louis University. Before becoming a judge, she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, an Assistant City Counselor and an Assistant Circuit Attorney for the City of St. Louis. Her other public service includes working for the Missouri Public Service Commission as Assistant General Counsel, as well as working for the Missouri Department of Revenue. She is married and the mother of a son, Charles, who was born in 2001. She is a member of many professional associations and is involved in the community.
Deputy Campaign Manager/Communications Director, McNary for State Treasurer Campaign
Linda Rallo is the Deputy Campaign Manager/Communications Director for Republican State Rep. Cole McNary's Campaign for Missouri State Treasurer. For three legislative sessions, she served as a legislative assistant in Rep. McNary's Capitol Office. Most recently she was an assistant in the Department of Government Relations at Enterprise Holdings, Inc. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Ms. Rallo has an extensive background in marketing and public relations. Her work in politics started after a 20-year career as a stay at home mom to three children, including a daughter at Mizzou. She joined Rep. McNary's staff after working as a campaign coordinator during his 2008 election, and was responsible for constituent services, directing legislation and overseeing his capitol office, as well as managing activities in the district. She recently earned a master's degree in public policy administration at UMSL.
Jefferson County Councilwoman
Renee Reuter serves as the first Jefferson County Council Representative for District 2, which encompasses parts of Arnold, Fenton, House Springs, High Ridge and Imperial, Missouri. She was elected to a two-year term to the County Council in 2010. In 2011, she served as the County Council's first Chairman. In addition, Renee Reuter is the Corporate Counsel and Manager of the Intellectual Property Law Department for Enterprise Holdings, Inc. For the past 14 years, she has protected the company's famous Enterprise brand. Since 2007, she has also managed the world-wide trademark portfolios of the Alamo and National car rental brands. The trademark portfolio she manages includes over 2,000 applications and registrations in over 150 jurisdictions around the world. She also manages a domain name portfolio of over 6,000 domain names around the world. Renee attended the part-time program at Saint Louis University School of Law while working full-time at Enterprise. She graduated and was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 2002. In 2010, Renee served on the New gtld subcommittee of the International Trademark Associations' (INTA) Internet Committee. She also a member of the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO). Renee lives in Imperial, Missouri with her husband of 24 years, Michael, and her two sons, David, age 23 and Stephen, age 21.
Manager of Regional Policy Research, East West Gateway Council of Governments
As Manager of Regional Policy Research, Mary has a responsibility for overseeing the preparation of reports, technical memoranda, and other information products to communicate research findings and policy analysis to audiences as varied as local and state elected officials, citizen groups, the private sector, and transportation and human services providers. She has overseen the completion of the 6th edition of Where We Stand, a strategic assessment of the St. Louis region and the comprehensive research project on the use of economic development incentives in the St. Louis region. Mary received a master's degree in public policy administration from the University of Missouri - St. Louis and a bachelor's degree in sociology from Missouri State University.
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Kandis Rodgers is currently the Program Administrator for Leadership and Cultural Programs at Missouri University of Science and Technology. With a bachelor's in social work and a master's degree in Counseling in Higher Education, Kandis has dedicated herself to being able to support students ambitions, aspirations, and interests. Kandis has worked diligently within a variety of Women's Resource Centers, advocating for social justice. Her passions include working for women's rights, educating on issues of social justice, and promoting cross-cultural experiences. She hopes to one day work outside of the country (destination has yet to be determined) and advocate for the rights of women.
Mary Rhodes Russell
Missouri Supreme Court Judge
At age 36, Judge Mary Rhodes Russell was the youngest person, and only the third woman, to be appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals in St. Louis. In December 2004, she was tapped by Governor Holden to become the third woman appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court. She received her B.S. and B.A. Summa Cum Laude from Truman State University in 1980. In 1983, she graduated from law school at the University of Missouri - Columbia. After serving as a law clerk in the Missouri Supreme Court, she engaged in private practice in Hannibal, Missouri. Governor Carnahan appointed Judge Russell to the Court of Appeals in May, 1995, and she served as presiding judge of the Court in 1999-2000. Judge Russell has served on many state boards and commissions, including the Board of Governors of Truman State University and the 1991 Senate Redistricting Commission. She is active in Bar and Judicial organizations and devotes much time to mentoring young women interested in the legal field. Her nieces, Heather Lasher Todd and Laura Lasher, are graduates of the Leadership Academy.
Missouri State Representative (D-District 82, St. Louis County)
Jill Schupp is the Missouri State Representative for the 82nd District, which includes most of Creve Coeur, part of unincorporated St. Louis County, Town and Country and Chesterfield. She was first elected to the House in 2008 and was re-elected to the House in 2010. She also served as an Advertising Executive fro 20 years, including Senior Vice President of a St. Louis based advertising agency. Jill is a graduate of Parkway North High School and the University of Missouri - Columbia. She was most recently name Distinguished Legislator by the MO Community College Association. She and her husband Mark are the parents of Brandon, an Emory University Graduate (who has a great job!), and Alex, a student at the University of Missouri - Columbia.
Member, Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education
As a member of the Coordinating Board of Higher Education (CBHE), Sims helps coordinate the state system of higher education which includes 13 public four-year colleges and universities, 17 two-year community colleges, 1 public two-year technical college, 25 independent colleges and universities, 120 proprietary schools and 39 specialized independent schools and colleges and theological institutions. She also serves as the CBHE representative to the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority. Sims served in the Missouri State Senate from 1994-2002.
Illinois Lieutenant Governor
Shelia Simon, Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, is the second highest executive officer of Illinois. Elected on a joint platform with Governor Pat Quinn in November 2010, Simon has emphasized education reform with a focus on increasing college completion. Lt. Gov. Simon received her B.A. in 1983 from Wittenburg University and her J.D. in 1987 from Georgetown University Law School. She started her career as an attorney at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance. Prior to becoming Lt. Governor, Simon was on faculty at the Southern Illinois University School of Law, where she helped start the domestic violence clinic. Her record of public service includes four years as a Jackson County prosecutor, four years as a Carbondale city council member, and participated in the Illinois Reform Commission. Simon's parents, the late Paul and Jeanne Simon, served in the Illinois House together and were lifelong public servants.
Laura Denvir Stith
Missouri Supreme Court Judge
Judge Laura Denvir Stith was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court in 2001, and served as Chief Justice form 2007to 2009. Prior to obtaining this position, she served as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, spent 14 years in private practice, and clerked for Missouri Supreme Court Justice Robert Seiler. A native of St. Louis, MO, Judge Stith graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University in Boston before obtaining her J.D.- also magna cum laude- from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was Editor of the Law and Policy in International Business Journal. She is the founding director of L.E.A.P (Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance) a public service organization for lawyers located in Kansas City, a Missouri fellow of the American Bar Association, President of the Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City, and Chair of the Gender and Justice Joint Committee of the Missouri Bar and the Supreme Court of Missouri. Judge Stith resides in Kansas City with her husband and three children.
Anne U. Tolan
Webster Groves City Council
Anne Tolan is a member of the Webster Groves City Council and also serves of the Sue Shear Institute Advisory Board. She is the President of the Board of Directors of the Miriam School, a private, non-profit institution that serves children with multiple learning disabilities. Under her leadership, the focus has broadened so that 50-year-old organization also assists families in working with their challenged child.
Kacie Starr Triplett
St. Louis Board of Aldermen
Elected at the age of 26 to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, Kacie Starr Triplett was sworn in as one of the youngest elected leaders in the history of Saint Louis in April 2007. A life-long resident of the 6th Ward, Kacie has devoted her entire career to public service and improving her communities. She’s been featured in ALIVE Magazine as one of the St. Louis’ local residents with the most “buzz” and in Ebony Magazine as a Young Leader Under 30. Aldermen Triplett has also represented the United States during a bi-partisan delegation to East Asia where she studied the government and the history of Vietnam. During the presidential primary, she served as local spokesperson for the Barack Obama campaign and later serving as a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She previously served as the District Affairs Coordinator for Congressman Russ Carnahan and prior to that, served as the Community Outreach Coordinator for former Minority Leader, Dick Gephardt, in Washington, D.C. and in St. Louis. In 2005, Mayor Slay appointed Triplett to the Affordable Housing Commission, where she served as the youngest Commissioner in the history of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Triplett holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Hampton University and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Webster University.
Dr. Susan Uchitelle is an Educational Consultant and the Chair for Confluence Academy Charter Schools in St. Louis, Missouri. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Voluntary Interdistrict Coordinating Council, the organization that implemented the Metropolitan Interdistrict Student Transfer Program for 18 years in 24 separate school districts in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Dr, Uchitelle and her husband Ben are credited as “Founders” of the Saint Louis Art Fair. She is a local patron and collector.
Patricia "Trish" Vincent
Director of Administration for the State Auditor
Trish Vincent has extensive experience in state and federal government. She has devoted nearly ten years to Missouri state government service, serving as chief of staff for Governor Matt Blunt, as the director of the Department of Revenue and as the deputy secretary of state for business services. As director of the Department of Revenue, Trish implemented numerous operational efficiencies, which enabled her to reduce the department's expenditures significantly. Before entering state government, Trish served as district office director for United State Senator John Ashcroft.
Mayor of Webster Groves
Gerry Welch is Mayor of Webster Groves and serves on the Sue Shear Institute Advisory Board. She began her political career in 1994 as a member of the Webster Groves, MO City Council. She was elected Mayor in 1998 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2006 and every election since. Mayor Welch is a past president of the St. Louis County Municipal League and served as a member of the Board of East-West Gateway Development Council. She is currently President of the Missouri Municipal League. She has also been a faculty member in the St. Louis Community College system.
Attorney at Law
Hope Whitehead is an attorney who heads her own firm, Whitehead and Associates, L.L.C., where she practices criminal, civil and administrative law. She served a brief stint in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2010, after winning a special election in Feb. of that year. She previously served as an Associate Administrative Law Judge for the Division of Workers’ Compensation and as the Director of the Division of Liquor Control. Whitehead has worked as the Associate General Counsel for the St. Louis Housing Authority and as a prosecutor for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office. She received a degree in psychology from Fordham University and a Juris Doctorate from the Washington University School of Law. She is a former member of the Missouri Bar Board of Governors and former president of the Mound City Bar Association. Hope and her husband, Jon, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2010. They have two boys.
Jefferson City Bureau Chief, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Virginia Young has been a state capital reporter since June 1989. In November 2005, she became the Jefferson City bureau chief for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She covers state government including Legislature, the executive branch and Supreme Court. She also covers elections and out-state news. Ms. Young has worked as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and as a writer and editor for the Columbia Missourian and the Columbia Daily Tribune. She has won a number of awards for work in her field and is co-editor of “Women on Deadline: A Collection of America’s Best,” 1991, Iowa State Press. Ms. Young has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. She is married with two children.