The 2022 Cohort consists of 26 Leaders from North Saint Louis City and sections of North Saint Louis County:
Saint Louis City – Academy/Sherman Park
Non-profit Development and Program Evaluation Specialist with more than a decade of working with local organizations and foundations to create measurable outcomes, track relevant metrics, and secure funding to perform their work in the community. She has a passion for holistic treatment of individuals, addressing issues of the mind, body, and community. Top
Saint Louis County – Ferguson
North St. Louis native and philanthropist, Carol Carter has made it her mission to be a part of the changes in St. Louis she has witnessed for many decades. With a Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Management & Psychology, and Masters program advancement through Ashford University, Carol intends to charge positive changes with local community input. She brings a unique perspective to many programs with her 20 plus years experience in the financial industry, working with board members, executive directors, and clients. Carol has partnered with business owners as well as pioneered her own event planning company. While she has accomplished many things and made many connections, her greatest joy is her family. The healing and development of the city of St. Louis is a priority and she hopes to bring education and access to local neighborhoods. Her goal is to deepen relationships with city officials on policies and procedures that directly affect the people of St. Louis. She has a large portfolio of volunteer work and employment in project management and administration. She has built strong relationships through networking, community service, and volunteer work. Top
Saint Louis City - Greater Ville
Dail Chambers is a creative consultant. Through social strategy, research and the arts, Chambers maintains a social practice in environmental justice, nutritional awareness and ancestry. She is the founder of Yeyo Arts Collective, a local organization dedicated to the creative empowerment of women and families. She develops inquiry based, group centered, curriculum with institutional partners across the Nation. Chambers is a practicing studio and community artist who has exhibited internationally. Dail Chambers is a mother who has a love for nature. Her love for nature translates in her profession through herbalism, gardening and native plant ecology. Her mobile wellness practice brings wellness resources to people. Top
Saint Louis City – The Ville
Thomasina is a lifelong resident of The Ville community with the hope of helping its restoration. With two associates, they founded “4theVille”, an organization whose purpose is to share the history of this historic neighborhood. She is a solution-oriented, retired Drama School Educator who still instructs, acts and directs when the opportunities arise. When her students began missing performances that they worked for weeks to mount, she became a self-taught videographer and editor. Now if her students couldn’t make performances, all she had to do was push “play” and the show would go on. She recently directed The Shakespeare-in-the-Streets production, “Avengeance” that made Ville residents proud of their heritage. She is a member of the newly founded Sumner Advisory Board. In 2011, she launched a clothing line called “BAGG’NS”, one pair of pants that creates the illusion of sagging. It was a head of its time and is about to make a comeback with all the accessories a fashionista could want. One of her personal goals is to find alternatives for the “lost” youth in her area - those who have few skills and little confidence - to help them find their way. Top
Saint Louis City – Penrose
Raquel Cooper is a Human Resources Professional with the City of St. Louis. She has worked in the Human Resources field for over 25 years and ten-plus years with her present employer in both Employee Benefits and Training & Organizational Development. Employed as a City civil servant and a proud resident of North St. Louis, Raquel feels particularly connected to St. Louis and its residents.
This career woman is a wife, mother of two and grandmother of one. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Public Administration. In addition, Raquel holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Lindenwood University.
She felt compelled to see the betterment of her community and began to volunteer around the City on various projects and currently serves on the Junior League of St. Louis’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team. She has served as a Community Delegate for St. Louis ReCAST and completed UMSL’s Neighborhood Leadership Academy. Raquel believes that the grassroots level is the quickest way to bring about positive change for her community. Just like former POTUS Barak Obama she feels that, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time…" Top
Saint Louis Place
Virginia Druhe is a native St. Louisan and resident of St. Louis Place Neighborhood for more than 40 years. She has worked in social change organizations both as an activist and as staff, including the Catholic Worker, American Friends Service Committee, Witness for Peace (in Nicaragua), and Veterans For Peace. She has been retired for five years and just completed the Neighborhood Leadership Academy. Top
Saint Louis City – Academy/Sherman Park
Charlie currently works with WalkNFaith as a Community Support Specialist and Personal Assistant to the CEO Sabrina Davis. He is a private contractor and sole owner of Almighty Charlie L.L.C which provides social services to the impacted people that have been formally and currently incarcerated, and homeless. At WalkNFaith, he offers group and individual counseling sessions where he hears their stories and offers guidance to services to assist those clients in their transition. Recently, He was granted an exception letter from the Department of Mental Health for his crimes. This allows him access to every person and facility in the Department of Corrections. Being an impacted person and to get an exception to his crimes to work with those like himself is a major accomplishment to create real change. He has lived in St. Louis since the age of three, but his hometown is Milwaukee Wisconsin. Charlie’s parents have been married 40 years. He loves basketball and eating. His dream is to travel at will and to see new places that he hasn’t thought of yet. Top
Saint Louis County – Spanish Lake/Berkley
Saint Louis City – Greater Ville
Stephen Houldsworth is a counselor, educator, and community organizer. Trained as a counselor, Stephen maintained a private practice for more than a decade. After leaving his practice, he worked as an academic advisor and faculty member teaching both undergraduate psychology and graduate counseling courses. In 2006, Stephen left academia to work professionally in the field of HIV/AIDS, where he had previously spent more than 20 years as a volunteer. As an Engagement Manager, he provided individual clients with counseling and case management, while advocating to transform the local and national systems for delivering services for people living with HIV disease.
In the aftermath of health issues, Stephen recently transitioned into part-time work as a consultant. Stephen is currently a member of the Art House collective. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Williams & Associates and on advisory committees at Opera Theatre St. Louis and the Regional Arts Commission. In addition, he consults with local and national non-profit organizations on inclusion and engagement. Stephen is a graduate of the Community Arts Training Institute through the Regional Arts Commission and the Neighborhood Leadership Academy through the Creating Whole Communities program at the University of Missouri. Top
Saint Louis County – Wellston
FeliceSkye Hutchinson, founder of Creator Doer Society and president of Wellston Community Coalition, is a multi-passionate creative entrepreneur and community activist. She is a creator of words, visuals, melodies, and movements, as well as a doer of the things that help change the world. FeliceSkye’s background as a classically trained and award-winning actor, poet, artist educator, self-taught beat-maker and visual artist, with over 20 years in the beauty industry as a hair stylist & makeup artist, lends to her breadth of knowledge and expertise.
After battling mysterious illnesses that threatened her creative future for six years, FeliceSkye was finally diagnosed with Scleroderma and Rheumatoid Arthritis. By this time, their effects ravaged her joints and deformed her hands. Though setbacks arose, she was determined to continue to create what she loved. For FeliceSkye, creating is love. It is the heartbeat of her life. And creating through disability is her superpower. FeliceSkye uses her superpower to encourage and develop youth and to improve her community.
FeliceSkye loves coaching creatives and creative wannabes to channel their passions and gifts into improving their community and generate multiple streams of income to create a life that they love which enables them to do what matters most. Top
Saint Louis City
Beverly returned to her hometown, St. Louis, over three years ago, after more than 25 years in Atlanta where she counseled political and public officials and served as a department head, speechwriter, cabinet member, and senior staffer for City of Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, campaign communications director for the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis and communications professional with United Way, FEMA, and the CDC, while in Atlanta. She has extensive crisis communication experience that includes the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park Bombing, the Fulton County Courtroom shooting, and natural disasters like the 2008 Atlanta tornado and 2009 flood.
Since returning to St. Louis, she has served as a communications lead on digital transformation teams for Bayer and Nestle Purina. Beverly is currently a Managing Supervisor for FleishmanHillard in St. Louis on the Public Affairs & Engagement team covering accounts that include data breaches, crisis communications, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Top
Saint Louis City – Wells/Goodfellow
LaTanya Ivy is a Program Coordinator at A Red Circle. She is also part of STL Mutual Aid where she is a part of the food distribution admin team. As the Program Coordinator at A Red Circle she hostS a Facebook Live cooking demo for expectant and post- partum moms to help them learn to how to incorporate more local fruits and vegetables in their families diets to teach kids healthy eating habits early on. Her work with STL Mutual Aid involves helping neighbors have access to food not only in emergency cases, but also on a by weekly basis. She also connects neighbors to any other additional resources they may be in need of. She loves helping others any way she can. She has a 2 yr. old daughter, whom she pours all her love into. She enjoys playing the drums, traveling, cooking, and helping a neighbor any chance she gets, shopping, spending time with friends and family, and last but not least singing off-key karaoke. Top
Saint Louis County – Jennings
Karen Jamerson is a St. Louis native and a resident of North County for 50 + years. Karen earned a Bachelor of Science in Urban Education from Harris-Stowe State College. As an alumnus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Karen holds a Master of Public Policy Administration and a Graduate Certification in Nonprofit Organization and Management and Leadership. Karen is currently employed with the St. Louis Housing Authority for more than 30 years. Most recently, her tenure has been as the Housing Choice Voucher Family Self Sufficiency Coordinator (HCV FSS). In this role, Karen has helped more than 100 families achieve self-sufficiency. She has dedicated her career to ensuring that families can move beyond poverty and create sustainable futures for themselves. As such, Karen has collaborated with other not-for-profit agencies to this end.
Karen is a three year member and the Treasurer of Missouri University Extension - St. Louis County. She has served as a Supervisory Committee Member for Alltru Credit Union (formerly known a 1st Financial Federal Credit Union) for four years. In her spare time, Karen likes to engage with people in her church and community. She likes to watch football and cooking shows. She is an avid cook who specializes in soul food and Italian. Top
Saint Louis County – Ferguson
Lynne Lane, born and raised in St. Louis Missouri. She is the mother of two daughters and 2 grand dogs. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has maintained employment with various organizations in St. Louis, gaining experience in medical, housing and education. She had been the primary caregiver for her grandparents and mother for more than twenty years, with this passion she began professionally advocating for aging adults and persons with disabilities. Pivoting her more than 15 year experience in human services through local government, and not for profit organizations. She has been engaging with the community through steering and committee participation; volunteering and leadership through holiday and homeless projects; health/wellness facilitator and master trainer through evidence-based chronic disease programs; and program management through transportation, special events and community outreach. She has gained former recognition for the Transportation Program known as the Bus Pass Program. The bus pass program assists those with transportation barriers sustainability. Clients pinned her as “The Bus Pass Lady” and formerly recognized as Employee of the Month. She hopes to erase the invisible barrier that constituents face and help them navigate a more smoother transition of services through multiple communities. Top
Saint Louis County – Old North
Robin Lovings Brown is a Community Advocate, Animal rescuer and an Executive Board Member of the Old North Restoration Group. She comes up with creative ways to improve her community. Robin give resources to neighbors to help with their specific needs. She assists with bringing commercial and housing development to the historic Old North St. Louis community. She also helps stray and injured animals.
She has partnered with businesses and organizations to provide essentials to adults, children, and animals in need. Robin volunteered as a youth and this is where her foundation was formed. Where her passion for community improvement grew.
She is currently writing an autobiography and children’s book. The autobiography will discuss mental health challenges that she has faced including, childhood depression, maternal depression, postpartum depression, cancer, PTSD with seizures, and raising a disabled child with a rare genetic disease.
She also loves watching animated movies with her family (maybe more than the kids) but, who's judging? Meet the Robinson’s is a favorite. This quote from the movie fits her well, “We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."- Walt Disney. Top
Saint Louis County – Dellwood
Damon D. Major is a Project Coordinator for Project RESTORE (Reconciliation and Empowerment to Support Tolerance and Race Equity), a four-year collaborative youth violence intervention for the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. He also works as an Independent Contractor for Urban League Small Women's Business Center facilitating courses on how to start a business.
Damon has 2 biological children; a 9-year-old son and 11-year daughter going on 39 and 3 bonus children ages ranging from 16-25. At the head of his blended crew is his wife, Rosha. Just when she thought her days of sitting court-side were over, she now sits beside him at soccer and baseball games YEAR-ROUND!
Damon loves long-distance cycling. When he is not yelling from the sidelines at his kids' games, he enjoys live music and traveling the world with his wife. His biggest achievement was co-authoring a book where he chronicled how he was able to rebound from hitting rock bottom mentally, financially, emotionally and physically and went from being a college drop out to a college graduate with honors. In the book he was able to share his message of not letting where you start determine where you finish. Top
Saint Louis City – Hamilton Heights
Arlice McElroy Thompson has been the Co-Chairman to the low-income housing org known as Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Organization for twelve years. She started off as a visitor to the board meetings when it was closed to the public. She was a new homeowner in the neighborhood when she realized that these apartments with the tenants would directly impact their relationship. She started to volunteer for the activities that were offered to the residents in the neighborhood via the alderman of the 22nd ward Jeffrey Boyd. She has been involved in many causes, especially the ones that require dedicated people who believe that a small contribution of their time and skill set would make a difference. Volunteering was instilled in her by her mom Barbara Jean McElroy (1936-2005). She believed in voting rights so strongly that she was an advocate for registering people, especially the youth starting with her own kids once they turned eighteen. Top
Saint Louis County – Castlepoint
Kanisha Moye is a licensed social worker and therapist with SSM Health Hospitals. She conducts psychiatric assessments for emergency room and medical floor patients who are experiencing mental health crises. Kanisha is also an adjunct professor in the graduate school of Social Work at Missouri Baptist University, providing instruction in practice and program evaluation. Kanisha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a certificate in Trauma Studies from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She also has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She serves on the board of directors for the Women's Safe House, a domestic violence shelter, contributing to strategic planning, programming, and culture. Kanisha was also elected to the board of directors for the National Association of Social Workers-MO and recently was appointed to the ethics committee. As a survivor, Kanisha is very active in community engagement and community education in the area of intimate partner violence and is passionate about addressing the public health issue of untreated/unaddressed mental illness. Kanisha enjoys doing art and photography in her personal time and being one of the few social butterflies who prefers staying at home on the weekends. Top
Saint Louis County – Mark Twain/O'Fallon
Dr. Melissa Nash earned undergraduate degrees in educational studies from Harris-Stowe State University, and Social Work from the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL). She earned her master’s degree in Professional Community/School Counseling from UMSL Spring, 2012. She worked as an educator and social worker in St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) Fall, 2002. August 2014, Dr. Nash became a coordinator in the Full-Service Schools department. She was ordained March 2015. July 2016, she because founder/CEO of The NASH Association (Network Advocates Seeing Hope) a non-profit organization providing resources/consulting to distinctive communities. December 2017, Dr. Nash obtained her Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Maryville University) where she studied abroad in London, England and mastered research on Military Veterans in Higher Education, post war time. Most recently she was awarded The Spirit of St. Louis and Proclamation (State Senate office)— for outstanding Missouri citizenship and distinguished Servant Leadership in education. She’s obtained Missouri certifications in Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical Special Education (December 2019) and Building-level Administration (July 2021). Dr. Nash completed the Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) and LeadMO programs in December 2021. March 2020, Dr. Nash became Founder of Nash Publishing LLC. She’s on executive boards of Yeatman-Liddell (President) and O’Fallon Community Developing Organization (Co-Treasurer). Top
Saint Louis City – Wells/Goodfellow
Kimberly Paige is the owner of Extremely Clean Janitorial Service LLC. As the cleaning business owner, she works diligently to make their residents and businesses thoroughly clean and look new again. She is also the founder of a non-profit organization called A Step Above Legal Resource Services Inc. She connects clients to private attorneys to help get them through the justice system and help them be productive citizens of their community. She believes that not everyone incarcerated should be spending time in the justice system because they cannot afford an attorney.
Kimberly has two daughters, Shene’t and Crystal, and one granddaughter, Cassydi, her pride and joy. She enjoys traveling, reading, family field trips, and exercising. She wants to go to Dubai and learn about the culture in other parts of the world. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Public Administration. When Kimberly graduated from high school, she told anyone that would listen that she was not going to college. Well, her family and friends gave her an additional title, “a career student.” She’s not only working on her fifth degree, but in her spare time, she takes Leadership and Communication Masterclasses with a John Maxwell executive instructor. Top
Saint Louis City – Velda City
Saint Louis County – Pinelawn
Dionne Peeples-Jones is a community engagement coordinator and president of Dionne Jones, Inc., a company that collaborates with companies and organizations to help them reach the specific demographic they desire to serve. The company also educates, equips and empowers citizens of all ages to impact change in their communities and in their own lives. Dionne has helped hundreds of citizens nationwide transform their lives and their communities through self-awareness, education, activism, obtaining political office and starting impactful organizations.
A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Dionne was a journalist for 15 years and discovered her passion for community engagement as an urban affairs reporter in Flint, Michigan. In addition to her work as a community engagement coordinator, Dionne is president of the Crescent Avenue Block Unit, founder of the Pine Lawn Community Development Association and an alderwoman (Ward 1) for Pine Lawn, Missouri. She is also president of the Board of Aldermen.
Dionne and her husband Simon own Peace of Mind Cleaning Services, Inc., a commercial cleaning service where the primary goals are to alleviate poverty one family at a time and to help each employee achieve their goals such as starting businesses, buying homes, graduating from college and entering the trades.
Dionne enjoys laughing and having fun each day with her husband, reading non-fiction, researching family history and the history of urban cities in the United States. She also enjoys writing adult books and children’s books that inspire readers to improve their communities and their own lives. Top
Saint Louis County – Vinita Park
Marcieta D. Reed is a retired Elementary School Teacher, an elected official, and alderwoman for the city of Vinita Park, MO. She speaks for the residents and participates in any other activities that impact their community, such as the Arbor Board. She also volunteers for Beyond Housing as a participant in helping clean up the communities in the 24:1 footprint.
Marcieta has been married for 41 years. She has 3 adult children and has lived in Vinita Park for 24 years. Some of her interests are water aerobics, dancing and reading. She likes religious, jazz, classical, Motown and instrumental, and some country music. She plans to travel to Niagara Falls, Miami and New Orleans.
Children will always be her concern. Ready Readers is a program that she volunteers at once a week where she reads to them. Top
Saint Louis County – Old North
Kausta has over 15 years of experience in learning and development. Her experience includes working for Fortune 500 corporations like General Electric (GE) and Boeing. She holds a Masters in Communication with an emphasis on Training and Development from Lindenwood University as well as a Masters in Human Resources Development from Webster University. She is an award winning DEI champion and HBCU advocate who has led numerous DEI initiatives.
She is also a certified Instructional Designer and adjunct Communications professor. She owns and operates Kamini Learning and Communications firm, where she provides coaching services to individuals seeking to find their voice, tell their story, and realize their purpose. Kamini also offers instructional content creation services to organizations seeking to create evergreen digital products. Kausta is excited to participate in the 2022 Class of Neighborhood Leadership Fellows. Top
Saint Louis City – West End
Margie Williams is a West End resident, property owner, and entrepreneur. Growing up in the West End, Margie has always been very connected to the area and community with strong personal ties. Owning properties on both sides of Delmar, looking to help eliminate the “Delmar divide.” Margie is very engaged in the process for helping create a community full of learning, engagement, and connections.
She works closely with the Central West End North Special Business District; Margie currently serves as a Commissioner. Here to bring innovation, commitment, and revitalization of community involvement to the area. A CO owner of Aquadoctor of St. Louis Swimming Pool Company with her husband Peter Williams. Servicing pools, spas, and saunas for over 25yrs in MO and IL.
Professionally, Margie works for the U.S. Census Bureau as a Regional Technician. Responsible for strategic planning with local governments, community-based organizations, faith-based groups, in under counted communities. Traveling across MO and IL helping to promote census awareness. Helping to make sure they are represented in the census count ultimately ensuring beneficial funding can be provided for their communities.
Margie enjoys singing, as a member of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestras In-Unison Chorus. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family. Top