W. Tina Anderson, Paris Forest, Kimberly C. Hodge-Bell and Darnell Sanders

Four diverse business executives – in the fields of health, information technology, crop science and electricity – will receive 2019 Business Performance Awards at the St. Louis American Foundation’s 20th annual Salute to Excellence in Business Awards & Networking Luncheon on  Thursday, November 21 at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac.

W. Tina Anderson is market head of Community Activation, Community Affairs at Aetna, a CVS Health business, working with the local markets of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Southern Illinois. She has been at Aetna for the past seven years and has thrived in the areas of behavioral health, outreach and education, new business development, community development and marketing.

In her current role, she has strategic accountability to activate the Aetna brand in the community and manage the external presence. Additionally, she also works alongside senior leadership to develop business strategies for success geared toward community engagement and the enhanced consumer experience.   

She is often described as the bridge between the healthcare needs of the population and the insurance company. Her grassroots approach drives efforts to insert Aetna as a healthcare partner in every community. She goes out of her way to understand the needs, whether it’s for the underserved population in urban or rural communities or seniors who are struggling to comprehend the complexities of Medicare.

She has served as a staff trainer of Diversity and Cultural Competency and in 2014, her appreciation and value of diversity within the workplace led to her serving as founder and chair of Aetna’s first St. Louis Chapter of the African-American Employee Resource Group.

Paris Forest is the director of Strategy Operations Solutions for Information Technology and Data Analysis at The Boeing Company. She is responsible for leading a dynamic team providing transformative solutions, enabling the Second Century for Boeing Information Technology and Data Analytics.

She joined The Boeing Company in May of 1999 after two internships and has held various technical and leadership positions in the Boeing Information Technology and Data Analytics organization. During her time with the company, she has been instrumental in leading key efforts and cross-functional business and technology teams on major capital and non-capital programs and projects.

Prior to her current position, she was the director of Second Century Product Support for Product Systems. As a part of her duties, she was responsible for leading a dynamic cross-functional team providing a revenue-generating portfolio of solutions, enabling the Second Century for Boeing Global Services, Boeing Commercial Airlines Customer Support and Boeing Defense & Space Programs. 

She was recently named the 2018 Woman of Color in Technology, receiving the New Media/IT Leadership Award. She was also awarded the 2018 St. Louis Site Diversity and Inclusion Executive Walk the Talk Award, given to one executive at the St. Louis region who has demonstrated “an achievement of distinction for doing the right thing, leading by example and making it happen.”

Kimberly C. Hodge-Bell, associate fellow and senior toxicologist at Bayer Crop Science. In this position, she provides toxicology support regarding scientific principles of human health risk assessment for new and existing products to inform business decisions and enable successful product registration and commercialization, globally. She is a strategic scientific leader with a career focused on toxicological weight of evidence risk assessment and risk-based defense.

Throughout her personal, academic and professional career, Hodge-Bell has been recognized for her passion to lead with grace and excellence. Her technical excellence, leadership style and passion for equipping others often drive her to participate in outreach efforts, mentor others and serve as a leadership coach to many.

She was selected to participate in the 2019 Bayer Women’s Leadership Program focused on supporting women leaders and empowering them to effectively lead within the company and beyond. She also participated in the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative, the first Leadership Development Program focused on retaining and promoting professionals of color in the St. Louis region, completing the program with Cohort 12 (2017-2018).

Additionally, Hodge-Bell was inducted into Monsanto’s Technical Fellow Program in recognition of her outstanding scientific and technical contributions, demonstrated leadership and innovation through examples of internal and external scientific activities. She is active with Bayer’s Diversity & Inclusion Business Resource Groups.

Darnell Sanders is the director, Archview Division at Ameren Missouri. The Archview Division serves more than 300,000 customers and encompasses all of St. Louis, the City of Clayton and South St. Louis County. Sanders also leads the team responsible for Ameren's Pre-Apprentice Laborers (PALs) program that recruits and develops future electrical workers for the physical workgroups.

In July 2018 Sanders was appointed director of Underground and in January 2019 took on the additional task of the entire Archview Division. In addition to the Archview Division, Sanders also leads the Underground Revitalization Program rebuilding and transforming the aged underground infrastructure as part of the Ameren Smart Energy Plan (SEP).

He has over 37 years in the electrical energy industry. Sanders started with Ameren as an entry-level employee and over time has proven that Ameren's commitment to diversity and coworker development can produce successful careers. He completed an Ameren substation apprenticeship and worked several years as a journeyman substation mechanic before pursuing his career in management. Darnell completed a BSBM degree through the University of Phoenix while working rotating shifts in Ameren's Distribution System Operating group.

In late 2016, he joined and was appointed Director of Strategic Planning for C.O.G.I.C. Urban Initiative Programs, a group designed to assist religious groups increase partnerships with community organizations.

The 20th annual Salute to Excellence in Business Awards & Networking Luncheon will be held Thursday, November 21 at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac, with a networking reception at 11 a.m. and luncheon program at noon. Tickets are $100 for Preferred/VIP seating and $75 for general admission. Call 314-533-8000 or click here to purchase tickets.

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