This year’s class of Young Leaders includes a senior corporate counsel for a global IT firm with more than 2,200 employees and presence in 45 countries. Another member is the DBE/workforce development manager for the $750 million Mississippi River Bridge project.
Another is the founding executive director of a nonprofit after-school program that serves urban public school students. One member has a PhD as well as a JD and teaches political science and law at two area universities.
One is the first African-American president in the 130-year history of the St. Louis Association of Realtors, an organization of nearly 8,000 members. Yet another recently saved the life of one of his colleagues by performing CPR.
What do they all have in common? They are high-performing, young African-American professionals who have distinguished themselves in their professional field and are also giving back to the community.
This diverse group of 20 outstanding African-American professionals, age 40 and under, has been selected as the 2012 class of Young Leader award recipients. The awardees will be honored at the St. Louis American Foundation’s 2nd annual Salute to Young Leaders Networking Awards Reception, Thursday, February 23 in the Starlight Room at the Chase Park Plaza.
They will also be profiled in the February 23 edition of The St. Louis American and on stlamerican.com.
Kevin Powell, nationally-celebrated activist, writer and speaker, will be the host presenter of the awards.
The 2012 Young Leader awardees are:
Director, Risk Management
Lashanda R. Barnes
Credit Analyst, Assistant Vice President
Stefan M. Bradley
Assoc. Professor of History and African American Studies
Saint Louis University
Tasha Pettis Bonds
Retail Network Senior Analyst
Charla M. Claypool
The Stolar Partnership LLP
Desiree S. Coleman
Associate, Major Gifts and Planning Giving
United Way of Greater St. Louis
President & CEO
Central Counties Health Centers Inc.
Carmen R. Guynn
DBE / Workforce Development Manager
Mississippi River Bridge Project
Kwame Building Group
Harlan B. Hodge, MSW
Youth Development Professional
The American Youth Empowerment Network
Nate K. Johnson
Real Estate Solutions
Kenya M. Leonard
Pitzer Snodgrass, PC
Kendra Neely-Martin, MA
Professional Sales Specialist-Medical Care
Richard T. Middleton, IV, Ph.D., JD
Assoc. Professor of Political Science and Pre-Law Advisor, Univ. of Missouri-St. Louis
Adjunct Professor of Law, Saint Louis Univ. School of Law
Founding Executive Director
America SCORES St. Louis
Frederick J. Riley
Executive Director of Community Services & Government Affairs
YMCA of Southwest Illinois
Amber D. Simpson
Vice President & Manager
National Multicultural Markets, Community Affairs,
Oluchi Lisa Uwah, MBA
Field Perspective Consultant, AVP
Business Development Group
Wells Fargo Advisors
Michael T. Whitley
Director of Development & Alumni Relations
Missouri State University
Ronda F. Williams
Senior Corporate Counsel
More than 100 Young Leader nominations, representing varied professionals in the private, public and non-profit sectors throughout the region, were received for the 2012 event. A committee of their peers (seven local African-American young professionals) selected the 20 awardees.
According to St. Louis American Foundation President Donald M. Suggs, these young leaders have demonstrated a deep commitment to making a positive impact in our community by helping to serve others.
“These highly-motivated young people are indispensable to the growth of the region as a more attractive place to live and work,” Suggs said. “We are celebrating their dedication to excellence in both their professional work and community involvement.”
Tickets for the St. Louis American Foundation’s Salute to Young Leaders Networking Awards Reception, presented by Emerson, are $25 each and can be ordered though stlamerican.com, by calling 314-533-8000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The recognition event will be held from 5:30-7:30, Thursday, February 23 and will include complimentary beer and wine, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar for premium drinks.
Partner sponsors for the Salute to Young Leaders Networking Awards Reception are Ameren Missouri, Edward Jones, PNC Bank and St. Louis Community College.