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New Leaders Council

2012 Fellows

Gregory Cooper, Student, Independent Consultant, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Great Rivers Greenway District

Gregory Cooper is doing his Capstone project at the Great Rivers Greenway District on creating a marketing plan for the Trestle, an abandoned elevated rail line that the organization is hoping to transform into a trail for pedestrians and cyclists. Cooper has also worked with the Canadian Urban Institute in Iloilo City, Philippines, to lay the groundwork for the metropolitan area’s first watershed management plan and has also worked with the Arkansas Public Policy Panel as a policy research and networking assistant in the areas of environmental and economic legislation. Cooper is completing his Master’s degree at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and received his Bachelor’s at Hendrix College in Conway Arkansas in 2009. Cooper is interested in the role of urban planning in economic and community development and has facilitated public discussions on race relations and immigration in Little Rock, Arkansas and has studied methods of empowering heterosexual male college students to become advocates against sexual and gender based violence against women and the LGBT community. He is a native of Kansas City, Missouri.


Saint Fults, Project Manager, World Wide Technology

Saint Fults is a dynamic activist from St. Louis City. Saint is currently employed as an IT Project Manager with World Wide Technology. Originally from Lincoln, Illinois, Saint moved to St. Louis with his wife after college. He continues to live in, work in and love St. Louis. Saint graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He has worked in child welfare for seven years, in various capacities, including juvenile sentencing programs, child psychiatric settings, juvenile corrections, child abuse and neglect investigations, and most recently in privatized foster care for the State of Missouri. Although having switched professional fields recently, Saint continues his work as a foster care and adoption advocate in speaking at conventions and in volunteering with foster care and adoption advocacy groups. Volunteer work continues to be a passion for Saint especially in his work as a board member for The Covering House, a non-profit shelter for child victims of sex trafficking and as a director for Change For Good, a non-profit micro-lending program with Mission: St. Louis.


Anna Gennari, MSW Student, Washington University in St. Louis

Anna Gennari is a Master’s of Social Work student at The Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, concentrating in social and economic development with a focus on youth empowerment. Her current projects include the St. Louis Regional Youth Initiative-Best Practice Subcommittee and the Juvenile Rights and Re-Entry Project. Prior to her advanced studies, Anna worked with the Rosemary Anderson High School Alternative Education program to increase educational opportunities for vulnerable youth through service-learning and civic engagement. Anna has also worked as the Community Engagement Specialist for the School’s Uniting Neighborhoods program, where she engaged local businesses, increased student outcomes, and created culturally specific programming to support families and strengthen the relationship between community and school. Her passion for social change began with the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial in Washington D.C. where she served as a Youth Delegate at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. On her way to her MSW, Anna graduated Suma Cum Laude from Portland State University with her B.A. in Social Work, earning the PSU Community Development Scholarship Award for her contribution and excellence in social service and community involvement. She is originally from the St. Louis area.


Jason Growe, Consultant, Collaborative Strateiges, Inc.

Jason Growe is currently a Consultant with Collaborative Strategies, Inc., a Saint Louis based strategy consulting firm. In this role, Jason supports clients across the country in a variety of industries through their strategic planning process. Jason specializes in financial analysis, investment due diligence, and industry research. Before consulting, Jason was a Corps Member with Teach for America, where he taught American History at Roosevelt High School in Saint Louis Public Schools. Jason also has worked on multiple state legislative and Congressional campaigns. Jason also volunteers for numerous organizations. Most notably, Jason is President of the Young Democrats of Saint Louis. In addition, Jason serves on the board or a committee of organizations such as Cultural Leadership, American Jewish Committee, and Missouri Votes Conservation. During the 2010 election cycle, Jason served on the National Finance Committee for Tommy Sowers, a Democrat running for Congress in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District. Jason received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Indiana University and a Masters in Business Administration from Olin Business School at Washington University in Saint Louis. He is engaged to Rebecca Wittie and is planning an April 2012 wedding in Washington, D.C.


Travis Johnson, A.C.T. Store Planning and Construction, Brown Shoe Company

Travis is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended Appalachian State University where he earned degrees in both Economics and Political Science. In 2009 Travis was a Publishing Intern at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland where he assisted Dr. Liam Weeks with "All Politics is Local: A Guide to Local Elections in Ireland". Travis served as the Campaign Manager for Andy Ball for Boone, NC Town Council, where he helped to elect the youngest member ever to the local council. Following graduation in 2010, Travis served as Campaign Manager for Cullie Tarleton for NC State House. In June 2011 Travis moved to St. Louis to begin working for Brown Shoe Company. Travis is a participant in the Accelerated Career Track Program at Brown Shoe.


Bobby Jones, Instructional Coach, Construction Careers Center Charter High School

Bobby Jones currently works as an instructional coach for a charter high school - Construction Careers Center. Before pursuing school leadership, he taught high school English at Belleville West in Illinois and Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis before that. Bobby's teaching experience at Central started when he became a Teach For America corps member in 2007. While in Teach For America, Bobby earned a master's degree in secondary education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He received his bachelor's degree in English literature and cognitive science from Washington University in St. Louis. Bobby is originally from Belleville, IL but has happily resided in Soulard for the past 5 years. When he isn't working with educators, Bobby pursues various interests including performing live music and training for triathlons.


Erika Kubsch, Graduate Student and Research Fellow, Saint Louis University

Erika Kubsch is thrilled to be a part of the inaugural class of New Leaders Council – St. Louis fellows. Erika is currently a graduate student at Saint Louis University working towards a Master of Arts in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development. Her specific interests are urban economic development, inner city revitalization, and public finance. She is currently the research fellow for an impact analysis of New Markets Tax Credits. Following the completion of her Bachelor of Science in Human and Environmental Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2007, Erika accepted the role of Assistant Director for the Columbia Special Business District, a downtown management organization. There she focused on community engagement, event planning, and marketing. After her time in Columbia, she moved to Bloomington, IL to become the Executive Director of the Downtown Bloomington Association. There she led the creation of a comprehensive plan for downtown, implemented a farmers’ market, and attracted and retained a diverse base of businesses. While Erika has only lived in St. Louis for one year, she now considers it home. Her favorite parts of St. Louis are the delicious Mexican food on Cherokee Street and the fantastic historic architecture.


Heather Navarro, Associate Attorney, Law Offices of Thomas E. Kennedy, III, L.C.

Heather is a public interest attorney in St. Louis with the Law Offices of Thomas E. Kennedy, III, L.C. This means she uses the practice of law as a tool to advance the rights of the underrepresented and to advocate for systemic changes that serve justice. She primarily represents clients in Missouri and Illinois regarding disability rights, special education and all forms of discrimination. Before investing in law school, Heather worked as a social justice coordinator at the Catholic Student Center at Washington University, educating the community on issues of social justice, writing newsletters, and organizing retreats and service trips. Heather graduated in 2001 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and in 2008 with her J.D., both from Washington University in St. Louis. Heather was an environmentalist before it was cool to be green. She now sits on the Board of the Green Center, an organization whose mission includes fighting nature-deficit disorder. While home with her first child, she started a nonprofit to connect and serve young families in her neighborhood and she spent four years on the board of the Central West End Association. In her free time, she loves hiking and camping with her family and practices yoga.


Brandon Rowland, School Leader, Construction Careers Center Charter High School

Brandon Rowland is currently the School Leader for the Construction Careers Center Charter High School, a comprehensive charter high school. The school was founded in 2000 by the Associated General Contractors of Saint Louis. The mission of the Construction Careers Center is to prepare students in grades nine through twelve for the future by providing an excellent foundation in academics, broad exposure to the construction industry, and relevant vocational education preparation. In 2004, Brandon joined Teach For America where he gained experience in Watts, Los Angelas, CA. He was later placed in Saint Louis for his two-year commitment. Brandon continued at his placement school for a total of six years as a classroom teacher with Saint Louis Public Schools where he lead various committees, departments, and initiatives. Brandon is a 2004 graduate of the University of Iowa with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance. Additionally, Brandon received his Masters of Arts in Teaching from Webster University in 2007, Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University in 2011 and a Masters of Business Administration in Management from Saint Louis University in 2011. Brandon is the son of Everett and Vicki Rowland of Clermont, Iowa.


Carolyn Schopp, Job Developer, St. Patrick Center

Carolyn Schopp currently works as a Job Developer and Mentor Coordinator at the St. Patrick Center – the largest provider of services to the homeless in Missouri. There she cultivates relationships with employers in the St. Louis region to develop employment opportunities for homeless veterans. She also represents the Center in veteran-related matters and in that role has developed close relationships with the Department of Veteran Affairs and local non-profits. In addition to those responsibilities, Carolyn represents the Center at The Next Big Step, a focus group spearheaded by the Starkloff Disability Institute. The Next Big Step seeks to educate employers on the benefits of hiring persons with disabilities, including veterans suffering from service-related disabilities, such as PTSD. Before moving to St. Louis from Washington, D.C., Carolyn worked for Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire’s First Congressional District. Carolyn served the Congresswoman in her District and Congressional Offices first as an outreach worker and later as the scheduler. Her time serving constituents and the public at the Congresswoman’s office inspired Carolyn’s passion for public and social service. A 2007 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Carolyn earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and was a University Scholar.


Cady Seabaugh, Communications Manager, McCormack Baron Salazar

Cady Scott Seabaugh is the Communications Manager at urban real estate developer McCormack Baron Salazar. She serves as the hub of communications with funders, government sponsors, resident partners and the media. Cady oversees the marketing director and the PR manager and is responsible for representing the voice of MBS in all public-facing enterprises, including public relations, new business development, and funding applications. As a LEED-AP, Cady has green building and certification expertise and serves as the internal sustainability consultant to several MBS projects. She was a project manager for the $171M Harmony Oaks development in New Orleans and on a $10M project that retrofitted more than 500 kW of photovoltaic panels on St. Louis affordable housing sites. Prior to MBS, Cady was the Marketing Director of Waterway Gas & Wash, where she oversaw all areas of marketing at 15 locations in 3 markets. A St. Louis native, Cady has a BA from Yale University and a MUPRD from St. Louis University. She serves on the Citizens for Modern Transit TOD committee, is an Urban Land Institute Young Leader, and was a founding member of the Young Friends of St. Louis Shakespeare and the Rep Set of the Repertory Theatre.


Jason Stroede, President, Founder, Yellow-Tie International; Metro-East Chapter

Jason Stroede has spent more than 8 years in the financial services industry. He currently owns and operates Clarus Wealth Management; a financial advisory firm with two locations serving St. Louis and metro east Illinois. Jason provides "fee-based" financial literacy programs as well as written plans on matters pertaining to small business' and family financial/estate planning. Prior to entering the financial services sector, Jason was enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Munitions Systems Specialist. He spent five years active duty which were divided between Air Mobility Command in several western states, and Pacific Air Command in Korea. Jason is currently enrolled in the American College for a an industry designation of Chartered Financial Consultant. He expects to obtain his ChFC designation by December 2012. He currently holds the Series 6,63,and 65 licenses. Jason comes from a military family and was actually born in Germany. He spent his grade school years and graduated high school in northeastern Pennsylvania. It was while in Korea on active duty that he met his wife Christine. They now live with their four children in IL. Jason enjoys learning new concepts and ideas, and has a love of helping people.


Dara Taylor, Health Advocacy Regional Manager, Community Catalyst

Dara Taylor is the Health Advocacy Regional Manager at Community Catalyst, a national nonprofit consumer health advocacy organization. In this role, Taylor oversees the Southern Health Partners program, which is comprised of consumer health advocacy organizations in 11 Southeastern states working toward proactive regional, state, and national health care reform. Dara is responsible for building and maintaining a learning community for the partners to share policy and organizing resources. In addition, Dara provides the partners with technical assistance on a range of advocacy capacities such as coalition building and maintenance, organizational strategic planning, and designing and implementing successful health advocacy campaigns. Prior to joining Community Catalyst Dara served as a Health Policy Fellow at the Missouri Foundation for Health in St. Louis, Missouri. Taylor devotes her free time to volunteering for non-profit organizations such as serving on the Board of Directors for Safe Connection’s Young Professionals Association which provides resources to victims of domestic violence. Dara received a BA in Psychology from Wellesley College and a Master’s degree in Health Policy and Management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Taylor is a native of St. Louis, Missouri where she resides with her loving husband.

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