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New Leaders Council

2015 Fellows

 Jennifer Allen, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Trailnet

	Jennifer	Allen	Jennifer is Director of Strategic Initiatives at Trailnet, a nonprofit that works to make walking and biking a way of life in St. Louis. She oversees the Neighborhood Greenways St. Louis project, helps coordinate activities for strategic partnerships, and assists with advocacy campaigns. Jennifer's work as an urban planner began in Los Angeles where she completed her Master of Arts in Urban planning at UCLA with an emphasis in housing policy and urban design. There she worked to improve Los Angeles through policy advocacy for more affordable housing, transportation options, and quality public spaces.

At a job at the Mexico City office of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Jennifer's work transitioned to include bicycle and pedestrian planning. A native St. Louisan, Jennifer returned to her hometown in 2009 to be part of the exciting work to transform St. Louis into a world-class city again. Since then Jennifer has done so through her work at Trailnet, as co-chair of the Mayor's Vanguard Cabinet Planning and Land Use committee, and as board Vice President of Perennial. Swing and salsa dancing, listening to live music, traveling, and restoring furniture are just a few of the things Jennifer loves to do in her free time.

 Chelsea Denlow, Teacher, The College School

	Chelsea	Denlow	Chelsea Denlow is a teacher at The College School, where she teaches a wide variety of courses in the fields of English literature, urban studies, social justice, and outdoor education. As an advocate for the experiential learning educational approach, she has spearheaded several service learning programs throughout St. Louis, New Orleans and Peru. Previously, Chelsea worked in The White House Domestic Policy Council, Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, under President Barack Obama. There, she helped to develop various initiatives related to impact investing and AmeriCorps programming.

Chelsea also served as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. As a Coro Fellow, she completed projects for St. Louis area organizations including National Conference for Community and Justice, St. Louis County Office of Community Development, Jobs with Justice, and Peabody Energy. Chelsea is an avid proponent of the City of St. Louis and has a passion for historic preservation and neighborhood revitalization. She volunteers as a member of the St. Louis Public Radio Young Friends Leadership Council, Focus St. Louis, and Habitat for Humanity.

Chelsea graduated from Colorado College with degrees in history and international affairs, and a NOLS Wilderness EMT certification. In her free time, Chelsea is an avid road biker, climber, and traveler.

 Carl Filler, Director of Community Health Improvement, City of St. Louis

	Carl	Filler	"Carl Filler is the Director of Community Health Improvement and serves as an Executive Assistant to the CityÕs Director of Health. In that role he oversees the strategic health initiatives for the City of St. Louis as outlined in the Community Health Improvement Plan. He also oversees the Department's Center for Health Information, Planning, and Research and has served in this role since 2013.

Carl moved to St. Louis in 2008 to pursue a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Since graduating in 2010, he has worked as a Project Manager for the St. Louis Prevention Research Center conducting research on chronic disease and as a Project Director for the St. Louis-based consulting firm, Transtria LLC, providing evaluation and technical assistance to state, federal, and local agencies on chronic disease prevention and strategic planning.

Prior to moving to St. Louis, Carl worked in New York City for an education advocacy organization, Advocates for Children of New York, Inc., and for a local government in Japan developing educational programming.

Outside of work, Carl is a passionate cyclist and music enthusiast. He spends most of his time riding his bike through St. Louis City neighborhoods and attending the many excellent music shows by both local and visiting artists. He is a fiercely proud New Jersey native but loves St. Louis and could not imagine living anywhere else.

 Lisa Flegel, Senior Proposal Writer, Express Scripts

 Lisa Flegel is a Senior Proposal at Express Scripts, a national Pharmacy Benefit Management Company with headquarters in St. Louis. Lisa's experience spans private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

Prior to joining Express Scripts, Lisa co-directed fundraising operations for two gubernatorial campaigns and a successful ballot initiative to reform congressional and legislative gerrymandering. Lisa has also worked in Public Relations at global communications agency in New York City.

Lisa graduated with a B.A. from the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. A St. Louis native, Lisa replanted in 2011. She is passionate about contributing to the community and is ecstatic about the revitalization of her birth city. Lisa is a proud South City resident, specifically residing in the Gravois Park neighborhood.

 David Franklin, Associate Attorney, HeplerBroom, LLC

	David	Franklin	"David Franklin is an attorney with the law firm HeplerBroom, LLC in Saint Louis, Missouri. Licensed to practice law in both Missouri and Illinois, David is a litigation attorney with a primary emphasis in the defense of complex, multi-party civil cases.

Prior to joining HeplerBroom, David served as a judicial law clerk for a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. David is a proud graduate of Marquette University ('09) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the University of Missouri School of Law ('12). Born and raised in Saint Louis, David is active in the greater Saint Louis community, serving on several young professional civic organizations.

Most notably, David serves on the Board of Directors of Payback, Inc., a local non-profit whose mission it is to end the cycle of juvenile delinquency through restorative justice. Additionally, David serves on the Board of the Clayton-Tamm Community Association (Dogtown), and was selected to participate in FOCUS St. Louis Emerging Leaders Program.

 Will Fruhwirth, Admissions Officer, Washington University School of Law

	Will	Fruhwirth	A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, and graduate of Webster University, Will Fruhwirth has spent his entire adult life in St. Louis and considers it his hometown.

Will is currently engaged as Admissions Officer at Washington University School of Law, working to recruit and develop the next generation of thought leaders in the legal field. Through this work, he regularly represents the law school and St. Louis region at national events.

With years of work experience in higher education and publishing, along with strong knowledge of land use, alternative transportation, LGBTQ* equality initiatives, Will is always advocating for St. Louis to be a better place for all to live through social, environmental, and economic justice. You can usually find Will running or biking all over the region, especially in South City.

 Alyse Garbisch, Architect, Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc.

 Alyse Garbisch is a licensed Architect currently working at Hellmuth, Obata, + Kassabaum, Inc. - specializing in Justice Architecture. With over 7 years of experience in a diverse range of building types, she focuses on sustainable design strategies and integrating environmental initiatives into different aspects of the projects.

Alyse recieved her BA in Art: Architecture from Smith College and her Master's in Architecture from Washington University in St Louis. She has been a LEED AP since 2006 and hopes to further the development of social initiative architecture within different communities.

 Jacob Lyonfields, Program Coordinator - Regard Reprocessing Services, Resource Optimization & Innovation (ROi)

	Jacob	Lyonfields	Jake Lyonfields has lived in several different parts of the St. Louis area since he was 6 years old and considers it his hometown. He studied systems engineering at Washington University in St. Louis and has been actively involved in environmental sustainability efforts for several years. His interest in understanding and approaching problems systematically is grounded in an acknowledgement that an issue cannot be fully solved without considering its historical context, without community engagement, and without identifying the negative externalities of proposed solutions. Consequently, he strongly identifies as an environmentalist and a feminist and over the last couple of years has worked to develop his skills at community building and being an ally in antiracist advocacy.

Jake currently acts as the Program Coordinator of a medical device reprocessing program for a health care supply chain company, helping manage the implementation of an effort that sits at the intersection of healthcare efficiency and environmental sustainability efforts. It's his hope that he can continue working with others throughout his career in order to improve the healthcare industry so that more people have good access to quality healthcare services and so that the industry reduces its impact on the natural environment.

Jake currently serves as Vice President and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chapel, a progressive, non-creedal religious community in West County St. Louis. In these roles, he continually works to help his community live its values in the St. Louis community and beyond. Jake lives in the Grove, is a vegetarian and loves biking and public transportation.

 Terra Neilson 

	Terra	Neilson	Terra Neilson is currently a graduate student at Washington University working toward Masters in Social Work and Masters in Business Administration degrees. She maintains a passion for creating pathways towards stability for youth and families through workforce development and economic justice. Originally from Spokane, Washington, Terra spent the last eight years in Portland, Oregon where she worked on behalf of youth and families in Oregon, and completed her bachelors degree in Social Work at Pacific University.

Terra's career aims to create unique empowerment opportunities for youth and families. Her work has included program evaluation for alternative education, community development through county-government entities, and multiple summers rafting whitewater or leading kayaking adventures for youth and families. For the last four years she's been the development director for grassroots community center designed for youth experiencing homelessness. She established the organization's first multi-year development plan, initiated two annual fundraising events, and assisted in launching a small portfolio of social-enterprise job-training programs for youth looking for first-time employment experiences.

Terra left Portland in July of 2014 to attend Washington University for a dual-degree graduate program, enrolling at both The Brown School of Social Work and Olin Business School to earn her Masters in Social Work and Business (MSW/MBA). She is currently volunteering with the local economic development non-profit, Arch Grants, and workforce development non-profit, Launch Code. Terra also interns at Immunophotonics, an innovative company developing a state-of-the-art treatment in the fight against cancer.

Outside of work, Terra spends time adventuring with her fiance, Robin and two dogs, Bruce and Mogwai exploring her neighborhood in Benton Park West near Gravois Park and Cherokee Street.

 Chrystal Okonta, Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Washington University in St. Louis

 Chrystal Okonta is currently a Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Washington University in St. Louis, her alma mater. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology, minors in Public Health and Spanish, and a passion for remaining involved in the educational sphere. After graduation, she returned to her home state of Ohio to promote health and wellness at an inner-city high school in Cleveland through the HealthCorps program, where she engaged students, faculty, and staff in activities focused on healthy fitness, nutrition, and mental resilience behaviors. She also maintained strong alumni ties to Washington University, becoming a co-chair for the Cleveland-area Alumni & Parents Admissions Program, where she coordinated regional alumni interviews and activities.

After completing her term with HealthCorps, she returned to St. Louis in 2012 to join the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Washington University. Chrystal is engaged in many university initiatives, including goals to increase low-income, first generation college, and under-represented minority student recruitment, representation, and identity on campus. She is a liaison to the John B. Ervin Scholars Program (a leadership and service scholarship of which she is an alumnus). She also serves as a mentor to first-year admissions officers. She values the vibrant Washington University and St. Louis communities that shaped her undergraduate years and continue to influence her post-graduate experience, and hopes to contribute to that innovative spirit.

Chrystal is also an active member of the Young Democrats of St. Louis, assisting primarily with the Membership Committee. In her spare time, Chrystal enjoys reading paranormal and dystopian young adult novels, finding hidden gems in her Netflix queue, and exploring the many amazing restaurants in St. Louis. She also embraces her eternal student by taking continuing education classes at Washington University. She is excited for all of the learning opportunities still to come in her adopted hometown of St. Louis City!

 Rachel Paul, Research Coordinator and Analyst, Washington University School of Medicine

Rachel Paul is a Research Coordinator and Analyst at Washington University School of Medicine where she concentrates on socioeconomic determinants of maternal and child health. Rachel is also a masters in public health candidate at Washington University and she completed her undergraduate education at Boston University, where she received a degree in economics while conducting research at Harvard Medical School. Maternal and child health and policy have long been passions of Rachel's, both personally and professionally.

Rachel is on the Young Friends Board of Children's Hospital and her research on infant development has been presented at several international meetings and published in medical journals. A St. Louis native, Rachel is committed to improving maternal and infant health outcomes in the region through community programs and policy. In her free time, Rachel enjoys cooking, yoga, and attending events around the city.

 Dan Peterson, Team Member, CIC

Dan Peterson is a passionate progressive advocate and energetic community builder. He spent many years in the non-profit sector working and advocating for people with disabilities, and has moved on to political campaigning to organize and push for progressive change.

 Justin Pevnick, Founder, Strategic Conservation Consulting, LLC

	Justin	Pevnick	Justin was born and raised in Saint Louis, where he attended John Burroughs School. He went on to earn his BA in Philosophy from Colorado College.

After spending a couple years studying and working in Asia, Justin earned his JD from Vermont Law School, where he studied environmental law, dispute resolution, and other areas of interest that led him to establish Strategic Conservation Consulting, LLC, which is Missouri's only consulting firm designated as "experts" by the Land Trust Alliance.


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