MO Foundation for Health now accepting applications for the Community Advisory Council

ImageThe Missouri Foundation for Health’s Community Advisory Council is now accepting applications. We recently interviewed Alfreda Brown, Director for the STL Regional Higher Education Recruitment Consortium & HR Project Manager for Diversity at Washington University about the opportunities.

•What is the MFH?

The Missouri Foundation for Health is an independent philanthropic foundation dedicated to improving the health of the uninsured and underserved in certain areas in the state of Missouri.

MFH was incorporated as a public benefit nonprofit foundation in February of 2000 and charged with “identifying and filling the gaps in the myriad of public and private health care services already available to the uninsured, the underinsured and the underserved in the 84 counties plus the City of St. Louis.”

MFH is in its eleventh year of grant making, having issued more than $480 million in grants and awards to date. Each year, MFH awards about $50 million in grants to health-focused nonprofits.  Additional information about MFH can be found at

•What does the Community Advisory Council do?

The 13-member Community Advisory Council serves as a liaison between Missouri’s communities and the MFH Board of Directors.  CAC representatives help ensure MFH’s Board has a deeper understanding of how its grants are impacting communities and what health concerns need to be addressed.  The CAC also oversees the recruitment of highly qualified candidates interested in serving on the CAC and MFH Board.

The CAC is committed to diversity in its membership, to reflect the entire MFH region, the broad scope of MFH’s funding, and the challenges of urban, suburban and rural communities.  The CAC also conducts several outreach meetings each year to gather information, and publishes reports to build greater understanding of the health challenges Missouri faces and how progress can be made.

To learn how to become a member of the CAC, download the application or e-mail Kathryn Zetzer at

•What are the qualifications for joining the CAC?

CAC members should be advocates for the uninsured and underinsured.  They should be interested in providing quality health care services for residents in the MFH region and must be willing to be the eyes and ears of those who are in the communities and grassroots organizations.

The CAC is responsible for making nominations to the MFH board for new board members so having a good sense of character, ability and purpose of others is a valuable skill to have as a CAC member.

•How will becoming a member of the CAC benefit young professionals? And the community?

The CAC and MFH board could benefit from having the voices of those are who are young professionals at the discussion table.  In order for the new healthcare reform to work, we must have all ages involved and helping to develop effective programs and guiding policy-making.  The community will benefit greatly from the input of our young professionals.   For the young professionals, I hope that giving back to the community will be a rewarding experience for them.

•Is there anything else we should know about the CAC or MFH?

The MFH is an organization that is well managed and funded.  The staff is young, bright, progressive and committed to improving healthcare for all.   It’s a good place and I love the work it is doing for our community around healthcare.



Introducing the new Salvation Army Young Professionals Group

We interviewed YPN member, Kristina Wilson, about the new volunteer group, the Salvation Army’s Young Professional Group. All are welcome to join the YPG for an initial recruitment and informational meeting on Thursday, February 27 at BlackFinn at 6:00 p.m.

• Why did you decide to start the Salvation Army’s Young Professionals Group? 

The Salvation Army, Midland Division (serving Missouri and Southern Illinois) Advisory Board sought to generate greater volunteer involvement and awareness of community issues, among a younger demographic. The Advisory Board asked a Washington University MBA student, serving as an Olin Board Fellow, to help launch the group.  Since then, it has grown to include young professionals in a variety of industries that are eager to make a difference in the area.

•What are the qualifications for joining the YPG? 

While we would prefer not to set an arbitrary age range, we envision that most YPG members will be ages 21-39. The most important aspect of membership, however, is that the participant be “young at heart”, lively, and eager to positively affect the community. 

•What events do you have planned?

We will be hosting an initial recruitment, informational, and networking gathering on Thursday, February 27th at BlackFinn from 6:00 TO 8:30. The YPG is in the process of planning future occasions, but our offerings will include fascinating educational programming, networking gatherings, volunteer opportunities, and fundraising events, including the Garbage Bag Gala in late July!

•How will the YPG benefit young professionals? And the community?

Members will have the chance to interact with other active St. Louis young professionals, learn about community development efforts, meet business, non-profit, and governmental leaders, gain the opportunity to volunteer collectively, and be involved with one of the oldest and highest-impact organizations in the region. 

•Are there any other details you wish to share?

If you want to meet other considerate young professionals, learn about the Salvation Army’s good work, and help develop and channel positive change in the St. Louis area, please join us.  If there are any questions, or to join our mailing list please send them to


Jackie Gilliland and the Young Supply Chain Professionals

ImageMeet YPN member, Jackie Gilliland. Jackie is a member of the YSCP, another great networking group for young professionals.


  • What is the YSCP’s mission?
    • The Young Supply Chain Professionals (YSCP) is a new auxiliary organization of the Transportation Club of St. Louis.  This group is for young professionals that want to network, increase their business acumen, socialize with other like-minded individuals in the St. Louis Area, and give back to the community. The group encompasses all aspects of the Supply Chain.  Including, but not limited to logistics, procurement, engineering, management, sales, transportation, insurance, banking, etc…All industries are invited.  We are targeting the 21 to 39 age group.  The Young Supply Chain Professionals hosts monthly Networking Events and joint events with the Transportation Club of St. Louis. 


  •  How many members are there?
    • We have 83 members on our current mailing list and growing each month.  We encourage and look forward to new attendees at each networking event! 


  • How can one get involved?
    • Simply email Greg Kasimatis or myself at  We will add that person to our list of members and then all members will receive our monthly e-mail newsletters which include further information on upcoming events and job opportunities!  They can also find us on LinkedIn and/or Facebook.  “Like” us or send a request to join and then they can get updates of upcoming events. 


  • What types of events does the YSCP host?
    • The YSCP hosts monthly networking events.  These have typically been priced around $10 which includes two drink tickets and food (great value!).  We are always brainstorming new, creative event ideas to make our events equally enjoyable as productive.  We had an Ugly Christmas Sweater event in December at Nick’s Pub with great turnout and a collection of toys we gave to Kingdom House.   This month, of course, is Mardi Gras themed at Blue Sky Tower Grill next Wednesday, February 19th.  We will provide beads, games, and prizes in addition to hosting another great opportunity for young professionals to build new relationships.  Members are also encouraged to attend any events hosted by the Transportation Club as well.  At every event, we incorporate our philanthropic values by donating half our proceeds towards our annual food drive and occasionally include a 50/50 donation raffle.  Last year, with the help of members and donors, we raised $4,000 to feed 800 families on Thanksgiving.  We are unique in that our volunteers find out exactly what type of food families are in need of prior to purchasing as many times, unfortunately, donated food can go to waste due to dietary needs, etc.  This year, as we are applying for our 501c3 certification, we have a goal of $40,000 to feed 8,000 families in the St. Louis region.   


  • Why is the YSCP important to you? 
    • YSCP is a great way for anyone to build and maintain a professional network in our local community.  Networking provides personal and professional growth opportunities for everyone who makes the effort.  Building new relationships, showing initiative, gaining knowledge, increasing confidence, and charity contribution are only a few reasons why I find the organization a great benefit! 


  • How does the RBC’s YPN help support the YSCP?
    • The RBC’s YPN and Katie Kaufmann, Manager of Talent Development Initiatives, have been excellent help by offering to include us on this blog and promote our events through their calendar, LinkedIn, and Facebook.  YPN and YSCP share a similar mission so we greatly appreciate the support and look forward to also providing support in any way we can.


  • What should other YPN members know about the organization?
    • The more, the merrier!  Please feel free to come check us out.  The goal is for everyone to build their network, learn, grow, and enjoy each other’s company in the process.  Supply chain pertains to all industries so we look forward to meeting more people who represent YPN and collaborating in the future. 


Good News Tuesday

In our Good News Tuesday blog post each month, we highlight some of the accomplishments that members of our Young Professionals Network share with us. This month, we have so much good news to announce that we’ll have to save some for next week!

We’d like to offer congratulations to these members of the RBC/YPN community:

Omar Maldonado has a new job. He is now the Cerec Specialist at Patterson Dental.

Tamara Pokol, MBA has a new job. She is now the Procurement Analyst at Synergetics, USA.

Ghellissa Johnson has a new job. She is now the Marketing Specialist: Famous Footwear – Events, Field and Cause Marketing at Brown Shoe Company.

Nicolas Toro is now the Business Consultant at Lockton Companies

Phil Hearn has a new job. He is now the Global Account Manager at CenturyLink.

Otto Nichols III has a new job. He is now Project Executive at Clayco.

Be sure to congratulate our YPN members! Leave a comment below or share on social media. 

The Most Important Quality of Leadership…

ImageWe spoke to YPN Leadership 100 alumni, Nathalie Henderson about Leadership. Nathalie has been in a leadership position for the past nine years and she is currently the Principal of Jefferson Elementary in the St. Louis Public School District.


  • What qualities do you look for in future leaders?
    • A willingness to take risks, always looking for ways to get better or do something better, resilience and someone who competes with themselves.


  • What is the most important attribute good leaders exhibit?
    • Integrity.


  • What can one do if he/she wants to hone their leadership skills?
    • Be a good team player that people trust and know will work hard. Once you have trust of teammates, they will likely look to you to take leadership roles on projects and how well you do will begin to build a solid leadership reputation within your company.

The Five C’s of Leadership

What types of qualities do you look for in a leader? Whether he or she is a leader of a small business, nonprofit, Fortune 500 organization or the leader of the school’s PTO, all leaders possess similar qualities. If the leader doesn’t demonstrate these qualities… is he or she really leading?


“If you can become the leader you ought to be on the inside, you will be able to become the person you want on the outside. People will want to follow you. And when that happens, you’ll be able to tackle anything in this world.” J.C. Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.


The five C’s of leadership include Capable, Commitment, Communication, Connected and Character.


Capable – Capable leaders are good at what they do and have the proper balance of depth and breadth of subject-matter expertise to enable them to develop a vision, execute the vision and be self-assured and self-confident without being arrogant.


Committed – The best leaders have a strong sense of self-mastery.  They demonstrate character and courage, initiative and passion.  Their passion and courage is balanced by their sense of responsibility to something larger than themselves and a sense of self-discipline.


Communicative – Effective leadership demands effective communication. The most effective leaders are dynamic communicators who can sell their vision effectively to others and generate excitement in the process. However, effective communication goes well beyond just the ability to be highly persuasive. The best leaders demonstrate that they are also great listeners, who allow themselves to be influenced by the thoughts and inputs of others. They are teachable, and in the process they garner wider support and shared ownership for their vision and strategy because others, likewise, feel ownership.


Connected – Connectors like people and value relationships. They have a natural power with people, charisma, and an ability to create coalitions.  They value their connectedness with others and tend to have extensive and diverse networks that they draw on for their support. Because of their connectedness, they have built in support and a greater, more natural opportunity to anchor new approaches among the larger community.


Character—Probably the most important trait of all leaders is their character; the essence of who they are. You can’t teach character. People either have good character or they don’t. Actions are the indicator of character. Strong character is the foundation on which to build success.  


Congratulations, Castor Armesto!

ImageYPN Leadership 100 member, Castor Armesto, was recently elected as one of 10 new partners at Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

Stinson Leonard Street LLP provides sophisticated transactional and litigation legal services to clients ranging from individuals and privately held enterprises to national and international public companies. As one of the 75 largest firms in the U.S., Stinson Leonard Street has more than 520 attorneys and offices in 14 cities.

Armesto is a member of the firm’s Private Business practice. He advises clients on transactional matters, providing trusted counsel and practical advice to entrepreneurs and corporate decision makers.

His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, commercial contracting and investments in emerging companies. Armesto helps clients buy and sell businesses across industries and supports businesses as they buy and sell commodities, chemicals, and engineered products, both in the U.S. and abroad.

He was recently named a 2013 Up & Coming Lawyer by Missouri Lawyers Weekly and he is a graduate of Leadership St. Louis. Armesto is active in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, serving as its president in 2011.  As president, he founded the Latino Leadership Institute, a skills-based, leadership-training program focused on young Hispanic professionals, which received a 2013 What’s Right with the Region! award from FOCUS St. Louis®.

Armesto earned a law degree from Washington University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in computer science and Spanish from Iowa State University.