Jimmie Howlett and St. Louis Cardinals 2014 baseball season.

Photo provided by Google images.

Photo provided by Google images.

With opening day around the corner, Cardinal’s fans have a great deal to look forward to. The $100 million first stage of Ballpark Village, St. Louis’ newest dining and entertainment center, opened March 27th, 2014. Complete with multiple sports viewing areas, live music and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, Ballpark Village truly has something for everyone.

We interviewed die-hard Cardinal’s fan and YPN member, Jimmie Howlett on what he is looking forward to this baseball season.

  • How long have you been a Cardinal’s fan?
  • My father and grandfather always took me to games as a kid at the old Busch Stadium. There were some rough years prior to 1996, but I still supported the team.
  • Who is your favorite Cardinal’s player?
  • That changes every year, but right now I’s have to say my favorite is Allen Craig.
  • Who is your all-time favorite player?
  • My all-time favorite Cards player is Mr. Lou Brock.
  • Do you have any advice for someone who has never visited Busch Stadium?
  • It is an atmosphere and experience like no other in Major League Baseball. I’ve been to a couple other stadiums in the league, and the atmosphere of a Cards game at Busch is like no other.
  • What does Busch Stadium offer that you can’t get anywhere else?
  • Friendly fans. You can go to a Cards game and instantly make new friends in a flash.
  • What are you looking forward to this season?
  • Getting back to the World Series!
  • What are your personal opinions on Ballpark Village and its impact on the city of St. Louis?
  • I think Ballpark Village will have a great impact not only on the social standpoint, but also from an economic standpoint for the city. It has created construction jobs and also additional jobs that are part-time and full-time for residents of St. Louis. Not to mention, working in a great atmosphere year round will be exciting.
  • What are you most excited about regarding the opening of Ballpark Village?
  • The $1 Million dollar video board should be quite interesting to see. Also, to see the first phase finally come to light nearly 8 years after the opening of the stadium is very exciting.

According to a recent report on http://www.bleacherreport.com, many baseball fans believe the St. Louis Cardinals will play in the 2014 World Series.

“After winning their respective pennants in 2013, the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox both look strong heading into the 2014 season, anything can happen over the course of the season, and there is a reason we have not seen a World Series rematch since 1978. Still, these two teams look to have as good chance as any to be playing in the Fall Classic come October,” said, Joel Reuter with Bleacher Report.

View the article here

For more information on Ballpark Village, visit www.stlballparkvillage.com.


Adewale ‘Wale’ Soluade and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis


Meet YPN member, Wale Soluade. Wale was recently appointed a board member of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. We interviewed Wale to see what interests him about the St. Louis Rep. and how YPN members can benefit.

  • What is The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis? 
  • The Rep is a non-profit, regional theatre that was founded in 1966. They are dedicated to excellence in producing an eclectic range of live theatre.
  • What is the location of performance venues?
  • The Rep performances occur at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts which is actually located on the campus of Webster University in Webster Groves. There are actually two stages at the Center, one of course is the Mainstage (760 seats) and another smaller, even more intimate black-box space – the Studio Theatre (average 125 seats).


  • What makes The Repertory Theatre important to you?
    • The Rep is important to me because it represents something that I feel is even more important now than never before. A commitment to an art that brings together imagination and talent from the playwright to the performer that takes on the character to the artist that creates the sets. The value of the arts unfortunately seems to be diminishing in our society and The Rep provides the perfect opportunity for younger generations to immerse themselves in an experience that can’t be replaced by movies. I think there sometimes is a misconception that going to plays is something that old people do and so we miss out on the feeling that comes with live theatre.
  • What are your duties as a board member?
    • My primary focus is to assist The Rep with engaging a new audience. As I touched on in my explanation of why The Rep is important to me, I noticed that fewer and fewer people around my age take in shows at any of the performing arts venues in the St. Louis area and that within that same space, there was a distinct lack of diversity in the audience. I’ve always thought that the experience that comes from enjoying the arts can supersede the different barriers we put in place and so when an opportunity to work with an organization that is committed to bringing new people into their audience came up, I jumped at it.
  • How can YPN members become involved with the Rep?
    • The very first step I would recommend is taking in one of the shows. One of the things I greatly appreciate about The Rep is the variety of shows that are put on. Everything from “Fly”, a show about a group of Tuskegee airmen and their experiences to Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap”. Of course, YPN members can also connect with The Rep on Facebook and Twitter (@repstl) to stay up to date on current and upcoming shows. There is a wide range of ticket and show times that make it very easy to become involved.
  • What should other YPN members know about the St. Louis Repertory?
    • The Rep wants you! Seriously however, St. Louis is considered one of the best cities for young professionals and recent college graduates and I think The Rep is a perfect example of why. We have the ability to see live theatre in a space that is intimate (which makes it perfect for dates), but also very affordable. The Rep provides an opportunity to not only see performers from right here in St. Louis but also bigger cities all over the country and we don’t have to travel to see them. The Rep cultivates local talent and offers backstage tours if you’re ever interested in seeing how things work!

Spring Cleaning at Work!

The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and we can FINALLY walk outside without freezing temperatures. Today is the first day of spring and what better way to celebrate the end of a horrendous winter than to “Spring Clean” your work space. Organization in the workplace helps you from loosing important papers and ensures productivity.Below are simple tips that can help even the most unorganized YPN member “Spring Clean” their work-space.

1. Tidy up your desk. The first step in organization begins with a cleaning of your desk. A simple habit to form is to take a few minutes each week and sort through your desk. Place items you need in the correct spot and throw away items you no longer use.

2.  Determine when you’re most productive. Do you work best in the morning or late afternoon? Knowing when you are most productive will help you organize your time in order to complete the most important work when you have the
most energy.

3.  Manage your time. Turn your attention to action items at a specific time. You will find that focusing your time might make you feel less scatter-brained than paying bits of attention to several areas at once. Taking on a task and finishing it to completion (or until a set stopping point) will also help keep clutter to a minimum.

4.  Prioritize e-mail. Respond to urgent messages right away and create folders  in your e-mail program for others.

5. Don’t use e-mail as a substitute for conversation. A brief phone call may accomplish what might take several rounds of e-mails to accomplish.

 6. Set priorities and deadlines: Determine which tasks are most important and do those first. Allocate enough time to get the work done but not so much time that there is no sense of urgency to complete a task.

7. Set a time limit on tasks you dislike. The task will seem less overwhelming if
you know you will stop at a specific time. If it’s not possible to set a time limit, break up the task into short chunks of time and do more interesting work in between.

8.  Repeat instructions verbally. Understand what someone is asking you to do before you start the work.

9. Schedule in extra time each day. Give yourself extra time traveling to and from work so you don’t feel rushed. Try to find a few extra minutes in your schedule each day to organize your thoughts and your things.

Quick Tips To Stay Organized

  •  Do quick tasks immediately. If you notice that something needs to be picked up or returned to its place, do it right away.
  • Return items to their place when you’re done using them.
  •  Keep your work-space supplied with the things you need to do your job.
  •  Use your free time wisely. When on hold on the telephone, sort the papers on your desk. When waiting for an appointment, catch up on your reading or make your grocery list.

Brianna Brown and Kwame Live Your Dream

Brianna Brown

Meet Brianna Brown, a local high school student collaborating  with Tony Thompson and the Kwame Foundation for the Kwame Live Your Dream Concert. We spoke with Brianna about the upcoming Live Your Dream Concert, her passion for music, and the goals of the Kwame Foundation.

What is the Kwame Live Your Dream Concert? The Live Your Dream Concert is a concert showcasing myself and my classmates in this case, but the bigger picture is to showcase and help support high school seniors with a passion for the performing arts and who plan to further their education focusing on whatever their performing art is.

How long have you been involved with this event? I first heard about the Live Your Dream Concert in my very first meeting with Mr. Tony Thompson which was In late June of 2013. At the time it was just a concept, & 8 months later it is a reality !

 How long have you been performing? The first time I got on stage by myself was in my 1st grade talent show.

What do you want to do when you “grow up?” When I grow up I want to be everything I can be. I want to be a singer, musician, performer and actress but not just to do it. I want more than anything to be able to use a big platform doing all the things that I love to teach and give knowledge about things that really matter to as many people as I can reach. So teaching is in my future too!

What do you want others to know about the Kwame Foundation? I want people to really understand how many people the Kwame Foundation helps. Furthering education is such an important factor especially since so many jobs require some sort of education beyond high school. Unfortunately college is super expensive. The scholarships that the Kwame Foundation provides give students and their family’s a little bit less to worry about, making the goal of getting to college a little bit easier to reach.

Is there anything else you can share about your passion for music? I can share that it is just that, a passion. Music runs through my veins and has been in every part of my life, so for me giving up on music doesn’t even exist. And I look forward to living my dream the rest of my life!

Congratulations, Johnny Wang!

Johnny Wang_Stinson Leonard Street LLPYPN Leadership 100 member, Johnny Wang, recently joined Stinson Leonard Street LLP’s St. Louis office as partner. 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. 

                                                                                                                                   Wang is a member of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Division . He represents companies, nonprofit organizations, and public entities across all employment areas. He advises employers on day-to-day workplace matters, helping clients avoid employment controversies. Drawing from his litigation experience, he helps clients manage legal entanglements.He has first chair jury and bench trial experience, and has handled appellate matters before the Missouri Supreme Court including ERISA litigation and union issues.

Wang presents frequently on employment law and workplace-related subjects, including diversity and inclusion efforts. He is involved in diversity programming locally and nationally. He also helps employers build productive, sustainable diversity and inclusion programs. .

He was recently named a 2013 Up & Coming Lawyer by Missouri Lawyers Weekly and he received the Diverse Business Leader Award from the St. Louis Business Journal. Wang is active as founder and chair of the Missouri Minority Counsel Program. He is president of the Asian-American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis, which he co-founded in 2012. He also served as president of the Missouri Asian-American Bar Association in 2012.

Wang earned a law degree from Washington University School of Law in 2005 and a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2002.

Good News Tuesday

Each month we enjoy posting a Good News Tuesday blog post. Good News Tuesday allows us the opportunity to highlight and share accomplishments that members of our Young Professionals Network share with us.

Congratulations to the following members of the RBC/YPN community:

Johnny Wang has a new job. He is now Partner at Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

Johnathan Thomas has a new job. Johnathan is now a Personal Banker at Bank of America.

Ellis Jennings has a new job. Ellis is now an Independent Marketing Executive at Another Brother Company.

Lindsay Diak is having a 2 year work anniversary at United Way of America.

Rhonda Garrett is celebrating 4 years at The Vaski Group, LLC.

Aliah Holman is having a 2 year work anniversary at The Bi-State Development Agency dba Metro.

Congratulations and thank you to the members of the RBC/YPN community that provided us with this month’s good news! We look forward to hearing your good news for April’s Good News Tuesday post!

Join Us for Young Blacks Give Back

The Urban League Young Professionals are getting ready for their annual Young Blacks Give Back (YBGB); a volunteer blitz held every year in the month of March.  We interviewed Suesan Daily, Urban League’s Service Chair, about the upcoming opportunity.

  • What types of events do YBGB members participate in?  

Young Blacks Give Back (YBGB) is a community service blitz that is held annually in March by the Urban League Young Professionals.  During this time, young professionals participate in community service activities at various agencies throughout the St. Louis metro area.

  • How is the Urban League Young Professionals different from other types of Young Professional organizations?  

The Urban League Young Professionals of Metropolitan St. Louis is an auxiliary organization of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, comprised of young leaders whose time, energy and talents are dedicated to improving the welfare of St. Louis community residents. The Young Professionals are committed to seeking innovative solutions to persistent social problems, such as economic empowerment, education, civil rights, civic engagement and financial management. Their goal is to form a cohesive group of young professional leaders whom can leverage their collective experience, education, resources and talents towards improving the lives of those in need.

  • What do you want people to know about the Urban League?  

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis exists to empower African Americans and others throughout the region in securing economic self-reliance, social equality, and civil rights.    They also help clients to climb out of poverty by helping them to meet their basic needs, providing educational excellence/equality and economic empowerment and encouraging civic engagement. It has locations in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Clair County in Illinois.

  • How can the RBC’s Young Professional Network members get involved?  

The RBC Young Professional Network members can get involved by volunteering and encouraging others to participate.  It will take a team of volunteers to reach our goal of 1,000 hours.  They can visit www.ulyp-stl.org or contact service@ulyp-stl.org to sign up.

(The direct link to the sign up is http://vols.pt/ZJPGMx)

  • Anything else you’d like to share?  

The Urban League Young Professionals have general body meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of every month.  The meetings begin at 6:00 pm and everyone is welcome to attend.