Listen to the Members of the St. Louis Symphony and Raise Funds for Tuition at University City Childcare Center

deanna carrollJoin young professionals, civic leaders and members of the University City Childcare Center on Friday, August 22 at 6:30pm for the 9th Annual  Fairy Tales Concert to benefit the UCCC’s Tuition Assistance program. Deanna Carroll, Agent at State Farm and member of the YPN Leadership 100 and YPN Steering Committee, volunteers her time to help support and advance the mission and vision of the UCCC. Check out what she had to say about the UCCC, including a special offer for Friday’s concert, and how you can get involved.


Tell us a little about the mission of the University City Children’s Center. What sets UCCC apart from other childcare centers?

University City Children’s Center is committed to providing innovative, quality care and education to a racially, culturally, developmentally & socio-economically diverse population of children between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 years old.  We believe that Trust is the foundation of any value; Empathy & Compassion are found naturally in children; and that Joy is an essential element to creating and maintaining an emotionally healthy life.  As a result these core values are the basis for the learning environment created through the UCCC curriculum.  We focus on the whole child during these early years because we believe what happens early in life lasts a lifetime.

Two for One - YPNWhat can attendees expect from the 9th Annual Fairy Tales Can Come True Concert?

We are excited to hold our 9th Annual Concert for the benefit of UCCC’s Tuition Assistance program.  It will be held Friday, August 22nd, 2014 starting at 6:30pm. Because of our wonderful partnership with the Regional Business Council Young Professional Network in the past, we’d like to offer special pricing for YPN members. YPN members are eligible to purchase two tickets for $150 (Buy one, get one free). The evening will begin with a cocktail and passed Hors d’oeuvres reception followed by a concert by members of the St Louis Sympathy and will conclude with a dessert reception and more networking.  Attendees will be able to hear details and information about the UCCC program and mission. The artists performing include Melissa Brooks, Ruth Price and the Arianna String Quartet.

Can you talk about what the Lume Institute is, and how this approach is different from a traditional childcare center?

Lume Institute evolved from the values & methodologies developed by University City Children’s Center.  LUME Institute offers systemic & comprehensive approaches to early Childhood education.  Lume is dedicated to promoting innovative thinking, exploration, and knowledge sharing, while continuing to develop strategies that deepen the understanding of how children learn and grow.  The mission of LUME is to replicate the UCCC model by introducing teachers, administrators, families and other stakeholders to the integrative UCCC program that is transforming early childhood education and obtaining dynamic results.

How can YPN members get involved with and make a difference in childcare in St. Louis? Are there any volunteer opportunities or other ways to become engaged with UCCC?

UCCC is always looking for professionals interested in serving as volunteers at the center.  There are opportunities to volunteer with the children in the classrooms, in an administrative capacity as well as in several beautification projects held throughout the year on the campus.  We are also always interested in speaking to individuals interested in Board Service.  We periodically have openings for Board Members and seek qualified and interested candidates.


For more information about the UCCC and the Lume Institute or to purchase tickets for the concert, visit If you are interested in volunteering or serving on the Board, please contact Kris Schwetye at or Deanna Carroll at

The YPN works to provide its members with access to unique social experiences, volunteer opportunities and networking with other young professionals in the region. If you would like to feature your organization or an event on the YPN blog, please email


Managing in the Middle—A YPN Professional Development Opportunity with Alesia Latson

As part of a collaborated effort between the Regional Business Council’s Young Professionals Network and the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative to provide unique professional development opportunities to its members, a group of over 50  YPN members, Leadership 100 members and SLBDI Fellows Alumni sat down for an engaging meeting on the topic of managing up to superiors and managing down to those you are in charge of. The event was hosted by RubinBrown, LLC in Clayton on Friday, June 27, 2014.

alesia_photoAlesia Latson, Senior Consultant and Facilitator of The Personal Brand Company, was the guest speaker for the event. Latson has held management and organizational development positions in financial services, healthcare and government industries and has been studying the application of leadership skills for over 17 years. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and is a return guest speaker of the YPN and SLBDI.

She facilitated the discussion by delivering insight on the topics of the art of active listening and how it can truly enhance both professional and personal relationships, how to deal with confrontation and disagreement from superiors, and an in-depth approach providing a step-by-step method of communicating both positive and constructive feedback to managers and coworkers.
Managing in the Middle

Latson used specific and direct examples for how to utilize these concepts within a professional workplace. She noted that although it’s encouraging to hear from your manager that “You’re doing a great job,” not sharing the impact of the behavior on the organization being commended or citing concrete observations about why the job being done is great can ultimately be a detriment to the work level and productivity of a worker. Participants were broken up into small groups after covering each subject to exercise improved listening techniques and practice administering feedback to a supervisor or coworker. The session concluded after participants shared with the group what they had learned and how some of the challenges they might see in putting these skills into practice.

Be sure to look for more professional development opportunities like this, as well as community service connections, civic/cultural events and more in the YPN monthly newsletter and on our Facebook events page. For a brief overview of the topics covered in the session, click here. For more information on Alesia Latson and her studies of the science of leadership and development, click here.


Meet the YPN Leadership 100: Matthew Nelson

Matthew Nelson with County Executive Dooley, former RBC Member Mark Burkhart and RBC Member Tony Thompson.

Some of the St. Louis region’s most creative minds are part of the RBC’s Young Professionals Network Leadership 100. But who are they and how are they helping shape a stronger St. Louis?

Today’s featured YPN Leadership 100 member is Matthew Nelson, IT security analyst at Express Scripts Inc.

 Learn more about Matthew in our Q&A below!

  1. You wear many hats. How would you introduce yourself to a new YPN member?

I like to keep introductions pretty simple. To a new YPN member, after I welcome them, I would say that I’m in IT and I’m involved with a few community organizations. I am more interested in getting to know a new fellow member than talking about myself.

  1. What do you enjoy about belonging to the YPN? 

Kathy Osborn, Steven Harris, and the YPN steering committee have done a fantastic job providing not only premier networking opportunities at unique venues, but also development opportunities that are critical for career growth.

  1. Describe a favorite project that you’re currently working on. 

I have recently taken on a new role in Digital Forensics and Incident Response at Express Scripts.  I am really enjoying learning the methodologies for incident response as well as techniques that hackers use to harm organizations and steal data.  It’s extremely technical and I’m spending a lot of my time getting up to speed.

  1. Why should someone base their business in St. Louis? 

While I’m not a business owner, I do recognize that St. Louis is a great town to live in.  I’ve visited bigger cities and prefer the wide-open feel of St. Louis, as opposed to the congested nature of other cities. St. Louis has great food and many options for entertainment.

  1. What are your first three stops when an out-of-town friend visits? 

The Saint Louis Zoo and Grant’s Farm are fabulous to visit during the day. The Delmar loop is my all-time favorite for people watching and hanging out at night.

  1. What’s one St. Louis tradition that everyone must experience? 

Everyone should take a trip to the top of the Arch at least once.

Good News Tuesday

GoodIn 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 congratulate these members of the RBC/YPN community:

New Jobs

  • Todd Stadnik, Compliance Consultant, Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Eydi Cavalieri Arriojas, Human Resources Coordinator, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
  • Tasha Turner, Senior Analytical Chemist, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

We’re proud of how hard our YPN members work to make St. Louis a better place to thrive. Join us in offering best wishes to this month’s YPN members.

We’d love for you to be part of Good News Tuesday, too. Tell us when you’ve been promoted, if you’ve landed a brand new position or if you’ve launched another company. You can even announce your new baby, your volunteer efforts or your speaking engagements. Simply email the news to by the last Tuesday of the month, and we’ll consider it for publication. Be sure to include full information, including pertinent names, titles, companies/organizations and contact information.

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.

St. Louis Urban League Young Professionals

The Regional Business Council is an active collaborator with organizations that share our mission and fall within the focus areas the RBC membership has established. Urban League Young Professionals group is a special asset to the St. Louis region and our connection complements the passion RBC has for developing young, diverse talent.

They believe, like we do, that a diverse workforce makes our economy stronger and allows St. Louis to compete with every other major metropolitan area. Members of the ULYP participate in countless hours of community service and their members truly care about improving the region.

At the recent ULYP gala, several young professionals who are making an impact on St. Louis were honored including Nathalie Means, Principal at Jefferson Elementary in SLPS, Art McCoy, Jr. Superintendant of Schools, Ferguson Florissant School District and Nichole Moton, the ULYP’s Resource Chair. Together we are raising the profile of the emerging leaders within the region.

Group photo of the attendees of the ULYP's Urban Renaissance Gala

Group photo of the attendees of the ULYP’s Urban Renaissance Gala – Photo by Barry Neal

We at the RBC believe so strongly in the mission of the ULYP that we want to make it as easy as possible for interested individuals to join. The RBC pays the first year dues for anyone who joins. Once you have had an opportunity to network with members of the ULYPs and participate in civic projects alongside other passionate individuals, we are certain that you will remain active in the organization for years to come.

Are you looking to meet other young professionals and build your network? Join the ULYP, one of many ways to become more involved in the St. Louis community.

What is the Young Professionals Network?

Regional Business Council's Young Professionals NetworkDo you want to meet other people that share similar interests and career aspirations? Have you found that bars and other places that your friends hang out are not the best places for professional networking?  Where do you meet other young professionals?

In 2008 the Regional Business Council recognized the lack of opportunities for young professionals to develop quality professional and personal relationships and we launched the Young Professionals Network (YPN). Every year we host multiple events at the city’s great venues where young professionals like you can meet and develop deep relationships with your peers.

So what makes the YPN unique? We are different because of the level of talent our events attract.  The Young Professionals Network currently has over 1200 members representing 300 local companies.  The great majority of our members are between the ages of 21 and 40.

These aren’t just events where you pass out dozens of business cards and go home. Everyone in attendance is there to meet new people in the St. Louis community. Every one is a talented professional who is working hard to improve his or her career and make a difference in the city.

We also closely partner with other young professional groups in the city to help them advance their causes.  We strongly believe that business professionals should be involved in a variety of civic and professional organizations.  This includes participating in groups as members and attendees of events, but it also means getting involved at a much deeper level.

Many YPN members serve on the boards of organizations that support the arts, help alleviate poverty and sustain some of our great regional attraction (and many others). Board membership is a great way to give back to the community and build a strong professional network. We work as a facilitator to help connect young professionals with organizations that need qualified board members.

If you haven’t yet attended a YPN event, what is holding you back? Check out our calendar of upcoming events (both our own and community partner’s) and sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know.   We look forward to seeing you soon.