YPN Member Spotlight – February

YPN Member Spotlight

In our YPN Member Spotlight blog post, we highlight some of the accomplishments that members of our Young Professionals Network share with us.

This month, we’d like to offer congratulations to these members of the RBC/YPN community:

Achievements and Recognitions:

  • Congratulations to this year’s class of 2015 Young Leaders as honored by the St. Louis American Foundation! This year’s winners include the following YPN Leadership 100 Members: Sarajeni Hammond, Director of Talent Management at Monsanto, Matt Nelson, IT Security Analyst at Express Scripts, LaTanya Reeves, Community Development Officer at Enterprise Bank & Trust, Wale Soluade, Corporate Inclusion & Diversity Manager at Commerce Bank, Kimberly Burke-Thomas, Project Manager at US Bank and Founder of QKE 4 Growth, Kristin Thompson, Financial Advisor at Renaissance Financial Corporation and Nicole Woodie, Community Outreach and Player Involvement Manager at the St. Louis Rams.
  • Both Santiago Beltran, Logistics Planner / Business Analyst at Build-A-Bear Workshop and Arindam Kar, Partner at Bryan Cave, LLP were named as recipients of the St. Louis Business Journal’s esteemed 40 Under 40 recognition. Congratulations! Read more here
  • Sheena Hamilton, Litigation Associate at Armstrong Teasdale, will be recognized by the St. Louis County Bar Association as the Association’s Roy F. Essen Outstanding Young Lawyer, an honor awarded to an attorney licensed less than ten years who has shown excellence and distinguished unselfish service to the community. Congratulations! Read more here
  • Shertina Gillespie, Director of Systems Analysis – Data Quality & Analysis at MasterCard Worldwide, was recently appointed to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Board of Directors. Congratulations! Read more here

We’d love for you to be part of the YPN Member Spotlight, too. Tell us about your new promotion, if you landed a brand new position or if you launched another company. You can even announce your new baby, your volunteer efforts or your speaking engagements. Simply email the news to asinger@stlrbc.org by the last day 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.

We’re proud of how hard our YPN members work to make St. Louis a better place to thrive, and we’re excited to sound the trumpets in congratulations. Join me in offering best wishes to this month’s YPN members, and don’t forget to share your own good news by emailing asinger@stlrbc.org!



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 ypn@stlrbc.org 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.

Join St. Louis Area Professionals to Help Fight Local Hunger

T.C SlaterThe St. Louis Area Foodbank is hosting Friends of the Foodbank, a Networking Happy Hour, on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 from 5:00-8:30 p.m.

We had the opportunity to discuss Friends of the Foodbank with YPN member T.C. Slater and learn about his involvement with the organization.

  • What is Friends of the Foodbank?

Friends of the Foodbank is an organization that provides a great way to volunteer your time in small increments to a very worthy cause – hunger relief.  This group partners with the St. Louis Area Foodbank staff to help distribute hunger awareness information at fun events, including networking gatherings, concerts and happy hours.

  • How do the Friends of the Foodbank assist local families?

Hunger can be addressed. We can make a difference. The organization helps spread the word locally, encouraging individuals to become more involved in the cause. Each “Friend” brings something different to the table. Engaging them in the conversation raises awareness which is the critical first step. Many of the “Friends” events have a small fundraising element.  One simple factoid to remember: The St. Louis Area Foodbank can provide four meals for a local family with each dollar donated.

  • What is a surprising fact that local residents don’t realize about the St. Louis Foodbank?

When you say “St. Louis Area Foodbank,” people might visualize a small food pantry or soup kitchen.  Residents don’t always understand the size of the organization and the volume of food distributed. We try to schedule events at the Foodbank, whenever possible, to provide an opportunity to see just how massive the issue of hunger is in our community and what we are doing to address it. The Foodbank distributes food and personal care items to more than 500 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other nonprofit programs in 26 area counties (14 in Missouri and 12 in Illinois). Last year alone, the Foodbank distributed 35 million pounds of food.

  • How can YPN members get involved?

We’d love to see everyone at our first networking happy hour and encourage YPN members to sign up for the Friends of the Foodbank email list. This will keep you up to date on events and ways to raise awareness in our community.  http://www.stlfoodbank.org/friends

  • Do you have anything more you would like to share with YPN members?

Each week, more than 57,000 people count on the Foodbank for assistance. Kids make up the largest percentage of those in need (nearly 40 percent).  With the school year coming to an end, many children who were receiving free or reduced breakfast/lunch options will have to find those meals elsewhere or simply go without. This is a great time to become involved with Friends of the Foodbank!

Click here for more information or to register for tonight’s event

Play Ball! Opening Day is a St. Louis Holiday

Opening Day 2013 at Busch Stadium

YPN member Alex Lee, general counsel for Centric Group, snaps a photo of the Opening Day ceremony at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Many Major League Baseball (MLB) cities will kick off their home seasons today, but we’re fairly certain that Opening Day in St. Louis is a bigger deal than all the rest. After all, Opening Day gets the proper-noun treatment around these parts!

As you know, the Young Professionals Network and the Regional Business Council support initiatives and experiences that bring something special to our region. There’s no question that the atmosphere before and during a St. Louis Cardinals game — and on Opening Day, in particular — is unforgettable. It’s an adventure that combines baseball tradition and deep historical knowledge with pride, excitement and the sport’s best fans.

We’re particularly proud of the Cardinals’ outreach efforts. From charity donations to player appearances to children singing the national anthem, our team constantly hits home runs for the community.

No matter if you’re celebrating in Busch Stadium downtown or are following along with radio or social media updates, YPN and RBC wish you a very happy Opening Day. Let’s go, Cards!

Vote on April 2

Downtown St. Louis Union Station

Photo by Rob Reiring via Flickr Creative Commons

Election day is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 2. Because one of the Regional Business Council’s goals is to improve the quality of life in the St. Louis region, the RBC has been drawing attention to Proposition P: The Safe and Accessible Arch and Public Parks Initiative, a 3/16 cent sales tax increase initiative on the ballot in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. YPN Member Steven Harris is an honorary chair of the campaign.

The RBC supports this minor tax increase because the funds will enable St. Louis City and St. Louis County to make much-needed improvements and maintenance upgrades to their parks and facilities. Funds also will allow Great Rivers Greenway to improve and expand the River Ring — more than 250 miles of trails and 20,000 acres of existing land in St. Louis City and St. Louis County.

A portion of the revenues from the sales tax increase will also benefit the CityArchRiver 2015 project. If Proposition P passes, the Arch grounds — from Keiner Plaza to the Old Courthouse and all the way to the riverfront — would be completely transformed, making it accessible, exciting and safe for local and out-of-town visitors.

Simply put: Proposition P is a game-changer for the St. Louis region. For more information about Prop P, read a special RBC email from March or visit Vote Yes on Proposition P.

No matter where your thoughts lie on this or any issue, the RBC encourages its members and friends to vote on April 2.

Lucky in St. Louis

St. Patrick's Day Parade in St. Louis

St. Louisans enjoy the traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown. Photo by Lisa Kelly. Learn about the parade at www.irishparade.org.

St. Patrick’s Day arrives soon, and many St. Louisans are gearing up for exciting neighborhood celebrations and Irish-inspired cuisine.

Our region certainly enjoys its share of good fortune. From beautiful parks to thriving businesses to tasty treats, the Gateway City seems to have found a number of local four-leaf clovers.

Here are just a few of the things I think St. Louis is especially lucky to have: Continue reading