Panelists

Associate Professor
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO

  • Is an Associate Professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in the Division of Public Health Sciences and Siteman Cancer Center.
  • As an epidemiologist, her research objectives are: 1) to identify the modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for cancer as well as the at-risk groups; 2) to utilize community-based approaches to design, implement and disseminate research information; and 3) to promote education and awareness of research in minority communities.
  • As the co-lead of the Prostate Cancer Community Partnership of the Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECAD), she works with community organizations to provide cancer education and free prostate cancer screening in the community.
  • Teaches in the children’s ministry at the First Baptist Church (Chesterfield), and can also be heard on Bott Radio (91.5 FM) on Sunday mornings introducing the church’s weekly radio broadcast. She is also a Girl Scout Mom through Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.
  • Threw out the first pitch at a St. Louis Cardinals game in 2013.
  • Is the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Black Alumni Award from Baylor University.
  • Cherishes spending time with John Drake, her husband of 14 years, and their two beautiful daughters, Amelia (10) and Hannah (4). Born and raised in Marshall, Texas.
  • Earned a PhD in epidemiology from University of South Carolina and an MPH from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Head of Strategy, Applied Solutions
MilliporeSigma

St. Louis, MO

    • Earned her MBA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002, and earned her Bachelor of Engineering in International Business and Chemistry from Qingdao University of Science and Technology, China.
    • Served as founding steering committee of Women In Leadership (WIL) program at Millipore Sigma since 2010.
    • Recognized as St. Louis Workplace Leader (2009, YWCA).
    • Is a recreational triathlete, and a member of St. Louis Triathlon Club.
    • Enjoys traveling, writing (mostly in Chinese), reading, participating in Home Plate (Washington University program), and any outdoor activities.
    • Born and raised in China. Currently lives in St. Louis with her daughter Claire (11).

Associate Professor, Anthropology and African & African American Studies
Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO

  • Research interests and teaching include global health, gender & sexuality, HIV, politics of development, global inequalities, racialized forms of violence, and affective ties.
  • Author of two books (Regulating Romance: Youth Love Letters, Moral Anxiety, and Interventions in Uganda’s Time of AIDS and The Secret: Love, Marriage, and HIV).
  • Consults on sexual health and gender policies and programs globally and domestically.
  • Conducts assessment on how policies and programs fit into local communities and dynamics.
  • Authored several white papers (policy papers) on how to extend and tailor services to hard-to-reach communities and groups, including queer homeless youth, commercial sex workers, MSM, out-of-school youth, and rural communities.
  • Serves on Board of Directors for various advocacy and progressive agencies, including St. Louis Public Radio (local NPR affiliate), Planned Parenthood of St. Louis and Southwest Missouri, St. Louis Effort for AIDS, Deaconess Foundation, and Professional Organization of Women.
  • Served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Kenya as a Small Business Advisor.
  • PhD from Yale University and BS in Finance from University of Virginia.

Executive Director
COCA

St. Louis, MO

  • Has been with COCA-Center of Creative Arts for 20 of the organization’s 30 years of existence, serving as the Executive Director since 2010.
  • Expanded COCA’s reach and impact through innovative new programs that push boundaries, all aimed at building St. Louis’ creative capacity.
  • Has overseen the growth of COCA’s annual budget from $1.7 million to $6 million, successfully achieved a $10 million capital campaign, and is currently leading a $40 million capital effort to expand COCA’s facility and build its financial reserves.
  • Selected as of one of ten 2016 U.S.A. Eisenhower Fellows and traveled to Northern Ireland and Brazil to understand the role of arts and culture in bridging divides and driving economic development.
  • One of the 35 “bold minds creating a better St. Louis” according to ALIVE Magazine.
  • Serves as Adjunct Faculty at Webster University, teaching in the Master of Arts Administration Program, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Washington University and a Masters Degree in Public Policy Administration from University of Missouri, St. Louis.
  • An outdoor, fitness and food enthusiast, loves spending time cycling, running, paddle boarding and cooking.
  • Lives in Clayton with her husband Mitch, and two children Oliver (12) and Adelaide (10).

Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder
KellyMitchell Group, Inc.

St. Louis, MO

  • Received her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a J.D. in Corporate Law from Business Program.
  • St. Louis University and attended Harvard’s Business School’s Women Leading
  • Is CEO and Co-Founder of KellyMitchell, and has been recognized by Inc. Magazine for the 500/5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies for 7 years, as well as 50 Fastest-Growing Women-held Organizations by the Women’s President Organization 4 times.
  • Has shaped the client-centric mission at KellyMitchell and is proud to have achieved Inavero’s and Staffing Industry Analyst’s “Best in Staffing – Client Satisfaction” award for 2016 and 2017.
  • Since co-founding KellyMitchell in 1998, has remained dedicated to empowering and mentoring WBE’s, serving on local boards, and building a culture of innovation, service excellence and employee engagement.
  • Serves on the United Way of Greater St. Louis Board, The Magic House Children’s Museum Board, the Mercy East Hospital Board, the Visitation Academy Board, the Boy Scouts of Greater St. Louis Board, the Women’s Business Development Center of Chicago Board, the Regional Business Council Board, nominated for the WBENC Rising Star Award, and is an active member of the Advisory Board for Manpower Group.
  • Married to Keith and they have 4 children ranging from age 5-14.