Ginger Imster, CFRE, Executive Director
Ginger has over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has extensive experience working with volunteers, boards, and the St. Louis philanthropic community. Previously, Ginger was the Director of Development at City Academy; an education start-up located on the City’s north side. While there, Ginger managed a $25 million comprehensive campaign inclusive of endowment. She received certification as a fund raising executive (CFRE) in 2004. Ginger is a past President of the St. Louis Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and she currently serves on the boards of the Bellefontaine Cemetery Association, STL-250, and the Visiting Nurses Association. A Missouri native, Ginger received her B.A. in political science from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
Ben Burke, Director of Operations
In 2010, Ben served as Vice President of the Midwest Division of Young Entrepreneurs Across America and led the organization into the Greater St. Louis Area. Previously, Ben served as a teaching assistant in the marketing department and as an Admissions and Student Affairs Representative for the Specialized Masters Programs at Washington University. Ben received his B.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication from Illinois State University. Ben is an M.B.A. candidate at the Olin School of Business at Washington University.
Board of Directors
Zachary M. Boyers, Director
Zack Boyers is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (“USBCDC”) in St. Louis and has broad experience in community development, commercial lending, and tax incentive projects. At USBCDC, Zack focuses on federal and state tax credit projects, particularly in the areas of federal and state historic tax credit rehabilitation projects, low-income housing and new markets tax credit projects. He also serves on the board of the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis. Zack received his M.B.A. from Washington University and his Bachelors degree with academic honors from Harvard University.
In St. Louis, look for Zack enjoying it all, Downtown, all the time.
Susan Elliott, Director
Susan S. Elliott founded SSE in 1966 in the midst of a decade that was known for innovative technology, but not for women leaders in the field. Throughout the early stages of SSE’s growth, Susan used the technology expertise and programming knowledge she had gained working at IBM, beginning as a programmer in 1958, and nurtured her leading-edge business to be one of the largest Information Technology Solution Providers in the St. Louis area. Susan holds an AB degree from Smith College. Now Chairman of SSE, she has served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She, also, has served on the boards of Ameren, Angelica, Webster University, Regional Business Council (RBC) of which she was a charter member, St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association (RCGA), the St. Louis Zoological Foundation and the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), which she led as President. She was an original commissioner on the Missouri Lottery Commission and formerly served on the board of the St. Louis Science Center. Susan loves that St. Louis is a big “small town” with enormous opportunities and amenities for all, not to mention the fact that is has been home to many generations of Susan’s and her husband’s families.
Laurna Godwin, Director
Laurna C. Godwin is Co-Founder and Partner of Vector Communications Corporation. Vector is an award-winning public engagement and communications consulting firm, whose motto is “advancing learning, dialogue and positive change.” Laurna is a three-time Emmy award winning broadcast journalist who spent more than twenty years in television as a news anchor, reporter, talk show host and producer. She is currently board chair of the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation and serves on several other boards including St. Luke’s Hospital. Laurna received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her masters in journalism from Columbia University in New York City.
Robert Guller, Director
Robert Guller is the Managing Member and Principal of Bandwidth Exchange Buildings, L.L.C., a real estate company specializing in the ownership and management of buildings catering to telecommunications and internet companies, and which represent the heaviest concentration of bandwidth in the Midwest. He is one of the founding sponsors of the Technology Entrepreneur Center, a not-for profit business incubator located in downtown St. Louis, designed to foster and develop start-up information technology companies and transfer university research to the community. Robert is also the Board vice chair of the St. Louis City Library Foundation and a board member of the Board of New City School. He received a law degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and holds an M.B.A. and a B.A. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin.
Bob taught his oldest son to walk among the bars and blues clubs of St. Louis’ famous Soulard district where he was able to live rent free in the four family home that he bought with the money he made from his first job out of school.
Clifford Holekamp, Director
Clifford Holekamp is the Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and the Director of the Entrepreneurship Platform at Washington University’s Olin Business School. Cliff is the Founder of Foot Healers and serves as a board member or formal advisor to several start-up organizations including LockerDome, Yurbuds, TrackBill, and City Academy. Cliff is a General Partner at Cultivation Capital, is a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), and is passionate about creating opportunities for his students to get engaged with St. Louis startups. Cliff holds a B.A. from Washington & Lee University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. He worked as an account executive for IBM before beginning his entrepreneurial career.
Richard C. Holton, Jr., Director
Rick currently serves as Co-Manager of Holton Capital Group, a private equity firm investing in St. Louis businesses. HCG’s early stage investments include Pulse Therapeutics, Off Campus Media, Veniti, Nawgan Products, Galera, and ShareholderInsite. Rick serves on the boards of Anchor Packaging, an international food packaging company, the St. Louis Private Fund, a mezzanine financing fund, FinServ Tech Angels, Arch Grants, Off Campus Media, the Olin Alumni Board, and the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, a wetland conservation organization. He is also a past and future board member of the St. Louis chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization. Rick also co-founded Classic Car Studio which sells and restores classic cars for customers coast to coast. Rick has a double major in Engineering and Economics from Vanderbilt University School of Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.
Rick loves St. Louis because of its rich heritage and the fantastic entrepreneurial opportunities that it holds in its future.
J. Joseph Schlafly III, Director
Joe Schlafly is Senior Vice President, Director of Private Markets Group at Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. At Stifel Nicolaus, he focuses on pursuing venture capital and private equity opportunities. Joe has successfully formed and managed three Missouri-based venture capital funds for the company, raising over $250 million for other venture capital firms in Missouri. He currently serves as a Board member of BioSTL, Innovate Saint Louis and the Missouri Biotechnology Association (MOBIO) where he chairs a subcommittee on venture capital and recently served as Chairman of the St. Louis Chamber and Growth Association’s Capital Formation Alliance, designed to attract capital and commerce to the Saint Louis region. Joe also founded the Mayor’s Special Committee on Downtown Saint Louis Job Creation in 2006, which has evolved into the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis Economic Development Committee. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law.
Joe has a great love for St. Louis’ Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, as it contains the Art Museum, the Zoo, the Missouri History Museum, and forms of recreational activity from softball to rollerblading.
Jerome J. Schlichter, President and Director
Jerry Schlichter is Founding & Managing Partner of Schlichter Bogard & Denton LLP in St. Louis. Jerry successfully initiated and spearheaded the passage of the Missouri State Historic Tax Credit, which has been acknowledged for its role in revitalizing downtown St. Louis, and led the effort to pass the Missouri “Rebuilding Communities Act” designed to attract technology-based businesses to distressed communities. Jerry serves on the board of the Community Improvement District of the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis as well as being Co-Chairman of the Economic Development Committee of the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis. With his wife, Jerry also co-founded Mentor St. Louis, Inc., a nationally-recognized not-for-profit that obtains adult mentors for elementary students in the St. Louis Public School System and has become the largest volunteer program in St. Louis Public Schools. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Illinois and a J.D. degree from UCLA Law School.
Jerry enjoys ethnic restaurants and visiting the many historic neighborhoods in St. Louis with their great architecture.
Jay Steinback, Director
Jay Steinback is the CEO and principal of Rothman Furniture and will for the third year, continues to lead the strategy of the Arch Grants Global Startup Competition. Jay is a St Louis native and a dedicated member of the community, another Entrepreneurs’ Organization member who is always focused on growth and improvement.
Jim McKelvey, Advisory Board Head
Jim McKelvey is an entrepreneur-artist & co-founder of Square. He took the mobile payment company from a Fall 2009 start through to its $1 billion valuation – after raising another $100 million this past summer. In addition to co-founding Square with St. Louis native Jack Dorsey, Jim is the co-founder of Third Degree Glass Factory, the largest public-access glass art education center in St. Louis, as well as the founder of Mira, a digital publishing company. Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and second undergraduate degree in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis.
Jim loves how every resource in St. Louis is easily accessible, from great houses to fantastic people.
Gabe Lozano, Advisory Board Member
Gabe Lozano has spearheaded the rise of LockerDome, a social media platform built around what you like, as opposed to who you know. More than 20 million people per month use LockerDome to discover, collect, and engage around things they like with others that share the same passions. LockerDome has been called “Facebook on steroids” and a “future Wall Street darling” by MarketWatch, was named one of Forbes magazine’s “2013 Sports Names You Need to Know”, and labeled by Adweek as “in the sweet spot of the digital revolution.” In addition Gabe Lozano co-founder of GlobalHack, Inc. GlobalHack is a non-profit organization that hosts quarterly hackathon competitions and an annual product competition, with plans to award more than $1 million in prize money annually.
Kevin Farrell, Advisory Board Member
Kevin Farrell is the Senior Director of Economic and Housing Development for The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis. Since 2002, he has led the Partnership’s efforts to support business and residential growth, attract new development and investment and enhance the economic vitality of downtown St. Louis. Mr. Farrell has devoted most of his professional career supporting revitalization of downtowns throughout the U.S. He spent 17 years with The Rouse Company, one of America’s leading real estate development and management companies, where he served as Regional Director of Marketing and Sales and was responsible for marketing many of the company’s premier downtown properties.
Charles Lowenhaupt, Advisory Board Member
Charles Lowenhaupt is a recognized industry leader in managing wealth for ultra-high net worth families around the world. He is a frequent lecturer on wealth management and transmission, and founder of Lowenhaupt Global Advisors LLC. Charles is engaged in providing legal advice and counsel in a variety of areas, including tax, estate planning and philanthropy. He is co-author of Freedom from Wealth published in 2011.