arch grants team

Leadership Team

Who we are.

Arch Grants staff and volunteer leadership are believers and builders themselves and are relentless in their efforts to champion bold entrepreneurs and build a robust future for the St. Louis region, and for the world.


Director of Development & Strategy

As the Director of Development and Strategy, Gabe leads all fundraising activities and oversees day-to-day operations. While working as Director of Facilities and Operations at the Saint Louis Club, Gabe completed his undergrad and an M.A. in nonprofit management at Washington University. Gabe transitioned to the Regional Business Council in 2015 to manage talent development initiatives and joined Arch Grants the following year where he quickly took on a leadership role.

There are no mistakes. Only new paths to explore. – Gregory David Roberts

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jess bellomo

Director of Entrepreneur Recruitment

As Director of Entrepreneur Recruitment, Jess leads all aspects of entrepreneur recruitment for the organization, including strategy, planning, and execution of Arch Grants’ Startup Competition. Jess received her Master’s in Public Relations from Webster University and graduated magna cum laude with honors with a double undergraduate degree from St. Louis University in Sociology and International Studies. Prior to joining Arch Grants, Jess spent nearly 10 years at the World Affairs Council and managed events, conferences, marketing, and educational programs at Lenders One for over five years.

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. -Oscar Wilde

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Director of Programs

As Director of Programs, Julia leads the program, supporting Founders in their initiatives and incorporating the local community as advisors, angel vendors, and supporters. Julia completed undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado and spent several years in campaigns and government serving as Senior Lead, Advance at the White House. Before joining Arch Grants in 2018, Julia managed operations and community at startup companies in St. Louis, San Francisco, and Chicago.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama

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alexandra dixon

Development Manager

As the Development Manager, Alex primarily focuses on supporting donor stewardship and cultivation through the management of donor records and acknowledgment. Prior to joining Arch Grants, Alex was the Director of Development at Habitat for Humanity of Berkeley County in South Carolina. Alex is originally from the Carolinas where she graduated with a B.S. in psychology from the College of Charleston in 2012. She relocated to the St. Louis region in January 2020

The greatest danger to our future is apathy. – Jane Goodall

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rebecca garcia

Executive Assistant

As Executive Assistant, Rebecca supports all facets of the mission of the organization and has particular interest in operational efficiency and organizational structure. Prior to joining Arch Grants, Rebecca worked in Customer Success with B2B SaaS companies and completed her undergraduate in Marketing and International Business at Indiana University – Bloomington. She spent most of her life in Indiana and was extremely excited to move to St. Louis in October 2020.

What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now. – Buddha

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Emily lohse-busch

Executive Director

As Executive Director, Emily is passionate about ensuring that Arch Grants is bold and intentional in all facets of its work. Upon completing undergraduate studies at Washington University and an MBA at DePaul University, Emily joined The Alford Group in Chicago where she worked with myriad nonprofits to achieve their organizational and strategic objectives. Before joining Arch Grants in 2017, Emily was Senior Director at Global Impact in Washington, D.C.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. – Maya Angelou

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Andy Painter

Marketing & Communications Manager

As the Marketing & Communications Manager, Andy is responsible for building a strong and consistent voice for Arch Grants. After graduating from Maryville University with a degree in Strategic Communication, Andy has experience writing across multiple industries such as startups, nonprofits, government, and more. Andy’s focus has always been centered around creating meaningful relationships with people, which is imperative when it comes to marketing, communications, and public relations.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou 

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Ronak Sheth


As Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ronak mentors Founders on go-to-market strategies, customer acquisition, product-market fit, fundraising, and other topics. Ronak has spent the past 20 years in venture-backed SaaS companies, and is an expert in growing startups and working with VCs/boards. Most recently, as Co-Founder of 2012 Arch Grants Company Label Insight, Ronak led product and sales, then the company as CEO, for eight years. Ronak holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from Washington University. 

The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas Edison

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Board of Directors

Elizabeth Zucker

Managing Partner, Interior Investments

Jerry Schlichter, J.D.

Founding & Managing Partner, Schlichter Bogard & Denton

Matt badler

Principal, Twain Financial Partners

stefanie thelen


jack bader

Chairman, 1904Labs

carl bouckaert

Startup Advisor

Zundra BRyant

Vice President of Human Resources Operations, Centene Corporation

john h. ferring, IV

Chairman, PLZ Aeroscience

Bob Guller, J.D., MBA

Owner, BEB Management

Jerry Howe

CEO, Big River Communications

sanjay jain


abha khandelwal

Data Strategy Lead, Bayer Crop Science

joe schlafly, j.d.

Venture Capital Consultant

richard tao

Richard Tao LLC

jamie froedge, mba

Ex Officio
Executive President, Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Advisory Council

Harry Arader

Director of Entrepreneur Development, BioSTL/BioGenerator

Mark Bartig

Chief Revenue Officer, Rezilion

Dan Creston

Former Chief Operating Officer, Alpha Packing

Jim Eberlin

Council Chair, Founder & CEO, TopOPPS

jean fidone-schroer

Director, Business Development, Benjamin F Edwards | Edwards Wealth Management

Jim fox

Chief Financial Officer, Colibri Group

Talia Goldfarb

Elise Miller Hoffman

Principal, Cultivation Capital

Paul Mehelic


Steve Trampe

Principal, Owen Development

Heather Wood

General Partner, Cultivation Capital

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