November Newsletter | Our Path Forward: Leading Through Transition

Deaconess Community,

It is my honor to join Deaconess Foundation as the interim president and chief executive officer. I appreciate the warm and encouraging welcome messages. During this period of transition, I will support the Foundation’s Board and Executive Search Committee and guide the remarkable staff as we press forward with clear vision and strategy to advance child well-being. Last week, over the course of a two-day team energizer, we as a staff team began outlining work plans for 2021 which include: (1) Finalization and approval of the North Central comprehensive development plan; (2) Implementation of recommendations from the 2020 Power Moves assessment; and (3) Conversion of constituent relationship management technology, including staff training.

On Tuesday, November 10, during the Joint Annual Meeting of Deaconess Foundation and Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being the boards affirmed the appointment and expansion of the Executive Search Committee to include key voices of the Saint Louis Community and philanthropic sector. The Foundation Board Chair, Rudolph Nickens, Jr., director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity for Missouri’s Department of Transportation will chair the Committee. The following board members and community stakeholders will serve on the Executive Search Committee:

Board Members

Karissa Anderson – Advocacy Director, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis
Patrick Brown – Community Development Executive, Ameren Missouri
The Reverend Wendy Bruner – Pastor, Peace United Church of Christ (Webster Groves)
The Honorable Michael Butler – Record of Deeds, City of St. Louis
Dale Fiedler – Retired, Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation
Vanessa Foster Cooksey – President & CEO, Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis
Elizabeth Noonan, Esq. – Principal, Elizabeth Noonan Consulting, LLC

Community Stakeholders

Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities
Cenia Bosman, Community Action Agency of St. Louis County
Bridget McDermott Flood, Incarnate Word Foundation
Rebecca James Hatter, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri
The Reverend Rev. Josh Privitt, St. Peter’s United Church of Christ

The Boards also affirmed the Isaacson, Miller search firm to assist in identifying, screening and selecting a talented pool of candidates. The firm focuses on engaging candidates in the education, advocacy, public policy, philanthropic, direct service arenas and faith-based community. Our goal is to keep you informed and engaged, so we will provide updates throughout this process.

Peace and Grace,

Cheryl D.S. Walker, ESQ
Interim President & CEO
Deaconess Foundation

To read the rest of our November Newsletter, click here.