Enter the Catapult Competition

Céline S. Cousteau (Keynote Speaker)
Explorer and Filmmaker

Scientific research and exploration is typically considered a male field. Celine has broken ground and become a successful explorer both above and below the sea. She shares stories of her groundbreaking career, encouraging women to find their passion and stick to it, regardless of obstacles in their way.

Through the power of storytelling Céline Cousteau uses her amazing voyages around the world to offer a thoughtful perspective on the connection of the environment, indigenous peoples, & populations around the world and how this knowledge is vital to the future of each of us on the planet.

As founder of CauseCentric Productions, Céline Cousteau is a documentary film director, producer, and presenter, creating cause-focused multimedia content. Extending her family legacy and her expertise, Céline co-founded The Céline Cousteau Film Fellowship, a nonprofit program whose mission is to empower young aspiring filmmakers, creatives, and activists to inspire change through filmmaking. Having worked on more than 20 documentaries worldwide, Céline offers a global perspective through an insider's intimate point of view.

Because of Céline’s versatility and her background in art, Céline has collaborated with companies like Swarovski, London based fashion designer Deborah Milner, and New York jewelry designer Susan Foster to design jewelry based on the same messages of her environmental and humanitarian work. This was another opportunity to extend storytelling into another form in order to share the message of interconnectivity between humans and the natural world. Thanks to her position in the world of ocean conservation, Céline joined the World Economic Forum Council on Oceans for two terms. Currently, Céline is ambassador for the TreadRight Foundation, sits on the board of directors of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and the advisory boards of The Himalayan Consensus and Marine Construction Technologies. With a degree in psychology and a masters in Intercultural Relations, Céline is fluent in three languages.

From the isolated corners of the planet, to bustling cities and everywhere in-between, Céline shares the stories of the places and people she’s met on her vast explorations in hopes of fostering cross-cultural communication and in the effort to connect our collective experience as one human tribe. With deep compassion and an authentic voice, Céline’s perspective transcends the barriers of time and space and unifies the many people of our planet to address the most pressing issues we face today. And always with the message of hope through action.

Laurie Chappell, RN, MSN
Certified Holistic Stress Management Instructor and Health Coach
St. Luke’s Hospital

Laurie is a nurse clinical educator in the Community Outreach department at St. Luke's Hospital. Laurie received her Bachelor in Nursing from Jewish Hospital College of Nursing and Masters in Nursing from Webster University. Laurie has worked in healthcare for 25 years, largely focused on heart health. Having seen the connection with chronic stress and illness, Laurie concentrated on stress management and mindfulness with the desire to help prevent the chronic diseases that are hurting our communities throughout the United States. She is a certified holistic stress management instructor, mindful eating instructor and health coach. Laurie has been married for 18 years and has two teenagers and two dogs all living under one roof.

Vanessa Cooksey
Director of Strategic Communications and Student Engagement for University College Washington University in St. Louis

A creative communicator, systems thinker, future-focused strategist and transformational leader, Vanessa Cooksey has worked for 14 different companies in the private, non-profit and government sectors including Mary Kay Cosmetics, Cartoon Network, The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office, Save-A-Lot Food Stores, Anheuser Busch, Wells Fargo and Spire. She joins Washington University in St. Louis as the Director of Strategic Communications and Student Engagement for University College in early February 2020. Vanessa believes that her three decades of continuous community service is the foundation of her personal and professional success. She currently serves in leadership roles on the board of directors for the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education, Harris Stowe State University, digitalundivided, The Deaconess Foundation, VoteRunLead, Mercy Health and the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation. Vanessa earned a bachelor’s degree in radio-TV-film from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in business administration from Webster University. Vanessa has studied in France, the Caribbean, Mexico, China, Ireland, Cuba, Japan, Rwanda and England. She enjoys cooking nutritarian recipes and growing food on her hydroponic Tower Garden for her family and friends. Although Vanessa has received more than 50 national and local awards for her innovative business and community work, including the 2016 Eisenhower Fellowship and the 2018 St. Louis American Foundation’s Corporate Executive of the Year, she believes her greatest rewards come from being a wife (Antonio), mother (Andrew) and daughter (Beverley Foster).

Bernie Frazier, SPHR
Founder and President

Bernie has spent almost 25 years recruiting talent to six organizations across four industries and led the talent acquisition function for four of those organizations, including one global team.

Bernie is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Your Success is in YOU!: Empowering and Equipping You to Create Your Best Career Ever!”, a sought-after speaker, career strategist, and talent acquisition expert. As a speaker, Bernie has presented for numerous businesses and organizations including Wells Fargo, Emerson, Peabody Energy, Centene, Ameren, Mercy Health, Iowa and Missouri Employment Conferences, National Association of Workforce Development Professionals, and Webster University, to name a few.
From Chief Executive Officers to individual contributors, she has coached professionals from around the globe on the fine art of career development and job search effectiveness. Bernie has also shared career-related knowledge on KSDK’s Today in St. Louis, the St. Louis NBC affiliate, been profiled in the St. Louis Business Journal, and is a contributing writer for Thrive Global.

Bernie holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Drake University in Des Moines, IA and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). In her spare time, she serves as the Board Vice President for It’s Your Birthday, Inc., teaches job search skills training for a local transitional housing facility, and is the Programming Committee Co-Chair for Professional Women’s Alliance. For fun, Bernie enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, drinking great wine, and eating a really good meal!

Ann Gaffigan
Gazelle, Inc.

Ann Gaffigan has over 15 years of experience in business, non-profits, sports and technology. As a consultant, she provides affordable and reliable solutions to streamline and modernize the operations of non-profit organizations and businesses. As a motivational speaker, she strives to inspire others to be their best selves. A former professional athlete, Gaffigan won the 3000m Steeplechase at the 2004 Olympic Trials, setting an American Record.

Judy Glik
Director – Brand Experience

As a brand strategist, Judy Glik is passionate about creating narratives that guide the user experience and connect people. Judy works with clients —from technology start-ups to retail concepts, from non-profit organizations to corporate clients—to bring their stories to life within the built environment. Originally trained as an apparel buyer, she transformed her talent for identifying trends and interpreting cues into a career and brand strategy. Judy began partnering with Arcturis in 2010 and officially joined the firm in 2018. Now, as a Director of Brand Experience for Arcturis, she’s responsible for the discovery phase of workplace branding and brand strategy. In addition, she assists in guiding the marketing strategy for the firm. Arcturis is an architecture and brand design collaborative with offices in St. Louis and Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Lauren Herring

Lauren Herring passionately provides leadership to IMPACT Group as CEO, where she has transformed the company into a global leader in employee career development. Prior to her current role, Lauren was President of Global Services where she was responsible for all international business development and operations. She guided the work of IMPACT Group’s international presence, providing leadership and support to all areas of the organization in assisting transferees with international issues and needs. Under Lauren's leadership, IMPACT Group now operates in more than 65 international locations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

In 2013 and 2014, Lauren led the charge as IMPACT Group acquired its long-time competitors, Vandover and Sally White & Associates. This supported three previous acquisitions in corporate outplacement solutions. IMPACT Group continues to be an industry expert in Relocation, Outplacement and Leadership Development while consistently innovating new career management solutions, developing cutting-edge service delivery options and expanding its reach into new markets. In 2016, Lauren authored This Side Up! A Simple Guide to Your Successful Relocation, which provides expert advice on managing each phase of the relocation based on the thousands of individuals IMPACT Group has moved across the globe over the last three decades.

Lauren has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition including: Workforce Magazine's Top 25 Game Changers Award, St. Louis Business Journal's Top Women-owned Business, St. Louis Business Journal's Most Influential Business Women and 2015 Enterprising Women of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine. Lauren was awarded the prestigious “40 Under 40" Award by the St. Louis Business Journal and was previously awarded the "30 Under 30" Award.

Lauren is an internationally recognized speaker on the topic of career development and global mobility, has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine and has published in HR Executive and GlobalHR Magazine, among others. She is not only fluent in Spanish, but prior to joining IMPACT Group, Lauren worked in economic development in Puerto Rico.

Lauren is on the Board for the St. Louis Regional Chamber, where she is excited to support the economic development of the St. Louis community. She is also on the board at COCA (the Center of Creative Arts), Boy Scouts of Greater St. Louis, Connections to Success and serves on Washington University's Steering Committee and Women's Leadership Forum where she passionately dedicates her expertise, resources and time to making a difference in others’ lives.

Jan Hess
Vice President of Network Integration and Professional and Administrative Services
St. Luke’s Hospital

Jan Hess is vice president of network integration and professional and administrative services at St. Luke's as well as a member of the Senior Administrative Staff. She has served as a leader at St. Luke's for over 40 years.

Jan’s administrative responsibilities include oversight of Regulatory and Quality Improvement, Marketing and Public Relations and Medical Staff functions. Jan also is the Executive Sponsor of St. Luke’s Spirit of Women initiative, helping improve the quality of life in our community by providing leading health services and community outreach to women and their families.

Jan is a graduate of Saint Louis University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Record Administration. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Washington University.

Jan has served in numerous leadership positions in the community and has a passion for issues involving women and children’s advocacy. She currently serves as an officer on the Governance Board for FamilyForward. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, and she is a member of the Women’s Choice Award Healthcare Advisory Board and Relevate’s Spirit of Women Advisory Board.

Jan is a recipient of the St. Louis Business Journal’s 2011 Most Influential Business Women Award. She was also named one of the 2011 Women of Worth honorees by the Gateway Voice of Mid-life and Older Women (OWL), and she received a Salute to Excellence in Health Care Award in 2008 from the St. Louis American Foundation. Jan speaks on various topics, both locally and nationally, related to leadership, women’s health and the business of healthcare. After over 40 years of dedicated service at St. Luke’s, Jan has announced her retirement on March 31,2020 to spend time with family and friends.

Brooke Hunady
Moneta Group

Moneta Group Partner Brooke Hunady is a Certified Financial Planner™ with a wealth of experience in the financial planning industry, helping individuals, families and organizations achieve their financial goals.

Brooke earned her B.S. in Finance from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Prior to joining Moneta, she spent four years in commercial and institutional banking at Bank of America and then another four years as vice president of commercial banking at Enterprise Bank & Trust.

Brooke works to create a roadmap to help clients plot a course to their goals. Winner of the Five Star Professional Award, Brooke uses her expertise and significant experience in retirement and estate planning, investment management and tax counsel to work with clients and their outside advisors to ensure that the end result is always in the client’s best interest.

Outside of Moneta, Brooke is an active member of the St. Louis community. She has served on many boards, including the junior board for Nurses for Newborns, the capital campaign committee for Crossroads School and Treasurer of the Nursery Foundation. Additionally, she has served as Women on Mission, Grant Committee; CUREiosity Event for Siteman Cancer Center, Committee Member; St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation, Board Member. Brooke enjoys golf, traveling and spending time with her husband and their two sons.

Melissa “Missy” Kelley
President and CEO
Downtown STL, Inc.

As the President and Chief Executive Officer for Downtown STL, Inc., Missy leads efforts to make Downtown a thriving business district, neighborhood and entertainment destination. She works closely with St. Louis City civic and business leaders to address issues and opportunities in Downtown St. Louis. Missy is regularly tapped by the media to comment on current events, issues and initiatives that impact Downtown. 

Missy represents the interests of Downtown businesses, residents and visitors to Downtown St. Louis, in the regional conversation as a member of the Board of Directors for the following organizations:  The St. Louis Regional Chamber, The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, The St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation, The St. Louis Fashion Fund, Grand Center, Inc., and Technology Entrepreneur Center. 

Prior to joining Downtown STL, Inc., Missy spent over 20 years in business strategy and marketing roles at Fortune 500 companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, Energizer Battery Company and Express Scripts. She holds an MBA from Washington University's Olin School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Truman State University.

In 2018, Missy was named one of St. Louis’s Most Influential Business Women by the St. Louis Business Journal, and was honored by the Missouri Chapter of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International with the Friend of Hospitality Award. In 2019, she was named a St. Louis Champion by the St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation.

Gayle King
Co-Host, CBS This Morning and Editor-at-Large, O, The Oprah Magazine

Gayle King is a co-host of CBS This Morning and editor-at-large of the award-winning O, the Oprah Magazine. King previously hosted The Gayle King Show, a live, weekday television interview program on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. The program, which featured a discussion of a broad variety of topics that include politics, cultural developments, was also broadcast on XM Satellite Radio, where it premiered in 2006.

Before moving into print and radio, King worked for 18 years (1982-2000) as a television news anchor for CBS affiliate WFSB-TV in Hartford, Conn., during which period, she also hosted her own syndicated daytime program. Prior to joining WFSB, King worked at several other television stations, including WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Mo. (1978-1981), WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Md. (1976), and WTOP-TV in Washington, D.C. (1975).

King has received numerous awards for her extensive work as a journalist. In addition to three Emmys, she was honored in 2008 with the American Women in Radio & Television Gracie Award for Outstanding Radio Talk Show and in 2010 with both the Individual Achievement Award for Host- Entertainment/Information and the New York Women in Communications’ Matrix Award recipient.

King spent several years of her childhood in Ankara, Turkey, before returning with her family to the United States. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 1976 with a degree in psychology. The mother of a daughter, Kirby, and a son, Will, she currently resides in New York City.

Delene Musielak, MD, FACP, FAAP
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
St. Luke’s Hospital

Meet Dr. Delene Musielak (Dr. Dee, Mom-of-Three), a board-certified Internist and Pediatrician at St. Luke’s Hospital, supermom of triplets, author, speaker, entrepreneur and star of her own YouTube channel, The Dr. Mom Show. Dr. Musielak believes in living life to the fullest. Her journey began in her home country, Guyana, South America, where she was born and raised by pastors. She migrated with her family to the United States at age six and pursued her dream of becoming a doctor. Dr. Musielak presents her simple seven-step guide that helps her find balance in her work, home and community endeavors in an effort to E.X.P.L.O.R.E. her very best life.

Kelly Pollock
Executive Director
COCA-Center of Creative Arts

For 22 years, Kelly Pollock has been an integral leader at COCA-Center of Creative Arts, becoming Executive Director in 2010. She has expanded COCA’s impact through innovative programs, significantly grown its budget reserves and endowment, and forged key partnerships. Committed to using the arts to address inequities, she has shaped COCA’s vision: to use the power of the arts and education to build a vibrant St. Louis that is creative, connected and inclusive. She is currently leading the Create Our Future Campaign to raise $45 million to renovate and expand COCA’s historic building and build its endowment.

Pollock was one of ten 2016 U.S.A. Eisenhower Fellows – she traveled to Northern Ireland and Brazil to understand how arts and culture bridge divides and drive economic development. A 2018 YWCA Leader of Distinction and a 2015 Saint Louis Visionary Award winner, she was named one of 35 “bold minds creating a better St. Louis” by ALIVE Magazine and one of 2015’s Most Influential Business Women by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Pollock has addressed the National Council on the Arts and was one of 50 international CEOs selected for the 2014 National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program. She completed FOCUS Leadership St. Louis and CORO Women in Leadership. She serves on the Boards of LUME Institute, Radio Arts Foundation, and Americans for the Arts - Arts Education Advisory Council. Pollock teaches for Webster University and earned a B.A. in History from Washington University and a Master’s in Public Policy Administration from University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Shelley J. Seifert
Chairman and CEO
First Bank

Shelley Seifert was named Chairman and CEO of First Bank in May of 2019. She joined First Bank in the fall of 2014 as the Chief Administrative Officer and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2015. First Bank is a $6B bank headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. With locations in the greater St. Louis region and throughout California, First Bank focuses on serving family and other privately held businesses holistically, including the owners and their families through our wealth management group, their employees with a full array of products and education and the business with superior lending and treasury capabilities.

Shelley and her family relocated to St. Louis from Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to joining First Bank, she held multiple senior leadership roles with PNC Financial Services and its predecessor company, National City. Notably, she led the integration of PNC/RBC USA effectively positioning PNC for growth in the Southeast. She also served as co-leader of the National City/PNC integration, one of the largest and most successful in banking history.

Shelley sits on the board of directors for United Way of Greater St. Louis and Regional Chamber of Commerce. She’s an advisory board member to Webster University’s School of Business and Venture for America, as well as a member of Women Corporate Directors and St. Louis Forum.

Shelley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Consumer Economics from the University of Missouri and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisville.

Esther Shin
President of
Urban Strategies, Inc.

She leads a team of professionals with expertise in human capital and economic development to assist communities across the United States. Esther believes that all residents want safe, vibrant neighborhoods to work, live, and play. Esther’s expertise spans the spectrum of community transformation activities that range from resource development to community engagement to program development and evaluation.

Esther has led or supported securing eleven Choice Neighborhood Implementation grants serving over 100,000 children and adults in 27 communities, amounting to more than $330 million in federal resources, which has leveraged more than $3 billion in additional investments. In 2016 Esther was selected by the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the tenth class of their Children and Family Fellowship. The Fellowship works to increase the pool of leaders with the vision and ability to frame and sustain major system reforms and community, capacity-building initiatives that benefit large numbers of children and families. Esther holds a Master’s Degree from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and Bachelor’s Degrees in both Political Science and English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Rhonda Spencer
Chief People Officer
Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute

Rhonda Spencer believes she has the best job in the world. As Barry-Wehmiller’s chief people officer, Spencer has the privilege of leading a team of professionals whose central role is fostering the organization’s vision of measuring success by the way they touch the lives of people. To that end, Spencer’s team focuses on inspiring personal growth of the global organization’s over 12,000 team members, cultivating leaders in all corners of the firm, and nurturing a dynamic people-centric culture within the company’s 13 operating companies.

Spencer began her journey with Barry-Wehmiller in 1991 as an engineer, but was quickly promoted to vice president of sales. In 1999, Barry-Wehmiller’s visionary CEO Bob Chapman tapped Spencer to create a team to help transform the traditional manufacturing firm’s culture. Under Spencer’s leadership, the organizational empowerment team initiated innovative continuous improvement and sales motivation programs as well as the organization’s successful leadership development institute, Barry-Wehmiller University. Spencer assumed the newly created leadership role of CPO in June 2014 as the organization merged culture and people development (traditionally known as HR) and organizational empowerment to harmonize cultural initiatives and fully engage the global talents of both teams.

Rhonda shares her experiences and practical tools for implemental cultural changes to audiences nation-wide Past audiences including: Lockton Companies, Thompson Coburn, American Manufacturing Excellence, Conscious Capitalism, WorkHuman Conference, CHRO Thought Leadership, UHY Advisors, and more.