Board of Directors Officers

On Saturday, February 9th, the 2019 DNA Board of Directors held their board work day. During this day, the board elected its new officers.

These officers are:

Chair: Mike Willis
Vice-Chair: LaShana Lewis
Secretary: Dan Pistor
Treasurer: James Page

Congratulations to the new officers!

2019 Board of Directors Election Results

Board of Directors election results:
Total ballots = 83
Ray L. Alexander = 11
Jamie Austin = 20
Melanie Fries = 68
Alexander Hurst = 14
Taylor Jackson = 12
LaShana Lewis = 24
Vanessa North = 8
James Page = 71
Dan Pistor = 63

Bylaws amendment election results:
Total ballots = 81
Amendment #1 = 68 For, 13 Against
Amendment #2 = 47 For, 34 Against
Amendment #3 = 54 For, 23 Against

Board Member Resignation

We have received notice that Denis Beganovic will resign from DNA’s  Board of Directors due to travel requirements of his new job.  We are truly appreciative of his years of service to DNA.

If anyone would like to be considered to replace Denis and will be available to attend the February 9th board work day, please email James Page at james@saintlouisdna.org by Monday, February 4th @ 6:00 PM.  The board will meet to appoint a new member on February 7th @ 6:00 PM.

2019 Town Hall Vote and Election Results

We would like to say THANK YOU to everyone that attended tonight’s Town Hall and Board of Directors elections.

It was a phenomenal turnout!
Also THANK YOU to all of candidates who ran for the 4 open board seats.

Congratulations to the newly elected Board of Directors members:
James Page- 2 year term
Melanie Fries- 2 year term
Dan Pistor- 2 year term
LaShana Lewis- 1 year term

Additionally, two elements of the Bylaws Amendment proposal were passed, the element that failed (gaining a majority, but not the requisite 2/3 majority) was the Absentee Voting amendment.

Again, Congratulations to our new Board Members!!

DNA 2019 Residential Board Candidates

We are excited to introduce your residential candidates for the 2019 Board Elections, which will be held at 6pm on January 14th at the Central Library during our Town Hall Meeting. Please come vote with us!

 

Ray L. Alexander


1) Why do you want to run for a seat on the DNA Board of Directors?

 

Residing within our Central Business District for the past (almost) 2 years, I’ve grown attached to its citizens and gained an affinity for the small business community.  So, it will be goal to continue DNAs vision of increasing the individual & corporate camaraderie…while sharing global culture previously garnered.

2) What strengths and assets would you bring to the DNA Board of Directors?

 

A majority of experience stems from Department of Defense (Military & Civilian Service) Security-related accomplishments and tasks.

These qualifications may not directly correlate to the Business-end of the spectrum.  Yet the endless thirst for knowledge is the leading attribute which would aid in any potential learning curve of becoming a resident board member.  A strong philosophy of mine is that “Time is humanity’s greatest commodity”, as such, this position seems to require both time and dedication.  Both of which are some of my foremost assets.

3) What upcoming opportunities for DNA excite you the most?

 

The future event I am most excited about is the Taste of Downtown.  I’m a part-time glutton for great food.

 

Jamie Austin

1) Why do you want to run for a seat on the DNA Board of Directors? 

 

I’ve watched downtown evolve and grow over the past 10 years. Now that I live/work downtown I would love to be a part of an association that brings the community together and is pushing for the city to thrive.

 

2) What strengths and assets would you bring to the DNA Board of Directors? 

 

As a small business owner I am good with people, management and thinking outside of the box. As a downtown resident I like to keep an eye on new business ventures that are opening and patron existing businesses giving me a keen sense of the downtown area.

 

3) What upcoming opportunities for DNA excite you the most? 

 

With the continuous growth and changes happening in the area, I would like the opportunity to engage new and existing members to feel vested in downtown as we work to create a dynamic and sustainable region that serves the diverse residents and small businesses that call Downtown St. Louis home.

 

Melanie Fries

1) Why do you want to run for a seat on the DNA Board of Directors?

 

My interest in becoming a DNA board member stems from my wanting to represent my neighbors and neighborhood at the board level, insuring the continued viability, residential involvement and vibrancy of Downtown through DNA’s decision making process. Having representation from the Development committee on the board (3 years co-chair) will promote growth and success of funding opportunities and sustainability.

I enjoy living, shopping, dining and visiting Downtown with friends, whether local or from out of town. My experience and talents, I feel, will help contribute to the ongoing process of having the Downtown Neighborhood Association represent all the best in residents and small business.  After all, we live, work and play here!

 

2) What strengths and assets would you bring to the DNA Board of Directors?

 

Chris and I have enjoyed St Louis for 7 ½ years choosing The Marquette as our home for retirement in 2011. I have served as Marquette’s treasurer for 5 years with an $800k+ budget and am about to resign after 2019 budgets are completed.

I have a BA in Education, an MA in Music and am, for the most part, a retired professor.  While also a musician, I reported as a Sole Proprietor (IRS Schedule C) for 25 years and wrote and developed a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation serving as president for 5 years managing funds, writing reports and having special events. I have also successfully written grants to help fund some projects.

I have served for many years on several not-for-profit boards (primarily arts organizations) as a committee member (“worker bee”), committee chair on Board or executive of Board with budgets over $100,000.  During a 2-year term as VP of a YMCA board in Illinois, I oversaw a $200,000 programming budget. I also had a short tenure “administrating” donations of funds from my family’s corporate foundation, which held real estate and other investments. I’ve been co-chair of the DNA’s Development Committee for 3 years.

 

3) What upcoming opportunities for DNA excite you the most?

 

I have regularly taken the time to attend most all of the DNA Town hall meetings and events and actively participate in many, as well as the Development Committee meetings.  You’ve seen me pulling beer at Taste of Downtown Weekend, chatting at Fall Fires (no so much this year as the weather and calendars are conflicted). Hanging out at Happy Hours. I was part of the past 2 years’ Spark teams, primarily focused on the Silent Auction, was part of the Neighborhood Tour committee, but sadly 2017’s was cancelled.  I think it important to develop a broader base of membership at both the individual and small business levels by confident outreach. Making certain the events are sustainable is very important to the community and the DNA.  Most of all, developing DNA’s voice through it’s membership and board team is very beneficial to us all.

 

Alexander Hurst

1) Why do you want to run for a seat on the DNA Board of Directors? 

 

I am new to DNA but have lived and worked downtown for a few years and would like to use my experience and skill set to get involved with my neighborhood and have the opportunity to weigh in on issues that affect the residents and businesses who make downtown a great place to live and work.

2) What strengths and assets would you bring to the DNA Board of Directors? 

 

I am a business lawyer and MBA who has experience working with organizations of all types, both as a board member and as an outside advisor. My career has given me a lot of insight into organizational governance and connections within the community that may prove helpful.

3) What upcoming opportunities for DNA excite you the most? 

 

This is an exciting time for downtown in terms of new developments, businesses, and community amenities, which follow an influx of new residents and affect our neighborhood in ways both seen and unseen. I’m excited for the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals to help downtown continue to grow and thrive as a community and to strive to attract our next wave of neighbors, who will ensure downtown prospers for years to come.

 

Taylor Jackson

1) Why do you want to run for a seat on the DNA Board of Directors?

 

I love this city. I also believe that we can do even better than we are currently. The DNA Board of Directors has the ability to influence the direction of St. Louis City. I wish to be a member of the DNA Board in order to support existing efforts to improve downtown and to include more community voices in these efforts. I believe that if you love something, you work hard to make it the best it can be. That’s how I feel about our community.

 

2) What strengths and assets would you bring to the DNA Board of Directors?

 

My background is in community organizing (healthcare, union, and political) and political campaigns. I am well-versed in how to engage a variety of viewpoints, resolve conflicts, and build community all while working towards a common goal. In the next two years, Downtown St. Louis is going to see a variety of policy proposals that impact residents and business owners. While members of DNA may disagree on exactly how to respond to these proposals, we all are committed to creating a positive future for our community. I know how to create community, organize outreach opportunities, resolve differences, and advocate for change–all of which are key to creating the best future for our community.

 

 3) What upcoming opportunities for DNA excite you the most?

 

For me, the most exciting upcoming opportunities for DNA are those where residents and businesses can engage in community building and advocacy. The next two years are going to be an exciting time in downtown. With a wave of strong development coming in, as well as various proposals (city-county merger, soccer stadium, ward reduction) that directly impact the downtown community, DNA has a unique opportunity to engage neighborhood members in advocacy. When these proposals are heard and decisions are made, it is key that the voices of downtown residents and business owners are heard.

 

LaShana Lewis


1) Why do you want to run for a seat on the DNA Board of Directors? 

 

I missed a lot of late this year building up my business that I started in April 2018.  Now that I have a firmer grip on things and it’s been a few months since establishment, I’m looking to take on a bigger mantle.  I’ve already been involved with some St. Louis efforts to bring bigger visibility to the city of St. Louis (CREA/BetterTogether), and hope to solidify the Downtown regions (including Downtown West) within those plans.

2) What strengths and assets would you bring to the DNA Board of Directors? 

 

To bring a more diverse perspective of downtown living and working and well as tech experience.  Namely, I have a background as both a software and systems engineer, as well as some website design and development experience (and some cloud).  I’ve been involved in the local St. Louis LGBT community for many years (decades, even), and have started to be more involved with the people of color community (also writing freelance for the St. Louis American paper).

3) What upcoming opportunities for DNA excite you the most? 

I do like the the Happy Hours.  It gives me to a chance to view new and different businesses in the area, as well as getting to know my fellow downtown neighbors.

 

Vanessa North

1) Why do you want to run for a seat on the DNA Board of Directors?

 

I want to run for the board so that I can give back to the community that has enriched my life so much.

 

2) What strengths and assets would you bring to the DNA Board of Directors?

 

I’ve had a lot of experience in the past with even planning, merchandising, marketing, and sales with my previous career that I feel would be an asset to the board.  I am now a stay at home wife and have the extra time to give to the DNA Board which I believe to be not only important but essential to our downtown community’s growth and vitality.

 

3) What upcoming opportunities for DNA excite you the most?

 

I am currently a building captain and I am excited to see this group grow.  I am also excited about all of the upcoming events and activities.  And as an avid Cardinals baseball fan I look forward to our game there.

 

James Page

1)  Why do you want to run for a seat on the DNA Board of Directors?

 

As current DNA Executive Director and current DNA Treasurer, I’m keenly interested in continuing to build DNA as a grassroots organization that contributes to Saint Louis as an ideal community in which to live, work, and play.

 

2) What strengths and assets would you bring to the DNA Board of Directors?

 

I bring a wealth of IT, Finance, and Accounting experience to DNA from my 38 year corporate career. I also bring a wealth of grassroots community organizing experience from my work with a number of local, regional, and national political campaigns. Lastly, I led a number of DNA’s 2018 special events to profitable conclusions.

 

3) What upcoming opportunities for DNA excite you the most?

 

The opportunity to help engage more members of Downtown Saint Louis’ residential and business communities excites me most of all. That engagement includes ensuring that every resident is registered to vote and volunteers as their knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests indicate.

 

Dan Pistor

1) Why you are seeking a seat on the Board of Directors?

 

I have been a downtown resident for 11 years and have worked downtown in Finance for the past 9 years, so I am sincerely committed to the downtown neighborhood. I have served as a Board Member for the past 3 years, been chair of the Safety Committee for 3 years, have been a member of the Urban Spaces committee for 4 years, and have provided assistance to the Development Committee when needed. I want to continue being a voice for residents and ensure the Safety Committee continues to have a voice on the Board to help advance its goals and objectives.

 

2) What strengths and assets can you bring to assist DNA’s mission?

 

I bring experience and knowledge to the board. I have a strong understanding of the challenges facing downtown and the city. I have built positive relationships with other downtown stakeholders, elected officials, city departments, business owners, and law enforcement. I have knowledge of how city government functions and how we can navigate that process to accomplish certain initiatives, while maintaining a positive reputation for the organization. I am able to listen to both sides of an issue and craft a solution that is in the best interest for downtown and DNA. I am a major advocate for downtown to outsiders often highlighting the positive events and changes taking place. I am very reliable in attending board meetings and neighborhood events.

 

3) What upcoming opportunities for DNA excite you the most?

 

My priorities are to utilize my board position to ensure that DNA remains focused on the quality of life for downtown residents through safety, cleanliness, downtown infrastructure, and providing support for downtown businesses. In addition, downtown has experienced very strong residential growth downtown, however residents and businesses are often not heard during the decision making process. I would like to utilize DNA’s positive reputation and sizable membership numbers to ensure DNA has a presence when decisions are made and advocate for strategies that will improve the downtown neighborhood. I will listen to feedback and bring members together through neighborhood meetings and events while supporting local businesses. I also want to help advance the efforts of funding and membership growth for DNA.

 

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