BoardWalk Consulting Tapped by St. Louis Community Foundation to Find New President

May 30, 2023 – Executive recruitment firm BoardWalk Consulting has been retained by St. Louis Community Foundation (STLCF) to lead its search for a new president and CEO. Senior director Crystal Stephens and director Michelle Hall are leading the assignment. “BoardWalk is excited to partner with St. Louis Community Foundation in its search for a new president,” the firm said. “STLCF is primed for continued growth and impact. The new president and CEO will take the foundation to its next level of influence and expand the foundation’s leadership role in tackling the communities’ most persistent challenges.”

In preparation for the CEO transition, the foundation commissioned a listening tour engaging more than 136 people representing civic, community, non-profit, corporate, and philanthropic perspectives. Participants confirmed there is great hope and optimism for the role of STLCF in shaping the future of the region. They also acknowledged that struggles exist in advancing the vitality and equity of the metro area. Complex, inter-related social, economic, racial, and political challenges are persistent. The president and CEO will play a vital role in increasing the visibility and stature of the foundation in the community to convene and coalesce around these problems and find solutions- in partnership with community, non-profit, government, and civic leaders.

The ideal candidate will be a visible community leader able to engage effectively with the multiple and varied constituents across the Greater St. Louis region, from community and non-profit leaders to financial specialists, along with high-wealth individuals and business leaders. The search committee is open to a variety of professional backgrounds, according to BoardWalk Consulting. The candidate does not need to be from the St. Louis metro area; however, an understanding of the region and its challenges would be beneficial.

The search firm is looking for a pragmatic leader who understands the journey of generosity, models the critical role of fund development in a community foundation’s success, and solicits and embraces the feedback uniquely available from donors. The foundation desires a leader the will be able to inspire philanthropy in the region and bring investment in the organization’s aspirations to serve the unmet needs of the region. BoardWalk is seeking candidates that are passionate about customer service.

Related: BoardWalk Consulting Assists the Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation in the Recruitment of New Leader

The St. Louis Community Foundation is the second oldest community foundation in the country, founded in 1915 as the St. Louis Community Trust. The organization now has 650 donors, $500 million in assets and an operating budget of $3.8 million. It distributes approximately $100 million a year to local non-profits. In 2021 the foundation’s cumulative grantmaking reached $1 billion.

Non-Profit Specialists

BoardWalk Consulting, based in Atlanta, is a national executive search firm that recruits CEOs and senior leadership for mission-driven non-profit organizations. Founded in 2002, the firm leads executive searches for clients from across the non-profit sector with global, national, regional, and local missions. Many of the firm’s team members have previously served as non-profit executives, grant makers, and board leaders. BoardWalk Consulting is also an active partner in Panorama, the global network of independent executive search firms.

BoardWalk Consulting Seeks CFO for Winrock International
BoardWalk Consulting was recently retained by Winrock International to lead in its search for a new chief financial officer. Managing director Kathy Bremer and director of research Patti Kish are leading the assignment. The CFO reports to the CEO and is a strategic member of the executive team and partner to the board and global staff. This executive will be charged with modernizing and solidifying core systems and processes, and with enhancing Winrock’s financial, technology, and facilities infrastructure. The CFO will be expected to be an inspiring leader of people and the business, innovation, and growth.

BoardWalk Consulting was founded by Sam Pettway, a 30-year search veteran. Over his career in executive search, he has worked with hundreds of board members and leadership teams with entities ranging from start-ups to mature multinationals in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Since founding BoardWalk in 2002, Mr. Pettway has served clients as varied as international relief agencies, national foundations, regional trade associations, and local agencies in dozens of markets.

Ms. Stephens joined BoardWalk in 2012 after extensive experience working with top-tier organizations in sales, marketing, and recruiting. She spent most of her corporate career with IBM in senior sales and marketing positions. As executive vice president at, she managed a global sales team. Ms. Stephens has led mission-critical searches for clients such as Year Up, Communities in Schools, and the Anti-Defamation League.

Ms. Hall is focused on finding leaders who are a fit for the organization so they can make a difference on day one. Prior to joining BoardWalk, she served for 11 years as vice president and dean at Oglethorpe University where she directed a large staff in support of a growing university that has earned numerous accolades for its academics and support of a diverse student body, community service, and first generation students.

Related: BoardWalk Consulting Assists Dare to Care Food Bank in the Recruitment of New CEO

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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