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FOCUS News: Leadership

FOCUS Welcomes Three New Team Members

Tuesday, May 23, 2017   (0 Comments)
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FOCUS St. Louis®, the region’s premier leadership organization, is pleased to announce the addition of Shalia Ford, Wally Siewert, Ph.D., and Mia Salamone to its full-time staff.


Shalia Ford joins FOCUS as Director of Youth Leadership St. Louis and Emerging Leaders, bringing with her more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit administration, program design and youth development. She came to FOCUS from the YWCA Metro St. Louis, where she most recently served as Prevention Education Director. Shalia holds a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from the University of Minnesota, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Fontbonne University. She is a graduate of Coro Women In Leadership – Class 52. 


Dr. Wally Siewert joins the team as Director of Civic Engagement and FOCUS Impact Fellows. For the past six years, he served as Director of the Center for Ethics in Public Life (CEPL) at the University of Missouri St. Louis. During that time, CEPL established itself as a statewide hub for public ethics information, conferences, workshops, research, best practices, legislative tracking, community collaboration and more. Prior to arriving in St. Louis in 2011, Dr. Siewert earned his Ph.D. in political philosophy and ethics from the University of California Santa Barbara. He also holds a master’s in philosophy and a bachelor’s in philosophy and German from Western Michigan University. Prior to his post-graduate work, he served as a political organizer and lobbyist for a network of state-level grassroots consumer justice organizations. He also spent four years as a small business owner and manager.


In her new position as Program Coordinator, Mia Salamone will provide support for Leadership St. Louis, Youth Leadership St. Louis and FOCUS Impact Fellows, as well as assisting with FOCUS events. Before coming to FOCUS, Mia cultivated her curriculum design, civic education, and youth development skills at Mikva Challenge in Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in printmaking from Washington University in St. Louis. 

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