Guest Speakers

Kay Gasen Headshot

Kay Gasen, former Director, Community Partnership Project, University of Missouri–St. Louis

Kay Gasen is the former director of the Community Partnership Project at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, a joint initiative with University of Missouri Extension. In this role, she provided leadership to a variety of efforts that link the university and the St. Louis metropolitan community. Her strengths include planning, program development and implementation, grant writing and administration, and the development of collaborations and partnerships.

Kay served the university for almost 28 years and took retirement in late 2014 to pursue other opportunities.  She is currently serving as an Executive in Residence with the United Way of Greater St. Louis, on the board of directors with Habitat for Humanity St. Louis, as a Commissioner with the City of St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, and as a community volunteer for several other organizations and initiatives. 

Terry Jones Headshot

Terry Jones, PhD, Founders’ Professor, UMSL
Terry Jones, PhD, is a Founders’ Professor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He has held many leadership positions at UMSL, including 14 years as dean of arts and sciences. His books include Fragmented by Design: Why St. Louis Has So Many Governments and The Metropolitan Chase: Politics and Policies in Urban America and he has authored dozens of scholarly articles, chapters and technical reports. His research interests are primarily in the area of metropolitan governance, urban public policy, state government and public opinion. Dr. Jones has been a consultant to more than 60 governments and nonprofit organizations in the St. Louis region. For 20 years, he was the principal consultant to the Leadership St. Louis Program.

Sean Thomas Headshot

Sean Thomas, Executive Director, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, sean@onsl.org
Sean Thomas is the executive director of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, a not-for-profit community development corporation pursuing a comprehensive redevelopment of the Old North St. Louis neighborhood, just north of Downtown St. Louis. In this position, Sean is responsible for managing a diverse range of initiatives, from a farmer's market to a broad array of housing acquisition, stabilization, rehabilitation and development projects. Prior to joining ONSLRG in November of 2003, Sean worked for the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO) for 11 years – five as a community organizer and the last six as deputy director. Sean also has worked as a community organizer in Detroit, and community initiatives coordinator for what is now East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

Wendy Dyer, Fund Development Consultant, wendy@wendydyer.com, www.wendydyer.com
Wendy Dyer has been a fundraiser and a fundraising consultant for more than 20 years. Her fund development career began at Saint Louis University, where she worked in donor research and prospect management, then major gifts and corporate/foundation relations. In consultation with nonprofit organizations, she provides coaching, grant strategies, major giving programs including annual fund and capital campaigns, board design and engagement. Wendy provides capacity building workshops throughout the country as well as locally through the Deaconess Foundation Impact Partner program. She is adept at developing grants for neighborhood-specific projects where it is important to identify local assets and interests.

Wendy Werner Headshot

Wendy L. Werner, Founder, Werner Associates, LLC, wendy@wendywerner.com
Wendy L. Werner is the founder of Werner Associates, LLC specializing in the areas of career management, coaching, and business practice management. She also works with other types of professional services firms, and individuals from the business, government and not-for-profit sector. For over twenty-five years she has worked with literally thousands job seekers in the creation of career development plans and implementation of effective job search strategies. Her business, Werner Associates, LLC also works with businesses to development effective recruiting and retention plans, marketing strategies, and employee development and supervision models. She screens and interviews candidates and makes hiring recommendations to law firms and corporations. She also provides job search assistance and outplacement services to laid off employees.

Having studied with Richard Bolles, author of the best-selling career book, What Color is Your Parachute she utilizes many of his methodologies when working with clients. She has written a column on careers and law practice management for The St. Louis Lawyer, the monthly publication of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis for the past twelve years. She has a master’s degree in Personnel Administration and Counseling from Indiana University, and an undergraduate degree from DePauw University. Prior to opening Werner Associates, LLC she served for many years as the Assistant Dean of Career Services at Saint Louis University School of Law and was the Director of Career Services at Webster University. She serves as the board chairperson for the ArchCity Defenders, an organization that provides legal services to the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. She is also an accomplished photographer and she believes this background helps her clients ‘see things differently’.