Amy holds a B.S. in Marketing from Clarkson University and an MBA from the University of Texas, Dallas. Amy is now an independent, part-time Marketing and Strategy Consultant after retiring in August, 2014, from a 20+ year marketing career. She most recently held the position of Senior Vice President, Strategy at Brierley+Partners, where she led the company’s key growth initiatives, corporate strategy, and held leadership responsibilities for new business, key account relationships, and managed teams of strategists, analysts, and communications specialists. In her years of database marketing and Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) experience for various agencies, she led the development of some of the largest US consumer marketing databases and award-winning loyalty programs for best-in-class brands and Fortune 500 companies. Although born in southern Illinois, Amy grew up in northern New York, where her father was a professor at SUNY, Potsdam. Amy is a product of public education, and her mother had a long career in teaching, and retired as one of the first female Superintendent of Schools in New York State. Amy is married to Marc, and they have 3 children in the Ladue School District.
Andrea Bezzant—Allocations Chair
Andrea Bezzant is an educator, community leader and mother. After graduating from the University of Utah she taught Reading, Media Studies and Theater at the junior and high school levels in Utah and California, originating the Reading Recovery program at Menlo-Atherton High School (Atherton, California) and leading the Bennion Junior High School (Salt Lake City, Utah) Academic Team to a National Championship. Andrea also developed the Reading curriculum for SEED School, a residential charter school in Washington DC with a mission to support enduring academic achievement for high-potential youth in troubled communities. Subsequent to teaching full-time, she has volunteered to support reading development for many students. Andrea has served in numerous volunteer positions in other community and religious organizations, including seven years as Co-Director of the St. Louis Crèche and Carols Exhibit and work with 10,000 Villages. In Ladue Schools, she has served as Co-Chair of the Scholastic Book Fair, Co-Director of Math Facts Scholars and as a member of various school committees. Andrea lives in Frontenac, Missouri with her husband and three children, all of whom are in the Ladue School District.
Gabriela Burian – Business & Community Partnerships Chair
Gabriela is an agricultural engineer with a degree from State University of Campinas - Unicamp (Brazil, 1990) and a Master’s Degree from Universite de Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc – USTL (France 1992). She has taken a Post-Master-course from Universite Laval (Canada 1996), a Sustainability Specialization from Unicamp (Brazil 2009), an Executive Course on Sustainable Development Diplomacy and International Program on the Management of Sustainability from Wageningen and the Sustainability Challenge Foundation (Netherlands 2011). Gabriela has been with Monsanto since 1996 in increasing roles for commercial business, marketing and strategy. In 2012, when she became Monsanto’s Sustainable Agriculture Global Lead, she and her husband Eric moved to St. Louis with their children Alice, 15 years; Artur, 11 years; and their dog Sherman. Both children are in the Ladue School District.
Tracye Julien Donovan ‘83
Tracye is a native St. Louisan and a graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School. She earned a B.A. at Howard University, an M.A. at The American University and an M.Phil/Ph.D. (ABD) in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology at The City University of New York Graduate Center. Tracye worked as a strategy consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton (McLean, VA) for over a decade and currently engages in consulting assignments with local organizations such as Wells Fargo Advisors and Monsanto. She and her husband Eric are the owners of a Supercuts franchise in Creve Coeur. Tracye and Eric live in Ladue and have one child in the Ladue School District and a 2013 Ladue Horton Watkins High School graduate.
Sarah moved to St Louis in 2007 after living in Charlotte, NC for nine years. She holds a B.S. in Finance from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She worked in the telecommunication industry for 13 years and ran the sales and marketing team for four years until she “retired” at the end of 2012 to stay home with her family.
Sarah is currently the treasurer of the parent associations at Spoede School and the Fifth Grade Center. She has also served as Secretary and Vice President of Community on Spoede School’s parent association. She has run several fundraisers, including Spoede School’s auction, and she has chaired Spoede’s book fair for five years.
Sarah lives in Creve Coeur with her husband, Aaron and three children, all of whom attend Ladue District schools.
Lolita is a longtime St. Louis resident, and an active volunteer in the community. She has been a member of parent association executive boards at Spoede Elementary School, Ladue Fifth Grade Center, and Ladue Middle School. She currently serves on the Ladue School Board’s Curriculum and Instruction Advisory Committee. Lolita holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Washington University. After working in law firms for more than a decade, she chose to pursue a career in federal public service. Lolita and her husband, Pablo, live in Ladue with their two children, one currently enrolled and one who graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High School.
Jocelyn Fundoukos – Communications Chair
Jocelyn is Ladue School District parent who has been active in the community since moving from Los Angeles in 2007. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in English Literature and is a free-lance writer. She is currently working on her first novel after a twenty-year detour into acting. She helped initiate the Mandarin Language Program for the LEF as well as the LEF Quarterly Newsletter and Passport Night at Reed Elementary.
Amy Handelman Garland ‘89
Amy is a 1989 alumna of Ladue Horton Watkins High School (LHWHS). She graduated with a BA in education from University of Arizona and an MBA with a specialty in finance from Washington University. She was a financial consultant with Arthur Anderson before she “semi-retired” to raise her family. Amy has been the treasurer for the parents associations of Reed School and Ladue Middle School and is currently the treasurer at Ladue High School. She was also a founding board member of the parents association at the Fifth Grade Center. Amy has served on Ladue School District’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee and Math Committee. She lives in Ladue with her husband Burt (LHWHS, class of ’88) and their three children. They have two boys who attend LHWHS and a daughter who attends Lehigh University.
Mike grew up in a rural community north of St. Louis and is a graduate of the Winfield School District. He graduated from Washington University in 1999 with a B.A. in Architecture/Business minor. Mike has worked on numerous large-scale commercial real estate development projects in St. Louis and nationally for The DESCO Group, Trammel Crow and Anheuser Busch, and has a private real estate business. Mike’s wife, Sara, works for World Wide Technology and is on the Board of the Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls. They have two sons and one daughter (Sam, Henry and Lucy) attending Ladue schools, and are active in their school and sports activities. Mike is excited to be serving on the LEF board.
Patricia A. (Patti) Hageman is the Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Program for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. Previously, she served 13 years in Mayor Francis Slay’s Administration as the City Attorney for the City of St. Louis. Patti holds a J.D. from Washington University School of Law and a B.S. in Business Management from Bradley University. Patti is a past-president of the Women Lawyers Association of Greater St. Louis and a past recipient of the St. Louis Bar Foundation’s Spirit of Justice Award for her work in founding the Lawyers for City Neighborhoods project. She currently serves on the board of Heat Up Cool Down St. Louis. Patti recently served six years as a board trustee for the Forsyth School, a private independent elementary school in St. Louis, where she helped to oversee the school’s largest capital campaign and a campus-wide native landscape project. Patti is an avid hiker and spends as much of her free time as possible outdoors, and she holds a Missouri master gardener’s certification. Patti lives in Ladue with her husband, her son and daughter, and three dogs. Her daughter Lucy is in sixth grade at Ladue Middle School.
Michael is a Partner with Stinson Leonard Street LLP, a 500+ attorney full‑service law firm. He holds a B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law and LL.M., Taxation from Washington University School of Law. He concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate and business law, mergers and acquisitions, taxation and estate and succession planning. Michael also serves on the Board of Directors for Sherwood Forest Camp, a non profit organization that provides resident camp experiences for elementary school age children from economically disadvantaged families. Michael and his wife, Jodi (an LHWHS graduate), live in Creve Coeur and have three children attending LHWHS.
Russ has spent his professional career managing investments for philanthropic organizations, such as universities and charitable foundations. He holds a B.A. degree from DePauw University and an M.B.A. from Washington University.
Russ and his family have lived in the Ladue School District since 2006, and two of his children have since graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High School. His third child is currently matriculated at the high school. Having been the product of a public school education, Russ believes in the value of the public education system and that outcomes can be strengthened by involvement from the community.
Charles Mems ‘02
Charles is a 2002 Ladue Horton Watkins High School graduate, as well as a former educator for the Ladue School District. After graduating from LHWHS, Charles attended the University of Kansas. While there, Charles was selected to attend the Walt Disney World College Program where he was a lifeguard and attended “Disney University,” taking business courses to meet his degree requirements. Charles moved back to St. Louis where he received a Business Administration degree from Missouri Baptist University. Once back in St. Louis, Charles spearheaded the efforts to create the first Ladue Rams Girls Basketball club program and has coached for this program for more than 10 years. For the past 5 years, Charles has worked as a Regional Account Advertising Sales Executive for the St. Louis Post Dispatch/STLtoday.com. Charles is married to his beautiful wife, Alicia, and although they do not have any children, they were able to experience parenthood for 9 months while fostering a newborn and her 1-year-old sister. Charles has remained connected to the Ladue community in many capacities and he is honored and thrilled to be serving on the LEF board.
Mike Minkler is a 1988 graduate of Ladue Horton Watkins High School. He received his undergraduate degree in Management from Purdue University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and is President and Owner of CMIT Solutions of Clayton, which provides outsourced IT services to businesses. Currently, Mike is President of the Creve Coeur Olivette Chamber of Commerce and immediate Past-President of Project Inc., a Missouri Sheltered Workshop, which provides meaningful work opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities. Mike has coached numerous youth sports teams and has been heavily involved in the Cub Scouts program at Reed School. He and his wife, Reagan (who has been significantly involved in the parent associations at Reed School, FGC, LMS and LHWHS) have four boys attending Ladue Schools. Mike is passionate about the Ladue School District and believes that the LEF plays a vital role in the District's continued success.
Suparba is a versatile woman interested in multiple disciplines, from writing and reading to traveling, dancing and, above all, technology. She is the visionary, founder and president of TymeMachine, a unique technology platform for kids to skyrocket in STEM.
Suparba was Vice President of Technology of Equifax prior to this. She provided strategic leadership to enable technology in business decision making, creating and maintaining a spirit of innovation, and establishing new paradigm of collaboration.
She received a Bachelor's of Architectural Engineering from MNIT, India and a Master's of Computer and Information Science from University of South Alabama. Since then she has spent most of her life working in multiple fortune 500 companies as a technology expert. Suparba also excelled in the Leaders' Edge "Leader by Design" program by providing strategic discussion points on key initiatives.
Suparba has lived in St. Louis since she was married; St. Louis has become a hometown for her and her family. She has a son and a daughter who attend Conway Elementary.
Marissa Rosen — Vice President
Marissa Rosen has been active in the non-profit world for over ten years and currently works with The Trio Foundation as the Assistant to the Executive Director. Most recently, Marissa served as the Development Director at the National Council of Jewish Women – St. Louis Section (NCJW), focusing her work on annual fundraising, special events, grant-writing and program-specific campaigns. She is proud to have helped NCJW grow and expand their fundraising efforts and to showcase thework the organization does in the St. Louis community. Prior to her work in the non-profit world, Marissa worked in the mental health field as both an Employee Assistance Program Consultant and a Case Manager for the chronically mentally ill.
Marissa is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and received her MSW from The Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. She is a dedicated community volunteer and has served on the boards of Congregation Shaare Emeth, the National Council of Jewish Women – St. Louis Section, Shirlee Green Preschool, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Old Bonhomme Elementary School, the Ladue Fifth Grade Center, the Ladue Middle School Parent Association and the Ladue Education Foundation Capital Campaign. She has been married to her husband, Howard, for 16 years and is the proud mother of Joshua and Emily. In her spare time she drives kids (hers and others) to a variety of activities, loves to read, travel, and spend time with friends and family.
Julie Schuster – President
Julie holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She has worked as a book editor, as a writer and photographer for the Chicago Botanic Garden, and as a columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press; has recorded an hour-long weekly radio program about parenting for the Minnesota Radio Talking Book for more than a decade; and currently can be heard broadcasting on the classical radio station in St. Louis, 107.3FM, on Sunday mornings and late nights Monday-Thursday. Julie spends a great deal of time volunteering, as she believes that service is a vital part of any community and that public education should support that ideal. Currently she serves as board member for the Artist Presentation Society, the Radio Arts Advocacy Council and RISE Collaborative. Julie and her husband, Glen, live in Ladue and have three sons in the Ladue School District.
Mike Simon ‘79 – Secretary
Mike is a St. Louis native, and he and his wife of 22 years are both graduates of the Ladue School District. He graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a B.A. in Speech and Communications, and has worked in branding and marketing for the majority of his career. Following training in some of the most progressive marketing communications agencies of their time, Mike later founded and ran a successful and highly decorated Graphic Design business for 12 years (Simon and Cirulis, Inc.). After selling his company, Mike began to focus his professional attention towards electronic media development trends. He currently is owner of Big Think, Inc., a communications consultancy. Mike’s beliefs in the future of education include the development of experiential learning programs where students learn by doing through hands-on opportunities, gamification (electronic learning games) and online learning simulations. Mike and his wife have two children in the Ladue School District.
Nicola Stern – Treasurer
Nicola currently works from home and volunteers with various local nonprofits. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce, Honours from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and earned her designation as a Certified Public Accountant in 1999. She moved to Saint Louis and went to work as an auditor at RubinBrown LLP, working mainly with nonprofit and contractor clients. After seven years Nicola then worked at Doorways Housing as a Grants Administrator, managing close to $4 million dollars of federal, state and local grants. Though still a Canadian hockey fan, she happily resides in Saint Louis with her husband, Scott, and their three children.
Ann Von Allmen – ANNUAL GIVING CHAIR
Ann is an active community member in the Ladue School District, as well as a district parent. She is on the founding board of Nest, an international organization focusing on sustainability in the global workforce. She has an Economics degree from University of Kansas and an Interior Design degree from Maryville University. Ann moved to Washington D.C. after getting her Economics degree in 1993. There, she worked for Starbucks Coffee Company, managing and hiring store staff, training new managers, and serving on the team to open new stores. In 1999, she returned to St. Louis, to get her degree in Interior Design. During this time she worked for Arcturis, assisting designers and architects with client programs, projects, and research. Since 2011, she has been very active as a volunteer and parent association board member at both Reed School and the Fifth Grade Center. Ann lives in Ladue, Missouri with her husband and two children, both of whom attend Ladue District Schools.
Carol Weisman ‘67
Carol Weisman (Ladue ’67) is the president of Board Builders. She is an internationally known speaker, author, trainer and consultant who specializes in volunteerism, fund raising and governance. Carol works primarily in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. She has served on 38 boards and has been president of 7. Carol began her professional career working with street gangs, a marvelous background for working with boards. She found the gangs better organized, with clearer expectations and a solid leadership training program. Although she doesn’t recommend any fund raising that would end in incarceration, the gangs certainly had some “creative” ideas. Carol is the author of 9 books. “Raising Charitable Children” is already in its 3rd printing and was featured in The New York Times, Parade Magazine, and Scholastic Parent and Child. Her newish book, “Transforming Ordinary People into Fundraising Superheroes: Even those who hate to ask,” is about to go into its second printing.She has been married to Frank Robbins for almost 40 years and is the mother of Frank Robbins, a green engineer, Jono Robbins, the new ceramics teacher at Ladue High, and Carol Weisman, who is a nursing student. Carol has 3 grandsons who live in Webster.