Jennifer S. Kovar, Co-Chair
Jennifer Kovar is an Attorney and owner of Kovar Law Firm, LLC, and provides services in estate planning, corporate and real estate law. Ms. Kovar is a Fulbright Scholar and earned a law degree from the University of Tulsa. She is a member of the Missouri Bar and Illinois State Bar association. Ms. Kovar also serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for Confluence Charter Schools and Vice Chair on the Board of the Gateway Business Guild.
Sally Nikolajevich, Co-Chair
Sally Nikolajevich has spent a large part of her career in the field of graphic and exhibit design, working with HOK Architects and as a freelance designer. Since 2002, Ms. Nikolajevich has been co-owner of The Two Sallys, a landscape design firm. She has served on the boards of New City School and the Friends of the Public Library (founding board member and president, 1995-97) and is currently a member of the Forest Park Advisory Board and a commissioner for the Westminster Lake Special Business District.
Arthur J. Culbert, Ph.D., Vice Chair
Dr. Culbert, who served as Chair of the STL Village Exploratory Committee, moved to St. Louis from Boston and has resided in the Central West End for the past seven years. Dr. Culbert served for 31 years as a faculty member and dean at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and holds faculty appointments at the Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice and the University of Missouri School of Health Professions. He also served as founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Health Literacy Missouri from 2009 to 2011. He is currently Urban Farmer in Residence at New City School, working with students to maintain a community garden.
Melody Walker Secretary
Melody Walker is Director of Communications for Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. She has worked in marketing and public affairs at WashU and SLU since moving to St. Louis 10 years ago. Her previous career as a radio reporter and producer included stints in Paris, Chicago and New York where she was the Bureau Chief for the public radio business program Marketplace. Melody recalls her first job at WNYC radio, while in college, involved reporting for a brand new show called “Senior Edition.” The show covered the active lives of older New Yorkers from Gray Panthers to Broadway actors and social scientists who kept warning about a near future with a huge generation of aging baby boomers and how we must prepare for a society with people living longer, productive lives. That future has arrived and Melody is pleased to be a part of STL Village that provides a positive network for older adults to remain connected and involved in a multi-generational community. Melody is the proud mother of two delightful millenials who left the nest in time to make room for her octogenarian mother to move in and enjoy life in the Central West End.
Gail A. Brown Treasurer
Gail Brown is a Realtor and President of a family of companies including Brown-Kortkamp Moving and Storage, Inc., Urban Planning and Development Corporation of America, Inc. (UPDC) and Brown-Kortkamp Realty. Engaged in the real estate community, Ms. Brown serves as a board member of the St. Louis Association REALTORS® and is a past president of the St. Louis Association of Real Estate Professionals (SLAREP). She also serves on the trustee ministry at Central Baptist Church, is a commissioner for the Affordable Housing Commission and is a board member of the St. Louis Community College Foundation. She is a graduate of Macalester College and has a Masters in Business Administration from St. Louis University.
Edmund O. Acosta
Edmund O. Acosta has traveled extensively throughout the world. Raised in a military family, Edmund attended seven different schools during his elementary and high school years. He graduated from Rice University with a degree in History and Economics. He completed his doctoral studies in Economic History at Washington University in St. Louis.
Prior to his career as an economist with the United States Department of Defense, he was a college professor for several years. He presently serves on the Board of Trustees of the University City Public Library. Edmund is a wonderer, eclectic, and curious, and extensively involved in lifelong learning.
Mac Findeiss is a financial advisor at Renaissance Financial and focuses on helping business owners, professionals, and pre/post retirees prepare a financial portfolio that best suits their needs. He specializes in retirement, estate planning, social security, giving, and wealth management and works with clients throughout the St. Louis area. Mac attended Westminster College in Fulton, MO and is currently a member of the Washington, MO Chamber of Commerce and Knights of Columbus and also volunteers for St. Louis Area Make-A-Wish Foundation Young Professionals.
Malaika Horne, Ph.D.,
Malaika Horne is founding director of the UMSL Executive Leadership Consortium – School of Professional and Continuing Studies at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Last year, she launched a very innovative program for older adults called, Lifelong Learning @ UMSL. Previously she served as a professor at Webster University – School of Communications and Journalism. Before that, she was managing director of Narcotics Service Council. She is also a journalist and academic writer.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis; a master’s degree in Urban Affairs from St. Louis University; a doctorate in public policy studies from St. Louis University and a post-doctorate in psychiatric epidemiology and bio-statistics from Washington University School of Medicine – Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Horne is Curator Emeritus of the University of Missouri System, serving as president in 1997. She has served in many other board capacities, including founding vice chair of ARCHS, co-chair of its Sustainable Neighborhoods, the Urban League Guild, Friends of KWMU Board and board member of Coro Leadership Center of St. Louis and vice president of the Scholarship Foundation.
She currently serves as board member of the Saint Louis Art Museum, immediate past chair of POW (Professional Organization of Women) and a member of Ready Readers, a program that promotes reading to underserved children. She is vice president of Millennium Global Prosperity, a non-profit self-help program that promotes business-based projects throughout Latin American countries and the United States of America. She is vice president of Girlfriends, a venerable African American social/civic organization. A longtime advocate of character education for children, she serves on the national advisory council of Sri Sathya Sai Baba Education in Human Values, a worldwide organization.
She is recipient of the 2001 Women of Achievement Award, 2009 Hellenic Spirit Award and has received numerous other recognitions and awards.
She is married and lives in the Central West End with her husband, Prince A. Wells, III, music professor at SIUE.
Her hobbies are volunteerism, reading, art, music, fashion, interior design, health and fitness, travel in this country as wells as abroad to Africa, Asia, Europe and Central America. In addition, she has an avid interest in being proficient in speaking Spanish.
Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt began her career in Los Angeles before establishing Kuhlmann Leavitt, Inc., a multi-disciplinary firm known for its work in the built environment, new media and print. During her 25-year career she has received awards from AIGA, AIA, SEGD, Type Directors Club, Communication Arts and Graphis to name a few. She has been featured in CA, Exhibit Design, the Masters of Design, International Trade Fair Design and many other leading publications. Deanna has served on design juries across the US and Canada, served on AIGA national and local boards, was a TEDx St. Louis speaker and co-founded STL DesignWeek.
Nancy Morrow-Howell is on the faculty at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University and holds the Bettie Bofinger Brown Distinguished Professorship. At the Brown School, she teaches graduate courses in gerontology and research. She is also the Director of the Harvey Friedman Center for Aging. Her research interest is the productive engagement of older adults.
Mary Alice Ryan
Mary Alice Ryan is the President and CEO of St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System, a St. Louis not-for-profit organization that has helped seniors for over fifty years. Ms. Ryan is nationally known for her expertise and innovation in senior housing and services. She is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Homes and Services for Aging (AAHSA), now LeadingAge, a national trade association with over 5,600 not-for-profit members serving millions of older adults nationally.
Gloria C. Gordon, Ph.D., Board Member Emeritus
Dr. Gloria Gordon is a retired psychologist who conducted research on the way occupational stress and shift work affect the health and well-being of hourly workers. Earlier she worked as a McGraw-Hill science textbook editor. She took part in founding the St. Louis Committee for Nuclear Information and the related Baby Tooth Survey. She sparked the STL Village effort in 2011 after learning of the Village movement around the country. She brings to the STL Village Board her experience in social movements plus a passion for empowering people in the second half of life with more options for healthy living, community participation and creativity.
Natalie Galucia, Ex Officio
Natalie Galucia, MSW, has a passion for working with older adults. She received her BSW in 2010 from Concordia University in Wisconsin and her Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012, where she concentrated in Gerontology with an emphasis on policy. During her Master’s program she completed an internship in Washington, DC with Age4Action Network as a policy intern working on the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. Ms. Galucia is currently Executive Director of Village to Village Network, working out of St. Louis, and continues to spread knowledge of the Village Movement through her work with STL Village.