This is our seventh edition of Who's Who In Black St. Louis®, and this year, we are proud to have penning the foreword, Larry Thomas, partner for Edward Jones, and the author of the introduction, Deborah Patterson, president of the Monsanto Fund. These two individuals have both been major supporters of Who's Who In Black St. Louis®. It is not their positions or titles why I admire both of them so much, it is their passion for giving and leading that inspires me and others in the region. They have helped raise millions of dollars for the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Thank you both for being impact players in the boardroom as well as in the community.
In this edition, you will find our special tribute to the late Earl Wilson Jr., the founder and president of the Gateway Classic Foundation. Mr. Wilson was a friend to many in the St. Louis community, including myself. As a mentor, community leader and corporate icon at IBM, he touched many lives in the region. I will personally miss his humor, wisdom and his leadership in the community. We at Who's Who In Black St. Louis® wanted to make sure that we could document some of the many stories and memories of Earl Wilson Jr. Please share his story with your children, grandchildren and all young people who inspire to be something great one day. You probably have heard the quote "Success leaves clues," Mr. Wilson's story has a number of clues for all us to follow.
This seventh edition also features a group of people in our Interesting Personalities section that I believe will be the next generation of St. Louis leaders. All have excelled professionally at some of the region's most respected institutions and corporations in the area. Another common trait between them all is their unselfish giving to others and not-for profits. They balance their time as givers and leaders in their organizations. Let me thank all of the people who allowed us to tell your stories in the seventh edition of Who's Who In Black St. Louis®. We applaud your hard work and tenacity to be the best you can be in your field. Finally, please remember to support and do business with our sponsors and advertisers, without them, we have no Who's Who In Black St. Louis®. Don't forget to gift a book to some young people in your life, donate them to your kid's school library, your church or a neighbor's child or grandchild. Let's show them "What they see, they can be!"
Yours for a Greater St. Louis, Keith Antone Willis Sr., Associate Publisher Who's