'We really want more women making more money:' Women leaders discuss making change in St. Louis

The Maryville University event was the first of a women-focused leadership series

Carol Daniel
September 13, 2019 - 1:35 pm

Chris Reimer


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — A panel of St. Louis women leaders in the nonprofit sector gathered to discuss how they are making a difference in the metro area.

It was a Maryville University event called, "Force —Women Leading." They also gave advice to the mostly-female audience including, "Get yourself a mentor, be collaborative and learn to say no."

The women CEOs and executive directors included Michelle Tucker, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Opal Jones, CEO of Doorways, Julie Pole, Executive Director of Food Outreach and Nora Amato, Executive Director of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

Also on the panel was the Executive Director of Rung for Women, Leslie Gill who says while the women's empowerment organization won't be open for service until 2020, construction of its $20 million, 46,000 square-foot building in the Fox Park neighborhood in south St. Louis city is underway.  

Gill said they plan to break intergenerational poverty.

"We'll have a commercial kitchen, a demonstration kitchen, a clinic, a medical clinic, um, space for two people to 200 people, a career center. Our goal is really to help women achieve holistic self-sufficiency. And the engine of that is career and economic mobility," Gill said. "So we really want more women making more money."

Gill said Rung is leveraging other nonprofits by bringing together half a dozen other organizations including Family Care Health Centers, Urban Harvest, Safe Connections and Provident Behavioral Health.

Rung was launched in 2010 by Ali Kindle Hogan, a granddaughter of Enterprise Holdings founder Jack Taylor as a resale boutique to benefit other organizations. 

The Maryville University panel was the first in a series of women-focused events called, "Force-Women Leading." The next one is Entrepreneurship from a Woman's Perspective in December.

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