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Communities Forward

Communities Forward

By Terrell Carter
Communities Forward seeks to engage and empower communities through open dialogue and strategic partnerships that put people first. Through conversations and interviews, will engage, educate, and inform listeners about the positive things that are occurring that help to move the St. Louis Metropolitan region forward.
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Episode 22-7, part 1- FBI Special Agent Darren Boehlje
Today’s podcast is part 1 of a 2-part interview with FBI special agent Darren Boehlje. Agent Boehlje works out of the bureau’s St. Louis office. In the interview, special agent Boehlje discusses his personal background in law enforcement investigation and how agencies like the FBI seek to help keep communities safe.
25:10
May 25, 2022
Episode 22-6: Kim Yawitz- The Importance of Health within Communities part
Today's interview is the second part of our conversation with Kim Yawitz. We hope that you enjoy the episode.
23:46
May 18, 2022
Episode 22-6: Kim Yawitz- The Importance of Health within Communities part 1
Registered Dietitian with interests in nutrition public policy and nutrition writing. Featured in Reader's Digest, Everyday Health, SHAPE, Elite Daily, MyFitnessPal Blog, and Simplemost. BS in dietetics, BA in political science, minor in journalism, and MA in communication with an emphasis in political rhetoric. Nearly 3 years experience directing nutrition community outreach program, and three years of community leadership experience on a government-enacted Community Improvement District. Significant public speaking and business administration experience.
25:20
May 11, 2022
Episode 22-5: Andrew Bradley, part 2
Today’s podcast episode is part 2 of our interview with Andrew Bradley. Andrew currently works as Managing Director of Lending- Southern Region for IFF, a mission-driven lender, developer, and consultant that helps communities thrive. Across the Midwest, IFF works at the nexus of facilities and finance to help nonprofits and other service providers to create safe, inspiring spaces that enable them to achieve their missions and support their communities.
22:43
May 02, 2022
Episode 22-5: Andrew Bradley
Andrew Bradley currently works as Managing Director of Lending- Southern Region for IFF, a mission-driven lender, developer, and consultant that helps communities thrive. Across the Midwest, IFF works at the nexus of facilities and finance to help nonprofits and other service providers to create safe, inspiring spaces that enable them to achieve their missions and support their communities. During part 1 of the interview, Andrew talks about his experiences navigating life in the St. Louis metropolitan region as an outsider and how serving in a mission based context within a foreign country shaped his views of life and service.
26:41
April 22, 2022
Episode 22-4: David Noble interview part 2
This week's podcast interview is part 2 of our conversation with David Noble, the St. Louis market president for Midland States Bank. As a lender, David’s goal is to be a catalyst in the communities he serves in such a way that communal change and socio-economic movement will occur. Mr. Noble is a graduate of Saint Louis University, with a bachelor's degree in organizational studies and a master's in urban planning and development.
32:23
April 08, 2022
Episode 22-4: David Noble
David Noble is the St. Louis market president for Midland States Bank. As a lender, David’s goal is to be a catalyst in the communities he serves in such a way that communal change and socio-economic movement will occur. Mr. Noble is a graduate of Saint Louis University, with a bachelor's degree in organizational studies and a master's in urban planning and development.
27:01
March 31, 2022
Episode 22-3: Shannon Keonig
In today's episode we interview Shannon Koenig, executive director of the Housing Authority of St. Louis County.
30:27
March 24, 2022
Episode 22-2: Galen Gondolfi
Today’s podcast interview is with Galen Gondolfi. Mr. Gondolfi is Chief Strategy Officer for Justine Petersen, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect institutional resources with the needs of low-to moderate-income individuals and families, helping them to build assets and create enduring change - not just for each individual or family that we assist, but the community as a whole. And Founder of the Granite City Art and Design District (G-CADD) is a consortium of creative project spaces located on the 1800 block of State Street of downtown Granite City, IL. As an artist-run space, the Granite City Art and Design District works to provide artists, musicians and creative types an opportunity to execute and exhibit projects in an alternative environment, while simultaneously serving the local community and positively impacting the region at large. During the interview, Galen discusses the impact that cdfi’s can have within a community, as well as how grassroots leaders and artists can shape the future of communities.
37:11
March 10, 2022
Episode 22-1: Daffney Moore
Today’s podcast interview is with Daffney Moore. Ms. Moore is the chief of staff for the St Louis Development Corporation. She has extensive experience leading within multiple governmental entities including East St Louis, IL, Dellwood, MO and Berkeley, MO. Ms. Moore is currently pursuing a PhD with a concentration on Local Government Management for Sustainable Communities. During the interview, Ms. Moore discusses her upbringing in East St Louis, IL, how city government can truly effect community improvement, and her hopes for St. Louis in the future.
30:52
March 03, 2022
Paul Sorenson- Regional Data Alliance: Episode 21-13, part 2
Today’s podcast interview is part 2 of our interview with Paul Sorenson of the Regional Data Alliance (www.stldata.org). RDA’s mission is to build shared data infrastructure and support strong data actors who use quality data to improve people’s lives.
22:18
October 29, 2021
Paul Sorenson- Regional Data Alliance: Episode 21-13, part 1
Today’s podcast interview is part 1 of a 2-part interview with Paul Sorenson of the Regional Data Alliance (www.stldata.org). RDA’s mission is to build shared data infrastructure and support strong data actors who use quality data to improve people’s lives. The St. Louis Regional Data Alliance (RDA) is housed at the University of Missouri – St. Louis’s Community Innovation and Action Center (CIAC). Over the past three years, the RDA has built a strong data community of over 350 local data practitioners and has developed infrastructure to support data efforts across local governments, social services, public health stakeholders, and education providers. During our conversation Paul talks about what data is, how it can be used to positively impact communities and his path to seeing data as a tool.
26:60
October 20, 2021
Episode 21-12, part 2- Opal Jones—Doorways
Today’s podcast episode is part 2 of our interview with Opal Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of DOORWAYS, an interfaith non-profit organization in St. Louis, Missouri that provides housing and related supportive services to people living with HIV/AIDS.  DOORWAYS assists over 3,200 individuals annually in 132 counties in Missouri and Illinois.  As the lead executive, Opal oversees this $10 million organization that includes five housing programs and a licensed 24-hour residential care facility. In today’s episode Opal discusses the misperceptions those living with HIV/AIDS face, how communities can support them and their families, and why housing is one of the best tools for addressing their needs.
23:52
October 06, 2021
Episode 21-12, part 1- Opal Jones--Doorways
Today’s podcast interview is part 1 of a 2-part interview with Opal Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of DOORWAYS, an interfaith non-profit organization in St. Louis, Missouri that provides housing and related supportive services to people living with HIV/AIDS.  DOORWAYS assists over 3,200 individuals annually in 132 counties in Missouri and Illinois.  As the lead executive, Opal oversees this $10 million organization that includes five housing programs and a licensed 24-hour residential care facility. In today’s episode Opal discusses the path she has traveled to become leader of Doorways, as well as discusses the purpose of Doorways and how that plays out in practical ways in St. Louis.
24:38
September 29, 2021
Episode 21-11, part 2: Michael D Francis and Michael "Bare Hands" Beran
Today's episode is part 2 of a 2-part interview with Michael D Francis and Michael "Bare Hands" Beran, creators of "Bare Hands Rescue", a live action show which is currently available for viewing on multiple platforms, including Animal Planet and Discovery+. In "Bare Hands Rescue", Mr. Beran and his staff of experienced technicians, spend their days rescuing and removing wildlife from people's homes and businesses. The interview explores both men's connections to St. Louis, how they both are working to bring opportunities in film and industry to the region, and what it's like to see their project come to fruition after years of hard work and sacrifice.
26:57
September 22, 2021
Episode 21-11, part 1: Michael D Francis and Michael "Bare Hands" Beran
Today's episode is part 1 of a 2-part interview with Michael D Francis and Michael "Bare Hands" Beran, creators of "Bare Hands Rescue", a live action show which is currently available for viewing on multiple platforms, including Animal Planet and Discovery+. In "Bare Hands Rescue", Mr. Beran and his staff of experienced technicians, spend their days rescuing and removing wildlife from people's homes and businesses. The interview explores both men's connections to St. Louis, how they both are working to bring opportunities in film and industry to the region, and what it's like to see their project come to fruition after years of hard work and sacrifice.
27:22
September 14, 2021
Episode 21-10, part 2- BlackTea: Alisha Sonnier and Jami Cox
Today’s episode is part 2 of our interview with Alisha Sonnier and Jami Cox of the Black Tea podcast. BlackTea is an audio and visual media organization founded in St. Louis, MO by two young Black women that aims to raise political, social, and cultural awareness while engaging communities in a conversational and entertaining way. During this second interview, Alisha and Jami continue to discuss their journey to make an impact in their communities by serving in multiple volunteer capacities. Later they turn the tables and briefly interview Terrell about his journey as a leader.
27:58
September 08, 2021
Episode 21-10- BlackTea: Alisha Sonnier and Jami Cox, part 1
BlackTea is an audio and visual media organization founded in St. Louis, MO by two young Black women that aims to raise political, social, and cultural awareness while engaging communities in a conversational and entertaining way. The masterminds behind BlackTea are 20-somethings Alisha Sonnier and Jami Cox (Shout out to Jami! She is a member of the Rise Young Professionals board and a member of Rise's board of directors). During part 1 of a 2-part interview, Alisha and Jami detail the history of BlackTea's creation, as well as their personal journeys to impact the communities they work in.
39:13
September 01, 2021
Episode 21-9, part 2: Jenny Connelly-Bowen, Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis
Today's podcast is part 2 of our interview with Jenny Connelly-Bowen of Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis. In this second part, she talks about the formation of CBN, her hopes for how the organization will continue to impact the region, and what she has learned in becoming a leader.
29:11
August 25, 2021
Episode 21-9, part 1: Jenny Connelly-Bowen, Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis
On this week's episode, we talk with Jenny Connelly-Bowen, executive director of Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis. This interview is part one of a two part interview in which she discusses her background and transition from an unrelated career to leadership within one of the region's most impactful organizations dedicated to community engagement. 
26:16
August 19, 2021
Episode 21-8: Phillip Sangokoya- BRAND of St. Louis
On today's podcast, we interview Phillip Sangokoya of BRAND of St. Louis (Business Resource Association for Networking & Development). Phillip discusses BRAND, the impact of growing up with immigrant parents, his passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion training, and what has helped him as he has grown into his leadership potential.
34:33
August 10, 2021
Episode 21-7: Sal Martinez- Employment Connection, part 2
The second part of our interview with Sal Martinez. Enjoy
21:20
August 04, 2021
Episode 21-6: Sal Martinez- Employment Connection, part 1
Sal Martinez is chief executive officer of Employment Connection (https://www.employmentstl.org/) in St. Louis. In today's interview, Sal discusses his journey to become a community leader, as well as what he understands to be the challenges and opportunities for growth in St. Louis.
28:58
July 27, 2021
Episode 21-5: Nikki Doughty Part 2, The Institute for School Partnerships at Washington University in St. Louis
Today’s podcast is part 2 of an interview with Nikki Doughty. Nikki is the associate director of strategic initiatives at the Institute for School Partnerships at Washington University in St. Louis. In this position, Doughty supports the work of the institute to develop stronger educators, improve student outcomes and address educational inequalities in the region. She also leads an effort to establish Networked Improvement Communities (NIC) through with Washington University and its partners will create, test and scale solutions for shared challenges at schools that lack sufficient resources. Prior to working at Washington University in St. Louis, Ms. Doughty was the Head of School at City Academy in north St. Louis City. In today’s episode, Nikki discusses challenges and opportunities related to education in the St. Louis region.
23:02
July 20, 2021
Episode 21-4: Nikki Doughty, The Institute for School Partnerships at Washington University in St. Louis
Today’s podcast is part 1 of a 2-part interview where I talk to Nikki Doughty. Nikki is the associate director of strategic initiatives at the Institute for School Partnerships at Washington University in St. Louis. In this position, Doughty supports the work of the institute to develop stronger educators, improve student outcomes and address educational inequalities in the region. She also leads an effort to establish Networked Improvement Communities (NIC) through with Washington University and its partners will create, test and scale solutions for shared challenges at schools that lack sufficient resources. Prior to working at Washington University in St. Louis, Ms. Doughty was the Head of School at City Academy in north St. Louis City. In today’s episode, Nikki discusses the state of education in the St. Louis region.
23:30
July 12, 2021
Episode 21-3: Bruce Reyes-Chow "In Defense of Kindness"
On this episode of the podcast, I interview Bruce Reyes-Chow, who lives in Palo Alto, California. Bruce is an author, speaker, parent, consultant, coach, podcaster, and pastor. He speaks and writes on issues of faith, technology, race, parenting, and church culture. Bruce has written multiple books and his most recent is titled In Defense of Kindness: Why It Matters, How It Changes Our Lives, and How It Can Save the World. In the interview, we discuss that book and the significance of kindness and the possibilities of positively impacting culture. You can learn more about Bruce at his website https://reyes-chow.com/about/.
39:19
July 06, 2021
Episode 21-2- Michael McMillan- Urban League of St. Louis- Part 2
Part 2 of our interview with Michael McMillan, president and ceo of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. In this episode, Michael talks about the challenges he believes St. Louis will need to overcome to be a better city, as well as opportunities for people to make an impact in their neighborhoods.
23:31
June 22, 2021
Episode 21-2- Michael McMillan- Urban League of St. Louis- Part 1
On part 1 of a 2 part episode, we talk to Michael McMillan, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. He discusses  upbringing in St. Louis as well as his commitment to making life better for St. Louis and its residents through community-based service and political action. 
23:42
June 14, 2021
Episode 21-1: Colleen Hafner- Rise CDFI
On the first episode of the podcast, Terrell interviews Colleen Hafner about the importance of community development organizations within the St. Louis region, as well as the challenges and opportunities experienced by women within the community development industry. Colleen Hafner joined Rise in 2018 as a Project Manager, but has recently moved into a full-time role as Director of Rise's Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Prior to joining Rise, Colleen was Asset Manager – Compliance for St. Louis Equity Fund, and Vice President of its affiliate, Gateway Community Development Fund, a certified CDFI. Colleen has over 11 years of experience in the housing and community development finance field.
31:14
June 01, 2021