Friday afternoon, North County Inc. Regional Development Association honored its 2012 group of 30 Leaders in their Thirties at the Norwood Hills Country Club.
“We are proud of this impressive group of community, civic, and business leaders who as young adults are excelling in their professions and making a difference in North St. Louis County. This campaign lets us show our appreciation for their contributions to our community,” said Rebecca Zoll, President/CEO of North County Inc.
Check out each recipient’s biography, provided by North County Incorporated, and how they’ve contributed to the North St. Louis County community:
Rodney S. Lewis, principal of Griffith Elementary School in the Ferguson-Florissant School District, has done tremendous things for the school and community. At the school, open houses have seen increases in parent attendance and involvement.
Megan Martinez, director of recreation for the Missouri Veterans Home of St. Louis, has organized veteran participation in 4,000 hours of off-campus activites and 120,000 hours of total annual recreation. She’s also an active member of Parker Road Elementary Parent Teacher Group ad a volunteer on the Florissant Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Justin Naber, director of business development for Fred Weber, serves on the board of North County Incorporated and the Maryland Heights Chamber of Commerce. He also volunteers with St. Louis Stray Rescue.
Jennifer Roper, principal of McNair Elementary School in the Hazelwood School District, has been a shining example of excellence in the district. She received the Lawson Elementary School Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award for 2004-2005 as well as Lawson Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2006-2007.
Melissa Russell, director of Garden Villas North, has led a number of events and initiatives for Garden Villas, including the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, the Parkinson’s Association Exercise Group, the Life Changes Grief Support Group, and contributes to an Independence Day Celebration for the community.
Krista Sherman, social worker for the Special School District in North Technical High School. At North Technical High School, she created the Give and Grow Program to support students with financial need and coordinated counseling and substance abuse programs to provide service at no cost.
Jason Shupp, president of Ferguson Roofing, has a number of accolades, including named a Top Young Entrepreneur by Small Business Monthly, has been a Gold Sponsor for the Foundation for Diabetes Research and was named 2011 Vendor of the Year by the Community Association Institute.
Craig Szczuka, marketing and sales manager at Falcon Service, has helped his company to become the preferred authorized service agent in eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois. He also serves as co-chairperson of the ambassador committee for the Greater North County Chamber of Commerce.
Officer Michael Vernon has served the City of Florissant as a police officer for the past three years. He was injured in the line of duty in late May while pursuing a burglary suspect.
Elizabeth Wade works as bank manager and assistant vice president for Pulaski Bank, and she also serves as a board member for North County Inc. Wade also serves on the board of Carney’s Kids, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of children.
Kari Welker, property manager for Mills Properties, has worked to make Countryside Townhomes a registered “Safe Place.” She has helped to create a police substation and install more than 50 security cameras, too.
Melanie Wiginton, vice president of T&L Tree Service, helped to found and serve as director of Family Factory of Florissant, which is a nonprofit organization that encourages children by using character building and virtues while teaching them about the community and those less fortunate. The organization has grown from 25 children to 75-100 in the past year and a half.
Sandy Wiley, principal at Iveland Elementary in the Ritenour School District, has served on Iveland Helping Hands Committee, which provides financial support to families and has received the Pettus Foundation Award for Excellence.
Eric Winkles, principal of Wedgwood Elementary in the Ferguson-Florissatn School District, has made great strides at this school. The discipline issues have decreased by 50 percent and MAP math scores have increased 10 percent as well as a 5 percent increase in communication arts.
Cornell Young is founder of Both Sides of the 50, which promotes, motivates and inspires young people to do their best in sports, academics and life. He helps in mentoring young men in middle school and high school and grants scholarships to participants following graduation.