2016 was a big year for FOCUS St. Louis, marking both the 40th anniversary of our flagship program - Leadership St. Louis - and the 20th anniversary of our founding as a regional nonprofit leadership organization. To celebrate the occasion, FOCUS hosted a happy hour for members and alumni at the Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch in September 2016.
Over the past 20 years, the What's Right with the Region Awards have developed a reputation as THE networking event of the year, and the 2017 celebration was no exception. More than 500 leaders gathered to honor this year's 20 award recipients at Sheldon Concert Hall on May 11, 2017. In addition, the FOCUS Board of Directors recognized Dr. Kelvin Adams and the St. Louis Public Schools' Special Administrative Board with the prestigious Leadership Award.
Young professionals represent tomorrow's civic leaders. Attracting and retaining talented young professionals in our region is key to growing and strengthening St. Louis. In addition to the Emerging Leaders program, the Connect With St. Louis initiative is another opportunity for FOCUS to engage young professionals and help them get plugged into the St. Louis region.
More than 200 individuals participated in Connect With events this year, and hundreds more were reached through the Connect With newsletter, which shares events and opportunities from other young professionals' groups.