Sarah Paradoski serves as Program Coordinator for the Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Program (IRWP), a nonprofit founded in 1995 to increase the independence and reduce the isolation of immigrant and refugee women by teaching them basic English and practical living skills in the security of their own homes. Last year Sarah coordinated 154 volunteers who served 153 women from 30 different countries. She is the first person to join under CSPRC’s new Organizational Member program.
A St. Louis native, Sarah graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2003 and earned her MA in economics at the New School for Social Research in 2008. Prior to coming to IRWP, she served with five different nonprofits, including Doctors Without Borders, an international HIV/AIDS organization and the Pratt Institute in New York. Since then, she has continued to work and volunteer abroad.
Returning to St. Louis in 2008 with a desire to participate in a program that had both an international and local focus, Sarah began helping a young woman from Albania as a volunteer for IRWP. In 2009, she was hired to coordinate the program and continues to volunteer. “I greatly enjoy the personal relationships I have built with my students. It is incredibly rewarding to see them grow, learn and reach their goals,” she said.
Having previously enjoyed Spectrum and CSPRC luncheons, Sarah joined CSPRC “as a way to develop professional skills and increase my exposure to the myriad of wonderful organizations in the area. It’s inspiring to see the work of others while learning about innovations and best practices in the city’s nonprofit sector. Working in a small organization, it is important to build these relationships and to share in the ways that we can work together for the betterment of St. Louis.”
“I love nature, hiking, and have also become somewhat obsessed with mycology (the study of mushrooms) in the past few years!” she said. “I love to be with my friends and relatives, and am very fortunate to have a large, extended family based in St. Louis.”
~ December 2013
Lisa Dunham, development specialist for the St. Charles City-County Library, is part of a team that works with district staff, trustees and volunteers to fund new programs and expand library services. She also gives marketing support for the Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library, two nonprofits that support the library district. Her responsibilities in this role also include donor relations, website management and special events.
After graduating with a bachelor’s in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a master’s in communications from Lindenwood University, she worked from 1993-97 for MK-Ferguson as a communications specialist. For the next two years, she worked as communications coordinator for the National Association of Electrical Distributors. In 1999, she began an eight-year stint as governmental communications director for St. Charles County Government before moving to her current position at the library in 2007.
This multi-talented communications and development professional has attended CSPRC events for many years. She became a member “because I found that it provided tremendous resources and connections that were vital to a one-person communications shop,” she said. “Over the years as I've moved on to different jobs, I still find that CSPRC continues to provide invaluable worth to me as a professional and to the mission of my organization. I am lucky to be able to use my love of reading and my passion for literacy in my work for the St. Charles City-County Library District.”
Lisa is currently the president of the Cottleville/Weldon Spring Rotary Club and enjoys volunteering with Rotary on a variety of community projects. Lisa, her husband and daughter live in St. Peters. On a personal level, she said, “We are avid soccer fans, spending most of our free time watching our daughter Marlee, nieces, nephews and friends play ‘The Beautiful Game,’ as well as watching college and semi-professional teams compete.
~ November 2013
Courtney Sloger serves as marketing and communications director for FOCUS St. Louis, a nonprofit that develops and connects diverse leaders to work together to build a thriving St. Louis community. Courtney designs and implements FOCUS’s marketing and communications strategy, leads promotional efforts and support for alumni and fundraising events, and promotes FOCUS’ six nationally-recognized leadership programs and public engagement initiatives.
After graduating from Grinnell College in May 2003 with a bachelor's in Psychology, she worked in Moscow as a policy analyst of an international HIV/AIDS foundation. Among her responsibilities, she drafted a best practices publication for the 2006 G8 Summit. In 2007 she began working for Metro - St. Louis. She served Metro’s online media specialist from 2009-12. She also served as communications director for the successful 2012 re-election campaign of Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel. She joined FOCUS St. Louis in 2013.
Long interested in the intersection of public policy and community engagement, Courtney serves on several advisory committees for biking and pedestrian issues in St. Louis and is a regular community table member on The Nine Network’s show Stay Tuned. She is also on the advisory board of Pecha Kucha Night St. Louis and the board of directors of The Luminary Center for the Arts.
A resident of Franz Park in Dogtown, Courtney is an avid biker, geocacher, and supporter of local music and food. “St. Louis has an incredible culture of giving back and supporting each other,” she said. “I joined CSPRC because I want to learn from other area nonprofit professionals and share ideas on how to make the St. Louis region a better place to live, work and play."
~ October 2013
Amy Weseloh Gray runs Spectrum Planning Group’s St. Louis office, and has served as managing partner of that office since June 2010. Spectrum Planning Group main office is located in Boca Raton, Florida, with offices in Denver, Colorado, and in Melville, New York as well. Amy is responsible for management and team building as well as working directly with clients as a financial and investment advisor.
Amy graduated from Illinois State University in 2001with a degree in political science and a minor in public relations. After working for five years in Chicago, she returned to the St. Louis area where she now resides, in Columbia, Illinois. She began her career in investing at a large wire house, but finds that she can better serve the needs of her clients’ by working with an independent firm. Working for a smaller firm offers her “more freedom to help me resolve my clients problems” she said. Amy holds insurance licenses in both Illinois and Missouri and has developed a specialization in SEC registered real estate investments. Her understanding of asset protection and investment management help her design financial plans that address the specific objectives of each client.
Amy Weseloh Gray is registered with and securities offered through Kovack Securities, Inc. 6451 North Federal Hwy, Suite 1201, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308 (954)782-4771. Member FINRA / SIPC. Advisory services offered through Kovack Advisors, Inc. Spectrum Planning Group is not affiliated with Kovack Securities, Inc./Kovack Advisors, Inc.
There’s certainly more to her life than just work. “I enjoy spending time with my eight-year-old son, indoor rock climbing, swimming and obstacle course racing,” she said. “I am active member at Christ Community Lutheran Church and serve on the finance team.”
As for CSPRC, “I hope to develop long term relationships with professionals in the nonprofit community so that I may continue to be a resource for clients who want to realize their philanthropic intentions and for organizations who desire to incorporate financial planning and charitable giving techniques into their overall mission,” she said.
~ September 2013