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Shawntelle L. Fisher

Founder/CEO

Elder Shawntelle L. Fisher is a highly anointed and very influential leader, speaker, teacher, and dancer who serves with excellence and integrity. She holds both a Bachelor in Educational Studies and a B.S. in Media Studies from the University of Missouri St. Louis and two Master degrees at Washington University and Eden Theological Seminary. She is the founder and CEO of a non-profit, The SoulFisher Ministries and has a passion to see lives transformed and restored. Through her own struggles and pitfalls in life she was guided by caring members in the community to a path of restoration and possibilities. Through The SoulFisher Ministries she is spreading hope and empowering youth and those formerly incarcerated, to be positive productive, and socially responsible members in the community.

MEET OUR
Board of Directors

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Jackie Hamilton

President

Executive Director, Foundation & Development Manager of St. Louis County Library

Jackie enjoys and believes strongly in building lasting relationships in order to meet the growing needs of the Community in which her organization serves. Prior to joining The St. Louis County Library’s management team, Jackie served as the (CDO) Chief Development Officer of Beyond Housing, Inc. for five years. In her tenure, she and her team raised over $30 million. Former positions Jackie has held were the Director of Development for Eden Seminary, and consulting for Oasis and Vi-Jon Laboratories Jackie is a proud member of The Links, Incorporated Gateway IL Chapter. A strong advocate for women and human rights Jackie served on the board of Planned Parenthood the St. Louis Region for 12 years. Jackie is a St. Louis native who completed her undergraduate work at UMSL and her postgraduate studies at Lindenwood University. She received her Financial Management Certification from Neighbor Works America and has a Business Management for Non-Profit Leaders at Washington University Olin Business School Certification. Jackie is an avid tennis player, she stays active by running, skiing, golfing and has a strong affinity to travel.

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Eric Madkins

Board Member
 

Community Development Manager (MO, IL & IA)

Eric Madkins, joined Regions in March 2014 and is responsible for community development and CRA initiatives in Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri, which involves developing partnerships with business groups both internally and externally to assist in successfully identifying CRA lending opportunities, investments, and services. Madkins serves on the bank’s Market Executive Leadership Team. Prior to assuming his current role, Madkins served as Division Operating Officer and member of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis’ senior management team, which entailed oversight of the agency’s housing and community development portfolio and Fannie Mae’s St. Louis Mortgage Help Center. Madkins has won several awards for his work in affordable housing and has over 15 years as a community development practitioner. Madkins earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and holds two Master degrees from Webster University in Communications and Business Management and Administration. 

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Elizabeth M. Gassel Perkins, Ed.D.

Vice President
 

Campus President & Chief Academic Officer

St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley

Elizabeth Gassel Perkins, Ed.D., serves as the campus president and chief academic officer for St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley. In addition to her role as campus president, she serves as the administrator for the College’s dual credit, dual enrollment, and early college partnerships and leads several district-wide taskforces and standing committees. Dr. Perkins also serves as an Executive Board Member for North County, Inc., and on committees for the Greater North County Chamber of Commerce (GNCC). She is a former board member of the St. Louis County Workforce Investment Board and GNCC. Dr. Perkins has been recognized by the Christian Hospital Foundation as a Drum Major Award recipient in 2021 and by North County Churches Uniting for Racial Justice and Harmony with an Outstanding Education Award in 2019. Dr. Perkins earned her doctorate in leadership with an emphasis in higher education from Valdosta State University. She earned her bachelor's degree summa cum laude in English from the University of Montevallo, where she also earned a master's degree in English. 

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Nathan Emmons

Board Member

Nathan is a board member of The SoulFisher Ministries and an attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to joining the Board of Directors, Nathan researched mass incarceration while at the Clark-Fox Family Foundation in Clayton, Missouri, where he developed a program and presentation to encourage the community to address this phenomenon at the city, state, and national levels. Nathan received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was the Executive Director of the Prisoners’ Education and Advocacy Project, and his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences.

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Melvin D. Kennedy

Board Member

Mr. Kennedy has been admitted to practice law in Missouri and Illinois since 1993. Mr. Kennedy has represented both employers and employees in employment discrimination cases. For fourteen (14) years, he worked as a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As an EEOC attorney, Mr. Kennedy litigated employment discrimination lawsuits in federal courts throughout the Midwest. Since 2013, Mr. Kennedy has litigated in both state and federal courts on behalf of employees who were discriminated against by employers or prospective employers.

In addition to being an experienced trial attorney, Mr. Kennedy is also an experienced mediator and arbitrator. He has successfully mediated lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Missouri Circuit Courts and hundreds of charges of discrimination filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In addition, Mr. Kennedy has arbitrated dozens of consumer disputes filed with the Better Business Bureau and pursuant to litigation class action settlement agreement.  

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Sha Sherese Fields

Board Secretary
 

Coordinator of Board Governance

Riverview Gardens School District (RGSD)

Sha Sherese Fields worked for years in the corporate sector and is currently the Coordinator of Board Governance at Riverview Gardens School District (RGSD). Ms. Fields supports the office of Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education. In addition, she is the custodian of records and the authorized official for filing Board of Education Candidate documents and other materials with the St. Louis County Board of Elections. In 2010, Ms. Fields led RGSD in successfully implementing BoardDocs, a Diligent Brand, a paperless Governance Solution. As a 17-year breast cancer survivor, Ms. Fields serves as a breast health buddy, with the Breakfast Club, STL Inc., an African-American nonprofit breast cancer support group. The Breakfast Club’s mission is to promote the voice of the breast cancer survivor, raising awareness of regular mammography screenings and to help provide access for all women to cancer centers of excellence. Ms. Fields earned a bachelor of science in business management, a master of management/public administration and a master’s certificate in human resource management from the University of Phoenix.

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Wesley Bell

Board Member Emeritus
 

Prosecuting Attorney, St. Louis County

Wesley Bell is the Prosecuting Attorney for St. Louis County, Missouri. He is the first African American to hold this office. Wesley unseated a 28 year incumbent by a 14 point margin. As a leader in criminal justice reform, Wesley is an advocate for ending mass incarceration, reforming cash bail, and rebuilding trust between communities and the prosecutor’s office. Central to his reforms is a system for deferred prosecution and diversion treatment. His office is designing a prosecutor led program to increase public safety while reducing incarceration. He graduated from Lindenwood University and the University of Missouri-Columbia law school, Wesley represented hundreds of disenfranchised clients as a Special Public Defender in St. Louis County. Throughout his career, Wesley has led his own criminal defense practice and served as a criminal justice professor and municipal court judge. He served as a Ferguson City Councilman from April 2015 to December 2018.

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