A good leader brings people to the table and listens to them. Being conscientious in growing your workforce requires passion, persistence and perseverance. Listen to Valerie E. Patton, President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer of Greater St. Louis Foundation, as she details the importance of inclusivity, especially with regards to the latest efforts of Greater St. Louis, Inc. Episode 168 is not one to miss – especially if you call St. Louis home!
Bio: Valerie E. Patton has spent the last two decades building, leading and designing diversity and inclusion strategies. She is a connector, innovative catalyst, teacher and a proven thought leader.
Currently, Valerie serves as Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and President of the Greater St. Louis Foundation at Greater St. Louis, Inc., the recently formed organization that merged five private-sector economic development groups. Her work focuses on the organization’s Inclusive Business Solutions Initiative.
This includes, but is not limited to, developing multicultural and racially diverse business leaders and entrepreneurs, supporting workforce and talent development and championing diversity, equity and inclusion.
One of her programs under the Inclusive Business Solutions Initiative is the Fellows Experience Leadership program that Valerie founded in 2006. The year-long program, which addresses the interests and challenges professionals of color face as they strive to advance in the workplace, has graduated nearly 900 fellows. For her diversity work, Valerie has been featured in Black Enterprise and Diversity Inc.com magazines, along with several other national, regional and local publications.
Valerie has also held numerous positions at Southwestern Bell and SBC (now AT&T) and Bank of America in the areas of information systems and technology, process, project and product management, supplier diversity and accounting (budget analysis and administration and cost).
Valerie is community-focused and serves on numerous boards such as United Way of Greater St. Louis, Board of Visitors for Howard University School of Business, and Trustee at Fontbonne University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.-St. Louis Alumnae Chapter and serves on the Education Committee. She was recently awarded the Champion for All Award from Webster University. Valerie is also an adjunct professor at The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
Patton holds degrees from Washington University in the St. Louis George Warren Brown School of Social Work (MSW), Webster University (MA) and Howard University (BBA) and has done post graduate studies in Business Management. Patton holds an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) (Honoris Causa) from Harris-Stowe State University. Patton is currently enrolled at Eden Theological Seminary.
Valerie’s Something Extra: Passion
Links and Mentions:
– Lisa Nichols, Host
– Scott Crosby, Executive Producer
– Daniel Williams, Recording Engineer