2020-2021 New Board Members and Officers

Jamie WilgerNews

The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis is pleased to announce and welcome new members and officers to the board of directors effective June 2, 2020. Joining the board are Gerald Axelbaum, Az Azmy, Bill Eastman, Jill Nowak, and Beth-Anne Yakubu. Below are brief biographies of The Scholarship Foundation’s new board members.

Gerald Axelbaum is retired after a teaching career of 31 years, having spent 30 of those years teaching 4th and 5th graders at The College School in Webster Groves. Before becoming a teacher, Gerald worked for eight years as a consulting engineer to industry in solving environmental problems. Since retiring in 2017, he has been primarily involved as an advocate with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a facilitator in YWCA’s Witnessing Whiteness program, a member of Jewish Community Relations Council’s Criminal Justice Reform Committee, in prairie restoration through seed collecting and dispersal, and through leading prescribed burns of urban prairies. Gerald’s degree is in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Azmy Azmy is Biotechnology Regulatory Science Advocacy and Protein Solutions Regulatory Strategy Lead with DuPont, where he has been working since 2000. Prior, he was Quality Assurance Manager with Solae. In explaining his interest in board service, Azmy notes, “Education is something I am very passionate about. History has proven over and over again that in the absence of an educated society, humanity falls into totalitarian rule, exploitation of the underprivileged, and a vicious cycle of social decay.” He goes on to explain, “Being a first-generation immigrant, I can relate to some of the challenges in the community in which we live.” Azmy earned a BS in chemistry from American University in Cairo and an MS in industrial engineering from Memphis State.

Bill Eastman is currently focusing his efforts on volunteer service, after a 30-year career as a relational fundraiser and marketer. Bill has served as a development officer at the National World War II Museum, St. Louis Science Center, Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum, American Red Cross, Easter Seals, and Independence Center as well as a consultant to various agencies in the St. Louis area. He is an active tutor in area elementary schools, through Oasis. Bill’s BA is from Indiana University and his MSW/MaEd is from Washington University.

Jill Nowak is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chief Financial Officer with Missouri Foundation for Health, a position she has held since 2016. Prior to her current role, Jill served as Executive Director of Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists and Director of Finance and Administration with American Association of Orthodontists. She has also served in the past as an adjunct instructor at Washington University and Webster University, teaching non-profit accounting and management. Jill’s BBS in accounting, French, and English is from Saginaw Valley State University.

Beth-Anne Yakubu is Executive Director of Emerson Leadership Institute in the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University. Prior to joining the Saint Louis University administration, Beth-Anne’s homebase was in the metro Washington, DC area where her 17-year career spanned a variety of positions supporting corporate strategy, marketing, and management. Beth-Anne’s BS in finance is from Georgetown and her MBA is from Saint Louis University.

New board officers for 2020-2021 are: Heidi Veron, who will serve as Vice-President of Program, and James Tatum, who will serve as Member-at-Large. Lauren Nash Ming, who formerly served as Member-at-Large, will serve in the newly created role of Vice-President of Advocacy and Bob Schmalz, who formerly served as Vice-President of Program, will serve as Secretary. They join Buron Buffkin (President), April Mickens Jolly (Treasurer), and Tom Ruwitch (Vice-President of External Relations).