The Lindenwood University Board of Trustees guides the University and ensures that the institution lives up to its mission of educating students to help them achieve their goals. This past fall, Lindenwood welcomed five new members to its board. “We are honored to welcome these talented individuals to the Lindenwood University Board of Trustees,” President Dr. John Porter said. “Each of these professionals will serve with integrity, and their commitment to the future of Lindenwood is outstanding. Their experience in a wide range of industries supports the diversification of the Board and expands our perspectives as thought leaders and decision-makers.”
Chairman of the Board Mr. Don Tuttle shared similar sentiments. “We are extremely pleased to have this high caliber of leadership and business acumen joining our Board of Trustees,” he said. “They bring the necessary background and experience that aligns with our five-year strategic plan and will provide the value-add that we require.”
Lashanda R. Barnes is servant leader and Senior Vice President and Compliance Business Control Manager for Client Experience at Citi in O’Fallon, MO. She previously Co-chaired Citi’s African Heritage Employee Network and presently leads the Divine Nine (D9) Collaborative @ Citi. Citi has recognized her efforts by honoring her with Citi’s Quality Excellence, Stars, Pride, Community and Team awards. Barnes currently serves on the boards of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Social Ventures Partners (SVP). Additionally, she is an active member of the St. Louis Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and co-chairs the Regional Business Council’s Young Professional’s Network and serves as Lead Volunteer for non- for-profit Eye Thrive.
Justin Foust is also a local entrepreneur in St. Charles where he serves as CEO to both Justin Foust State Farm Agency and Foust Enterprises. Foust was recently elected to the St. Charles City Council - Ward 6 and continues to hold various positions with local non-profit organizations. He is currently the Vice President of the First Capitol Lions Club and has been a charter member since 2001. Foust also serves on the Board of Directors for the St. Charles Oktoberfest, which continues to be one of the largest Oktoberfest festivals in the region. Foust has held a seat on the St. Charles Park Foundation board since 2014 and continues to find ways he can contribute to making St. Charles one of the best places to live and visit.
Cynthia Frisina is a global expert on advocacy, education and public private partnerships. As a successful real estate, marketing and nonprofit professional, she has committed her career to improving the lives of others and revitalizing communities. She spent more than 20 years as an award-winning executive for Fortune 100 brands before dedicating her focus on nonprofit ventures, community revitalization and education. She led the establishment of National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day in the United States and has provided Congressional testimony and transformational input regarding the need for federal disability and brain research over the past decade. Frisina also served as the Executive Director of one of the leading US Paralympic Sport Clubs, transforming it into a leader in the field of adaptive sports, recreation and training. Frisina is president and CEO of Heartland Development Partners and Revitalize Rural America providing community and economic development expertise and innovation to rural midwestern communities.
Laura Taylor manages executive media relations at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, part of the Federal Reserve System. In her role, she works directly with media organizations and journalists around the world to promote and explain the St. Louis Fed’s monetary policy positions. Prior to working at the Federal Reserve, she spent time working in government and political communications. Her time in Congress greatly informed her desire to dedicate her career to public service. She’s also served as a director in the Illinois Lt. Governor’s office and as a director at the Southern Illinois University Alumni Association.
James E. Williams Jr. is founder, president, and chief executive officer of Estel Foods Inc., which owns and operates 26 McDonald’s restaurants in the St. Louis metropolitan area. As an operator of one of the world’s most recognized brands, Williams has come full circle in his employment history: as a teenager, he worked at McDonald’s. Before becoming a McDonald’s owner-operator, Williams served nine years with the U.S. Navy, where he clocked more than 2,000 flight hours in various countries around the world. Williams was recognized for his military service and earned the U.S. Navy Achievement Award. Williams serves as an executive board member and president of the African American consumer market division for the St. Louis McDonald’s Co-op, a collaborative of local franchise owners. He serves on several community boards, including the Ronald McDonald House, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, One Hundred Black Men of St. Louis, Granite City Rotary Club, Granite City Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis Downtown Partnership, U.S. Veterans. Williams is also a board member of the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, The Nine Network, Regional Business Journal, Concordance Academy, Paramount Bank, and supports, and is involved with the renowned Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation.