An involved Board of Directors and Trustees encourages the administration and teachers to take risks and explore new ideas. The Biome is fortunate to have a Board of Directors wholly invested in the success of our students, our programs and the school. They challenge our teachers and staff while giving them the freedom and resources to be innovative and more deeply in tune with the students’ needs.
Mr. O’Donnell is the chairman of YLC, the parent of The Biome School, of which he is also chairman of the school board. He has been involved with the organizations since the charter school’s formation in 2013.
Mr. O’Donnell is an Adjunct Professor in Entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University, teaching “Venture Capital and Private Equity”, a course which he designed nine years ago.
He is also the Senior Partner of O’Donnell Capital Company LLC, a venture capital and private equity firm which he founded in 2007. O’Donnell Capital invests in and purchases growing businesses; counsels middle-market businesses on capital strategy and business succession; and advises private equity fund managers.
Mr. O’Donnell previously was head of Capital For Business (CFB), from which he retired after completing twenty years as Chairman and CEO. CFB specialized in venture capital, mezzanine, and leveraged buyout investments. Under Mr. O’Donnell’s leadership, CFB closed over seventy transactions, specializing in manufacturing company investments in collaboration with their operating teams. Established in 1959, CFB is one of the oldest private equity firms and Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) in the United States. Mr. O’Donnell is past Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC), the professional and trade association for the SBIC industry.
He formerly served on the Executive Committee and chaired the Finance Committee for the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG), the premier M&A organization for middle market deal makers, with 14,000 members internationally. He is past president of ACG St. Louis, one the oldest and most active of ACG’s 55 chapters.
Seasoned business owner and entrepreneur with broad experience in all aspects of buying, running, and selling a successful medium size business. Purchased, grew, and eventually sold a $12 million manufacturing company. Tim has broad experience as a member of senior management at a Fortune 100 Company.
Responsibilities included management of a multi-plant manufacturing network meeting rigorous quality and profitability requirements. Other responsibilities included strategic planning, growth management, and maintaining positive employee relations in both union and non-union environments.
Fred Burdell currently serves as Vice President, Project Management Office and Infrastructure Operations for Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions business platform. Responsible for the Business Solutions Program Management and Infrastructure Management strategy, direction, and execution for 13 business units which represents approximately $5 billion in sales.
Fred joined Emerson in March, 2005 has vice president of Information Technology Shared Services at Corporate and had global responsibility for the delivery of enterprise IT shared services, including telecommunications, application development and hosting. In July 2010, he moved into the role of vice president of Application Delivery and had global responsibility for the delivery of enterprise applications. In May 2011, he moved into role of vice president and Group CIO for Emerson’s Industrial Automation business platform.
Fred came to Emerson from Northrop Grumman, where he spent 2 years as the Director, Software Engineering. He was responsible for the software development, enhancement, and maintenance of Northrop Grumman’s engineering, manufacturing, business, and logistics information systems. He directed a national organization, consisting of over 1,200 managers, software engineers, and database administration professionals.
Additionally, Fred was director of MIS at Naptheon, a Newport News Shipbuilding subsidiary, where he directed a Shared Services organization. He was responsible for service delivery and service management of data center operations; application development and support; hardware and software provisioning, installation, support; and telecommunications.
While at Newport News Shipbuilding, Burdell also participated in a business re-engineering effort that examined the company’s Design, Planning, Materials Management, and Manufacturing processes. The team implemented significant process changes and formed the business case to transform the company’s information system.
Fred holds a bachelors of business administration degree in computer information systems from Eastern Kentucky University. He currently serves on the Youth Learning Center Board, St. Louis Infrastructure Executive Board, and a St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Alumni. He served on the University of Missouri St. Louis Board of Visitor from 2006 – 2008 and Shearwater Education Foundation Board from 2011 – 2013. He resides in Wildwood, Missouri and is married with two children.
Anita Shanks Cross, Esq., is the Leader of Professional Networking (part of CSG Training and Support) and is the firm’s marketing strategist and subject matter expert for networking with tax and legal professionals.
The marketing programs within Cross’ area of responsibility include tax season resources, the Professional Brochure Series, The Connection Journal, and the firm’s website designed exclusively for professionals, www.edwardjones.com/teamwork. In her role, she also shapes classroom training, web conferences, and regional branch training and individual coaching.
Cross is a 1990 graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, GA and earned her Juris Doctorate degree from St. Louis University School of Law in 1994. Prior to joining Edward Jones in 2006, Anita practiced as a business litigation attorney at a large St. Louis based law firm and served for several years as Director of Attorney Development and Legal Recruiting for Thompson Coburn, LLP, a national law firm based in St. Louis, MO.
Thomas J. Donovan, M.D., is a member of the faculty of Saint Louis University School of Medicine as an adjunct professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Donovan earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, followed by a general surgery residency at the University of Cincinnati and an otolaryngology – head and neck surgery residency at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
Board-certified in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, Dr. Donovan is a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, and a diplomat of the American Board of Otolaryngology.
Dr. Donovan is an attending physician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and has clinical expertise in chronic ear disease and hearing loss and sinus disease. In addition to patient care and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Donovan has research interests in hearing loss.
Dr. Donovan’s community service includes serving as a Board of Director of the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf from 1986-2004, International Medical Assistance Foundation, Inc. starting in October, 2005 to date. Additionally Dr. Donovan is a Medical Director of Por Los Niños, a medical mission to Lima and Reque, Peru and participated as a Medical Director of IMAF, Inc., a surgical Mission to Juticalpa, Honduras from 2001 to 2012.
Liz Gibbons raised character education to new heights in the St. Louis metropolitan area during her tenure as Executive Director of Characterplus. Through her leadership, a program that had a solid foundation became the leading character education program in the United States. Her formula for success is simple – vision, passion and teamwork – a leader who gets the job done. She brings irresistible enthusiasm and well-tested leadership skills to every challenge, resulting in success not only in character education but also in a career that has involved government, sales and community involvement. Married, with two grown children, Liz continues to seek new challenges with singular commitment to the advancement and progress of all stakeholders.
Dr. Darla Hemrick is currently working at Great Circle in Webster Groves as the school Principal/Director of Special Education. She has been in this position since August 2015. Darla has worked in the field of education for over 25 years. She started her career as a special education teacher and after 10 years of teaching she became a school administrator. Ms. Hemrick spent the next 10 years in the role of Special Education Coordinator, Director, and Assistant Principal in both rural and urban districts in Missouri and Illinois. After receiving her Masters + 30 and her Administration Certificate, she went on to complete her Doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2015. Dr. Hemrick resides in St. Louis Missouri and has 2 grown step sons and a son and daughter who continue to live with her. Darla is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, National Association of School Administrators, and the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals. Darla also is a member of the National Cheer Organization and has been the Director for the Jr. Cheerleading Organization in the Mehlville District for the last 8 years.
In his current role, Damion is responsible for outlining the inclusion strategy & recommending actions in support of the executive D&I council’s functional & regional oversight of our company culture and operations. This includes consulting with various functions and regions and providing periodic updates for the ET, MAC Diversity Council & BOD regarding our acquisition, development, retention of diverse talent globally and supplier diversity. In recent years, he has led strategic enterprise wide initiatives regarding the design of our diversity dashboard, the diversity components of our leader dashboard for the top 120 global leaders, led phase 1 implementation of an enterprise-wide mentoring initiative, and currently leads the execution of our Global Business Resource Network (BRN) strategy. Currently, we have 21 global BRNs (our ERGs) across 6 geographies.
Prior to his current role, Damion was matrixed between our Leadership & Organizational Effectiveness (LOE) & TA/Diversity divisions and was additionally responsible for project managing the Executive Team people review/succession planning process. At that time, Damion was intimately involved in our corporate governance reporting to the Board of Directors concerning CEO/ET succession and Global Diversity.
Damion received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Morris Brown College and both his masters (M.S.) and doctorate (Ph.D.) from Saint Louis University specializing in the areas of both social and organizational psychology. Prior to working with Monsanto, Damion has done focus group and organizational survey reporting work with Ameren & GenAM. In association with Saint Louis University’s Center for Organizational learning and Renewal, he’s worked with several non-profits concerning diagnosis, restructure design, and program evaluation. He’s also worked as a Senior Research Lab Technician with the Missouri Institute of Mental Health on the federal program evaluation of Project Youth Connect.
Academically, Damion has been a guest lecturer, teaching assistant, and instructor in the areas of general psychology, social psychology, the psychology of small groups, and sociology at the Saint Louis College of Pharmacy, Saint Louis University School for Professional Studies, Saint Louis University, and Springfield College of Illinois, respectively. Prior to moving into corporate America, Damion’s social psychological research interests were in the areas of: social stigma, attribution theory, intergroup relations, and the effects of stereotyping and prejudice on academic performance. Similarly, his organizational psychological research interests were in the areas of: organizational identity, diversity, perceptions of affirmative action, and the effects of stereotype threat on workplace performance & evaluation.
Damion currently resides in St. Louis Missouri with his wife Marvis, sons Simon and Aiden and daughter Genesis.
Ellen Moceri earned her BA and MA from Washington University, with Ed.D coursework and exams completed from Teacher’s College of Columbia University. She did the research for two different dissertations, one of which required her to visit four International Baccalaureate schools in Europe to ascertain the impact of requiring community service in the International Baccalaureate diploma program. Before she could finish that dissertation, she returned to the United States from her position as principal of the Upper School at the American School of The Hague, The Netherlands, to become the principal of the Upper School at Horace Mann in Riverdale, NY. While at Horace Mann, she became extremely interested in innovations in independent schools and began research for another dissertation on the impact of a head of school on the introduction and sustainability of innovation. That research allowed her to join with John Ratte and Grant Wiggins in establishing the Independent School Innovation Consortium. As a researcher for that organization, as well as for her dissertation, she visited the top 20 independent day and boarding schools in the United States. The conclusion of her research was that heads of school do not necessarily need to lead innovation, but they must support it wholeheartedly if it is to be developed and sustained.
While taking coursework for her Ed.D at Teachers College, Columbia University, Mrs. Moceri experienced a life-changing course at the Klingstein Center, entitled “Private Schools Have a Public Purpose.” In 1990, she established at John Burroughs School, where she spent the first 25 year of her career in a variety of leadership positions – Department Chair, Director of College Counseling, Director of Studies – Aim High, a program of educational and cultural enrichment for at-risk elementary school children in public schools. After the first two years of the program’s success, she expanded it to a Catholic school, Priory.
As Mrs. Moceri concludes her 48 year career in independent school leadership and returns with her husband to her native city of St. Louis, she hopes to be able to continue to foster opportunities for at-risk students and to help independent schools develop in their students the ability for and the belief in serving their communities.
Seqwana Pryor is an accomplished, results-oriented technical professional with experience in new product development and technology leadership. Seqwana has expertise in managing a highly matrixed, multi-functional organization. She is a success driven achiever who consistently exceeds targets and is a significant contributor with a broad range of management/technology experience applicable to innovating and developing a high performing technology organization. Seqwana is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt- Top Line Growth and has 15+ years of experience in industrial polymers and specialty chemicals industry. She has experience in technology, manufacturing, product & applications development, and marketing environment with knowledge of: polymer processing and coatings applications development, process safety & risk management, technology licensing. Seqwana has strong leadership and team building skills and is a productive, highly ethical self-starter with high energy level and vitality. Other attributes include exceptional change management and organizational development skills, excellent interpersonal and communication skills with all levels of organization, including multi- functional global organization, strong project management skills. She is customer focused, with the ability to build strong relationships, both internally and externally.