Mark Bulanda & Angie Brooks
Senior Vice President
St. Louis Dancing Classrooms
Mark Bulanda & Angie BrooksVote Now
Mark Bulanda is an Emerson senior vice president who oversees the company’s acquisition planning and portfolio management activities. He was appointed to this position in April 2016 and works with Emerson’s businesses to identify potential acquisition candidates. In 2016, he was named to Emerson’s Office of the Chief Executive, which helps develop and guide the company’s global business strategies.
Bulanda has a 30-year career with Emerson. He previously managed Emerson’s Industrial Automation businesses and was appointed an Emerson executive vice president of the Emerson Industrial Automation business in 2012.
Bulanda is a member of the boards of directors for the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis and the St. Louis Science Center.
Bulanda received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from GMI Engineering and Management Institute, and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University in Chicago. He and his wife, Kelly, have three boys and two girls and have lived in St. Louis since 2001.
Angie Brooks started dancing at the age of three and knew by the age of ten that she wanted to grow up to become a professional dancer. From jazz/modern company member, to theatrical stage performer, to professional ballroom dancer and instructor—she has spent her life studying, performing and teaching her craft. Today, Angie spends the bulk of her time teaching private and group lessons in ballroom, Latin, and social dance.
In addition, she is the Director for St. Louis Dancing Classrooms, a not-for-profit social development program that uses ballroom dance as a medium for teaching the importance of kindness, respect, elegance, and teamwork to elementary aged students.
Matt Geekie & Nina Middendorf
Senior Vice President
Just Dancing Ballroom Dance Studio
Matt Geekie & Nina MiddendorfVote Now
Matt Geekie is senior vice president, secretary and general counsel for Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical and communications products and related supply chain management and logistics services. A member of Graybar’s board of directors, Geekie is responsible for corporate governance and the legal and risk management functions of the company. He also serves as Chairman of Graybar’s Canadian subsidiary.
Geekie started his career as a trial lawyer at St. Louis firm Moser & Marsalek, next moving in-house to Siegel-Robert Inc. and later Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin (now Husch Blackwell). From there, he was appointed to assistant general counsel at Emerson, and then served as general counsel and secretary at XTRA Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary. He joined Graybar in 2008 as Deputy General Counsel and was elected to his current position later that year.
Geekie’s broad-based legal experience includes corporate law, corporate governance, commercial and securities law, Sarbanes Oxley, ethics, intellectual property, product liability, export/import law and risk management. Under his leadership, Graybar achieved national recognition for excellence in corporate governance in 2015 and 2016.
Geekie is a native of St. Louis, and received both his law degree and undergraduate degree from Saint Louis University. He currently serves as Past President of the St. Louis Zoo Association Board and on its Executive, Finance/Audit, Government Relations and Major Gifts Committees, as Chairman of the Board of The OASIS Institute and on its Executive Committee and Finance Committee, as Treasurer and on the Board of the St. Louis Community Foundation and as Chair of its Finance and Audit Committee. He is also a member of the St. Louis/Chicago Regional FM Global Advisory Board. He is a member of Vistage Worldwide, Inc. and a former President of the Missouri Law Institute.
He and his wife, Karen, have three children. In his free time, he enjoys reading, golf and exercise.
Nina Middendorf was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. At age 15 she was introduced to ballroom dancing and fell in love with it. She competed in Germany for four years until she moved to St. Louis and started her career as a ballroom dance instructor at Just Dancing. She has been teaching at Just Dancing now for almost 20 years and never lost the passion for the art of dance. Her specialty is in making everybody feel comfortable on the dance floor from social dancing, wedding couples to ballroom competitions. In addition, she has been teaching ballroom dancing cotillion to 7th and 8th graders for over 10 years.
She especially enjoys the progress her students make in their dance lessons, showcase events and dance competitions, as well as their growing confidence on the dance floor.
Nancy Gilbride & David Scherer
Senior Vice President of Centene Corporation
CEO of EnvolveHealth
Convergence Dance & Body Center
Nancy Gilbride & David SchererVote Now
As an aficionado of the art of dance with a passion for music and an advocate for ensuring those with mental illness receive the services they need to lead a fulfilling life, Nancy Gilbride was honored to be chosen to participate in this year’s “Dancing with the St. Louis Stars”.
Nancy Gilbride is Senior Vice President of Centene Corporation and Chief Executive Officer of Envolve, a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC). Envolve, through its family of companies, provides flexible and affordable healthcare solutions including access to the most comprehensive suite of supplemental health benefits, wellness and back-office support solutions for partners nationwide. Nancy joined Envolve in September 2016 and leads the strategic direction, business development efforts, customer management, product development, operations, marketing, legal and finance for the $11 billion unit comprised of 4,500 employees across the country.
Nancy is an experienced leader with 27 years in the healthcare industry, including 22 years in the Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) industry. She spent 19 years at Express Scripts (ESI), the nation’s largest PBM and a Fortune 22 company, where she was involved in their dramatic growth through key leadership roles in acquisitions/integration and organic growth opportunities. In her last
role at ESI, Nancy was the President of the Federal Pharmacy Services Division, responsible for client retention, client satisfaction and P&L for the $10 billion business division, and oversight of a 3,000 member federal unit. She successfully led the enterprise-wide effort to win the next generation Department of Defense contract in 2014, valued at $63.2 billion over a 7-year term, as well as leading
the successful installation of the contract in 2015.
Prior to that Nancy served as the Vice President and General Manager of ESI’s TRICARE Pharmacy Division (2009-2012); Vice President, TRICARE Pharmacy Division (2007-2009); Vice President, Account Management of the Public Sector Division (2002-2007); Vice President of Clinical Program Management in the National Employer Division (2000-2002); and Senior Director, Clinical Program Management
Before Express Scripts, Nancy held progressively responsible clinical leadership roles within pharmaceutical, managed healthcare and hospital settings including ValueRx, SmithKline Beecham, Diversified Pharmaceutical Services, and the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics.
Nancy is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and a master’s degree and residency training in Hospital Pharmacy Administration. She is an active member of AMCP and ASHP and has served in multiple leadership roles with military support organizations including the USO MO Board of Directors. She is presently on the Board of Visitors for the University of Wisconsin where she advises the Dean of the School of Pharmacy on strategy, fundraising, curriculum and policy matters.
Nancy is the proud mother of two teenagers and resides in Chesterfield, MO
By age 11, David Scherer was already competing on the national circuit and began teaching dance soon after. A member of the National Dance Council of America, he and a number of his students participate in national dance competitions. David is ranked among the top ballroom teachers in the country. He has placed as Rising Stars professional in the American Smooth Ballroom division and is proudly sponsored by the Emmy award-winning costume company Randall Designs who style and design for the popular national television series “Dancing With the Stars.”
His expertise, warmth and unique sense of humor make his lessons exciting and memorable. He encourages his students to ‘get out of their own way’ and let dance embody the best of themselves whether in the freedom of personal expression or clear, effective communication in a partnership.
Lauren Herring & Robert McKenney
Convergence Dance & Body Center
Lauren Herring & Robert McKenneyVote Now
Lauren Herring provides leadership to IMPACT Group as CEO, where she has transformed the company into a global leader in employee career development. IMPACT Group’s vision is to build a better world by empowering people to find and grow great careers, and she is passionate about making a positive impact in people’s lives through IMPACT Group’s work. Under Lauren’s leadership, the company has helped tens of thousands of people find jobs and grow their leadership skills throughout the country and in more than 65 countries.
IMPACT Group continues to be an industry expert in Relocation, Outplacement and Leadership Development while consistently innovating new career management solutions, developing cutting-edge service delivery options and expanding its reach into new markets. In 2016, Lauren authored This Side Up! A Simple Guide to Your Successful Relocation, which provides expert advice on managing each phase of the relocation based on the thousands of individuals IMPACT Group has moved across the globe over the last three decades.
Lauren has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition including: Workforce Magazine’s Top 25 Game Changers Award, St. Louis Business Journal’s Top Women-owned Business, St. Louis Business Journal’s Most Influential Women in Business and 2015 Enterprising Women of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine. Lauren was awarded the prestigious “40 Under 40″ Award by the St. Louis Business Journal and was previously awarded the “30 Under 30” Award.
Lauren is an internationally recognized speaker on the topic of career development and global mobility, has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine and has published in HR Executive and GlobalHR Magazine, among others. She has recently been involved with TEDxSt.LouisWomen and is focusing much of her energy these days in supporting Women in Leadership initiatives.
Lauren is on the Board for the St. Louis Regional Chamber, where she is pleased to support the economic development of the St. Louis community. She is also on the Board at COCA (the Center of Creative Arts), Boy Scouts of Greater St. Louis, Connections to Success and serves on Washington University’s Steering Committee and Women’s Leadership Forum where she passionately dedicates her expertise, resources and time to making a difference in others’ lives.
Robert McKenney has been dancing and instructing for over a decade and was born into a dancing environment. The son of a dance teacher, he grew up watching dance competitions, classes, and events, and eventually decided that it looked like fun! He entered a competition when he was seven years old, started teaching when he was 18 and has since taught throughout the country. He was even a guest teacher at the National Academy of Tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the summer of 2015.
Robert has travelled extensively to Argentina and specializes in the Latin dances. Argentine Tango, Salsa, Cha Cha, and folk dancing are his favorites! Robert has studied with expert teachers in the U.S., as well as several master teachers in Argentina who have shaped and influenced Argentine tango and Latin dance. He has also shared his love of dance by teaching throughout the country from California to Massachusetts and several places in between.
In addition to teaching, Robert has danced and performed all over the United States and Argentina and regularly performs in the St. Louis area. He has danced everywhere from the popular, historic Muny Theater to Busch Stadium in front of thousands of people, as well as performing regularly in the St. Louis area.
Carmen Jacob & Michael Fitzgerald
NextGen, Information Services, Inc.
Just Dancing West
Carmen Jacob & Michael FitzgeraldVote Now
Carmen Jacob is the CEO of NextGen, Information Services, Inc., a talent engagement firm, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with satellite offices throughout the US. Inspired to start her own business, Carmen helped establish NextGen in 1997. Her background includes healthcare, banking, finance, sales, recruitment, training and management. Today, NextGen boasts a tenured recruiting team with more than 300+ billable consultants in 35 states and revenue of $60+ million. The company offers customized workforce solutions specializing in IT and Professional Services, providing high caliber consultants, exclusively for contract, contract to hire and direct hire positions. With a proven track record and history of success, the firm supports emerging tech organizations, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, with a diverse talent community. As CEO, Carmen works to expand NextGen’s services and capabilities and advance the firm’s corporate commitment to building a diverse and dynamic workforce and workplace.
NextGen currently ranks 43rd in the Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses in the US. The firm has been listed by Inc. Magazine in the top 500/5000 leading companies in (IT) services in the country and as one of the Top Privately Held and Fastest Growing Companies in St. Louis, by the St. Louis Business Journal. The firm is a Certified Minority-Owned Enterprise and Certified Woman-Owned Enterprise and has been named Missouri’s Minority Business of the Year by Governor Nixon, and awarded by Diversity Inc. and Diversity Business, the City of St. Louis and the St. Louis Minority Business Council for a continued commitment to diversity in the workplace. In addition, NextGen was named Hispanic Company of the Year 2013 and Carmen was named Hispanic Businessperson of the Year 2014 by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis. Entrepreneurial in spirit and action Carmen was named and an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2014 and one of Enterprising Women Magazine’s Women of the Year 2014. The award which recognizes the finest women entrepreneurs in North America and around the globe is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners.
A community activist, Carmen is involved in numerous professional groups and organizations. She is a silver Ambassador for Project Mosaic in St. Louis and Board Member of the United Way of St. Louis, Webster University, BJC Foundation, the Muny Opera, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, the Forum, Red Cross of Eastern Missouri, UMB Bank, and the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis and the Regional Business Council. When she is not working, networking or attending civic or charity events, Carmen can be found volunteering for her church. A native of Guatemala, Carmen came to the US in 1972. Having put down roots in our fair city and with the firm’s headquarters in St. Louis, Carmen, her husband Chris and their family continue to live and embrace everything St. Louis has to offer.
Michael Fitzgerald is a professional competitor, instructor, and co-¬owner of Just Dancing West studio in St. Peters, and is looking forward to entertaining this year’s crowd.
Michael has been teaching ballroom & Latin dancing for thirteen years, and has enjoyed great success with his students and his professional partner, his wife Lucy. Dancing the American Smooth style, they have placed as finalists in nearly 100 professional ballroom events across the country. Michael has enjoyed numerous performance opportunities at private events and charity functions, and he has received several awards for his excellence in teaching.
Michael is a professional member of the National Dance Council of America and proud to be a six-year veteran of Dancing With the St. Louis Stars
Dan Rothery & Roxanne Maier
BJC Home Care and Community Services
Convergence Dance & Body Center
Dan Rothery & Roxanne MaierVote Now
As president of BJC Home Care and Community Services, Dan Rothery is responsible for BJC Behavioral
Health, BJC Corporate Health Services and BJC Home Care Services. Dan also oversees the management agreement with Bethesda Health Group with regard to Eunice Smith, Village North, and Barnes Jewish Extended Care. Dan represents BJC Healthcare on the Parent Board of The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. Additionally, Dan plays an active role in post-acute care and evolving episodic payment models.
Rothery served as president of Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Missouri for six years prior to assuming oversight of BJC’s Home Care and Community Services in 2013. Before joining Boone Hospital Center in 2006, Rothery led The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis, a joint venture between BJC HealthCare and HealthSouth affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine. Rothery also served as the interim chief executive officer of HealthSouth’s Risk Rehabilitation Center in Columbia, Missouri.
For the past 25 years, Rothery has held executive positions in acute, sub-acute, rehabilitation and home care environments at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, BJC HealthCare and St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis.
Rothery earned his master’s degree in hospital administration from St. Louis University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois.
Rothery is active in the community and has served on several local boards. He is a native of St. Louis and is married with three children.
Roxanne Maier has been a social and competitive dancer and teacher since 1985. Beginning with Ballroom dance and Swing, she competed successfully in all forms of partner dance from 10 dance champion (latin and smooth), street swing and salsa. Her Ballroom and Latin coaches were Stephen and Lindsey Hillier, Hazel Fletcher, Pierre Alaire, Dianne Gingerich, Sam Sadano, Linda Dean, Bob Madeiros, Ron Montez, Bill Sparks, Tim Auclair, Ramiro Gonzales, Chris (“no bones”) Jones. She retired from professional competition in 1999. After retiring Roxanne and her husband opened Convergence Dance and Body Center studio in Richmond Heights/Clayton area and sponsor many local events.
She expanded her love of dance and learning when she dicovered Argentine tango. After a milonga in New York, and an initial tango lesson from Daniel Trenner, one of the dancers who helped re-introduce the dance to North America, Roxanne pursued tango with a dedication and passion that continues to this day. Since 1997 she has made regular trips to Buenos Aires and studied with Argentine master teachers/dancers including, Gustavo Naveira & Giselle Anne, Juan Carlos, Rudolfo & Maria Cieri, Miguel Angel Zotto, Osvoldo Zotto & Lorena Ermocida, Pablo Inza, Pablo Villarazza, Dana Frigoli, Chicho Frumboli, Susanna Miller, Alicia Pons, Carlos Gavito, Maria Frangelini and Dany “El Flaco” Garcia.
Roxanne brought her knowledge of this unique dance back home and in addition to year-round classes at Convergence has taught solo and with a partner at Tangofest and Valentango, the two largest dance festivals in North America.
Roxanne has brought many master teachers to the Saint Louis area for workshops, advanced level classes and dance events. In addition to special classes, Convergence Dance and Body Center hosts weekly practicas, and weekly milongas, providing students with multiple opportunities to practice and grow as dancers. She brings her experience and love of dance, music and puzzles into the classroom. Her classes are technical and precise but her method makes it logical and fun which allows students to get back to the enjoyment of listening to great music while dancing.
Convergence also hosts an annual dancers immersion course in Buenos Aires every year in March that has grown in popularity to the point of selling out the last two years! Her background is extensive and she is the founding dancer of the tango community in St Louis.
In her desire to dance forever she encountered the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM of exercise in 2009 and offers private and semi private lessons in this exciting new training method in the new studio location. If you want to be able to dance forever, you need to try it. If you want to be healthy and and continue not only to do what you love but to improve, you need to try it. Whether you are a dancer, golfer or runner you want complete freedom of movement and this can help you achieve that.
DeAndra Smith & Emily Wehrman
DeAndra Smith & Emily WehrmanVote Now
DeAndra Smith is a member at Independence Center. He works in the kitchen creating menus, preparing and cooking meals, and helps coordinate other member volunteers during breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Clubhouse, helping to serve over a hundred members and staff daily.
DeAndra was born completely blind in his left eye and legally blind in his right eye. At an early age, he was physically and verbally abused by his mother and outcast by his family and society. He was told at an early age he was not going to amount to anything in life and for a long time believed that. As an adult, his God given talents were taken advantage of by friends that he thought had his best interest in mind.
Things took a turn for the worst in 2007; overworked and underpaid, he lost his apartment after hours were drastically cut at the restaurant he was employed at for over seven years. He lost his home and spent the next few years couch hopping and frequenting homeless shelters, never staying in a place long enough to get his feet on the ground. DeAndra suffered from depression from an early age, but the stress of not having a safe, permanent place to live and steady employment landed him in the hospital with severe depression, anxiety and PTSD.
On November 1st, 2014, he went to the hospital for anxiety. His recovery started then when he found about Independence Center. He never knew that such a place existed, a place he would be surrounded by people like himself. At Independence Center, he learned to be the man he wished to be, learned how to communicate with others and feel the acceptance of a supportive community, and had access to resources he so desperately needed.
He has attended the Clubhouse of a daily basis for almost three years as a volunteer, mainly in the kitchen, cooking and preparing meals. With the help of Independence Center, DeAndra was able to get safe, affordable housing and reestablish himself as an active participant in the community, no longer in the shadows of his mental illness. He has gained a home at Independence Center, finding friends that are now family. His next goal in life is to go to school to achieve a master’s degree in culinary arts and would like to one day own his own restaurant.
Emily Wehrman, professional competitor, instructor and owner of Discover Ballroom, is thrilled to be part of the Dancing with the St. Louis Stars event. She has an extensive background in dance, music, movement and communication. Her ballet and language studies took her abroad to study in France. Upon returning to the United States, she explored other forms of movement, including martial arts and equestrian studies. But her first love of dancing led her to specialize in Ballroom and Latin styles. She has since spent her years honing her knowledge and application of these techniques as both professional and teacher/partner with her students who compete around the country. She is one of the top placing competitors in the Professional American Smooth category nationwide and has been a guest performer and instructor in multiple charity dance events around the St. Louis area. Currently, she is expanding her knowledge of kinesthetic and psychosomatic practices through certification in Facilitation of Embodied Transformation and Yoga. She is also a member of the National Dance Council of America.
Mark Bulanda and Angie Brooks DWTSS
Mark Bulanda, the winner of this years Dancing with the St. Louis Stars, really showed off his dancing skills. Him and his dancing partner, Angie Brooks, rocked the house while dancing to Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger. Check out these two dance their way to victory!Posted by Independence Center St. Louis on Monday, February 26, 2018