The team at Launch St. Louis

Originally serving as the Young Friends of Gilda for Gilda’s Club St. Louis, we created Launch St. Louis to address a need we found prevalent in the St. Louis market – a source for the knowledge, resources and energy needed to create “young friends” groups. Our team was assembled to be extremely diverse – making us a well-rounded advisor. Take a moment to meet Launch St. Louis.

Launch St. Louis Executive Committee

Rashida Dinehart, Chairperson

Rashida Dinehart is proud to call herself a born and raised St. Louisan. She attended the University of Missouri where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Strategic Communication from the School of Journalism. By day she’s a Marketing Planner at Caleres, but by night she’s one part St. Louis blogger at, and one part non-profit connoisseur. Rashida splits her free time into serving on two Young Professionals boards: Launch St. Louis and Annie’s Hope Bereavement Center for Kids. It’s through these organizations that she gets to ignite her true passion for all things St. Louis and affect change in a positive way. Outside of Launch, Rashida enjoys cooking, eating lots of pizza, running and spending as much time as possible with her husband, Ben, and their dog, Kona.


Launch St. Louis Board

steve-bauer Steve Bauer

After graduating from Indiana University, Steve lived in Saltillo, Mexico, where he taught English to adults and children at the Instituto Mexicano Americano de Relaciones Culturales (IMARC). As an integrated marketing and social media strategist, Steve helps organize charitable fundraising efforts and community service projects and on behalf of his clients. Steve currently serves as a senior vice president and partner of FleishmanHillard, St. Louis.

Emily Gavilsky Emily Gavilsky

Emily Gavilsky is the owner and principal designer of both Emily Anna Events & Renown Rentals. She also holds a license as a Professional Counselor and does work with various nonprofits in St. Louis to help with awareness and fundraising. She consults and does grant writing in the community. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling and perfecting her calligraphy skills!

Alex Roberts Launch St. Louis

 Alex Roberts

Alex is an Account Supervisor at FleishmanHillard, a top global complete communications agency headquartered in downtown St. Louis, where he specializes in media relations. Prior to St. Louis and a career in PR, Alex worked in the television news business, providing the most accurate and always entertaining weather forecasts to Missouri and Iowa residents. Previously, Alex sat on the Gilda’s Club Chicago Associate Board, a cancer support community located in downtown Chicago, organizing and developing their charity running program as well as assisting in club PR and marketing efforts. He has also worked with and supports Movember every November through the beautiful wispy moustache he’ll attempt to grow to help change the face of men’s health. Alex joined Launch St. Louis in the fall of 2014.

Elise Hastings

 Elise Hastings

Elise is director of Good Street STL, a micro-donation platform that allows you to give just 25¢ a day to charities all over St. Louis and the world. Elise is passionate about merging the innovation sector with the social sector, and loves to talk about ways to help nonprofits become more effective. Before she helped found Good Street in St. Louis, she managed a refugee resettlement program in Phoenix, and completed a New Sector Alliance fellowship in San Francisco. You can find her most weekends at the Missouri botanical garden or the STL Zoo.

Zarrin Lilani

 Zarrin Lilani

Zarrin currently works in the Business Analytics Supply chain team at Nestlé. Her job is to make sure the Supply Chain folks have all the data they need to make the right business decisions. Zarrin is passionate about urban regeneration and believes that innovation is key to building better and more sustainable cities. Zarrin spent most of her life in London, UK where she was involved in “Croydon Tech City,” a movement to regenerate her London district by attracting tech talent and companies. Zarrin loves living in St. Louis and wanted to give back to the city so she joined Launch at a Committee and then a Board level. She also currently serves as a St. Louis Mosaic ambassador and has a blog on ways to give back and enjoy St. Louis at

Paul VandenElzen

Paul VandenElzen

Paul is a Lead Research Analyst and Project Manager at Avant Marketing Group. In addition to his work with Launch St. Louis, Paul is an avid volunteer and Board member with the Young Friends of the APA. When he is not conducting market research he can be found backpacking, kayaking and camping through-out the Midwest.

Jeanne Kaufmann

 Jeanne Kaufmann

Jeanne Kaufmann is the current Wealth Strategist Associate for Northern Trust – St. Louis, where she coordinates the event and marketing efforts for the Missouri region.  Prior to joining Launch St. Louis in 2017, she served on the Education Committee and helped facilitate the Launch St. Louis Blog.  Before taking on her current role, Jeanne spent her career working in non-for-profit administration, with a focus on general management for theaters both in St. Louis and Washington, DC, and is very passionate about getting the next generation involved with causes they believe in.  In her free time, you can find Jeanne hanging with husband Tim and her dog Talullah, laughing over her favorite episode of “Parks & Rec”, and working on her fashion blog,

 Ariel Zhang

Ariel has lived around the world but now calls St. Louis home. She currently works as a Management Consultant at North Highland Worldwide and has a Masters degree in Strategic Communications. Prior to joining the Launch board, she served on the 18 month committee working on the partnership with the APA. In her free time, she enjoys staying active by salsa dancing, boxing, and rock climbing to balance her passion for food.

 Katie Wall

Katie Wall is proud to call herself a native St. Louisan. Her work in Community Relations at Enterprise Holdings has fueled her passion for St. Louis and the incredible network of nonprofits that call it home. Katie joined Launch as a committee member in the Fall of 2017 to help other young professionals find the causes important to them. Forever on a quest to find the best toasted ravioli in St. Louis, Katie can often be found trying new restaurants throughout the area. She also enjoys Cardinals games, cooking, and evenings on her patio with her fiancé Matt and dog Huckleberry.

 Katie Holtgrave

Katie grew up in a small town on the Illinois side but now resides in downtown St. Louis. She works as a forensic accountant at Anders CPAs + Advisors and volunteers her time on a few Young Friends boards including Epworth’s YF board and the Young Friends of Downtown STL, Inc. Katie loves staying connected in the community and likes to check out local restaurants, local music scenes, and everything St. Louis sports. She enjoys being active by playing in soccer and sand volleyball leagues and by exploring new countries, cities, and cultures – making a point to take multiple trips a year.

Launch St. Louis Alumni

Jonathan Goldford

Wired Impact

Beth Casagrand

Global Hack

Julie Mann

Operation Food Search

Jill Lewin

Washington University

Michelle Kilper

Mid America CropLife Association

Erin Willmann

Digital Marketing Specialist for Entertainment Cruise Productions

Jon Franko, Founding Board Member

Gorilla 76

Jill Mantey

Communications Consultant

Ashley Turigliatto

Director of Development at Pujols Family Foundation

Joe Sullivan, Founding Board Member

Gorilla 76

Tim McFarlin

Fellow, Legal Method & Communication Program at Elon University School of Law

Kevin Haar, Founding Board Member

Super Bright LEDs

Michelle Sinclair


Keith Goltschman

Enterprise Bank & Trust

Whitney Vredenburgh

Valent Corporation

Yvette LeGear Hartsfield, Founding Board Member

St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation

Michael Hart, Founding Board Member

Isle of Capri Casinos

Jen Crichton, Founding Board Member

Weber Shandwick

Joy Hennessy, Founding Board Member

Thompson Coburn, LLP

Keri Kiblinger

5 Horizons Group

Stephanie Burke

Brown Shoe

Devon Cramer

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Matthew Haywood

Krilogy Financial

Ann Davidson, Founding Board Member

Northwestern University School of Law, Office of Alumni Relations and Development

Michael Lane, Founding Board Member


Kathleen Molamphy, Founding Board Member

Bunge North America, Inc.