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Yemi Akande Bartsch
President & CEO
FOCUS St. Louis
thought leaders

Yemi Akande Bartsch

Dr. Akande-Bartsch is President & CEO of FOCUS St. Louis, the region’s leading civic leadership organization. She has over 15 years of experience in designing and facilitating leadership training, development, and coaching programs. She has served She previously served as vice president of leadership and alumni programs for FOCUS St. Louis, senior director of civic education for the Cleveland Leadership Center and program director for the Cleveland Executive Fellowship. Prior to joining FOCUS, Dr. Akande-Bartsch was managing partner at YsA Group, a leadership training and development company based in Cleveland, Ohio. She was also a lecturer at The Boler School of Business and Assistant Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts at Ohio’s John Carroll University, and was the host of a weekly radio show called Making the Case on Cleveland’s WJCU 88.7 FM, which featured interviews on Leadership and Legacy. She also worked in the field of International education for many years.

Dr. Akande-Bartsch holds a doctorate in communication from the University of Oklahoma. She also earned two master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma, the first in human relations and organizational development, and the second in public relations, journalism, and mass communication. She earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. Dr. Akande-Bartsch serves on the Board of Directors of The Sheldon Arts Foundation, St. Louis Regional Chamber and is a member of St. Louis Forum, the Association of Leadership Professionals International Leadership Association and Botanical Garden, Sub-district, Commissioner.

Dr. Akande-Bartsch is also a recipient of the following awards:  StreetScape Magazine Award (St. Charles, Missouri) 2014; Royal Vagabond Leadership Award, 2015; YWCA of St. Louis Leader of Distinction, 2015; Who’s Who Diversity in Color, 2016; Delux Magazine, 50 Most Intriguing Women Award, 2017; St. Louis Business Journal, Most Influential Business Women Award, 2017.