The J. Kim Tucci “Heart of St. Louis Award” honors a man who devoted his life to making life better for others in St. Louis. While few can or will match Kim’s boundless heart, energy, passion, and talent, these four finalists best embody the same spirit, and by their selfless efforts lift our community and serve our people.
The four finalists are:
RBC Clean Sweep Team
Michael McMillan of the Urban League, Doug Weible, Chairman & CEO of Fred Weber, Rusty Keeley, CEO of Keeley Companies, and Alaina Maciá, CEO of MTM, are worthy of the “Heart of St. Louis Award” because they share the same spirit of Kim Tucci that moves them towards challenges and attracts them to service. These leaders should be recognized for their kindness and driving passion to improve the quality of life for people in some of the most overlooked parts of our community. They are humble and deeply philanthropic individuals, as was Kim Tucci, and among many examples of generosity, their contributions to the Clean Sweep initiative stand out.
The Clean Sweep, a partnership between the Regional Business Council, Urban League, and the City of St. Louis, revitalizes neighborhoods to make them safer and better positioned for development. This initiative, now in its third year, has uplifted neighborhoods and residents across St. Louis, and at the heart of efforts like these, you will find Michael, Doug, Rusty and Alaina.
These individuals and their teams dedicate their time to help people they don’t know. They contribute money, equipment, and materials to beautify places in which they don’t live. They bring excavators and crews into neighborhoods to tear down dilapidated buildings that will no longer serve as places where terrible and dangerous things happen. They create innovative ways to put young people to work and help restore dignity and pride to neighborhood centers.
What hasn’t Maxine Clark been involved in supporting and initiating? Like Kim Tucci, Maxine champions underdog causes, while also helping make the established better. She is an experienced leader and true visionary in the St. Louis region.
Maxine’s most recent project, the Delmar Divine, is a space and place where she plans to maximize the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of the nonprofit sector in the St. Louis region, especially among health, education and human service organizations, while simultaneously being a catalyst for the transformation of nearby neighborhoods. The project involves the renovation of the former St. Luke’s Hospital building. The first phase of construction, set to begin this November, will include approximately 180,000 square feet of workspace as well as 160 one- and two-bedroom apartments designed to house more than 1,000 young, diverse professionals.
The Delmar Divine is only one of the many projects on which Maxine has taken leadership; other projects include Artworks, KIPP Schools, Teach for America, and of course, Build A Bear Workshop. A true innovator, Maxine is deeply committed to improving the quality of life for St. Louisans.
Nancy and Ken Kranzberg
There are no bigger champions of the arts in St. Louis than Nancy & Ken Kranzberg. Music, dance, visual arts, literature—they cover the waterfront.
The Kranzberg, the Grandel, the .Zack, the High Low, the Big Top, the Dark Room, Sophie’s, the Marcelle, Sallie’s. The sheer breadth of the venues they have opened to feature St. Louis artists of all stripes is remarkable. And they support so many other established St. Louis arts organizations, like Jazz St. Louis. Ken and Nancy are all about benefitting the community.
Incredibly, during the pandemic, they doubled down on St. Louis. They found ways for musicians to perform and visual artists to exhibit at their spaces—safely. And even in hard times, they have expanded the scope and amount of their residencies when St. Louis artists need the support most. Moreover, they will soon open yet another space to support local arts organizations and are commissioning murals to form a visual bridge to connect the residents of Grand Center to the arts opportunities located nearby. The visionary, philanthropic dynamic duo truly embodies Kim Tucci’s optimism about what is created in St. Louis.
As the Lawrence Group’s CEO, Steve Smith has consistently demonstrated his support of St. Louis by investing, creating, and developing projects which provide jobs and elevate St. Louis’ position in the region.
More recently, Steve’s involvement with The Foundry is another example of the lasting impact of his contributions to St. Louis, and he doesn’t plan on stopping there. The same day that The Foundry opened, he announced a new redevelopment project at the historic Second Baptist Church in Central West End and plans on turning it into a gospel music hall of fame for the St. Louis community.
In the spirit of Kim Tucci, in addition to his work activities, Steve serves the region in many volunteer capacities lending his name, time, and talent supporting various not-for-profit entities for the betterment of our community. St. Louis is a place he is proud to call home and continuously invests in. Steve is an inspiration for all those that have the privilege to serve with him.
The winner will be announced at the Explore St. Louis Annual Meeting and Awards event on September 29, 2021, at America’s Center. Finalists were judged by St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation Board Members including Ruth Kim, Flint Fowler, Michael Houlihan, Victor Frankel, Tim Eby, Tim Rodgers, and Chairman, David Robert.