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FORUM RECOGNIZES THREE IMPRESSIVE TRAILBLAZERS

Tuesday, May 28, 2019  
Posted by: Jessie Greenberg
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More than 250 talented women from diverse backgrounds comprise St. Louis Forum’s membership. With talent aplenty, the group created the annual Trailblazer Award to honor “an influential community leader, who was ‘the first’ in her field, or made a significant contribution toward elevating the image of women in business.” (stlforum.org). This year’s award honored, not one, but, three influential women, each a Forum member and representing differing industries : Martha Uhlhorn, President and Owner of La Bonne Bouchee Wholesale Bakery & Gourmet to Go, Betsy Cohen, Executive Director of the St. Louis Mosaic Project, and Marie Casey, President and Founder of Casey Communications. 


Kim Walker, Past Forum President and Trailblazer Award Nomination Committee Chair, sang the praises of the three award recipients. When time came to pick the 2019 winner, the committee declared it an impossible feat: “Our 2019 Trailblazers are a triumvirate of accomplished pioneers who have made their respective marks in corporate, not-for-profit and entrepreneurial environments.  It would have been impossible to select a single winner given each of their outstanding achievements, so we are thrilled to celebrate all three of these amazing women.”


Martha Uhlhorn

As her nominator, Jane Klieve, noted, “Martha has been a trailblazer her entire adult life.” She had a long and prosperous career at Metal Container Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, where she was promoted three times and eventually became the Senior Director of Sales. After leaving Metal Container Corporation, Martha joined The Earthgrains Company, which was purchased by Sara Lee Bakery Group during her tenure. She served as Vice President of Business Development and Sales Technology and eventually climbed the ranks to Executive Vice President of eCommerce and Category Management. 


A product of an entrepreneurial family, Martha had an itch for the creative. She left her corporate role and purchased La Bonne Bouchee’s wholesale business in 2004. The bakery supplies freshlymade breads, pastries, and cakes to St. Louis-area hotels and restaurants. To complement La Bonne Bouchee, she purchased Gourmet to Go, a creative catering company, in 2007. Together, her two companies feed a large portion of the St. Louis community. 


Martha also sits on several boards, including the Saint Louis University Board of Trustees, Saint Louis University School for Professional Studies Hospitality Advisory Board, and Jefferson National Parks Association Executive Committee. Klieve praised, Martha is “genuinely interested in each person’s story, challenge, situation;” and she “frequently serves as a ‘connector’ in ways that make a synergistic, positive impact.”


Betsy Cohen
Today Executive Director of the Mosaic Project, Betsy Cohen began her career at Nestlé Purina, where she spent 32 years. She founded Purina’s St. Louis PetLover Coalition—a taskforce to reduce euthanasia of pets in the region. She ultimately earned a vice president title at Ralston Purina and was among the first women to hold such a position. 


After her career at Purina, Betsy joined the Mosaic Project, a mission-driven organization that aims to create a more global St. Louis. Betsy continues to trailblaze—She was named a YWCA Woman Leader in Business and honored as a St. Louis Business Journal Most Influential Businesswoman. 


She serves on the board of directors for Welcoming America, a national immigration integration program; St. Louis University Cook School of Business’ Advisory Board; the St. Louis Crisis Nursery Advisory Board; and the Washington University Council for Sustainability. As her nominator, Michelle Harris, praised, “Many of us will work an entire career to achieve such valuable contributions in one field alone.”  


Marie Casey
As her nominator, Susan Conrad, conveyed, Marie Casey “has been a pioneering force in St. Louis and in the communications industry from the start.” Marie founded Casey Communications, a business communications firm, in 1983. As founder, she counseled major firms in handling crisis communication, public relations, and branding. She successfully mediated several critical union negotiations, which included those affecting the United Food and Commercial Workers, Sheet Metal Workers, and the Construction and Building Trades Council. 


After her successful career in communications, Marie shifted her focus to capturing corporate histories to, as Conrad noted, “ensure the spirit, vision, and values at the foundation of her client companies inform future generations.” Marie also was the first woman to chair the UMSL College of Fine Arts and Communications Leadership Council, serving as the Commencement Speaker for UMSL College of Fine Arts and Communications, School of Nursing, School of Social Work and Honors College in May 2013. 


Among her many accolades, she was named Top St. Louis Woman Business Owner by St. Louis Small Business Monthly in 2006 and a University of Missouri-St. Louis Women Trailblazer in 2005. Conrad praised Marie as a “high integrity professional who understands the power of positive communication and leverage.” 


On behalf of St. Louis Forum, congratulations to our 2019 Trailblazer Award winners Martha Uhlhorn, Betsy Cohen, and Marie Casey—three outstanding woman who made immense strides in their lives and careers! 

 

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