The 2019 Saint Louis Visionary Awards Honorees are (left to right), Standing: Carmen Dence; Susan Barrett; Kathie Winter; and Kari Ely. Seated: Brea McAnally; Jacqueline Thompsonl PHOTO CREDIT: Diane Anderson

The 2019 Saint Louis Visionary Awards Honorees are (left to right), Standing: Carmen Dence; Susan Barrett; Kathie Winter; and Kari Ely. Seated: Brea McAnally; Jacqueline Thompsonl PHOTO CREDIT: Diane Anderson


2019 SAINT Louis Visionary Awards

Monday, April 22nd
6:00 PM
at the Sun Theater

Rhonda Carter Adams
Sharon Price John
as Co-Hosts

Rhonda Carter Adams

Rhonda Carter Adams

Rhonda is the Corporate Diversity Lead for Illinois American Water and spearheads the Supplier Diversity initiative, as well as manages the company’s Diversity & Inclusion efforts.  

Blessed to have her personal passion for minority business growth and development align with her professional aspirations, she has previously served as Executive Director for the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council where she was appointed by Governor Jay Nixon to serve on the State of Missouri’s Disparity Study Oversight Review.  Other accolades include being recognized as a “2015 Diverse Business Leader” by the St. Louis Business Journal, a “Champion of Diversity” by both DiversityPlus and Diversity In Color, as well as a “First Lady of Supplier Diversity” by the Minority Business News.  

She is an active community volunteer and advocate for urban youth, women and minority businesses in the region, having previously served on boards and committees including:  the Charles Drew Advisory Board, SouthSide Early Childhood Center, the Women’s Society of Washington University, the Women’s Group on Race Relations, United Way’s de Tocqueville Society and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis Women’s Leadership Circle.  

As a serious advocate of the St. Louis arts community, she has been a member of Grand Center’s Art & Life Alliance Giving Circle, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Ignite Theatre Company and the Board of Directors for the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and the Tennessee Williams Festival.   

She is also a proud member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Links, Incorporated.  

Rhonda Carter Adams is a native of Magnolia, MS, relocating in 2011 from Peoria, IL to the St. Louis area with her husband, Carlton, and now eight-year old mini-thespian daughter, Riley.

Sharon Price John

Sharon Price John

Since June 2013, Sharon Price John, President and Chief Executive Officer of Build-A-Bear Workshop, has led the company through a financial turnaround, while refreshing the 20-year-old brand. During her tenure, Sharon has helped return Build-A-Bear to profitability; diversified the company’s real estate portfolio; launched a new e-commerce platform; and expanded the company’s intellectual properties, entertainment ventures and outbound licensing partnerships. With two decades of experience in marketing, product development and change management, Sharon has worked on a variety of brands and businesses, including tenure at companies like Hasbro, Mattel, Wolverine World Wide (WWW) and DDB Needham Worldwide, where she established a strong track record of success.

Sharon's career began in the advertising industry working at top agencies in New York, including DDB Needham Worldwide on the Hershey account and Bates USA as Account Supervisor for the SNICKERS/M&M Mars business. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. In 2014, she received the distinguished alumna award from Columbia Business School – Columbia Women in Business. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s 100 Distinguished Alumni of the last 100 years.

Sharon has served on the Board of Directors for Jack in the Box, Inc. (NASDAQ:JIB) since 2014 and is active on a number of national and regional philanthropic boards and organizations, including KaBOOM!, the Board of Directors of The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and The Committee of 200 (C200), an invitation-only women’s business group. She lives in St. Louis with her husband and three children.

The Saint Louis Visionary Awards celebrates the numerous contributions and achievements of women who work in or support the arts in the greater St. Louis region. The Saint Louis Visionary Awards is presented by an independent committee of women dedicated to promoting
the arts in St. Louis.

From established working arts professionals and arts educators to emerging artists and community impact artists, each year's
honorees are always truly "visionary".