5 alumni honored for contributions to UMSL, profession, community

At the 20th Annual Founders Dinner Sept. 15, Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented to (from left) John Nations, president and chief executive officer of Metro Transit; Susan Sander, vice president, Fringe Benefits Specialists, Inc.; Myles Kelly, principal, Edward Jones; Marianne Bergamini, community volunteer; and Audrey Katcher, partner, RubinBrown LLP.

Nearly 800 people helped the University of Missouri–St. Louis celebrate its 20th Annual Founders Dinner Sept. 15. The event recognizes its early leaders along with outstanding alumni, faculty and staff. Five alumni received Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Founded in 1963, UMSL has over 80,000 alumni, 77 percent of them live and work in the St. Louis region. Their contributions to the university, their profession and the community are enormous.

Marianne Bergamini has been a champion of children with cancer for more than 20 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from UMSL in 1984. A pediatric nurse by training, she has worked at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and Mercy Hospital St. Louis, Creve Coeur, Mo.. As a community volunteer, Bergamini established and coordinated the Healing Through the Arts program at the David C. Pratt Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, formerly St. John’s Mercy Medical Center. She also was a longtime board member of the hospital’s auxiliary. She has been a tireless supporter and fundraiser of Friends of Kids with Cancer and Camp Rainbow, a camp for children with cancer.

Audrey Katcher earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1990 and today is a partner with Rubin Brown, LLP. Her leadership in the accounting field locally and nationally, resulted in her being named an expert reviewer for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the federal law enacted in 2002 after numerous major corporate and accounting scandals. Katcher is an active UMSL alumna, serving on several advisory boards for the College of Business Administration.

Myles Kelly just celebrated 30 years with Edward Jones. Kelly worked at Edward Jones while still in school and earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from UMSL in 1984. He became a principal in the firm in 1989 and has been a valued leader helping to raise the revenue at Edward Jones from $60 million in 1981 to $4 billion in 2010. Kelly takes a lead role in raising funds for the Edward Jones Alumni Scholars Scholarship. At UMSL, Kelly is chairman of the College of Business Administration’s Leadership Council, and a member of its advisory board and campaign steering committee. He has been a generous contributor to UMSL and a longtime member of the annual Red and Gold Golf Committee.

John Nations was recently named one of the 100 most influential St. Louisans. Nations, a former three-term mayor of Chesterfield, Mo. has been called an exciting leader, a builder of coalitions and initiatives that make this region a better place to live and do business. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy administration from UMSL in 1985. Nations led the TIF Commission that developed the $72 million Chesterfield Valley infrastructure plan following the 1993 flood. In addition, Nations led last year’s half-cent sales tax increase initiative in St. Louis County to support public transportation. It passed with 63 percent of the vote. He is a successful attorney and now president and chief executive officer of Metro.

Susan Sander earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education at UMSL in 1970 and has worked in the medical insurance industry for the last four decades. She is currently vice president of Fringe Benefits, Inc. specializing in life and health insurance for employer groups and individuals. She has been an active member of the National Association of Health Underwriters and has served on the board of directors of the St. Louis Association of Health Underwriters for six years. At UMSL Sander has been an active member of the Alumni Association serving on the executive committee and governing board and was recently named its president.

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