Business alumnus Tom Santel named executive director of Civic Progress

Tom Santel

Business alumnus Tom Santel (at left) accepts the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Medal for Philanthropy on behalf of Anheuser-Busch from Chancellor Tom George at the 2008 Founders Dinner. (Photo by August Jennewein)

University of Missouri–St. Louis alumnus Tom Santel is set to take the reins of Civic Progress when Tom Irwin’s 12-year tenure ends this summer.

Tom Santel

Tom Santel, who received an MBA from UMSL in 1987, has been named the new executive director of Civic Progress. (Photo courtesy of Civic Progress)

Santel was named Civic Progress’ new executive director on Monday and will assume his role after Irwin’s retirement on June 30.

Founded in 1953, Civic Progress is an organization made up of chief executives from some of the St. Louis region’s leading employers, and it currently has 33 members. They aim to leverage public and private resources to move the region forward and better connect it globally.

Santel previously served as president and CEO of Anheuser-Busch’s international subsidiary and led its corporate planning group. Since leaving Anheuser-Busch, he spent a year at Harvard University as a fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative and went on to launch an early childhood program called Raising St. Louis at BJC HealthCare.

“With the solid foundation Tom Irwin has laid, and the leadership and vision Tom Santel brings, I have every confidence that, together, we will create a better community,” Suzanne Sitherwood, president of Civic Progress and president and CEO of Spire, said in a statement.

Santel earned his MBA from UMSL’s College of Business Administration in 1987. He served as a co-chair of the campaign to raise funds for construction of the college’s new home, Anheuser-Busch Hall, and played a critical role helping UMSL secure the $2.5-million lead gift from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation. Santel and his wife, Mary Pat Cadice-Santel, also made a personal donation of $100,000 toward the project.

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