Highlighting Community Men Blazing Helpful Trails
Kent Ehrhardt, KMOV Meteorologist and “Great Day Saint Louis” Co-Host
Being a St. Louis native and a KMOV Channel 4 meteorologist, Kent Ehrhardt thoroughly knows how interesting local weather gets. Throughout the year, he shares severe weather preparation tips and science fundamentals at many local schools, churches and nonprofit events.
Kent also interviews experts about a variety of topics as co-host of “Great Day Saint Louis.” He likes supporting worthy fundraising causes, such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy too.
Off camera, he enjoys motocross dirt bike racing. Additionally, he recently took up music and often can be seen playing guitar with the Blue Moon Blues Band or the News Blues.
Donn Sorensen, Mercy’s Executive Vice President of Operations
Donn Sorensen spearheads all operations within the Mercy health system’s four-state region as the seventh largest U.S. Catholic health care system. He also sets aside time to serve in the community and to provide speaking engagements. He’s even authored the book Big-Hearted Leadership. No wonder Donn is known as a doer.
He puts his personal philosophy of “Have a big heart and lead with it” into action by serving on the board of directors for charities, including Make-A-Wish Foundation and Care To Learn. He believes leaders should give people authenticity, trust and compassion freely and liberally.
Derek Grier, Missouri Representative for District 100
Rep. Derek Grier represents St. Louis County, including parts of Chesterfield. He also operates a business for real estate management, acquisitions and consulting. He’s an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, Progress 64 West and Urban Land Institute.
“It’s invigorating to be an active participant of our democracy,” he says. “My goal is to act with integrity and honesty.”
One of his governmental focal points is occupation licensing.
“My comprehensive initiative eliminates barriers and creates a pathway to success for Missourians,” he says. “There’s a lot of work to be done, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do it.”
Lonnie Folks, Maryville University Athletic Director
This summer was a true homecoming for Lonnie Folks, who, after 18 years in New Jersey, returned to his alma mater, Maryville University, to become athletic director.
“Maryville is where I grew up,” he says—literally.
He earned two degrees from Maryville University, played soccer and baseball there, worked there for 16 years and returned at least twice a year as an alumni.
“Maryville gave me opportunities to try so many things,” he says. “It’s just always been home. I can’t wait to give back to the community through volunteering and showing our student-athletes are also quality citizens as well as competitors.”
John Bales, Director of Aviation, Spirit of St. Louis Airport
After John Bale’s first solo airplane flight occurred at Spirit when he was 16 years old, he was destined to have lasting ties to the Chesterfield airport and surrounding community. He truly enjoys airport-associated opportunities to work on local economic development, legislative matters and educational endeavors.
John presides over the St. Louis Air Show & STEM Expo in Chesterfield. He’s also involved with Special Olympics, Chamber of Commerce and aviation organizations.
“I especially like working with programs that provide student scholarships,” he says. “Ninety percent of us have had help or been mentored by somebody. I’m eager to return the favor.”