Executive Director


Eric Johnson

Executive Director

Leading the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator is Executive Director Eric Johnson. A Princeton and John Burroughs graduate who has spent the last eight years in New York City, Johnson was Vice President for Arts and Fashion at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. There he spearheaded $20 million in fashion initiatives and launched numerous programs to support fashion entrepreneurs and help rebuild NYC’s garment industry.

Johnson was known as New York’s “fashion czar,” and the SLFF is fortunate to have Johnson’s strong leadership skills, keen sense of the fashion industry, and broad national web of contacts at work for us here in St. Louis. 





DeAnna Michele Anderson

Executive Assistant and Operations Manager

Anderson joined the SLFF team in December of 2016 and is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations of the Incubator.  Anderson has a strong background in the arts as both a visual artist and a graduate of the Katherine Dunham Fellowship for Arts Administration at the Regional Arts Commission.


Sara Hignite

Program Manager

Hignite is the newest member of the SLFF team who joined us from the Dallas Museum of Art in early April, 2017. She has extensive experience in managing arts programs and donors, and runs the programming at the Incubator including the business and fashion curriculum for our six Inaugural Designers. Additionally, Hignite runs the robust outreach and education efforts extends beyond the four walls of the Incubator to reach students, local fashion designers, artists, and the general public.


Sarah Hadassah Negrón

Development and Accounting manager


Kate Loar

Development officer






Managing our growing development and finance functions, Negrón is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and brings arts administration experience from both the Regional Arts Commission and COCA. She has also performed as a dancer, actor, and improvisational movement artist throughout the St. Louis area.


Overseeing SLFF’s Development efforts, Kate Loar is delighted to return to Saint Louis’ creative community. Most recently based in New York City, Loar served as Manager of Individual Giving at Safe Horizon -- the nation’s largest victim services nonprofit. She was formerly a member of the Development staff of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and holds Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Cincinnati.


Consultants & Advisors


Tania Beasley-Jolly


Beasley-Jolly, one of the co-founders of the Fashion Fund, is a strategic consultant specializing in fashion and luxury retail with a passion for identifying and nurturing emerging design talent. An early trend spotter with a keen sensibility for what is new and next, she is a trusted source for emerging brands and has an extensive network of fashion industry contacts both locally and nationally. She led the charge in recruiting and selecting our very talented inaugural class of designers and was involved in designing our fashion and mentoring program. Prior to SLFF, Beasley-Jolly was a Marketing Director for Saks Fifth Avenue and has lived and worked in Antwerp, Belgium and Singapore.  


Jo Flannery

Manufacturing Advisor

Flannery has been instrumental in setting up our state-of-the-art Fashion Technology Center where our designers and the community have access to a variety of industrial sewing machines, large cutting tables, fabrics, and other equipment and supplies to help them create their lines. Flannery hails from the UK where she spent a large part of her career advising designers on high-end garment manufacturing.


Stephanie Riven

Development Consultant

Riven has worked to build organizations and teams in a wide variety of nonprofits and government agencies for over 30 years. She is best known as the founding Executive Director of COCA where she built an arts powerhouse, raising over $60 million to build substantial operational and programmatic capacity over the course of her tenure there. Her many honors over the years have included a 2011 Distinguished Alumna Award from Washington University in St. Louis and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arts and Education Council. Riven guides the SLFF in setting our development goals and strategy and has been instrumental in our successful $2 million Campaign for Fashion.


Kathleen Rogers

Business Consultant

Rogers has been on the SLFF team for several years, serving first as a Board Member, then as Interim Director, and now as an advisor overseeing finance, operations, and strategy. As a graduate of Harvard Business School and a former Bain Consultant, Rogers has experience in a wide variety of businesses, and has also been an active volunteer on several St. Louis not-for-profit boards including the St. Louis Art Museum, John Burroughs School, and City Academy.



Board Chair


Susan Sherman

Board Chair

Sherman has been at the center of the St. Louis arts and philanthropic scene for years helping strengthen institutions like Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Opera Theatre St. Louis, and Dance St. Louis, among others, and has now channeled her considerable talents into leading the charge at the Saint Louis Fashion Fund.

Sherman has spent over 35 years working in public relations, marketing, and special events with a broad list of local and national clients, and has garnered awards including a 2005 Visionary Award presented by Grand Center and a 2006 Woman of Achievement Award for her contributions to the arts in St. Louis. 

Her vision and energy are palpable and have propelled the SLFF into the St. Louis spotlight in a few very short years. 





Katie Ackerman
Executive Assistant, Hill Investment Corp. 

Susan Barrett
Founder & President, Barrett Barrera 

Faith Berger
Faith Berger Art Consultants 

Cheree Berry
Founder & Owner, Cheree Berry Paper 

Susan Block
Founder & CEO, The Designing Block 

Cindy Brinkley
EVP of International Operations & Business Integration, Centene Corporation 

Lori Coulter
Founder, Lori Coulter Swimwear 

Erika Farris
Director, Corporate Accounting & Reporting, Caleres 

Michael Fischer
Program Officer, Deer Creek Foundation 

Diana Ford
Co-Owner of The Vault & Women’s Closet Exchange 

Cheri Fromm
Community Volunteer 

Jan Goldstein
Community Volunteer 

Tim Hosler
COO, Stern Brothers & Co. 

Anjali Kamra
Founder and Designer, Rungolee

Atul Kamra
Managing Partner, SixThirty

Missy Kelley
President & CEO, Downtown STL 

Phyllis Langsdorf
Community Volunteer 

Jacob Laws
Founder, Jacob Laws Design 

Marc Lazar
Founder & President, Domaine Wine Storage 

Shannon Lichti
Founder & President, Limitless Travel 

Margery Marshall
Principal, Insight Consulting, LLC 

Laura Maurice
Co-Owner of The Vault & Women’s Closet Exchange 

Kelly Peck
Vice President, Barrett Barrera 

Penny Pennington
Principal, Client Strategies Group, Edward Jones 

Dorte Probstein
Director, Projects + Gallery 

Teri Rafferty
Public Relations Manager, Neiman Marcus 

Drea Ranek
Co-Founder & Owner, Lusso

Linda Renner
Attorney in Law Offices of Thomas Green, Director of Royal Banks of Missouri

Helene Sayad
Style Editor, St. Louis Magazine

Susan Sherman
Board Chair/President
President, Susan Sherman, Inc. 

Pam Schlichter
Public Relations Consultant 

Sandy Schonwald
President, Aquarius Ltd. 

Becky Smith
Founder & Owner, Thatcher’s Fine Timeless Fabric 

Amy Soper
Community Volunteer & Women’s Rights Advocate 

Mary Ann Srenco
Community Volunteer & Arts Advocate 

Sarah Stallmann
Copywriter, Almanac
Freelance Stylist & Fashion Expert 

Mary Strauss
Co-Owner of the Fox Theatre & Fox Theatricals 

Ken Stuckenschneider
Founder, Stuckenschneider Decoration & Design 

Richard Tao
Menswear Designer 

Sharon Tucci
President, Talent Plus 

Pat Whitaker
Chair, Arcturis