The mirrored elevator doors opened to a swanky room complete with historic vibes. Floor to ceiling windows aligned the South wall. You could hear voices chattering, a bit of laughter, glasses clinking, and heels clattering on the rustic wood and marble floors. Saint Louis Bank chose The Last Hotel, a landmark of St. Louis fashion and industry, to host this event supporting LaunchCode. LaunchCode is a nonprofit matching people with world-class learning resources and job opportunities to help launch careers in technology. Bringing together like-minded individuals invested in better serving the St. Louis region is the lifeline of Saint Louis Bank. The energy in the room was electric.
Vance Crowe, a member of Saint Louis Bank’s Board of Directors, began the evening by welcoming our guests. He spoke expressively about the story behind Saint Louis Bank’s mark, The Knight, segueing into earnest narratives from three alumnae of LaunchCode’s program.
“He saved my life, not once, but twice,” stated Chrissy Balducci, speaking of Jim McKelvey, Co-Founder of Square and Founder of LaunchCode. Three women spoke, sharing heartening stories of how their lives changed for the better thanks to LaunchCode. All three women, Janelle Burger, Emma Richardson, and Chrissy Balducci, one a former vocational rehabilitation counselor, one a former English teacher, and one a former loan officer, respectively, shared the same sentiment—that they would not be where they are today without LaunchCode.
As the crowd listened intently to the beautiful stories of these three women, a sense of admiration could be felt among the crowd. Admiration for the three speakers, admiration for their dedication and drive to the LaunchCode program, and admiration for LaunchCode, the organization that propelled these inspirational individuals into the positions they are in today, succeeding and thriving in the St. Louis community.
The backbone of our community needs organizations that support and breed innovative solutions to propel our region forward. We are a small business, just like the businesses and organizations we serve. We are mindful that the businesses we choose to partner with and support, play a meaningful role in the overall landscape of the community.
Jim McKelvey briefly and humbly spoke about his journey in creating LaunchCode and the critical work in progress by him and his dedicated team. The St. Louis community has experienced a tech shortage, and LaunchCode works hard to address this by offering students free computer programming training, job preparedness skills, and placement in paid apprenticeships with company partners.
Travis Liebig, our CEO and President, presented a check to Jim McKelvey on behalf of Saint Louis Bank, showing our commitment to and support of this impactful organization, LaunchCode. This event wasn’t just a cocktail hour, but a gathering of like-minded individuals determined to contribute to the growth of our region. Our civic pride is strong—investing in this community is what we at Saint Louis Bank hold to be our mission. In every one of our actions, we strive to be a champion for our region and its prosperity.