Our Speakers

Mary Elizabeth Grimes

Mary Elizabeth Grimes


Mary Elizabeth Grimes

Mary Elizabeth Grimes is a purpose driven and successful leader. Becoming the president of Marian Middle School was a perfect match for her passion and skills. It is her joy not a job. She currently is responsible for stewarding over 200 students from 5th grade to college graduation and beyond. As executive leader for Marian the success of the organization is dependent on her ability to ensure that all students have a chance to finish high school and succeed in college. She encourages her staff, faculty and students to reach their full potential. Mary Elizabeth has elevated the organization to its next level of growth and recognition.


Marian Middle School now benefits from her previous experiences. She served as the State Director for the Greater Missouri Chapter of March of Dimes where she transformed the declining chapter into a sustainable and operationally efficient organization. She was also president of Forward Vision, Inc., a brand management consulting firm. She has served as the director of marketing for BJC Healthcare, director of Development for Fair St. Louis; executive director of Elite International Sports Marketing and Management; director of sales and marketing with the St. Louis Sports Commission; and Account Executive at KMOV-TV/Channel 4.


Before returning to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, Mary Elizabeth lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Her professional experiences in Atlanta included host and associate producer for three weeknight talk shows on WTLK-TV, Channel 14; National Marketing Manager of the Southeast Region for Television Bureau of Advertising; Regional Director of Advertising Sales for MTV Networks, Inc.; Account Executive positions with Home Box Office; CBS, Inc.; WSB-TV and WKLS-FM.


Mary Elizabeth also finds time to serve on community boards like the Convention and Visitors Commission and Catholic Charities. She graduated from Spelman College and earned an Executive MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University.


Geri Mitchell

Geri Mitchell is a 30 year veteran journalist and has been the Midday News Anchor and Host at WAMU 885 FM in Washington DC since 2017. A native of St. Louis, Geri was the morning host at St. Louis Public Radio. She is the first African American (and female) to host the NPR morning show in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. She also served as the secondary host for St. Louis On the Air.


Geri is a 2005 graduate of the University of Phoenix holding an MBA with a focus on marketing and advertising. She obtained her B.S. from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 1984. She is also a proud 1981 graduate of Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School.


Geri has hosted and produced radio programs including “Insight on St. Louis” and “What’s Going On” with former St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. She has traveled the globe interviewing some of Hollywood’s finest including John Cusack and Kathy Najimy. She is a seasoned mistress of ceremonies and is always willing to mentor youth.


Geri is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She joined the Rho Mu Omega Chapter of Washington D.C. in the North Atlantic Region . She is the proud mother of 2 adult sons and is a happy pet mom and finds time to unwind with billiards, reading and gardening.

Geri Mitchell

Denise M. Carter

Denise M. Carter

Denise M. Carter designs and leads sales and human capital, or organizational development strategies -as a business partner and consultant to Fortune 100 businesses. Denise manages a client portfolio of $70MM with market presences in the US, Canada, Europe, Spain, and India.


With a unique superpower gift that she has coined “the people whisper”. Which is key to her ability to build and influence relationships with C-Suite, Senior Executive -and cross-functional stakeholders. Leveraging competencies like high degree of Business Acumen, Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Authenticity. Denise has helped organizations and teams generate exponential growth.


Professionally, Denise is humbly proud of her climb up the corporate ladder from a life of generational poverty. Raised by Grandparents with a 6th grade education, becoming a teen mother at 19, only earning a high school diploma. It seemed Denise’s life was headed towards the typical cyclical outcome. But she was always determined to beat the odds. When her eleven marriage with her husband whom she had three more children, ended in 2006. Denise was financial unprepared to raise her four children singularly. She needed a way up and out. And it was in that moment that she began to map her career strategy to become a subject matter expert in the human capital industry. Defeating the odds and breaking generational cycles, Denise rose to become a Vice President executive, earning a six-figure salary. Her story of grit, perseverance and determination is message for the masses. To help anyone - Bridge the Professional Gap


Artis “Keith” Turner 

Artis “Keith” Turner is currently President of TurnGroup Technologies, LLC, a company that he founded in April of 2002. Keith leads a staff at TurnGroup Technologies, which is a business and technology consulting firm that focuses on providing cost-effective technology solutions to companies and organizations that want to use data, websites, and mobile apps to make smarter business decisions and target their clients more effectively. TurnGroup Technologies provides the following services:

  • Business Intelligence

  • Data analysis & Consulting

  • Website Design & Development

  • Mobile App Development

  • Online Digital Marketing

  • Graphic Design

  • IT Infrastructure project management

TurnGroup was recognized in 2004 and awarded the Emerging Business of the Year Award by the St. Louis American, Regional Commerce and Growth Association, and the Urban League of St. Louis. In August of 2009, St. Louis Development Corporation recognized TurnGroup with a ‘Business Spotlight’ that highlight’s the success of businesses providing services in the City of St. Louis, MO. On October 9, 2009, TurnGroup was recognized as one of the Businesses of the Year in the City of St. Louis, MO by the Office of the Mayor. Keith, and TurnGroup, have also been highlighted and quoted in Black Enterprise (March 2011) and Ebony Magazine (March 2012)

Artis “Keith” Turner
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Tina E. Grimes

Tina E. Grimes (Success Academy, LLC) is an International Speaker, Coach and Trainer, certified at the highest Executive Director/Club Owner Level with The John Maxwell Team.  For over 25 years, she has coached and trained thousands of individuals and corporations. Tina is an innovative, multi-talented leader with a proven track record of assuring clients’ success.  Through her executive coaching, she has proven her ability to coach and mentor clients to become better leaders and to become high performing teams.  She is gifted in conceiving and building coaching/training programs from the ground up through proven competencies in needs analysis, administration, project and program management, team development and empowerment. Tina is a captivating communicator who connects well with clients and audiences.  She is an engaging corporate trainer/coach and staff motivator who can re-ignite passion in your organization.  She excels at organizational culture building, leading change management and improving teams through communications coaching.


She is an accomplished writer and published author with exceptionally written articles, essays and a book. A fundraiser extraordinaire, Tina led the capital campaign, securing over $32 million to build Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School in St. Louis, MO.  She was inducted into the Inaugural Cardinal Ritter College Prep Hall of Fame in 2019 for her international leadership success.  She is an Adjunct Professor at Harris Stowe State University and serves on the Board of Directors for Lafayette Preparatory Academy and for S.I.S., Inc.  Tina has received numerous other awards and recognition, including the Inaugural Woman of Distinction Award for Inspiration from the Girl Scout Council of Eastern Missouri.  She has coached and trained in Paraguay most recently and earned the highest honor of being selected as a main stage speaker at the most prestigious International Maxwell Certification Conference. She is a finalist for John Maxwell Team JMTDNA Award for Exceeding Expectations. 

Tina is married (20 years) to Pastor Mark Grimes and co-pastor’s FaithWorks Fellowship Ministries.  They have two incredible blessings, Mya and Mason.

Tina graduated from Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School, Salutatorian; Jackson State University, Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance (Summa Cum Laude); and Lindenwood University, Master of Arts- Human Service Agency Management (Summa Cum Laude). 

Tina E. Grimes