Forest Park Forever President and Executive Director Lesley Hoffarth Named 2014 Trailblazer Award Winner by the St. Louis Forum

Award celebrates Hoffarth’s role as an influential community leader 


Contact: Jasmine D. Evans: (314) 561-3290; 

ST. LOUIS, April 25, 2014 – The St. Louis Forum has recognized Forest Park Forever President and Executive Director Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., as the organization’s 2014 Trailblazer Award winner. The award was presented at a luncheon held at the St. Louis Club Ballroom on Friday, April 25, 2014. The Trailblazer Award was created in 1994 to recognize a woman who has been an influential community leader, a “first” in her field or made significant contributions toward elevating the image of women in business.

Hoffarth has had a remarkable impact on the St. Louis region in her career thus far. She led the reconstruction of one of the region’s busiest interstates and currently serves at the helm of Forest Park Forever, the private nonprofit that partners with the City of St. Louis to restore and sustain Forest Park, a civic treasure beloved by more than 13 million annual visitors. 

As a registered professional engineer, Hoffarth spent two decades at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Within the male-dominated worlds of engineering and construction, she was identified as a talented and collaborative leader-on-the-rise and tasked with managing the $535 million New I-64 project — the agency’s first Design-Build project and largest single project in its history. Hoffarth’s team completed the project under budget, ahead of schedule and with a 95% public satisfaction rating. 

In her current role as President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever, Hoffarth is leading the 28-year-old organization through a transition of its mission; while it was initially focused on rebuilding this 1,300-acre park, the organization has expanded its mission to be an equal partner with the City in restoring, sustaining and maintaining it forever.    

“I am truly honored to receive this award,” said Lesley Hoffarth. “There have been so many important people who have contributed to the successes of the New I-64 and Forest Park Forever. I accept this on behalf of all of our collective efforts. It is inspiring to know that we are encouraging the next generation of female leaders in our St. Louis community.” 

“The Board of Directors of Forest Park Forever extends its congratulations to Lesley on this terrific community recognition,” said Steve Finerty, Board Chairman. “The qualities this award celebrates — vision, strength, passion, creativity — are those we saw in Lesley when we recruited her to Forest Park Forever more than four years ago. And they are qualities we continue to see as the organization enters an exciting new chapter.” 

Hoffarth is an alumna of the CORO Women in Leadership Program and was recognized in 2008 as one of the CORO Leaders of the Year for St. Louis. She is also a distinguished member of the MU Academy of Civil Engineers and was recognized by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri as a 2009 Woman of Distinction. In March 2014, Hoffarth received the Woman of Influence Award from Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.

About Forest Park Forever
In 1986, Forest Park Forever, a private, not-for-profit organization, was founded to work in partnership with the City of St. Louis and the department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s great urban public parks for the enjoyment of all — now and forever. 

Photograph of Lesley Hoffarth, President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever


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