Forest Park Forever Welcomes Four Members to Its Board of Directors

John Kemper and Jason Thein were voted in as members in October 2016; Ellen Sherberg and Jim Turley were voted in during the January 2017 Board meeting

Katy Peace, Marketing & Digital Media Manager | | 314.561.3290

ST. LOUIS, February 8, 2017 – Forest Park Forever has welcomed four distinguished individuals to its Board of Directors. John Kemper, Ellen Sherberg, Jason Thein and Jim Turley join a Board that is comprised of regional leaders who all believe in the importance of caring for Forest Park now and for generations to come. These four individuals represent a wide cross-section of professional experiences and will bring great insights to the Forest Park Forever Board.

“We feel very fortunate to welcome these impressive leaders to our Board of Directors,” said Board Chairman Tom Collins. “Each of them cares deeply about Forest Park, and I know they will play a vital role in guiding our organization over the coming years.”

“I look forward to working with John, Ellen, Jason and Jim on advancing our important work here in Forest Park,” said Forest Park Forever President and Executive Director Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E. “I know they recognize what a special asset Forest Park is for our region. They will be invaluable resources to our Board during their years of service.”


  • John Kemper – President & COO, Commerce Bank  

John W. Kemper is President and Chief Operating Officer of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., a $24 billion super-community bank holding company based in the Midwest. Previously, Kemper worked as an Engagement Manager in the New York and Chicago offices of McKinsey & Co. He is an Executive Committee member of the Regional Business Council and the St. Louis Regional Chamber. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization and the Leadership Council of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Kemper sits on the Board of Fair St. Louis and is the current Chairman of the Board of KIPP, St. Louis.

  • Ellen Sherberg – Special Advisor to American City Business Journals CEO

Ellen Sherberg previously served as publisher of the St. Louis Business Journal and continues as special advisor to the CEO of American City Business Journals, the news organization’s parent company. In her current role, she creates new platforms and programs across the country. Sherberg’s commitment to St. Louis continues through her service on the executive board of the United Way, the board of directors of Planned Parenthood, the board of Health Literacy Media and the board of the Saint Louis Community Foundation. She was elected to the Academy of Leaders of the YWCA of Greater St. Louis, served as civic chair of the NCAA Women’s Final Four and received the Trailblazer Award from the St. Louis Women’s Forum as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

  • Jason Thein – Partner, Thompson Coburn

Jason P. Thein is a partner with Thompson Coburn LLP, the largest law firm in St. Louis, with offices in Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. Thein, listed in The Best Lawyers in America and in Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers, represents high-net-worth individuals and families and their businesses on a variety of estate planning, tax, succession planning, business and charitable issues. Thein currently serves as an officer and board member of the Estate Planning Council of St. Louis, a member of the Missouri Botanical Garden Corporate Council and as one of three Advisory Committee members of the Mary Ranken Jordan and Ettie A. Jordan Charitable Foundation.

  • Jim Turley – Ernst & Young International Chair; Emerson, Citi Group boards

Jim Turley is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ernst & Young (now EY). He led the firm from 2001 until his retirement in June 2013. Turley currently serves on several corporate boards representing diverse sectors of the global economy that have a variety of financing and capital needs. These include Emerson Electric Company, Northrop Grumman, Intrexon Corporation, Kohler Company and Citigroup. Since relocating back to St. Louis after his retirement from Ernst & Young, Turley has joined local charitable Boards, including The Muny and the Boy Scouts of America Greater St. Louis Area Council, where he serves as President.

About Forest Park Forever

Founded in 1986, Forest Park Forever is a private nonprofit conservancy that works 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 greatest urban public parks.

Along with the City of St. Louis, Forest Park Forever raised $100 million between 1995 and 2003 and dramatically restored many landmark destinations in Forest Park, including the Emerson Grand Basin, the Boathouse and the Jewel Box.

Today, Forest Park Forever maintains Forest Park with the City of St. Louis; raises funds for and helps manage capital restoration projects called for in the Forest Park Master Plan; delivers experiential educational opportunities to teachers, students and adults; and provides information and guides for the Park’s 13 million annual visitors. Not part of the Zoo-Museum Tax District, Forest Park Forever is supported by private donations from throughout the community, including its 7,000 members, 1,100 volunteers and many leading community and corporate partners.

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About Forest Park

Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri, is considered one of the nation’s greatest urban public parks. The Park’s 1,300 acres feature beautiful landscapes sprinkled with forests, ecosystems, nature reserves, lakes and streams, as well as five of the region’s major cultural institutions and endless opportunities for recreation. Forest Park attracts 13 million visitors each year, making it the sixth most visited urban park in the United States. In 2016, Forest Park was voted the #1 City Park in the country by readers of USA Today.