Forest Park Forever Welcomes Thomas J. Irwin to its Board of Directors

Contact: Stephen Schenkenberg, Strategic Communications Director | | 314.561.3290

Photo-Thomas J. Irwin.jpg

St. Louis, MO, May 23, 2018 — Forest Park Forever, the nonprofit conservancy that partners with the City of St. Louis to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park, elected longtime St. Louis leader Thomas J. Irwin to its Board of Directors during its spring 2018 meeting.

With more than 40 years of experience in public policy and administration, Irwin has served as Executive Director of Civic Progress since 2006. He is the organization’s sixth executive director since it was formed in 1953 at the invitation of Mayor Raymond Darst to deal with issues of civic importance. Today, it represents more than 30 of the St. Louis region’s largest employers. Irwin is retiring from Civic Progress on June 30, 2018.

Prior to Civic Progress, Irwin was Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, where he directed the region’s legislative activities in both Missouri and Illinois, as well as in the U.S. Congress, on behalf of the business community. His previous experience includes Executive Director of the Bi-State Development Agency, the St. Louis region’s mass transit authority for the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County in Missouri and St. Clair County in Illinois, Executive Director of the Missouri Gaming Commission and Deputy Director of the city of St. Louis’ economic development agency.

Irwin also serves on the boards of directors for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, the St. Louis Sports Commission and the St. Louis Police Foundation. In addition, he is a National Council Member of the Gephardt Institute of Public Service at Washington University in St. Louis. As an adjunct professor at Washington University, Irwin teaches classes on public policy as well as legislative advocacy and running for elected office.

Irwin holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in Classical Studies and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts. He also did graduate studies in International Relations at Washington University in St. Louis.

Irwin is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served a tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. He also has served as a volunteer for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. A nationally ranked age-group triathlete, he competes in numerous triathlons around the country and has completed four Ironman triathlons. He is an avid runner who has run over 35 marathons, including the Boston Marathon on multiple occasions.

The Forest Park Forever Board of Directors is comprised of regional leaders who believe in the importance of caring for Forest Park — a key civic asset — now and for generations to come.

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 7,500 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.