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Michael and Gail Holmes to co-chair Charmaine Chapman Society for United Way of Greater St. Louis’ 2009 campaign

posted Mar 6, 2009, 7:28 AM by Unknown user

ST. LOUIS, MO (March 6, 2009) —  Michael and Gail Holmes have been named by United Way of Greater St. Louis as the 2009 co-chairs of the Charmaine Chapman Society. Michael is executive vice president of strategy, human capital and emerging markets for Express Scripts. The Charmaine Chapman Society is the largest African American Initiative of its type in the country. In 2008, the Society raised a record $1.76 million for United Way of Greater St. Louis and topped 1,000 members.


The Holmes’ brings strong leadership and dedication to the Society and to the St. Louis region, joining the ranks of past chairs such as Minga and Johnny Furr, Thelma and David Steward, Barbara and John Jacob, Wayman F. Smith III, David Price, Jr., and most recently co-chairs Larry Thomas and Deborah Patterson. The Charmaine Chapman Society recognizes African Americans who pledge an annual gift $1,000 or more to the United Way of Greater St. Louis. 


In 2008, nearly $20 million was effectively invested into 48 of the nearly 200 local United Way agencies that primarily serve African Americans throughout United Way’s 16-county service area.


Michael Holmes served on United Way of Greater St. Louis’ board of directors from 2001-2006 and was re-elected to the board and executive committee in 2009 and has been a member of the organizational development committee since 2008. He and Gail have been members of CCS since 1997 and he was a CCS cabinet member from 2002 – 2005. They have been members of United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society since 2000.


“Michael and Gail are committed to helping efficiently raise funds and awareness for United Way,” said Gary Dollar, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis. “With their energy and expertise, I know the Charmaine Chapman Society will continue to expand and grow in its capacity to reach even more African-Americans, help build a strong community and, most importantly, help people.” 


The Charmaine Chapman Society is the premier philanthropic program for African-Americans who work and reside in the St. Louis region. The first woman and first African-American to head the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Charmaine Chapman inspired us to achieve some of our greatest fundraising successes. She was president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Greater St. Louis from February 1994 until her death in 2001, during which time she led the organization toward a new focus that identified critical regional issues and organized public and private collaborations to tackle them.


In 1994, Dr. Donald Suggs, president and publisher of The St. Louis American, founded the African American Leadership Giving Initiative to enable "a growing segment of the community to be visible and gain recognition for their support of health and human services through the United Way.” To honor Charmaine Chapman's legacy of compassion and care, in 2002 the initiative was renamed the Charmaine Chapman Society.


To become a member of the 2009 Charmaine Chapman Society, contact Orvin Kimbrough, senior vice president with United Way at (314) 539-4249.


About Michael and Gail Holmes

Michael R. Holmes currently serves as executive vice president of strategy, human capital and emerging markets at Express Scripts. He joined Express Scripts in December 2005 as senior vice president and chief human resources officer, and became executive vice president and chief administrative officer in November 2007.


Including United Way, Michael serves on the board of Missouri Baptist Hospital and the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association. He is an advisory board member of Webster University’s School of Business and Technology and Harris Stowe’s School of Business. A graduate of the Coro Foundation Fellows program, his past leadership roles include serving as co-chair of the St. Louis Inner City Competitive Alliance board, chairman of the National Board of Directors for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and chairman of the Board of Trustees at Mary Institute Country Day School.


Michael graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in 1979 with a triple major. He earned a master’s degree in business from Webster University in 1993. 


Most recently Gail volunteered her time for the Obama campaign at the Des Peres office as a voter contact director. She also volunteers her time as a Bible study small group leader through the Bible Study Fellowship. Prior to raising their two children, Gail worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as an account executive and at CBS as a production assistant. Gail received her marketing and communications degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


photo available in jpg: Michael R. Holmes


About United Way of Greater St. Louis

The United Way funds nearly 200 health and human service agencies located throughout a 16-county area in Missouri and Illinois. More than one million people in our community receive services that strengthen families, help the elderly, keep children healthy and safe, and build stronger neighborhoods. For more information, contact 314-421-0700 or visit