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Meet the Board of Directors

Each June, the Board of Directors holds an annual meeting to nominate members, select officers and recognize members who are ending terms of service. The nominations and roles are effective beginning July 1.


Holston Black III, vice chair – Holston Black III is a senior manager of learning, training and development at Boeing. He works with international employees and customers, serving as a liaison to Boeing’s international vice president for human resources and business development. He has worked for Boeing in other roles such as program quality manager, industrial engineer and project engineer for 24 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in mechanical aerospace engineering from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University Kellogg School and Wissenschaftliche Hochschule fur Unternehmensfuhrung (WHU) in Germany. Mr. Black joined the Board in June 2014.

Craig H. Larson, Ed.D., treasurer – Dr. Craig H. Larson is a retired superintendent with 38 years of experience in K-12 education in the St. Louis area. He retired from Rockwood School District as superintendent in 2010. He worked for Parkway School District and the School District of Clayton. Presently, he is an educational consultant, teaches as an adjunct professor at Maryville University and is an elected member of the Board of Trustees of St. Louis Community College. His professional memberships include the St. Louis County Educational Media Commission, St. Louis Community College Foundation Board and the Educational Leadership Council for Maryville University. He has a Bachelor of Science in education and a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from University of Kansas. He earned certification as a secondary principal from Washington University, completed advanced studies in school leadership at Vanderbilt University and has an educational doctorate from Saint Louis University. Dr. Larson joined the Board in June 2014.

Lance LeComb, secretary – Lance LeComb is the manager of public information and spokesperson for Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. He has more than 20 years of experience in public affairs, media relations, stakeholder relationship building and issues management. He is board president of Heat Up/Cool Down St. Louis. He has served as vice chair of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ Communications and Public Relations Committee. He has a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Wayne State University in Detroit, earned a graduate certificate in local government management from University of Missouri-St. Louis, he is a graduate of the Water & Wastewater Leadership Center at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a graduate of FOCUS St. Louis’ Leadership Program. Mr. LeComb joined the Board in June 2014.

Leona Lucas – Leona Lucas is a senior technical director with AT&T. She has experience working for SBC and Missouri Higher Education Learning Authority. She volunteers with Big Brother Big Sister, Girls Incorporated and St. Louis Crisis Nursery. She is a member of Telephone Communication Pioneers and the AT&T Community Network Mentoring and AT&T Aspire Mentoring programs. She has a degree in business administration and a master’s degree in human resource management from Lindenwood University. Ms. Lucas joined the Board in June 2014.

Essence Owens – Essence Owens is a parent at Confluence Academy-Old North. Her interest in serving on the board represents her principles of giving back to the community and a love of learning. She is a volunteer member of the Confluence Strategic Planning Curriculum Sub-Committee. She has more than 15 years of experience in customer service, with 11 years of experience in managing, scheduling and training staff. Her management experience includes working with municipal and government agencies. She works as a customer service supervisor with Citizens’ Service Bureau. Ms. Owens earned an associate degree in information systems at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Columbia College. Ms. Owens joined the Board in April 2016.

Jose A. Pineda, MD MSc, chair – Dr. Jose A. Pineda is a pediatric critical care physician at Washington University School of Medicine. He is an associate professor of pediatrics and neurology and served as a director of the pediatric neurocritical care program. He serves on the Parent Advisory Committee at Grand Center Arts Academy. He earned his bachelor’s degree and medical degree from Francisco Marroquin University School of Medicine. He has participated in successful fundraising and advocacy campaigns related to healthcare. Dr. Pineda joined the Board in June 2014.