Julia Gaines

Happy New Year! I trust your holiday season was filled with light and hope, surrounded by the warmth of family and friends. As we step into 2024, I am excited to reach out to you as the new President of the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation (GMLF) Board of Directors.

I am eager to embark on this unique leadership journey and anticipate reconnecting with familiar faces while welcoming new ones. Leading such an extraordinary organization is an honor, especially as we prepare to educate and inspire the 35th class this year.

Before diving into the responsibilities of my new role, allow me to introduce myself. I am a proud graduate of the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge, belonging to the Class of 2018. I’ve been a faculty member in the University of Missouri School of Music since 1996. I recently served as chair of the department for nine years and my recent transition sees me now teaching and performing as a professor focused on percussion—an achievement that brings me immense pride. I look forward to sharing more about my professional journey with you, and to learning about your path to leadership. 

Our GMLF Board is gearing up for an exciting year, starting with a retreat on January 11-12 in Columbia. During this retreat, we will reflect on the strategic planning session from January 2023 and chart our course for 2024 and beyond. I’m thrilled to introduce you to two new board members, Lacy Haden-Peaches (Class of 2022) from Commerce Bank and Marsha Carter (Class of 2017) from Shelter Insurance. Additionally, our returning board members have assumed new roles to enhance our organization’s impact. 

As we look ahead to the new year, I extend my gratitude to all our board members for their time, financial support, and invaluable guidance. Greater MO thrives thanks to the dedication of our dynamic women leaders who generously volunteer to steer our organization.

To support Greater MO’s continued success, consider renewing or starting your annual membership. Your financial support is pivotal in presenting our premiere women’s leadership program, the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge. Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 each year, and you can find more details and sign up on our website

As we kick off 2024, our calendar is brimming with activities, starting with regional events introducing you to the Class of 2024 in Columbia, Springfield, St. Louis, Kirksville, and Kansas City. Check out our events page to stay informed about upcoming happenings throughout the year. 

Assuming the role of Board President brings me great pleasure, fueled by my belief in the profound impact of Greater Missouri and its alumnae across our state. I am excited to serve this remarkable organization that has enriched both my professional and personal life. I look forward to the opportunity of connecting with many of you throughout my tenure!

Wishing you a year filled with success, growth, and continued leadership.