Employment Connection is celebrating Women’s History Month this March by honoring local leaders in the St. Louis region. Today we recognize Jenny Connelly-Bowen, Executive Director of Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis.
Jenny is a 10-year resident of St. Louis and a community development professional who is passionate about advancing racial and social justice in her adopted hometown. She currently serves as Executive Director with the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, a coalition of community building organizations from many sectors that believe strong, inclusive communities are the building blocks for a better St. Louis.
Prior to entering the community development field, Jenny spent over five years working in distribution, buying, and pricing at Save-A-Lot Food Stores, where her first role as a warehouse supervisor challenged her to rethink what it means to be a responsive, responsible community member and servant-leader. Jenny pivoted careers in 2015 to pursue work that would allow her to connect more deeply with others and to engage more deeply with the fight for change in St. Louis—change she believes will only be possible if we all pull together strategically and keep community leadership and community voice at the center of everything we do.
Jenny has a B.A. in English from Beloit College, a master’s degree in Public Policy Administration with certificates in Nonprofit Management & Leadership and Policy & Program Evaluation from UMSL, and is currently taking graphic design classes with St. Louis Community College. She serves on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) and is a longstanding member of Young Friends of the Ville, a board committee of Northside Community Housing. Jenny lives in St. Louis City with her husband and three rescue chickens, where she enjoys running in parks, exploring neighborhoods, making art, going for walks with friends, journaling, and trying new recipes.