Darcy joined the board of The Next Step in 2013, and is serving her sixth term as the board President. She has a 15-year career in retail merchandising, and sales and owned a large ProSource Wholesale Floorcovering franchise. Darcy sold her franchise in 2006, and now owns two small businesses. Darcy also volunteers in many other community organizations, including a previous board position for Congregation Shaare Emeth, a current board position for a floorcovering industry-related scholarship organization, Girl Scouts, and the school where her two daughters attend.

Darcy is passionate about both education and recovery from substance abuse. She believes that individuals in recovery continue to stay sober and become productive members of our community when they better their lives through their education and careers. Her dream is to help every person in recovery in the St. Louis community who has financial need achieve their educational goals.



Vice President

Clay is the principal of CJC, a Sourcing and strategy firm. Clay recently retired as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sourcing at Caleres, a St. Louis based global footwear company. He joined the board of The Next Step in 2012, and is currently the Vice President and Sponsorship co-chair.  Clay is also on the emeritus board of Soles4Souls, and is an honorary board member of FDRA-Footwear Retailers and Distributors.

Clay has a wholehearted belief that success is possible for those in recovery, and that education is one of the best ways to create a better future for themselves and the St. Louis metro community.




Sandy is a retired business owner and private investor.  He is the longest serving board member and currently serves as the board Treasurer.  He places a high value on philanthropy in the community, and is passionate about helping others.

Sandy’s vision for the organization is to help as many individuals in recovery in the St. Louis area achieve their educational goals.



Megan joined the board in 2014, and brings a unique experience as a former scholarship recipient. With the help of The Next Step, she obtained a BS in Human Services from Fontbonne and an MSW from SLU. With a background in mental health treatment, she now has her own private counseling practice. Megan is a shining example of the power of an education. 



Bob is the former Chairman of Elan-Polo, an international footwear company based in St. Louis. After retirement, he wanted to give back to the community and joined The Next Step. He serves on the golf, finance and sponsorship committees, and is a great asset to the organization. Bob enjoys golfing, traveling, and spending time with his family, particularly his 6 grandchildren.

It is an honor for Bob to be part of the mission of The Next Step and hopes to continue to help those in recovery achieve success and satisfaction through their education.



Alan is the Clinical Director and SATOP Administrator at Community Services of Missouri, Inc. His experience in counseling brings the board the perspective of someone who is working first-hand with individuals in recovery. He is currently serving on the scholarship and applicant recruitment committees.

Alan is immersed in the recovery community and hopes to bring his skills and expertise to help those pursuing recovery achieve an education.



Kevin Ellege is a Substance Use Disorder Counselor and a Case Manager. He has worked in the recovery field for over a decade and is currently employed at Concordance Academy of Leadership and Community Services of Missouri as a SATOP Professional. Kevin was a Next Step Scholarship recipient for multiple years and graduated from Lindenwood in 2019 with a Master’s degree in Business Administration. He’s a proud member of the board and eager to help others achieve their goals.

Kevin is an active member of a 12-Step fellowship and is dedicated to repaying what has been so freely given. 



Lynn joined the board in 2015, and serves on the scholarship and dinner committees. She is also the sponsorship co-chair. After a career in the telecommunications industry, Lynn decided to focus on raising her 2 children and serving as a volunteer in her church, schools, and the community.

Lynn’s unique perspective comes more from personal life experiences and relationships than from a background in business.  Her passion for this organization is deeply rooted in one of those life experiences, as her son is a former scholarship recipient. Lynn continues to witness first-hand how the power of an education can improve the lives of our recipients as well as everyone they come into contact with.



Mark joined the board in 2018, and serves on the golf, dinner, and marketing committees.  He is a commercial litigator and a partner at the law firm of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, where he is also co-leader of the Commercial Disputes Practice Group.  His 35 year legal career includes four years on active duty as a US Army Judge Advocate General officer, as well as an additional 18 years in the US Army Reserve.  Mark has a history of community involvement, including having been chair of the board of Neighborhood Houses (now known as Unleashing Potential) and as a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Patrick Center.  Mark also was previously a member of the board of directors of The Friends of the St. Louis University Liver Center and of Kids In The Middle, Inc.  Mark was also very active in his church, serving as a member of the Administration Commission of Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church.

Mark understands and is compassionate about the struggles that a person in recovery may face.  Mark also is a sincere believer in the value of education in improving a person’s life.



Ron has held numerous leadership positions during a highly successful and decorated career as a US Secret Service Agent. He is currently the principal for Legacy Security Consulting, and brings extensive business experience to the organization. Since joining the board in 2016, he has served on the golf and scholarship committees. His focus as the chair of the Applicant Recruitment is to develop new ways of reaching those in the recovery community who can benefit from our services.

Ron has a desire to help those who have chosen to help themselves. His passion for the mission of The Next Step results from his involvement in the numerous recovery related areas for the past 20 years.



Karen is a partner at Armanino, where she has worked for more than 35 years. She joined the board in 2019 and serves on the finance committee as a liaison between the organization and Armanino, who handles our accounting functions. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Missouri Society of Public Accountants (MOCPA).

In addition to The Next Step, Karen is involved with Mercy’s Women with a Mission, Give Kid’s a Smile, and Congregation B’nai Amoona. Karen wants to give back to the community and help those that are not as fortunate.



Jeff is a partner at Moneta Group. Jeff has a BS in Finance and a Minor in Economics From University of Missouri – Columbia and his J.D. from University of Missouri School of Law. In addition to joining The Next Step’s board in 2022, Jeff is a committee member for both Ronald McDonald House Charities and Ready Readers. Jeff is excited to lend his expertise and skills to help The Next Step grow into an even stronger organization.



Executive Director

Sherry has over 20 years of marketing and nonprofit experience, and is the primary staff member for The Next Step, directing all aspects of the organization. She is the key contact for scholarship recipients, manages operations, marketing, development, and fundraising events, and provides support for all board members and committees.

Sherry enjoys working with the scholarship recipients and helping them achieve their goals of higher education. She finds their stories and resilience inspiring, and hopes to spread the word about the organization to help even more individuals in recovery.