The board of directors for the Cortex Innovation Community has elected June McAllister Fowler, BJC senior vice president of communications, marketing and public affairs, to serve as the next board chair. Fowler is the first African American chair and first female chair in the district’s 19-year history. Fowler will lead the board as it finalizes a new strategic plan and focuses its efforts on continuing to accelerate development within Cortex and fostering equitable economic growth in the St. Louis region.
Bob Cannon, BJC group president and interim chair of the Cortex board of directors, said, “June’s extensive public, private and nonprofit experience plus her knowledge of Cortex and the St. Louis community make her the best choice to lead Cortex’s board at this time.”
“June Fowler has a deep understanding of Cortex’s mission, history and aspirations for the future,” added Cortex CEO Sam Fiorello. “June understands Cortex’s opportunities and challenges and has extensive strategic planning experience and a passion for advancing equitable economic growth in our region. I look forward to working closely with June to advance Cortex’s mission.”
“The history of Cortex has proven that we can achieve sustainable change when we work together,” said Fowler. “As we move into the future, the board and management of Cortex look forward to collaborating with others as we continue our focus on growing jobs and providing a platform for inclusive economic growth that reaches all corners of our community.”
Fowler currently leads internal, external and public policy communications, and government and community relations efforts for BJC. In addition to serving as a member of the Cortex Board, Fowler is the board chair for KIPP St. Louis and serves on the boards of Citizens for Modern Transit, Lambert St. Louis International Airport and The Muny. A graduate of Leadership St. Louis, Fowler is currently a fellow of the national Herndon Directors Institute. Fowler began her career as an urban planner with St. Louis County government, ultimately serving as director of the Department of Planning. Earlier this year, Fowler announced her planned retirement from BJC at the end of this year.
The Cortex board of directors voted Oct. 25 to elect Fowler to the position of chair where she will complete the term of previous board chair Hank Webber running through December 2022.
About Cortex Innovation Community
Founded in 2002 through a collaboration of Washington University in St. Louis, BJC HealthCare, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University and the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Cortex Innovation Community (CortexSTL.com) is a nationally and internationally recognized hub of innovation and technology commercialization. Cortex serves as an anchor in St. Louis’ growing ecosystem of innovative startups and established companies. Cited by the Brookings Institution as a Best Practice among global urban innovation districts, Cortex is home to 425 technology-related businesses, and provides a deep pool of entrepreneurial support programs available to the entire St. Louis community.