Diversity Awareness Partnership

Our Team



Mary McMurtrey, MPPA

Interim Executive Director

mmcmurtrey@dapstl.org • 314-246-3141

Mary has spent her career working in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. Her undergraduate degrees were in English and Women’s Studies with an emphasis on African American women authors from Augsburg University in Minnesota. She went on to help grow and develop the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and then pursued her master’s degree in Public Policy Administration with an emphasis on Nonprofit Management and Leadership. While working on her degree, Mary did consulting for the Cooperating School District as well as help launch the Nonprofit Management Leadership Institute.

After graduating, Mary was recruited to work for the Public Policy Research Center at UM-St. Louis where she oversaw all the regional communications efforts to help promote PPRC as a policy leader. After her tenure helping to launch PPRC, Mary became the Executive Director of the Wildlife Rescue Center of Missouri where she worked tirelessly to invigorate a failing organization and tube feed baby opossums.

Next Mary went on to take the helm of a residential children’s facility, Boys Hope Girls Hope St. Louis. There Mary was able to refine her communication skills by being constantly and lovingly challenged by a group of very smart teenagers. From opossums to teenagers, Mary learned the ins and outs of the day to day reality of running nonprofit organizations that are essential to the community.

During that time, Mary volunteered for a number of regional initiatives where she had the opportunity to work alongside key leaders in the policy and nonprofit space. From there she was recruited to be the Vice President for the Gateway Center for Giving and then went on to become president. GCG is a regional organization whose members represent nearly 100 corporate, private and family foundations. After a number of years there, Mary was approached by the St. Louis Community Foundation to join them to help grow their community engagement work.

During her tenure at the St. Louis Community Foundation, Mary created and ran the regional Give STL Day which raised over 5 million dollars for area nonprofits as well as the community and economic development initiative Invest STL. After many long years and long hours, Mary decided to take a break to spend time with her family.

She currently lives in Ladue with her husband Michael and their two children, Sophia and Lyla. Mary enjoys gardening, reading and yoga.

Nikki McGruder

Regional Manager, DAP–Columbia

nmcgruder@dapstl.org • 573-817-4354

Prior to joining DAP, Nikki worked with leading recruitment process outsourcing firm, Cielo, in the recruiting and hiring of top candidates for technology, pharmaceutical and finance positions. The bulk of her professional experience has been with Edward Jones Investments where Nikki served in various capacities over a 10 year time frame.

In her time with Edward Jones, Nikki was afforded the opportunity to work closely with the Inclusion initiative serving as a trainer and coach for minority advisors in the firm’s Cross Cultural Development five-day training program as well as with a team of professionals working diligently to improve the inclusion initiative for the recruitment and hiring of minority advisors.

Nikki received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Columbia College in Columbia, MO, and her MBA and Master of Arts in Human Resource Development from Webster University.

Tina Mahtani

Tina Mahtani

Director of Operations

tmahtani@dapstl.org • 314-246-3146

Tina serves as the Director of Operations for Diversity Awareness Partnership. In her role, Tina manages day-to-day organizational operations including financial accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, database management, human resource functions, and special fundraising initiatives and annual events.  Tina also oversees the DAP Connect Program.

Prior to working at DAP, Tina worked as a business entrepreneur in the hospitality industry for over fifteen years.  She is currently on the race committee with Girls on the Run.

Kenneth Pruitt

Director of Diversity Training

kpruitt@dapstl.org • 314-246-3142

As Director of Diversity Training, Kenneth is responsible for the Diversity Awareness Partnership’s training and consultation for a variety of organizations on topics of diversity and inclusion. Additionally, he oversees DAP’s education efforts via its interfaith work, as well as an assortment of panels, forums, and discussions. After receiving his master’s in education from St. John’s University, Kenneth became a classroom teacher for several years before taking this passion into nonprofit settings. Just previous to his work with DAP, he developed a model for contextualizing the group volunteer experience with education and advocacy on issues of poverty, diversity, and religion.

With the exception of a four-year stint in New York City, Kenneth has spent the last 20 years in St. Louis, having grown up in Nashville, Tennessee. He loves asking hard questions about the intersection of social justice and religion, and can frequently be found jogging a few miles on the sidewalks of South City.

Catrina Salama

Education and Training Manager

csalama@dapstl.org • 314-246-3122

Catrina Salama is Diversity Awareness Partnership’s Education and Training manager, in which role she trains clients in diversity and inclusion and supports organizations in implementing diversity initiatives. Catrina holds a master’s degree in clinical adult psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Webster University. Catrina also serves as adjunct faculty at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville teaching about Multiculturalism and social justice at the graduate and undergraduate level. In her previous role as Multicultural counselor, she provided mental health treatment to underrepresented students and developed outreach and programing specific to the needs of underrepresented students on campus. She has also been a part of campus climate committees where she gained experience evaluating the climate of diversity in an educational setting. Catrina’s passion for diversity comes from her experience as a first generation American and her time spent traveling abroad.

Steve Parks

Steve Parks

Director of Programs

sparks@dapstl.org • 314-246-3143

Steve is responsible for leading DAP’s youth engagement programs such as the Diverse-City Art Competition, EXPLORE Career Immersion Program, and the Give Respect, Get Respect Program. He is also responsible for facilitating and leading diversity and inclusion discussions with youth and adults. Prior to joining DAP in this positon, Steve was the Director of Diversity for Ameren Corporation. He has served on and chaired the board of DAP and currently chairs the board of Cultural Leadership.

Steve received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from Missouri S&T, and his MBA from Fontbonne University. Steve is a Senior Professional in Human Resources and is a graduate of the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative and the Consortium for Leadership Development programs.

Alix Johnson

Alix Johnson

Youth Programs Manager

ajohnson@dapstl.org • 314-246-3145

Alix comes to DAP as the Youth Programs Manager with a passion for program facilitation and youth engagement. They most recently worked on the Diversity, Inclusion and Corporate Giving team at Express Scripts. During their tenure at Express Scripts they received the HR Pinnacle Award for their contributions to the implementation of the company’s first Employee Resource Groups and development of new charitable giving initiatives.

They received their Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Studies and Industrial Psychology from Saint Louis University, at which time they were recognized with the Distinguished Graduate Award. In previous roles, Alix facilitated high and low ropes courses and team building programs during a year of AmeriCorps with Outward Bound Atlanta and has led similar programs for Wyman Center and the Girl Scouts.

Alix currently serves as President of the Board at Webster Childcare Center. In their free time Alix likes to sew, play soccer, volunteer with LGBT organizations, and spend time with their family.

Maria Rodgers O’Rourke

Communications and Marketing Manager

maria@dapstl.org • 314-246-7049

Maria Rodgers O’Rourke serves Diversity Awareness Partnership as Communications and Marketing Manager. A specialist in nonprofit communications and marketing, she writes and develops high-impact image materials, websites, media kits, social media campaigns, and email marketing initiatives. Maria has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, and is also a freelance writer, blogger, and published author. A native of St. Louis, she’s been married to husband Steve O’Rourke of Microgrid Energy for 25 years and has two daughters.