Meet Our Staff


Michael Howard, CAP, Chief Executive Officer

Michael Howard joined YouthBridge Community Foundation as Chief Executive Officer in February 2012. Having held various leadership roles spanning the nonprofit, corporate and education sectors, Mr. Howard is recognized for his longstanding commitment to the local community: he has served on the board of directors for Faithful Friends of St. Louis, as a member of the Early Childhood Education Allocations Panel and the Community Impact Committee of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, and as an elder and chairperson of the Mission Commission at Southminster Presbyterian Church. Mike also serves on the Social Entrepreneurship Cabinet for the John Cook School of Business at St. Louis University.

Mr. Howard’s experience in nonprofit and public education includes his tenure as Executive Director of Boys Hope Girls Hope of St. Louis, Director of Cooperative Occupational Education in the Mehlville School District, and as a teacher at Oakville High School. His involvement in the corporate sector has included roles as Vice President at PNC Bank Institutional Investments, Vice President at M&I Bank Wealth Management, Senior Manager at Arthur Andersen, and Regional Director at Boatmen’s Trust Company.

Mr. Howard holds a Master of Arts degree in Marketing from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Missouri. Mr. Howard is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary Auditor (AIFA), as well as a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®­ (CAP®­) through the American College of Financial Services.

You may reach Mr. Howard at (314) 985-6778 or email.


Barbara Carswell, LL.M., Vice President

As Vice President, Barbara Carswell takes a leadership role in philanthropy services and community impact.  She helps donors maximize their charitable intents, partners with legal and financial advisors in administering charitable assets and supports nonprofit organizations through grants and community investments.

Barbara’s areas of expertise include gift planning, strategic philanthropy advice, family foundation administration, and grantmaking. She has substantial experience in nonprofit management, strategic planning, fundraising and taxation. Having worked in both the nonprofit and legal sectors, she served as Executive Director of Springboard and, prior to that, was a tax attorney in the Washington, D.C., offices of Alston & Bird and King & Spalding.

After studies in Bonn, Germany, and Geneva, Switzerland, Barbara earned a law degree from the University of Munich and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Georgia. She is admitted to the New York bar.

Barbara is a member of the St. Louis Estate Planning Council, and serves on the Board of the St. Louis Planned Giving Council and on the Better Business Bureau Charity Information Service Committee. She has extensive volunteer experience in the St. Louis community and is currently a Board member of the Carol House Quick Fix Pet Clinic.

You may reach Ms. Carswell at (314) 985-6778 or email

Cindy Blake, Business Development Officer

Cindy Blake, Business Development Officer

Cindy helps families integrate philanthropy into their wealth management plans by working with wealth advisors, businesses, private foundations, and nonprofit organizations. Cindy brings with her over 20 years of sales and client relations experience.

Cindy is also Vice President of The Wiegand Foundation, a member of The Elks, and a volunteer for the Fair St. Louis and numerous other charities. In these works, Cindy carries on the values of community service instilled in her by her late mother, Joanie Schmelig, Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

To reach Cindy, please email her at or call 314-396-7627.

Lisa Baltz, Business Manager

Lisa handles the management of all YouthBridge Community Foundation operations, including our facility and campus. She is responsible for office management and administration, including processing financial transactions, budgeting, and administrative support. She is heavily involved in serving clients, including onboarding new clients, receiving and processing their deposits, and processing grant distributions. She brings strong organizational and problem solving skills, and has a real passion for customer service.

Lisa has over 20 years of experience in customer service and compliance. Most recently, she was the Senior Director of North America Customer Service at Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc., where she was responsible for building relationships with customers and managing the operational efficiency of her team. Lisa was part of the company’s Diversity Committee and Safety Committee. She also served one year as their United Way Co-Chairman for their annual campaign. She is currently involved with several ministries through her church.

Lisa graduated from Saint Louis University with a BS in Business Administration and received her MBA from University of Missouri St. Louis.

You may reach Ms. Baltz at (314) 985-6778 or email

Cody Harston

Cody Harston, Grants Coordinator

Cody is responsible for ensuring a streamlined workflow of grant processes provided by YouthBridge’s unrestricted funds, donors, and clients; communicating grant information to grantees, YouthBridge staff, donors, and clients; and oversight of the systems that manage grants and grantee data.

His past experience includes work with the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), where he worked closely with the Finance Officer to ensure data flow and accuracy; and with the National Archives and Records Administration, providing reference services.

Cody holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in History and Political Science.

Cody has also traveled to South Africa and Swaziland, taking part in humanitarian efforts to build homes for AIDS-affected peoples. During his time there, he coordinated the delivery of supplies and medicines to surrounding areas. He returned to Africa in his role with WISHH. Back at home, he supports the Metro East Humane Society and has worked with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

You may reach Mr. Harston at 314-985-6778 or by email.