Meet Millstone Institute Staff
Marci Mayer Eisen
As Director of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Millstone Institute, Marci leads a community-wide approach to inspire, train and connect volunteer leaders and professionals. Through collaborative processes and extensive personal engagement, Marci oversees leadership programs, board training, professional development, and coaching peer-networking. The Millstone Institute was recognized with a 2014-15 Slingshot Award for innovation. Marci works closely with professionals in the St. Louis Jewish community, throughout St. Louis region, and colleagues in other cities to share ideas and resources. Marci previously worked at JCRC as Coordinator of the Bohm Social Justice Initiative where she promoted inter-faith volunteerism. She spent the majority of her career at the JCC where she developed hundreds of family programs and focused on community outreach. She also coordinated the JCC 120th Anniversary Celebration and the oversaw the opening festivities for the JCC Marilyn Fox Building in Chesterfield. A native of Philadelphia, Marci has a BS in Human Development from Penn State, MSW from Wurzweiler School of Social Work, and Certificate in Leadership and Non-Profit Management from the University of Missouri St. Louis. She is a graduate of both the CORO Women in Leadership Program and Leadership St. Louis and has attended hundreds of seminars and workshops locally and nationally. With a deep commitment to social work education and mentoring newer staff, Marci has supervised over 30 MSW students, including international students. Marci presents on the subject of group dynamics, effective boards and teams, inquiry and community building. She is a recipient of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis Fred A. Goldstein Professional Excellence Award, the National JCC Association Yakir Professional Award and the 2015 St. Louis Kollel Community Leadership Award. Marci recently became a Certified Professional Coach through the College of Executive Coaching.
Karen Sher is the Director of Community Engagement at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. As a member of the Millstone Institute/JProStl team, Karen’s focus is on creating excellence in the community human resource pool. Her primary responsibilities focus on identifying, engaging, developing and strengthening lay leaders and community volunteers, serving as a primary referral source for community leadership positions. Karen is a graduate of Indiana University with a B.A. in Sociology and a Certificate in Jewish Studies and received a MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and a MA in Jewish Studies from Baltimore Hebrew University. She is also a graduate of The Baltimore Institute for Jewish Communal Service. Karen has valuable experience as both a staff person and a respected lay leader. She has worked professionally in the Jewish communal field at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis as Campaign Associate and Director of Young Professionals Division as well as Human Resource Development Associate from 1992-98 and also worked in development at the St. Louis Hillel at Washington University and coordinated Jewish Federation’s Centennial event.
As a volunteer leader, Karen is Co-Founder and founding President of Nishmah: The St. Louis Jewish Women’s Project. Prior to rejoining the Jewish Federation staff in a professional capacity, she was Co-Chair of Jewish Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy and served on the Jewish Federation Board of Directors. She is an alumni of JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and a Grosberg Young Leadership Award recipient. Karen was also Chair of the JCC’s Helene Mirowitz Department of Jewish Community Life, served on the JCC Board, and is a past board member for St. Louis Hillel.
Karen is married to Howie Sher, Founder and “Head of State” of “What-aya-nuts.” They are parents of three kids.