The Momentum Conference Speakers



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Vu Le — K
eynote Speaker

LeVu_3161_HRExecutive Director of Rainier Valley Corps and Creator of Nonprofit with Balls

National speaker Vu Le is a writer, presenter, and the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps. This Seattle-based nonprofit has a mission of effecting systemic change by cultivating leaders of color to strengthen the capacity of community-of-color-led nonprofits and foster collaboration between diverse communities.

Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he determined that those who specialize in that sector should take the work seriously, but not themselves.

Known for his no-nonsense approach and irreverent sense of humor, Vu has written hundreds of thought-provoking blog posts for his popular website, He is also the humor columnist for Blue Avocado, an online magazine for nonprofits.


Vanessa Cooksey

Senior Vice President
Head of Community Affairs at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Vanessa Foster Cooksey heads Community Affairs at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.  In this role, she plans, directs and executes the firm’s nationwide strategy for charitable giving, volunteerism, and community and civic involvement.  She leads a team that focuses primarily on opportunities in the areas of financial education, healthy aging, workforce development and arts and culture.  She also serves on the company’s Senior Leadership Board and Management Committee.


Vanessa joined Wells Fargo Advisors in 2013 after previously serving as the senior director of Community Affairs at Anheuser-Busch.  There, she managed more than 300 grants and partnerships and led the company to receiving its highest corporate reputation score in its history.  Prior to Anheuser-Busch, Vanessa was the director of Community and Government Relations for Supervalu.  Her career has spanned across corporate, public and non-profit sectors, and she has served in leadership roles for the Cartoon Network, CNN, the Atlanta Public Schools and the City of Atlanta.


Vanessa earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin.  She has an extensive history of non-profit board experience and volunteer service, where she has focused on organizations and programs that promote literacy and education, diversity, youth leadership and health and wellness.  She resides in St. Louis with her husband and young son.

Session Speakers

Trent Ball, Southeast Missouri State University

Jake Barnett, Morgan Stanley

Maryanne Dersch, 501creative

Diane Drollinger, NSC

Kevin Drollinger, Provident

Bridget Flood, Incarnate Word Foundation

Amanda Galloway, NSC

Karl Guenther, University of Missouri St. Louis

Katie Kaufman, Ready by 21

Marilyn Nolan, Preferred Family Healthcare

Ann Plunkett, Workplace Partners

Allie Chang Ray, Deaconess Foundation

Wendy Sullivan, Easter Seals

Cyrus N. White, The South Cabin Group

Brian Williams, Caring Community Partnerships