By Al Mitchell, Monsanto Assistant Controller
A native of St. Louis, I am lucky to have spent a fair amount of my teenage years growing up in Ferguson, Missouri.
It was a really incredible place to be a kid – and sometimes it feels like only yesterday that my friends and I were ripping around town on our bikes, playing the pinball machines at the arcade in Northland Shopping Center, playing pick-up basketball at Wayside Park, or grabbing an ice cream at Velvet Freeze on the way home from visiting friends and family whom lived in the city of St. Louis.
But it was more than just childhood fun. It nurtured me into the man I am today. Family, friends and mentors – a community – stood by me and helped me pursue my dreams, even when it wasn’t easy. Simply put, I’m here at Monsanto because the community had my back.
I still live in North St. Louis County – just a few miles from the townhome I lived in on Norlakes Drive, so I know our region is more than just the images so many of us have seen on television over the last few weeks. It’s a good place going through tough times – and the challenges facing our region aren’t dissimilar to issues facing cities and towns across the globe.
That’s why I was so moved by the commitment Monsanto announced today. We’re not just working in partnership with others to help Ferguson and North County with its immediate needs. We’re also partnering with organizations that have exciting plans to benefit the entire St. Louis region’s future.
The work needed to further strengthen our community will have to continue in the weeks, months and years to come. But when I think about the difference we can make by working together, I’m confident that we can help take small steps forward today and do great things for our collective future.
Al has been with Monsanto for more than 30 years, currently serving as assistant controller. A native of St. Louis and a graduate of Beaumont High School, Al obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University, an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, and is also a 2002/2003 graduate of FOCUS St. Louis’ Leadership program. In 2008, Al was selected as an Eisenhower Fellow, a distinguished program that engages emerging leaders from around the world to enhance their leadership capabilities, deepen their perspectives and unite them in a diverse, global community. In addition to the roles he has served in at Monsanto, Al is actively involved and committed to diversity and giving back to the St. Louis community. A founding member of the African-Americans in Monsanto network, Al serves as advisor to its leadership team, and does the same for the Monsanto Young Professionals network. Al has served on the board of the Lindbergh Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals, and is currently serving on the boards of the Monsanto Family YMCA and College Bound.