Founded in 2004, the Clark-Fox Family Foundation supports the economic development of the St. Louis metropolitan region through program development and investments in K-12, higher education, public health, immigration, social and racial justice, community leadership, and entrepreneurship. The Foundation prioritizes programs and investments that empower the end user and leverage each other for greater impact for our children and in our community.

    Maxine Clark
    CEO / Co-Founder

    Maxine Clark is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. During her career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department store, discount and specialty stores. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop®, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience. Today there are nearly 500 stores around the world and over 225 million stuffed animals have been sold. In 2022, Build-A-Bear celebrated its 25th anniversary.

    In June 2013, Maxine stepped down from her Chief Executive Bear role to apply her entrepreneurial skills to her passion for improving K-12 public education and to invest in and mentor women and minority entrepreneurs.  Maxine credits her teachers as her foundation for success—classroom teachers and mentors alike. To honor them she gives back. Her next “act” is making public education much more consumer friendly by creating more access for families and students to systems and supports to enrich each child’s learning experience. Launched in 2015, her first product,, is a free and easy-to-use mobile app designed to help ALL families navigate the best summer activities, pre-college programs and career options for their family. Her latest venture is the Delmar DivINe™—the transformation of a neighborhood eyesore into a multi-use and mixed income real estate development that opened in Fall, 2021. Maxine is also a Managing Partner of Prosper Women’s Capital, a St. Louis based fund created to invest in women owned businesses and a member of the Board of Advisors of Lewis & Clark Ventures, a St. Louis based private equity firm and is a trusted advisor and mentor to several women and minority owned businesses.

    In 2008, Maxine Clark was named one of The 25 Most Influential People in Retailing by Chain Store Age; in 2006, she was inducted into the Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame. Maxine was named one of the Wonder Women of Toys by Playthings magazine and Women in Toys and was also one of the National Finalists in Retail for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2004.  In 2005, the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies made Build-A-Bear Workshop Portfolio Company of the Year; it was named one of the International Council of Shopping Centers “Hottest Retailers of 2004” and the Retail Innovator of the Year for 2001 by The National Retail Federation. In 2018 Build-A-Bear Workshop was named to the FORTUNE Best Companies to Work For® list for the 10th year in a row. In 2017 Maxine was named to the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame and in 2019 was given the Missourian Award for her outstanding public service to Missouri.

    In addition to her seat on the Build-A-Bear Workshop Board, Maxine is a recent past member of the Board of Directors of Footlocker, Inc. Ms Clark is a member of  the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Barnes Jewish Hospital and its Goldfarb School of Nursing, the national Board of PBS where she is the Vice Chair of the Board,  and an Emeritus member of the local Nine PBS Board of Directors and is an Emeritus member of the Board of Trustees of Washington University in St. Louis. She currently serves on the Boards of Operation Food Search and the Delmar DivINe. She is also Co-Chair of the ReadyNation CEO Task Force on Early Childhood, and she is a past board member of Parents As Teachers.  Maxine is a past member of the national Board of Trustees of Teach For America and is on the local St. Louis regional board.

    Maxine is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University and A Doctor of Humane Letters in Education from the University of Missouri St. Louis and an Honorary Associates degree from St. Louis Community College. In 2006, she published her first book “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart”.

    Bob Fox
    Chair / Co-Founder

    A native of St. Louis, Bob served in The United States Air Force from 1962 to 1966. He graduated with a B.S. in Business and Economics from Drury University in 1968 and received his MBA from Saint Louis University in 1976. Bob served on the Board of Trustees of Saint Louis University from 2006 to 2022.

    Bob and Maxine are founding sponsors of Teach For America and of KIPP Charter Schools in St. Louis. In 2006, they funded a new Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. They also endowed the Chair of the Dean of Goldfarb School of Nursing and established a professorship in the name of Raymond and Alberta Slavin at Saint Louis University. In 2015, they funded the new Clark-Fox Policy Institute and Forum at the Brown School of Social Work and Public Health at Washington University and the Fox-Clark Civic Scholars cohort at the Gephardt Institute of Civic and Community Engagement.

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    Tina Klocke
    CFO / COO

    Tina Klocke, a St. Louis native, serves at the Foundation as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer. She is an accomplished finance and operations C-Level executive with a distinguished career and a record of success in the start-up and leadership of public and private corporations generating $30 million to $500 million in annual revenues. Hired during the start-up of Build-A-Bear Workshop as one of three original full-time employees, Tina is highly respected for helping Build-A-Bear Workshop become a leader in the retail make-your-own stuffed animal business. She excels at developing and advancing organizational strategy to spearhead revenue, profitability, and enterprise growth.

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    Zasmine Johnson
    Programs Manager

    Zasmine Johnson, a native of St. Louis, serves as Programs Manager working with the Blueprint4SummerSTL program. She received her bachelor’s degree in Health Science with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she also obtained a master’s degree in Public Health. She worked as a peer advisor within residential life providing guidance to freshman managing the transition from high school to college.

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    Kerrie Murray
    Foundation Administrator

    Kerrie Murray is originally from Illinois, growing up in a rural farming community. In college during the summers she ran a park program for children 5 -16 years old. After receiving her degree in Healthcare Management from SIU Carbondale, she worked as a marketing coordinator for a physical, occupational and speech therapy company.

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    Allie Cicotte
    Director of Programs

    Allie Cicotte is a native of St. Louis and serves as a Research and Data Associate for the Clark-Fox Family Foundation and Project Manager for Blueprint4SummerSTL. She graduated from Truman State University in 2011 with bachelor’s degrees in German and Spanish. Allie then joined Teach for America where she taught Kindergarten-8th grade Spanish, and then transitioned to teaching Kindergarten. While teaching, she loved working with students directly, integrating innovative approaches alongside traditional classroom curriculum, and learning new things about the educational landscape both nationally and in St. Louis.

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