AmeriCorps St. Louis Staff


Bruce Bailey

Executive Director

Bruce Bailey has a degree in Public Administration from Webster University. He worked in government and social service for over 35 years, 15 of which were agencies serving youth. He began his career as a congressional aid, then as special assistant to Judge Noah Weinstein at the St. Louis County Juvenile Court. Subsequently, Bruce served as the Executive Director of two non-profit agencies developing Outdoor Education and Youth Corps programs. In 1994 Bruce directed a pilot program for the Corporation for National Service followed by serving as the founding Executive Director of AmeriCorps St. Louis. In 2002, Bruce received the Mel Carnahan Service Award for Exemplary Leadership to the Citizens of Missouri. Bruce has served as the Chairperson of Missouri Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), and is an advisor to the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) with expertise in volunteer coordination and donations management.



Kathleen Becherer 

Program Director

Kathleen Becherer received both her Bachelor’s degree in Social Service and Individualized Master’s degree in Urban Affairs from Webster University along with post graduate study at the University of Louisville in Crime Prevention. Kathleen is a Graduate of the CORO Foundation’s Women in Leadership, and has been certified as a Community Mediator and Diversity Trainer. She has worked in government and social service programs for over 35 years, nearly all of which focused on at-risk youth. She is a founding Program Director of AmeriCorps St. Louis Education Corps. In 2005, Kathleen received the Women of the Well Achievement Award, and in 2008 the UMSL Regional Institute for Tutorial Education Award, each one for her exemplary life-long commitment to women and children. 


Amanda Henderson

Director of Operations

Amanda has a degree in General Business Administration and Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Policy, from Central Michigan University.  After college, Amanda served on the AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team, receiving the organization’s Compass Award for her service.  She then worked for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Gateway Area Chapter as their Volunteer Community Outreach Coordinator, and then as their Finance & Operations Coordinator.  Amanda received the Chancellor’s Certificate in Volunteer Management from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  While serving with AmeriCorps, Amanda met her future husband, Nick Henderson, who was also a member of the Emergency Response Team. They have one daughter together, Keely.


Kenan Ender

Program Director

Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Kenan has Bachelor’s degrees in Global Studies and Geography from the University of North Carolina. Kenan received the Golden Pulaski Leadership Award for his service with ERT Year 21 and currently serves as the Secretary for the Missouri State VOAD. In his current role at AmeriCorps St. Louis, Kenan oversees disaster response, special projects and trainings. 






Kelley Hower

Member Services Director

Kelley originally hails from northern Virginia and moved to St. Louis in 2014. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor's in English (Professional Writing) and a minor in Business. After college, she spent a little over a year working for the National Turkey Federation in Washington, D.C., on their marketing team. She then took a huge leap and quit her job to travel with a couple friends to Southeast Asia. She promptly caught the travel bug and spent the next year and a half in New Zealand and Europe. Upon returning to northern Virginia, she worked for Old Navy and 3A Sanitary Standards, Inc, before discovering AmeriCorps St. Louis and joining the Emergency Response Team for Year 21. The ERT go-to for all things member-related, Kelley is currently responsible for the oversight of recruitment as well as member health and well-being.



Brenna Thompson

Disaster Support Fellow

Originally from Westmoreland, New Hampshire, Brenna received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to the Emergency Response Team, Brenna led backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail in Maine. She one day hopes to hike the John Muir Trial in California! Brenna served with the Emergency Response Team during Year 23 and continued her service term as a VISTA for Year 24. After spending nearly half her term responding to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico during Year 24 (and loving it!), Brenna knew she wanted to continue her service in to Year 25. This year, she will be serving as a fellow for the Emergency Response Team and concentrating her efforts in disaster services and the Winter Warming Shelter.