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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Julie Peters The Woman's Exchange Of St. Louis

Julie Peters

Executive Director

The Woman's Exchange of St. Louis

Location: St. Louis, MO

Founded: 1883

Industry: Nonprofit

According to her staff, Julie Peters’ journey as the executive director of the Woman’s Exchange is a testament to her remarkable ability to navigate challenges and drive positive change within an organization deeply rooted in tradition.

“When Peters assumed her role in 2018, the organization was at a crucial juncture, requiring a delicate balance between preserving its rich historical legacy and implementing new business strategies to ensure its financial sustainability,” they said. “The organization faced significant hurdles but recognizing the need for a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, Julie embarked on a transformative journey.”

Peters initiated behind-the-scenes operational and system upgrades that were inconspicuous to the community. Simultaneously, she analyzed data to construct narratives showcasing the organization’s achievements and potential over the past six years.

The Woman’s Exchange of St. Louis is a not-for-profit organization steeped in history and tradition that utilizes sales from its tearoom and shop to support and empower local female artisans. Founded by women, for women, the organization supports the Artisan Relations and the Immigrant Training Program.

Over time, Peters and her team has introduced customer-facing strategies boosting sales traffic and raising awareness of the nonprofit’s mission within the community. She fosters collaborations with local organizations, ranging from the Crisis Nursery to the commissioning of the USS St. Louis, enhancing the Woman’s Exchange’s community impact.

“In my journey as a leader, I’ve embraced the principles of servant leadership, focusing on the growth and well-being of my team and the communities to which we belong,” said Peters. “This approach has reshaped my understanding of leadership from just being a position of authority to a role of service and guidance.”

Peters said that learning is a cornerstone of her leadership style. “In a rapidly evolving world, staying informed and adaptable is crucial not only for personal growth but for the collective development of my team,” she said. “I don’t claim to have all the answers, and I see every day as an opportunity to learn something new, alongside my team; this shared journey of learning fosters a collaborative and innovative environment.”

According to her staff, Peters serves as an unwavering advocate, not only within the community but also on the policy front, ensuring that the Woman’s Exchange’s voice is heard, and its impact felt.

“Julie fosters a culture of innovation,” they said. “She encourages her team to think creatively, adapt to evolving challenges and embrace emerging technologies.”

For advocating for women in the St. Louis community, Peters has been named a titan.

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Did you know?

In reflecting on my approach to leadership and problem-solving within my organization, a key aspect that stands out is my reliance on data-driven decision-making, complemented by a strong foundation in empathetic leadership. This unique combination forms the cornerstone of my management style.


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