Saint Louis Ambassadors

Volunteers promoting community service and goodwill in St. Louis...since 1965!

Founder & Honorary Chair

~ St. Louis City Mayor, A.J. Cervantes ~

(8-27-20 to 6-23-83)

St. Louis City Mayor, A.J. Cervantes, is caught on film by famous photographer, Eldon Arteaga, on the top of the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The two men went to the top that day to have lunch with the workers and make sure all would be ready for the dedication ceremony planned on October 28, 1965, with the Vice President of the United States, Hubert H. Humphrey 

Arteaga wrote a note to Cervantes the following on the bottom of the historic photograph above: 

"Hoping this photo will bring back pleasant memories of July 22, 1965, when you, the Ambassadors and the Press had lunch with workers on the Creeper Crane about 600 feet on the outside of the Gateway Arch. 

Sincerely, your friend

Eldon Arteaga" 

50 Years Later!

Photo: (L/R ) at Kemoll's Restaurant

Eric Saarinen, Susan Saarinen and Fran Capra

Eero Saarinen, the St. Louis Arch's original designer and master architect, would be proud to see his two children getting ready with Fran Capra for the 50th Anniversary of his Arch at

the Golden Gala on October 28, 2015, at the Old Courthouse.

The St. Louis Arch topping off ceremony on 10-28-65, propelled Mayor A.J. Cervantes to launch an all-volunteer organization he named the Saint Louis Ambassadors and simultaneously

coined the phrase, "St. Louis...the Gateway to the West!"

Saint Louis Ambassadors

Click on names below for profile!

Mayor A.J. Cervantes

Mayor: City of St. Louis '65 - '73

Founder: Saint Louis Ambassadors

(b: 1920 - d: 1983)

Mr. Barry Cervantes

Honorary Chairman

President: Saint Louis Ambassadors 

Presided: 1989 to 1992

Executive Committee

~ Click on names below for profiles ~

Cicardi A. Bruce

Chairman & CEO

Ralph Turney

Vice Chairman & COO

Richard T. Pisani

President & CIO

Sean P.Clancy

Secty/Treas. & Counsel

Joan K. Bengston

Executive VP - Events 

Robert V. Mitchell

Executive VP - Archives 

Dr. Jim Logan

Sr. VP Community Affairs

Richard J. Mueller

Sr. VP U.S. Small Business Institute 

Frances Capra

Sr. VP Saint Louis Ambassadors

Advisory Board

~ Click on names below for profiles ~

Mark Johnson

Editor in Chief

Newsletter

Hon. Vicki Schneider

Political Affairs

Sam Solomon

Sister Cities

Tom Ousley

Scholarships

Wayne Kaufman

Veterans Affairs

Sean Keough

Videography

John Parker

Marketing & PR

Cheri Otzenberger

Member Services

Judy Bentley

Healthcare

Joel Kirk

Social Media

John Walsh

Time Capsule

Rich Stream

Regional Affairs

Our Fleur de Lis Logo

   Our logo, which is the three-leaf fleur de lis ('Flower of the Lily' in French), is St. Louis' symbolic emblem adopted in 1764 by the French co-founders of the City of St. Louis, Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau. This insignia is proudly worn as the coat of arms on our statue of King Louie IX who is proudly and courageously composed on his trusted steed that is positioned directly in front of the St. Louis Art Museum overlooking the Grand Basin & Fountains in Forest Park. King Louie,

who was canonized a saint in 1297 and became known thereafter as St. Louis, stands watch on the very top of Art Hill and is depicted as the "Powerful Guardian of St. Louis."

   The fleur de lis flower and its trileaf design were chosen because it is symbolic of promoting three important ideas in our region, which include volunteerism, civic pride and goodwill' With support from the Saint Louis Ambassadors (volunteers since 1965) two other related volunteer organizations that it launched, which include the U.S. Small Business Institute (volunteers since 1985) and the St. Louis 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation (volunteers since 2002), the three groups have the combined strength of over 1,200 volunteers...no one gets paid in either of the three groups.

   On January 3, 2015 the three groups became unified and act as one powerful team to foster the three ideas outlined above throughout the entire St. Louis Metropolitan Area. Our bi-state region is now home to 2.8M residents, 193K businesses and over 1K charities and makes our region the 19th. largest economic engine in the United States. We stand 'ready, willing and able' to send volunteer support to any organization in our region that needs support!

Want to join our team?

   If you wish to join our all-volunteer team and become one of our standing committees members

one day, please call the Saint Louis Ambassadors President, Rich Pisani, at 314-952-2640 to set up a meeting. Also, you need to forward your resume to him at [email protected] 

   Thank you for your interest in the Saint Louis Ambassadors and for taking the time to review our site. We are always looking for professional men and women from all walks of life who want to 'help us help others.'

Cicardi A. Bruce

Chairman

Richard T. Pisani

President

United States 38th Vice President, Hubert

H. Humphrey, joins St. Louis City Mayor, A.J. Cervantes, at a dedication ceremony in St. Louis, MO on October 28, 1965. Joining the VIP ceremony were former St. Louis City Mayors Bernard F. Dickman and Raymond R. Tucker.

Together, the two men announced to a crowd of over ten thousand onlookers three milestones in the history of St. Louis. First, was that the final construction of the outside stainless steel shell of the St. Louis Arch was completed. Next, St. Louis was now officially the 'Gateway to the West.' Finally, the Saint Louis Ambassadors was being launched as an all-volunteer group of diverse individuals to promote the St. Louis as a great place to live, become educated and to conduct business.

The St. Louis Gateway Arch, which turns 50 in 2015, has over 3M tourists each year that add to the strength of the entire St. Louis

Regions economy. 

The Saint Louis Ambassadors launched its first celebratory event on January 3, 2015 with the announcement that they will merger their efforts with the two related all-volunteer groups that they helped launch, which includes the U.S. Small Business Institute and the 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation.

  Throughout 2015, the members of the Saint Louis Ambassadors will celebrate its '50th Anniversary' with the two all-volunteer

organizations they helped launch, which are

the U.S. Small Business Institute and the 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation.

Together they will host celebratory events

with their combined membership base of over twelve hundred for the '50th Anniversary' of three major milestones in the history of St. Louis that was announced simultaneously

by St. Louis Mayor A.J. Cervantes on October 28, 1965 on the new St. Louis Gateway Arch grounds...and they are:

1) 'St. Louis Arch' outside shell completed.

2) 'Gateway to the West' is officially coined.

3) 'Saint Louis Ambassadors' is launched.

  The group photo above was taken at the Saint Louis Ambassadors headquarters, which was located in Forest Park in the beautiful and historical Cabanne' House with St. Louis Cardinals MLB and 1984 Hall of Famer, Lou Brock. Plus, the photo of the hot air balloon shows off the 'Fleur Di Lis', which is the logo for the Saint Louis Ambassadors.

  The 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation officers and board members are pictured with him at their annual gala...Brock was installed that night as the Honorary Chairman of the foundation. The group gathered in 2005 to celebrate the '40th. Anniversary' of the Saint Louis Ambassadors and will help them plan and execute their '50th Anniversary' events. The Ambassadors launched the 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation on March 14, 2002 at the Top of the Chase Hotel with nearly one thousand attendees.

  On February 14, 2014 the Saint Louis Ambassadors and their 1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation helped celebrate the 250th. Birthday of the founding of St. Louis with two major events held on February 14, 2014. One was staged in the beautiful ballroom at the MAC in the City of St. Louis and the other was hosted in Forest Park on Art Hill at the Grand Basin where 250 couples got engaged at one time...a world record!

  Also, on May 4, 2014 Cicardi & Susan Bruce hosted the 'Blue Angels' Party at their beautiful home that overlooks the Spirit of St. Louis Airport to celebrate three major milestones in the St. Louis Region -

the '250th. Birthday of the founding of St. Louis', the '110 Year Anniversary' of the 1904 World's Fair & III Olympics and '50 Years of Service' at Spirit Airport. 

  We plan on hosting a series of events in 2015 for our 50th. Anniversary, so we hope you will join us! Your ideas are welcomed and you can call our President, Rich Pisani at 314-952-2640 to set up a mutual time to meet to discuss your celebratory concept.

  Please click here to view the seamless footage from all three events archived by Capture Now Video. Our '50th Anniversary' events will be even better with help from more volunteers!

'40th Anniversary Flight!'

Up, up and away!

   For our '40th Anniversary' in 2005 U.S. Congressman, Dick Gephardt, launched our flight team that competed with a hot air balloon donning our Saint Louis Ambassadors 'Fleur de Lis' logo in the Great Forest Park Balloon Race.

   Our logo, which is the three-leaf 'fleur de lis ('Flower of the Lily' in French), is St. Louis' symbolic emblem adopted in 1764 by the French co-founders of the City of St. Louis, Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau. This insignia is proudly worn as the coat of arms for our King Louie IX statue sitting on his steed that is positioned directly in front of the St. Louis Art Museum. It stands watch on the very top of Art Hill and is depicted as the 'Powerful Guardian of St. Louis'.

 Photo: (L/R) with MO Governor 

   The Saint Louis Ambassadors '1904 World's Fair Charitable Foundation' Chairman, Cicardi A. Bruce, its President, Richard T. Pisani, St. Louis County Executive 'Buzz' Westfall, Missouri Governor Bob Holden, St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay, The Saint Louis Ambassadors President Frank Ferrara and its Senior Vice President, Arthur Cline.

   Mo Governor Bob Holden joins civic leaders in 2003 to launch the event planning process to celebrate the 40th. Anniversary of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, which was launched on October 28, 1965 by Mayor A.J. Cervantes upon the completion of the construction of the outside steel shell of the St. Louis Arch.

Photo: (R/L) KMOV TV-4 News Anchor Larry Conners and 225 guests celebrate!

   KMOV TV-4 News Anchor Larry Conners (R) quiets a crowd of 350 in the magnificent mansion at #1 Portland Place in the Central West End. He introduced Cicardi Bruce, the

Co-Founder of both the Saint Louis Ambassadors in 1965 and the Squires & Ladies Charitable Foundation in 1981. 

   The Squires & Ladies again hosted their 'Cinderella Ball' with overwhelming support from the Saint Louis Ambassadors member

base who assembled to celebrate their '25th. Anniversary', which was started by St. Louis City Mayor A.J. Cervantes, Cicardi Bruce, Ralph Turney and a core group of volunteers who banned together to promote St. Louis as a great place to live, work and start a small business. The Saint Louis Ambassadors was launched on October 28, 1965, which is the final day of construction of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial... best known as the St. Louis Arch!