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)

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 

Sr. VP Community Affairs

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


Hon. Vicki Schneider
Political Affairs

Sam Solomon

Sister Cities

Wayne Kaufman
Veterans Affairs

Tom Ousley


Sean Keough


John Parker

Marketing & PR

Member Services


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 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                                    Richard T. Pisani 

Chairman                                                                                                                                President