Tom Purcell has been involved in community decision making for over 50 years. Prior to these activities, he served in the Peace Corps in India, the United States Marine Corps Reserve, rising to the rank of Captain, and in America’s Poverty Program. He also has received two Master degrees in Urban Affairs and Business Administration from Saint Louis University.
He Led the development effort for the Laclede’s Landing from 1976 to 2003, during which time over 3,000 jobs were created and over $200,000,000 of public and private capital was invested. Tom Purcell has served on more than 45 boards of government, non-profit, and business organizations.
Finally, he has also been involved in the renewal of St. Louis neighborhoods, including the Riverfront, Shaw, Downtown, and Carondelet.
As the city of St. Louis continued to change in population and economic purpose, it became obvious that education even more important if the city was to have a vibrant and meaningful future for its residents. It also became clear that a 3rd party organization could play a role in assisting the various elementary school systems active in the St. Louis community in providing a 21st century education to achieve their goals. The areas of focus of this new 3rd party organization, The Green House Venture, would be bioscience/aquaponics, urban agriculture, and nutrition and dietetics. The Venture would involve the area’s universities, high schools, and elementary talent evident in existing educational institutions in a partnership framework to achieve its program goals. Saint Louis University professor and Vice President of the GHV Donald Stump and I have been involved in this unique process, him as the leader in curriculum programs, and I as the leader in organization and development process for over seven years. The Green House Venture has been very fortunate to have a sustained involvement of talented volunteers active in the board and committee levels of the organization. It has been the most challenging, enjoyable, and rewarding activity I have experienced in the St. Louis community in the last 50 years.