Story by Megan Whitehead | Jan 01, 2018
Photography by Keith Borgmeyer

Governmental Affairs Consultant with John Bardgett & Associates

For 12 years, Erika Leonard, through John Bardgett & Associates, has worked to ensure her clients throughout Missouri are heard by their government. Educating legislators about client needs, pushing to get those needs met, and even writing legislation for those needs are what she does day to day. This is what she loves, and this is what she’s good at. To top it all off, she uses her “free” time to give back to her community in other ways.

“I really love spending time on my passions,” says Leonard. “I have a very spirited interest in the community I call home and the bedrock that keeps it strong, and that’s Jefferson City Public Schools.”

Her dedication and love for our public-school system is obvious to everyone that knows her. “Erika works diligently to support the Jefferson City public school system through her work with the JCPS Foundation and Jay Pride Alive organizations,” writes Kathi Harness. “She is dedicated to supporting the district by engaging alumni and connecting community leaders to recognize the importance of building and sustaining a strong education system for our community.”

Leonard feels strongly about the role alumni play in Jefferson City. “Maintaining a partnership with the schools through volunteering time, financially supporting, and providing constructive guidance on what works for our community is important.”

Born and bred a Jefferson Citian, Leonard lights up when talking about our city; there’s a fire behind her eyes when she’s extolling the value of going through the school system, working, giving back, and sending your children through that same system.

“I love our beautiful small town,” says Leonard. “Being involved on community boards that have a direct impact on what our community stands for is rewarding. I love being a part of a team dedicated to making our town the best it can be.”

“Erika has integrity, is trustworthy, and is highly respected in the community and among her peers,” continues Harness. “She is organized and driven in all of her pursuits. Her ability to strategize, set goals, and work to accomplish those goals makes her extremely successful in her professional career and with the charitable organizations she supports.”

These qualities combine to create Leonard’s need to be a difference maker. She wants to help and make a difference when problems occur in the community. She says, “I choose to live here, to stay here, and don’t envision myself ever moving away.”

What is your guilty pleasure?

Pajamas and reality TV.

Community Involvement:

Missouri Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, executive director
JCPS Foundation, secretary
Jay Pride Alive, vice president
Cedar Hill Elementary PTO
2018 United Way CEMO Governing Board

Meet the other recipients >>

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