Our Team

Still in its start-up phase, 4theVille has increased and intensified its efforts to produce material, spread information, develop programs and encourage preservation of The Ville neighborhood. The organization was recently awarded the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to build organizational capacity to further advance its mission and realize its vision of a vibrant and well-preserved Ville neighborhood.


4theVille has hired a passionate and dynamic leader for its inaugural Executive Director – Dr. Dawna CS Wharton. Dawna brings to the organization more than 20 years of expertise in organizational systems, workforce development, and product management. Her strong interpersonal skills enable her to work effectively across diverse, multigenerational workplaces and within a variety of fields.

photo: J.Korman @ Thinksgiving 2022

She comes to 4theVille as an experienced project manager focused on business and educational development.  Driven by her entrepreneurial background, she takes pride in building sustainable entities.  As a prior business owner, Dawna Wharton has been recognized by St. Louis magazine, Alive magazine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and other media outlets for her business acumen. 

Dawna earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Toledo, a Master of Arts in Teaching Business Education from Lindenwood University, and holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.