Meet the Team

At the heart of Concordance is a desire to help our participants move forward. Our team members and board of directors include a wide range of backgrounds and expertise in criminal justice, Fortune 500 leadership, behavioral sciences, and beyond — and we are dedicated to restoring individuals, rebuilding families, transforming communities, and advancing the field of re-entry.

Danny Ludeman, President and CEO of Concordance Academy

Danny Ludeman

Executive Chairman

Danny Ludeman previously served as CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors, where he increased revenue from $300 million to $10 billion during his tenure. Upon retirement, he followed a spiritual calling to serve others, leading to the founding of Concordance. Danny remains active in industry and civic affairs, serving on several local boards. He also attends Covenant Seminary, where he is pursuing a divinity degree. He is a visionary for the organization, setting long-term goals designed to solve some of society’s largest problems and effectively identifying key leaders to guide the process.

Concordance Operating Team

Michelle Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Kate Kay

EVP, Head of Community & Life Skills and Behavioral Health & Wellness

Tom Grant

Interim Head of Employment and Education; SVP, Senior Director of Concordance Employment Agency

Rokas Varanavicius

SVP, Senior Director of IT

Michelle Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Michelle Smith is the President and Chief Operating Officer at Concordance. As President and COO, she spearheads new initiatives, facilitates government relations, manages the organization’s processes and operations, and oversees the day-to-day administrative functions of Concordance. She joined Concordance in December 2015, because she knew Concordance had the promise of changing the lives of so many people. She wanted to help create a first-of-its-kind re-entry model. Michelle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business from Gettysburg College and a Master of Arts degree in Economics from Georgetown University.  She also earned a Master of Science degree in Project Management from George Washington University and obtained a PMP certification. Michelle brings 20 years of experience in logistics, management of new initiatives, and operations. Prior to working at Concordance, Michelle was the Managing Partner at a Houston-based architecture firm where she was responsible for analyzing policy and law changes, demographic, economic, and workload trends, and their resulting impact on space and facility needs.

Kate Kay

EVP, Head of Community & Life Skills and Behavioral Health & Wellness

Kate Kay is the Executive Vice President, Head of Community & Life Skills at Concordance. Kate oversees case management services, life skills, family reunification, legal services, spirituality, housing services, and the Concordance House. She also manages relationships with community resources, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Kate joined Concordance in October 2017 because of her belief in treating the whole person during their healing journey. Kate earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Master of Social Work degree from the School of Social Work at St. Louis University. Kate brings 18 years of experience working with vulnerable populations in areas of substance use, mental health, re-entry, and supported employment. Prior to working at Concordance, Kate worked as a program director at a community mental health organization that provided case management and substance use services to adults living with severe and persistent mental illness. 

Tom Grant

Interim Head of Employment and Education; SVP, Senior Director of Concordance Employment Agency

Tom Grant is the Senior Vice President, Director of the Concordance Employment Agency. Tom leads the day-to-day sales and operations for the Concordance Employment Agency. He is responsible for the overall financial management of the agency and ensuring that the agency maintains alignment and adherence to the Concordance Re-Entry Model. Tom joined Concordance in April 2018 with the goal of stemming the tide of reincarceration while instilling hope into the lives of justice-involved individuals. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio and TV Public Relations from Ball State University. Tom brings over 10 years of staffing expertise to Concordance. Prior to joining Concordance, Tom was the Branch Manager at PeopleReady, an on-demand staffing provider.

Rokas Varanavicius

SVP, Senior Director of IT

Rokas Varanavicius is the Senior Vice President, Senior Director of Information Technology at Concordance. He is responsible for strategy development and owning overall comprehensive technology, including Dynamics 365 Solution Architecture, Azure, Data Platform & Analytics, and Custom Development. Rokas joined Concordance in December 2020 and believes in making the benefits of innovative technology available not only to organizations but also to all members of society regardless of socioeconomic status. Rokas earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Missouri in St. Louis. He brings 18 years of experience in implementing business applications, including budling highly effective teams and architecting and implementing business-critical technology solutions. Prior to joining Concordance, Rokas was the Director of Customer Engagement & Technical services at Turnkey Technologies.

Board of Directors

Kelvin Adams
Retired Superintendent, St. Louis Public School District
Associate Dean and Regents' Distinguished Professor for the College of Education, Harris-Stowe State University

Angela Adler
SVP, Networks and Transformation, Optum

Elcio Barcelos
Senior EVP & Chief Human Resources Officer, U.S. Bank

Lynn Britton
Executive Chair of the Board, Mercy Health

Regional Director of State Government Affairs, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Chairman & CEO, Cass Information Systems

Jim Bullard
President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Scott Carter
President, Spire Missouri Energy

Ken Cella
Principal, Branch Development, Edward Jones

Tad Edwards
Chairman, President & CEO, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.

Dave Eichhorn
CEO & Head of Investment Strategies, NISA Investment Advisors, LLC

Sal Hernandez
Former Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Former Vice President of Compliance and Ethics, Enterprise Mobility

Rick Holton, Jr.
COO, Hermann Companies

Dan Isom
Vice President of Corporate Safety, Security & Crisis Management, Ameren

Laurent Javois
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant, LJ Transformation Initiatives
Retired Regional Executive Officer, Missouri Department of Mental Health – Division of Behavioral Health

Diane Katzman
President, Diane Katzman Fine Arts

Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Catalyst Opportunity Funds
Partner & Co-Founder, Sorenson Impact Group

Rusty Keeley
CEO, Keeley Companies

Robert Kirkland
Former Senior VP and CFO, Stanley Black and Decker

David Kowach
Former Head of Community Banking, Wells Fargo
Retired President and CEO, Wells Fargo Advisors

Ken Kranzberg
Chairman Emeritus, TricorBraun

Greg Kraus
Managing Director/Resident Director - Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch

Ron Kruszewski
Chairman of the Board & CEO, Stifel

Marc Lazar
Founder, Domaine Wine Storage

Joe Leahy
Chief Creative Officer and Partner, HLK

Managing Partner, Cleveland Avenue

Danny Ludeman
Executive Chairman, Concordance

Steve Maritz
Executive Chairman, Maritz

Rich McClure
Former Co-Chair, The Ferguson Commission; Former President & CEO, Unigroup

Ken McDonald
Vice President of Advancement, Covenant Theological Seminary

CEO, Executive Business Management

Michael Moehn
Chairman & President, Ameren Missouri

Carrie Nelson
President & CEO, Atlas Point LLC

Bob Newmark
Managing Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

roderick nunn
Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, SSM Health

Kathy Osborn
President & CEO, Regional Business Council

Steve Ponciroli
Managing Director - Client Partnerships & Growth, Catalyte Leadership Acceleration

CEO/Founder, Katalyst STL

emily procter
Entrepreneur, Activist, and Actress

Nick Ragone
Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Ascension

Benjamin Rassieur III
President, Paulo Products Company

Kitty Ratcliffe
President, Explore St. Louis

Joe Reagan
Founder & CEO, One Stone Development

B.T. Rice
Pastor, New Horizon 7th Day Christian Church

Lamont Robinson
Director, Supplier Diversity at AmerisourceBergen

Michael Scully
Missouri Regional President, PNC Bank

Susan Sherman
Co-Founder, St. Louis Fashion Fund

Joe Sivewright
Chairman, Nestlé Purina PetCare

David Steward
Chairman & Founder, World Wide Technology

Donald Suggs
Publisher & Executive Director, St. Louis American

Susan Talve
Founding Rabbi, Central Reform Congregation

Mark Thom
Chairman & CEO, MiTek

John thompson
Venture Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners
Chairman, Microsoft

Greg Trapp
Former Division President & General Manager, Progressive Corporation

Mary Unnerstall
Executive Manager, Office of the Chairman, World Wide Technology

Rob Vitale
President & CEO, Post Holdings

Sara Wade
Former Chief Human Resources Officer & SVP, Express Scripts

Caprina Wakefield
CHRO & SVP, Human Resources, Bethesda Health Group, Inc.

Tim Wentworth
Retired CEO, Evernorth

JAMES E. Williams, Jr.
President & CEO, Estel Foods, Inc.

Craig Workman
President, Workman Communications Group

Mark Wrighton
President, George Washington University; Professor & Chancellor Emeritus, Washington University in St. Louis

Jackie Yoon
President, YFB Consulting
CEO & Managing Principal, BLACKGEM ADVISORS

Ken Chenault
Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst

Tony Cheng
President, Reinsurance Group of America

Harold Clarke
Former Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections

Steve Fox
Chairman, SV Capital Management

Eric Karlovic
CEO & Co-Owner Hughes Leahy Karlovic

Nina Leigh Krueger
CEO and President, Nestle Purina North America

James Nevels
Chairman Business Council for International Understanding | Board of Directors of West Rock and Renew Financial

Susan Stith
Former – Cigna Foundation VP, Diversity & Equity

James Turley
Retired Chair and CEO of Ernst & Young

Our Investors

We couldn’t do the work we do today without those who’ve invested in us since day one. Learn more about our individual and corporate supporters and how you can join the charge.

Our Locations

We are headquartered in St. Louis and preparing to expand nationwide over the next five years.