Board of Directors
Robert A. Stehlin, Founder and President
Born and raised in St. Louis, Robert was diagnosed with ALS in September 2009. Three short months later, in December, RASCALS had already become a reality. His focus today remains his family, staying healthy, and spreading knowledge about ALS through his foundation.
Robert lives in Imperial, Missouri, with his wife of 17 years, Laura Stehlin , a registered nurse at Barnes Jewish Hospital. She works in the cardiac procedure center. They have four children; Diana, 30; Meghan, 25; Bobby, 14; and Aidan, 6.
In addition to being a fine husband and father, Robert also has a talent for photography. He started his own photography studio business in 2002, called RAS Images, specializing in individual, and custom landscape and home portraits.
A hardcore St. Louis Blues hockey fan, Robert shares his love of sport with his sons and community. He has spent the last 5 years coaching youth baseball for St. Joseph Parish in Imperial.
Robert has also shared his time with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, having been involved the past 10 years in their fundraising efforts.
Laura Marie Barrett, Vice President
Laura was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up on the east coast in Rye, New York. She later attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, and is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Since returning to the home state, Laura now calls Weldon Springs her home with husband Steve. She is a mother to two grown boys: one a junior at University of Missouri in Columbia, and the other a recent graduate from Portland State in Portland, Oregon.
A women`s fashion and home décor expert, Laura is also the vice-president of Operations at Soft Surroundings, a women`s catalog, retail, and Internet company, focusing on apparel, bedding and beauty products. Working closely with the owner, she has been with the company in many different capacities since 1992, under the Knights Limited name.
Laura has also been involved with the St. Louis area hockey scene, serving on the Board of Directors of the St. Peters Hockey Club since 2000. She assumed the role of Board President in 2005.
Laura has a special connection to ALS. Her mother, Mary Jeanne Neumann, succumbed to the effects of ALS in July of 2005. She is also a favorite first cousin of R.A.S.C.A.L.S. founder, Robert Stehlin.
Melissa Marr, Marketing Director
Born, raised, and still residing in St. Louis, Melissa is no stranger to the RASCALS family. Since 2012 she has been developing media plans and placement for our public service messages. It quickly became clear, however, that Melissa possessed a wealth of fresh marketing ideas and commitment.
A former Media Planner and Account Executive for two local advertising agencies, Melissa brings eight years of marketing experience to her new role at RASCALS.
She currently handles Marketing, Events and Business Development for a Sports and Entertainment website, InsideSTL.com and KFNS Sports Radio.
Her personal interests include traveling at every opportunity, and attending as many St. Louis Cardinals and Blues games as possible. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2005 with a Major in Mass Communications and Advertising with Minors in Graphic Design and Psychology. She was also a member of the Psi Chi Honor Society and Dean’s List.
Melissa’s other charitable efforts include Friends of Kids with Cancer, where she sits on the Communications Committee for their Young Friends Program to increase awareness and generate press for events that support the non-profit’s mission.
Michael R. Brand, Secretary
Michael brings to R.A.S.C.A.L.S. more than 25 years of expert counsel in the areas of financial management, as well as insightful entrepreneurial experience. Since 2007, he has worked with Miss Elaine, Inc. as their Controller.
A Certified Public Accountant, he is a graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Finance and Accounting. Michael has two children; Zachary is currently a junior at Truman State University, and Rachel is a senior at Kirkwood High School.
The native St. Louisan has a long and respected history as a community leader. He has been involved as a member of the Board of Trustees and Investment Committee for the Deaconess Foundation, and as Financial Secretary of Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC.
He remains active in the Boy Scouts of America, teaching as the Fishing Advocate for the BSA Central Region – Area #3. Michael also serves on the Board of the Eagle Scout Association of Greater St. Louis and the New Horizons District Eagle Scout Board of Review.
Sandra Putney, Treasurer
Sandra has been with the R.A.S.C.A.L.S. organization virtually from the beginning, volunteering for the annual Trivia Night fundraisers and participating in the foundation’s popular 5K Walk/Run events.
Sandra pursued her undergraduate studies in business and accounting at Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri. She went on to receive a Masters degree in accounting at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and following graduation obtained her Certified Public Accountant license here in the state of Missouri.
She has spent seven years leading the finance functions for the Gateway Area Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, before accepting a position with the home office last year as the Director of Finance, Field.
Sandra is happy to call St. Louis her hometown, where she lives with her husband of five years and their new baby boy, Jack, who was born in June of 2013. In addition to her infant son, she is passionate about Zumba, music, and traveling,
Her other charitable efforts include the United Way and Young Women’s Breast Cancer Program.