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08 December 2013


ST. LOUIS, MO.: At their recent Board of Directors Annual Retreat, the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center announce that the not-for-profit organization has welcomed new board members.

The five new members of the Friends Board of Directors include:

  • Paul Azzara, a retired teacher from Saint Louis University High School, who was named the Friends’ “Volunteer of the Year” Award winner in 2011


  • Dr. Marc J. Bernstein M.D., a Gastroenterologist specializing in liver diseases and affiliated with Mercy Clinic Digestive Disease and Digestive Disease Medical Consultants


  • Leslie Hodges, Client Service Manager and an Independent Wealth Management executive with St. Louis Trust Company, and the current Board President for the Young Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center (YFSLULC)


  • Todd Keske, a management executive with Foam Supplies, Inc. in Earth City


  • Robert A. Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at Chesterfield-based Aero Charter.

Azzara, Bernstein, Hodges, Keske and Thomas join the rest of the Board of Directors currently serving the Friends of the SLU Liver Center – Todd Ashbacher; Lou Ann Biermann; Edward Dowd, Jr.; Tom Fisher; Kathleen Morris; Dr. Jeff Teckmann; Robin Ude, PhD; Matthew White; and Glenn Warnebold.

“These new board members have already shown their dedication to the Friends of the SLU Liver Center through their leadership in committees and service as volunteers, as well as their financial support of the organization. Their valuable contributions as new Board members will create a positive impact for the Friends organization,” notes Executive Director Leisa Duff.

Since its inception in 2003, the Friends organization has raised and donated more than $2.6 million for the Saint Louis University Liver Center. The funds help support the critical infrastructure of the Liver Center from faculty salaries to visiting professorships and patient-oriented seminars and research. By leveraging the donations of the Friends, the Liver Center is able to use the “seed money” as a match for larger grants from outside sources that generate $18 new dollars from outside the region for every $1 raised locally.

To learn more about these new members of the Board of Directors for the Friends organization, please contact Executive Director Leisa Duff at 314-576-3078 or

Additional information can be found at the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center’s website at

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