Katherine McFateShared Roots Donor Alliance
Lara Granich, Director
With almost 20 years of community organizing and organizational leadership, Lara Granich has helped lead successful campaigns to increase the minimum wage, defend affirmative action, support workers organizing unions and bargaining for better lives at work. Her collaborative reach has grown from local to statewide to now a national force for bridging the work of Missouri to powerful efforts and resources throughout the US.
Lara now works with investors committed to a research-driven, multi-year strategy to transform the political environment and create long term policy change at the Missouri Wins Investor Network, Missouri’s state donor table. She also advises Missouri-based foundations aligning their work through Philanthropy for Systemic Change and connects individual donors from Missouri now living throughout the country to social change agents back home in the Shared Roots Donor Alliance.
Lara was the founding Director of the Missouri Jobs with Justice coalition and under her leadership grew to a powerhouse coalition of nearly 100 organizations committed to building statewide power for workers’ rights and economic policy issues. She also co-chaired the Jobs with Justice National Board for nearly a decade. She now serves on the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center’s Roadmap Strategy Committee. Lara is a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute Cross Movement Year Long Fellowship. Lara is also a founder of the Missouri Organizing and Voter Engagement (MOVE) Collaborative, and served on the Working Group on Economic Inequity and Mobility of the Governor’s Ferguson Commission, Citizen Review Panel of the St Louis Regional Arts Commission, and on the boards of Gateway Homeless Services, the Ballot Initiative Group of Missouri and Leadership for Social Change.
Lara is a native Missourian where she was a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local B-2 for seven years. She attended Macalester College in St. Paul, MN graduating with a degree in International Studies including field work in Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala. Lara lived and worked at the Instituto Teologico da Bahia in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil before returning to Missouri to work as a neighborhood organizer.
Lara and her husband Brendan Smith live in St. Louis where they are they enjoy her stepson Sam and being super-Aunt-and-Uncle to 15 wonderful nieces and nephews.
Jessica Estes, Deputy Director
Jessica was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She lives with her husband and two boys in University City. Jessica is invested in taking the action necessary to make Missouri a state in which everyone can thrive. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri St. Louis. Jessica acquired her Master of Social Work from George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, concentrating in social and economic development and specializing in policy. She is constantly seeking opportunities to design and execute systems level change through policy, advocacy, organizing, political education, and informed civic engagement. Jessica is proud to serve as deputy director of Shared Roots.