Maxine Clark: The Martin L. Mathews Award for Non-Profit Leadership Award

Maxine Clark: The Martin L. Mathews Award for Non-Profit Leadership Award

Maxine Clark | CEO of Clark-Fox Foundation, Founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop®

Calls attention to the school-to-prison pipeline through Foundation


The Martin L. Mathews Award for Non-Profit Leadership is presented to Maxine Clark for her efforts to create safe summer experiences for youth through BluePrint4Summer and call attention to the school-to-prison pipeline through the Clark-Fox Foundation.  Clark will accept the award on stage at the Martin L. Mathews Awards Program & Benefit Concert during Mathews-Dickey’s Family Reunion Weekend. Publisher of “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart” (2006), Clark is a true innovator in the retail industry. During her career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends have generated growth for retail leaders. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop®, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience before leaving to pursue social justice efforts.

In June 2013, Clark stepped down from her Chief Executive Bear role to apply her entrepreneurial skills to improve K-12 public education and invest in and mentor women and minority entrepreneurs. Her next “act” is to make public education more consumer friendly by increasing access for families and students to enhance each child’s learning experience. Launched in 2015, her first product, Blueprint4SummerSTL, is a free mobile app designed to help ALL families find the best summer activities for their children.

Her latest venture is the Delmar DivINe™—the transformation of a neighborhood eyesore into a multi-use real estate development planned to open in Spring, 2019. Clark is also a Managing Partner of Prosper Women’s Capital, a fund created to invest in women owned businesses in the St. Louis area and a member of the Board of Advisors of Lewis & Clark Ventures, a St. Louis based private equity firm. In 2005, the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies made Build-A-Bear Workshop Portfolio Company of the Year.

In 2017 Build-A-Bear Workshop was named to the FORTUNE Best Companies to Work For® list for the ninth year in a row. Clark is also a member of the Board of Directors of Footlocker, Inc., Nine Network and Gymboree. Clark is a graduate of the University of Georgia, holds an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Saint Louis University, a Doctor of Humane Letters in Education from the University of Missouri St. Louis, and an Honorary Associates degree from St. Louis Community College.

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