Forest ReLeaf

Dave Geile
Creative Director Managing Partner

Forest ReLeaf

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri was founded in 1993 as the local response to Global ReLeaf, an international project of American Forests to increase tree planting. Today, Forest ReLeaf is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring volunteer efforts in planning and caring for our trees and forests, particularly those in cities and towns.

Their mission is simple, to provide trees for public and nonprofit plantings and present educational programs to increase stewardship of the trees and forests in Missouri and surrounding regions. This mission was exemplified in the shipment of trees to the tornado-devastated area of Joplin Missouri. To date, Forest ReLeaf has shipped more than 3,500 trees to Joplin, where more than 20,000 trees where lost. In short, they put green where green doesn’t exist.

The vision of Forest ReLeaf is for our region to be a healthy community of trees and forests sustained by volunteer efforts, while maintaining their continued partnership with the public and private sectors.

In support of this mission and vision, Forest ReLeaf is committed to a series of organizational goals.

  • To raise public awareness for the need, and benefits of community trees, and to facilitate community dialogue and action based on best practices in the field of forestry.
  • To increase tree planting involving public and private organizations and   individuals.
  • To improve community trees and forests by promoting their proper establishment, placement and diversity, and to address forestry objectives identified through their partnerships which include the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Community Forestry Council.

The biggest need for Forest ReLeaf is volunteers. With just three staff members, Forest ReLeaf relies nearly entirely on volunteers to accomplish the mission. Each year, hundreds of dedicated individuals and thousands of hours of service are needed to help with the Forest ReLeaf  programs. Young trees require lots of attention. Forest ReLeaf’s community nursery has 14,000 trees to manage, and depends heavily on volunteers to help plant, water, and weed young trees on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and occasional Saturdays.

My family has been very active in Forest ReLeaf. This is credited mostly to my wife, who has donated hundreds of hours over the years. For myself, along with volunteering, I have attended several fundraisers and events in support of Forest ReLeaf. I also had the pleasure of donating time in mentoring a group of young volunteer creative people from the advertising community. Together we produced a branding and print campaign for Forest ReLeaf. G/L was also a sponsor at the Forest ReLeaf 20th anniversary celebration.

Now, in celebration of our own 25th anniversary at G/L, I plan to plant 25 trees in commemoration. But I also wanted to celebrate by bringing this great group of people into the spotlight and congratulate them. This is a fantastic group of dedicated people, doing great things that benefit all of us, and for generations to come.

For more information on corporate, foundation and in-kind giving opportunities, please contact:

Donna Coble
Executive Director
314/ 533-5323, ext.12

Gateway Pet Guardians

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Gateway Pet Guardians

I never really considered myself an “animal person.” Sure, I had family dog growing up that I lovingly named after myself (what?), but it was just routine, part of daily life. I never thought about where she came from, how much we paid and certainly not what life would’ve been like if she had lived the life of a stray. Fast forward to 2011 when I stumbled across Gateway Pet Guardians. It is most fitting to say I was stopped in my tracks.

Gateway Pet Guardians is a nonprofit animal shelter whose passionate and dedicated staff and volunteers care for animals on the streets of East St. Louis and surrounding areas. Their mission is to end homelessness for animals in the Metro East through rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, community outreach and education.

While the organization became official in 2004, Gateway Pets began long before (in 1995) when one of the founders, PJ Hightower, took notice of the amount of strays in East St. Louis. Being an avid animal lover, she didn’t just shake her head and assume, “If only I could…” She simply did. And every consecutive day since 2001, PJ sets out before dawn with a Gateway volunteer, bags of food and dog bones in tow, to feed the strays on the streets.

J7nupE0R3UV_xgN37-uiUuHDGp02C5mj-ATvPWk0F98The job description of veterinary jobs is not treating them alone. Sometimes, animals need that care and compassion to gel with humans properly. Gaining the trust of an animal is the most ecstatic feeling ever. From my first time sitting quietly in a kennel with a feral/shy dog to gain its trust to rolling around with multiple litters of puppies to spending time in the community, my experience has been incredible. The growth Gateway Pet Guardians has experienced in just the three short years I’ve been involved has been substantial and emotionally overwhelming. There are days when you’re elated because a 9-month shelter pup finds a home, and then there are those where you’re trying to choke back tears thinking about strays in below zero temperatures.

One of the many things Gateway Pets has done beautifully is craft an organization that welcomes volunteers of any interest or capacity. Volunteers can assist at the shelter, take a dog on a run, take part in an adoption event, get on the fundraising committee, transport pups to the spay/neuter clinic, join in community outreach days in East St. Louis or better yet, foster or adopt to keep the rescues up!

If I could challenge you to any one thing, it’d be to join me for a just a few hours one day to explore Gateway Pet Guardians. Their goal to end homelessness in animals in East St. Louis is attainable, and each individual volunteer makes that possible. Interested in checking it out? Please let me know!

As my effort to support #GLSTL25, I’ve committed to at least 25 outreach hours in East St. Louis because I’m a firm believe that knowledge is, in fact, power.

Minimize Medicare Penalties with Internal Communications

Randy Micheletti
VP, Director of Brand Strategy

Minimize Medicare Penalties with Internal Communications

Are you doing all you can to reduce patient safety risk? The government doesn’t think so. And even with patient infections and injuries on the decline nationally, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports over 750 hospitals in the US are at risk of Medicare sanctions – that’s a quarter of our nation’s hospitals.

How does that affect you? Medicare, under the Affordable Care Act, is implementing a 1% sanction on at-risk hospitals that will take place starting in October 2014 and will go through September 30, 2015. This 1% could total over $300 million a year in penalties.

So start planning ahead to avoid any penalties. Here are a few things to consider that will ensure you stay on top of this evolving industry issue:

  • Create internal communications programs that educate and motivate employees to embrace best practices and implement the desired patient safety measures required
  • Ensure the importance of patient safety is delivered through your brand messaging/positioning
  • Review your hospital’s patient safety culture and develop internal patient safety materials designed to improve your safety culture

As you can see, there’s more focus on patient safety from the government than ever before. In 2012, the government estimated that 1 out of 8 patients nationally suffered a potentially avoidable complication during a hospital stay. Administrators insist systems are being put into place – but obviously it’s not enough.

As you are facing times of trying to do more with less, keep patient safety in the forefront. Ensure it’s embedded in your brand.  For additional information, please reach out. We’d be happy to discuss.

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The Power of Giving Back

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

The Power of Giving Back

IMG_55292Each summer at G/L, we set aside three individual days and designate them “Fun Fridays.” It’s our opportunity to shut down a bit early and head out on an adventure to celebrate the upcoming holiday weekend. From an Anhueser-Busch tour to an afternoon at Stray Rescue, we take advantage of the weather and enjoy each other’s company. However, this past Fun Friday (or Thursday if we want to get technical), we decided to take a different approach to tradition.

In light of our 25th anniversary and the ongoing #GLSTL25 campaign, we heeded the call of Children’s Home Society of Missouri – a non-profit recently featured on the blog by Tim. After some initial coordination between Tim and Leslie Tucker, the organization’s Director of Development, we determined they had multiple needs with which we could assist.


You see, Leslie is simply a phenomenal individual. As with many non-profits, she wears many hats and upon listening to her speak over lunch last Thursday, we knew we’d be able to tackle her PR and marketing needs, alleviate some of her challenges and help support an incredible cause.

So, we broke into teams and set out on a three-hour mission. In that short time frame, we were able to plow through multiple positioning statements, taglines, a news advisory, future PR initiatives, a digital strategy, plus an eblast template, newsletter, brochure layout, annual report layout and fact sheet.

IMG_55342As an agency, we’re accustomed to the routine of concepts, revisions, presentations, etc. that span over weeks and sometimes months. To shut down typical daily distractions and collaborate to deliver an integrated campaign in one afternoon was really amazing. But I can speak for the team at G/L when I say that it was so rewarding to see the difference we could make for an organization like CHS, which provides a valuable service to our community and is unlike any other. The effort of their staff, volunteers and donors is selfless. And more importantly, they provide these services to the most vulnerable – our children.


While we know we are such a small piece of the puzzle, knowing that we can use our talents for something so beneficial is humbling. We look forward to presenting our work to CHS this week!

The Mary Culver Home for the Visually Impaired

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

The Mary Culver Home for the Visually Impaired

Founded in 1866 by philanthropist Mary Culver, The Mary Culver Home for the Visually Impaired (known as the Blind Girls Home in Kirkwood) is a not-for-profit, non-denominational Christian organization. The Blind Girls Home was originally on Page Ave and was developed to help young blind women after they graduated from the Missouri School for the Blind. The facility moved from the City of St. Louis to 211 West Washington Ave in Kirkwood in 1966.

It was initially developed to provide care for young blind girls and women, but as cures for eye diseases lessened the rates of blindness, it has now become a full time nursing home for 25 elderly women who are visually impaired.

It was very easy for this to be my organization of choice. The Blind Girls Home is located around the corner from where I grew up in Kirkwood. My brothers and my friends all played football and baseball in the big field behind the home. A couple of Christmases, my mom baked some cookies for the residents, and we delivered them on Christmas Eve. It’s not a charity that needs a lot of money, but they would really appreciate volunteers to do outside and inside handyman work.

I thought it would be a nice gesture to give them some Ted Drewes to celebrate the 4th of July, so I will make that delivery this Friday.

For more information and how to lend a hand to perform repairs and maintenance work inside and out (particularly yard work on the grounds), please contact Colleen Hill at 314.966.6034.