Who We Are

John J. Wuest, Chairman

John served as President and CEO of the St. Louis Equity Fund from 2005 until 2015, and now serves as Vice Chair. He retired as Vice Chairman of Heartland Bank in 2005 after seventeen years of service. Prior to joining Heartland Bank, John worked for 21 years as Executive Vice President of Corporate Banking at the former Mercantile Bank. In addition to his career responsibilities, Mr. Wuest is actively involved with various professional, civic, and arts organizations, including:

  • Board Member and past Chairman of The Salvation Army – Midland Division
  • Member of Executive Committee of The Salvation Army – Midland Division
  • Board Member of Grand Center
  • Chairman of Grand Center Finance Committee
  • Member of Grand Center Development Committee

Erica Dobreff, President

Erica has 40 years of experience in community development and affordable housing.  Formerly a manager with the U.S. Dept. of HUD and Executive Director of Missouri’s Housing Finance Agency (Missouri Housing Development Commission), she has worked with many of the wide range of housing and community development entities throughout Missouri and has broad knowledge of the Target Market.  She is well equipped to work with all programs, clients and communities served by Gateway.

Colleen K. Hafner, Vice President

Colleen has over 10 years of experience in affordable housing and public policy.  With a background in asset management and affordable housing oversight, she received her Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.  Colleen is the primary point of contact for new loan originations at Gateway, and assists in staffing many of the organization’s development services contracts. As a board member for two St. Louis area Community Development Corporations and the St. Louis Community Builders Network, Colleen brings her expertise to the organizations directly serving the needs and strengthening low and moderate income communities in the St. Louis region.

Consultants to Gateway

Although not on the Gateway staff, Joseph Cavato and Jerry Burka are consultants to the organization and continue to provide expertise in business development, as well as technical and development services to our clients. Both gentlemen have over 30 years experience in the Target Market of St. Louis.  Their primary line of business has been in financial underwriting and program management of affordable housing for not-for-profit entities.  As is true of the staff, they are familiar with Gateway’s current and potential clients and borrowers.

We thank Gateway CDFI for collaborating with us on the Lemay Development Corp. urban planning project. Gateway was knowledgeable, professional, and engaging.

Jeff Mugg - Vice President, St. Louis Design Alliance Architects