As the Founder and Lead Consultant for Key Strategic Group, I am building something for which a blueprint has not yet been drawn.

— Dr. Erica Henderson, CEcD
Principal & CEO, Key Strategic Group

Erica Henderson is an unwavering, visionary, and strategic leader dedicated to systems change, justice, and dismantling systemic racism.

She has a long track record of co-creating community-driven solutions that pave the way for economic success and create substantive and generational impact. Erica’s sense of purpose is rooted in promoting equitable economic development and amplifying community voice, ensuring they are not only heard, but valued.

Erica Henderson acts as a catalyst by partnering with and for the community to co-design relevant and actionable tactics that will pave the way for economic success leading to measurable generational impact. Erica’s mission revolves around promoting equitable economic development by amplifying community voices, ensuring not just their audibility but their significance in building the table to mobilize power and ideate real solutions to advance equity.






As the founder and principal of Key Strategic Group, Erica Henderson forges strategic alliances for progressive change in communities that have and are experiencing pervasive and persistent disinvestment, fostering intentional, inclusive growth in the St. Louis Region to overcome social and economic challenges.

Erica Henderson is a dynamic leader dedicated to eradicating systemic racism and driving community-driven solutions for lasting impact. As the founder of Key Strategic Group, she cultivates strategic alliances in communities experiencing persistent disinvestment, facilitating tangible inclusive growth in St. Louis. With over 20 years of experience, Erica has a remarkable track record, including leading the nation’s largest urban Promise Zone, securing over $200 million in investments, and convening 200+ community partners.

In her role as VP of Community Investment and Real Estate, Erica managed four small business incubators, oversaw $100 million in real estate redevelopment, and played a critical role during the civil unrest in Ferguson, overseeing a loan program that deployed $1.5 million to support impacted businesses.

Erica’s extensive expertise extends to programmatic and policy levels, including leading COVID Small Business Recovery funding, raising $3 million, and disbursing $30 million in grants and loans. She holds graduate degrees in public policy and business administration, with a focus on finance, as well as a doctorate in Leadership and Social Justice.

Erica’s entrenched commitment to social justice and economic equity has earned her numerous accolades, including the 2020 Most Influential Business Leader award from the St. Louis Business Journal and the 2021 Woman of the Year from the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. Her leadership continues to illuminate the path toward a brighter, more inclusive future for all.


Economic Justice Action Plan

Erica provided economic justice strategy using insights gained through a robust community engagement process that included an initial landscape study, a city-wide survey, and a comprehensive community engagement strategy.  The final plan, launched in September 2022 can be found at:

Neighborhood Funders Group - Amplify Missouri Program Lead

Erica serves as NFG’s Amplify Program Missouri lead consultant to advance local power building and equitable development effiorts by building relationships, landscaping, strategy refinement and capacity building for grass root organizations. Building on Amplify’s strategy development, relationships, and grantmaking to date.


Promise Zone

Erica oversaw the federal investment of more than $200 million to the St. Louis footprint. She has convened more than 200 partners in the Promise Zone to discuss collaborative efforts to reduce disparities through programming, services, and system change.

Build Back Better

Erica served a part of the grant writing team and a lead strategist and advisor to BioSTL, Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis Small Business Empowerment Center (SBEC), WEPOWER, and Greater St. Louis, Inc. This collaborative work resulted in developing the successful $25 million federal Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant. The federal grant will unlock the full potential of the region’s advanced manufacturing cluster, fueling its growth and contributing to the continued development of two of the metro’s next generation industries: bioscience and geospatial technology inclusive of a strong equity focus and intentional and inclusive community engagement.

Equitably Redeveloping Your Community

Developed a six-part series to provide an opportunity for members of the community and business owners to have an opportunity to become educated on the process of community development in partnership with the Urban Land Institute and the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce.


2018 Diverse Business Leader Award

In 2018, Erica Henderson was recognized as a  Diverse Business Leader, sponsored by The Regional Business Council. Read her interview below.

2020 Most Influencial Business Women

Read Erica’s interview with St. Louis Business Journal after being named one of 2020’s most influential business women. Read her interview below.

2021 Woman of the Year

Erica was honored as the 2021 Woman of the Year from the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis