Mayor Slay Appoints Fred Wessels Director of the City’s Community Development Administration

Fred Wessels will take over as the director of the City’s Community Development Administration (CDA)

December 12, 2013 | 2 min reading time

This article is 7 years old. It was published on December 12, 2013.


Alderman Fred Wessels, a fixture on the board, will take over as the director of the City's Community Development Administration (CDA) on January 1, 2014, following Jill Claybour's retirement.

Wessels has represented the 13th Ward for 28 years. He currently serves as:

  • Housing, Urban Development and Zoning (HUDZ) Committee, Chairman
  • Personnel Committee, Member
  • Health and Human Services Committee, Member
  • Board of Trustees of the St. Louis Development Corporation, Member

Wessels is also the executive director of the not-for-profit St. Louis Peregrine Society, which provides services and supplies to more than 2,000 cancer patients in St. Louis and St. Louis County every year. Under Wessels's 29 years at the helm, the Peregrine Society has grown its endowment from $1 million to more than $5 million.

"Fred brings a unique combination of executive management, public service and City know-how to CDA," Mayor Francis Slay said. "He knows how to run things, knows our City's challenges and opportunities as well as anyone, and knows how CDA works."

The HUDZ Committee considers all matters pertaining to CDA and the City's Community Development Block Grant.  CDA administers federal funds for housing, community and economic development programs to strengthen City neighborhoods.  It also partners with local government agencies, non-profit organizations and private companies to carry out housing development, home repair, business and economic development, public facility improvement, historic preservation and social service programs.

"Jill Claybour skillfully led the transformation of the Community Development Block Grant," Mayor Slay said.  "Our City is better off thanks to her tireless work to improve transparency and improve the program.  I thank her for her service to our City."

Claybour has worked for the City of St. Louis since 1977. She spent 28 years at CDA, including the past seven years as the administration's director.

"I'm looking forward to working with HUD, CDA staff and elected officials to build on the changes made this year," Wessels said. "We've moved billions of dollars of residential and commercial real estate projects during the past 14 years I served as HUDZ chair, and I look forward to continuing to help move the City forward in the future."

Wessels is a Vietnam veteran. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration and Masters in Urban Affairs from St. Louis University.  After graduation, Fred spent seven years as the Administrator at St. Louis City Hospital and eventually became chief administrator. He is also active in the community, serving as a member of Dutchtown South Community Corporation, Holly Hills Improvement Association, Newport Heights Improvement Association and the American Legion Post #422.

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