Our Staff

Abdul-Kaba Abdullah
Executive Director

Abdul is one of the premier, young civic leaders in the St. Louis Region. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director at Park Central, Abdul served as City Manager for the City of Berkeley where in 2016 he was named 40 under 40 by the St. Louis Business Journal for his outstanding work in the region. In 2015, he was recognized by the St. Louis American Newspaper Foundation for his accomplishments in management in municipal government and reform. He also served the City of St. Louis in the Affordable Housing Commission and Better Family Life as Assistant Manager of Workforce Development. Abdul is a native of St. Louis and a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, where he was honored with the Distinguished Young Alumni award and holds dual Master’s Degrees in Total Quality Management and Management from Webster University.

Nanyamka Brown
Community Resource Specialist 

Originally from Turlock California , Nanyamka  relocated to St. Louis to attend Missouri Baptist University  where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.  Nanyamka Joined park central in March 2020 and has worked closely with the residents and other community agencies . Nanyamka has over 10 years’ experience in social service and is passionate about mental health.  Prior to joining park central, Nanyamka worked, with Department of Mental Health , advocating for clients struggling with psychological and medical issues.

Ashley Johnson
Director of Special Taxing Districts

Originally from Chicago, Ashley relocated to St. Louis to attend Saint Louis University where she received a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, specializing in community development and revitalization. Ashley also holds a second Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management from Washington University. Ashley joined Park Central in July 2018 as the Director of Special Taxing Districts. Prior to joining Park Central, Ashley worked with Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation as their Community Development Manager where she oversaw several community outreach and stabilization initiatives. In addition, Ashley was the program administrator for the Live Near Your Work Program, an employee home buying assistance benefit offered to over 20,000 employees from Washington University and BJC Healthcare. Ashley is passionate and dedicated to helping strengthen St. Louis neighborhoods.

Jacara Betts, MSW
Community Resource Specialist 

Jacara has a passion for strong communities and wants to see a vibrant Saint Louis region radiating from the thriving core that Park Central serves. After receiving her MSW from Washington University, Jacara transitioned into her full time role here at Park Central.  

Annette Pendilton
Community Development Administrator

Annette started with Park Central on January 2, 2018 as the Community Development Administrator. She worked for St. Louis Children’s Hospital/BJC for over twenty years in the accounting department and for eight years as City Administrator/Accountant for a small municipality in North County, MO. Annette assists the Special Taxing District Director with board meetings, preparing minutes, financials, organizing records and systems, facilitates and administers the Forest Park Southeast Development Corporation meetings and manages the FPSE Dog Park program. She is the office administrator for Park Central and supports the Executive Director with board and committee meetings as needed.

Codi Holt, MSW
Neighborhood Development Project Manager

Having a passion for community outreach and developmentand a desire to enhance community opportunityCodi obtained a master’s degree from WashU in Social Work with a concentration in social and economic development and a specialization in management. Prior to his work at Park Central, Codi’s diverse range of experience includes working with refugees and immigrants in the North Carolina Triad region, providing writing services in a university setting, as well as providing credit counseling support in low-income neighborhoods in St Louis. Codi first started working at Park Central as a practicum student and developed a sense of commitment to the neighborhoods that Park Central serves. Codi now works as our Neighborhood Development Project Manager, working closely with some of our special taxing districts.  


Russell Beckham
Community Outreach Worker

Dedicated to life-long service, Russell works to address racial and regional inequalities in St Louis through community action, mobilization, and accountability. He is currently pursuing an MSW in Social-Economic Development at Washington University in St Louis, with a focus on anti-displacement work and insitutionalized racism. Prior to Park Central, he has worked with nonprofit and government organizations including Beyond Housing, the City of Pine Lawn, and Forward through Ferguson.