Dr. Lester Woods
The Source Summit Convener, Dr. Lester Woods, is the Senior Pastor of Urban Empowerment Ministries and the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Empowerment Development Corporation. Dr. Woods is also a 19 year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, where he serves as the Chief Administrative Officer.
He is a 1993 graduate of Grambling State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He furthered his education by obtaining a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Missouri, in 1996. He recently earned a Doctor of Ministry degree focused on Social Justice from United Theological Seminary in May 2020.
He is the proud husband of Dr. Christine Woods, who is a Professor at the University of Missouri School of Social Work, proprietor of Crowned Counseling and the mother of their two beautiful daughters, Lesli and Kiyah Woods.
D’Andre Thompson is a Program Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist with the Boone County Community Services Department. He also considers himself to be a social activist who is regularly involved in community initiatives advocating for the inclusion of diverse perspectives in developing a thriving and welcoming community. He is a graduate of both the University of Missouri-Columbia and Columbia College with degrees in General Studies and Business Administration (MBA) respectively. His commitment to the community of Columbia and Boone County is evident through his acts of community service and engagement with populations that are most vulnerable and in need.