Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Don't miss
Home / Supplements and Special Sections / ICONS / ICON Awards 2022: Charles Valier, Lashly & Baer

ICON Awards 2022: Charles Valier, Lashly & Baer

Charles ValierIt isn’t unusual for an attorney at the peak of their career to be elected to the state legislature. Still, some manage the feat earlier than others.

Charles Valier did it his second year of law school.

Inspired by the concept of the Greek polis while studying art and architecture under the famed Yale professor Vincent Scully, Jr., the native St. Louisan and former Marine decided to assume a role in public life before even completing his law degree from the University of Missouri.

Moreover, Valier’s three terms representing the 69th District in Missouri’s House had a lasting impact on his city and the state. It was his legislation that created the Zoo-Museum District that continues to fund civic institutions in Forest Park.

“That subsequently led to me being a commissioner of the Zoo for about ten years and treasurer,” recalled the 81-year-old.

After leaving the legislature in 1973, he’d serve as Governor Kit Bond’s counsel for a time before coming to Lashly and Baer where he has since made a name as a transactional lawyer dealing with the finance aspects of health care, commercial lending, real estate, mergers and acquisitions and tax-exempt bonds.

“It was a specialty that very few people were able to do,” he said. “It was complex and therefore very challenging.”

During his more than four decades at the firm, he’s played major roles everywhere from the board of directors to the compensation committee.

Yet, it is his roles in the larger community that truly inspire awe. Valier has spent time on the board of Downtown St. Louis, Inc., served as vice-president of the city’s Board of Police Commissioners and been the governor’s representative on the Missouri Housing Development Commission. He was active with the New City School and the Loretto-Hilton Theatre, Inc., and acted as a trustee for the Missouri State Employees Retirement System. A one-time part of the Civil War Preservation Trust in Washington D.C., he also served on the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Commission as treasurer and sat on the board for the Union Sarah Economic Development Corporation.

In 1970, he was honored with the Aloys P. Kaufman and St. Louis Globe-Democrat’s awards for public service as well as receiving the St. Louis Jaycees Distinguished Service Award.

But his most important role outside the office may be his work on the George Caleb Bingham Trust, which has preserved more than 100 drawings of the famous Missouri artist after Valier spearheaded an effort to raise more than $2 million from businesses, individuals, the Legislature and tens of thousands of schoolchildren.

“The drawings are now considered owned by the people of Missouri and are on loan between the St. Louis Art Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City,” writes his nominator.

ICON Awards 2022