de Tocqueville Member Spotlight: John Beuerlein

John Beuerlein is General Partner at Edward Jones. He serves as the 2018 de Tocqueville Society Chair and has been a proud member of the Society since 1995. His wife Crystal is pictured beside him.


What is the last song you sang out loud? “Riders on the Storm” by the Doors. I know it’s not a lullaby, but it’s what I sang to my kids when I rocked them to sleep. They still remember it to this day, and I’m continuing the tradition with my grandchildren.


How do you spend your days? Being very busy. When I’m not traveling, I normally rise by 5 a.m. and am in the office by 6. I love my work and community engagement and try to stay focused on that during the week. I love our three children and four grandchildren and try to spend time with them on the weekends.


Who was/is your mentor, someone you aspire to learn from? I had lots of mentors early on in my career: my parents, my partners at Edward Jones, leaders on boards, but probably my best mentor is Crystal, my wife of the last 42 years. She helps me see things from a more liberal, female perspective. It adds great balance to my life.


Share a significant childhood memory that helped shape you today. Trees. I was one of eight children and we always played outside in the trees. We loved climbing trees and getting up high. Loved the feeling of climbing which explains why I like climbing mountains. I’ve climbed Kilimanjaro twice, the Grand Teton, Mount Rainier, and a number of lesser known peaks throughout the country and abroad. When you climb a mountain, you get out of your comfort zone because you don’t really know if you’ll be successful. I have found over my career that putting yourself in those situations either physically or in business is where all the personal development takes place. And looking back over my career it was also where all the fun was!


How/when did you decide to become involved in philanthropy? As a small child I can remember my parents citing the bible verse, “To whom much has been given, much is expected.” Crystal and I share the notion that most of the great things in our lives were a result of some educational experience we were privileged to have. So, if there is a dominant theme to our giving early on and through today, it has been to sponsor scholarships for minorities who might not be able to enjoy the educational advantages we’ve enjoyed.


What inspires you to be a de Tocqueville member? The success of United Way in St Louis is the ‘face’ of the giving spirit that resides here in the hearts of St. Louisans. I’d say as United Way goes so goes philanthropy in our great community. At Edward Jones, giving to United Way was modeled to us all by our founding partners. Our relationship with United Way is a great tradition and a great source of pride for us all.


What do you want to be when you grow up? A friend to whoever needs one.


Do you have a nickname? Is there a story behind it? At work it’s ‘Burr’. At home amongst the kids and grandkids it’s ‘Babu,’ which is Swahili for “grandfather.”


Can you share a time you witnessed a selfless act of kindness? How did that affect you? Hundreds of them by mothers taking care of their children. It makes me feel like I need to do more.


They say you can tell a lot about a person on how they take their coffee… Dare to share? Cream and two packets of sugar. I can’t drink it without it.