About 20 years ago, when Paul and Elke Koch’s daughter needed a breast biopsy, Tim Eberlein, MD, director of the newly created Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, performed the procedure. It was a scary time for the family, but luckily the test results were negative.
But Paul saw this as an opportunity to connect with Dr. Eberlein and thank him for the care he’d given his daughter.
“Everyone had raved about what a wonderful man he was,” says Paul about Dr. Eberlein. “And when I met him, he was mesmerizing. He had such a vision for Siteman, such a passion.”
The Koch family has been supporters of Dr. Eberlein and Siteman Cancer Center ever since.
“So when I was asked to join the board of The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which partners with Siteman, I jumped at the chance,” says Paul, who is active in many philanthropic, community and professional organizations.
Since becoming a board member, Paul says he has been impressed with the Foundation’s support of a broad spectrum of organizations and programs that range from innovative hospice care at Evelyn’s House to community outreach and efforts to address health disparities.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he says he saw how quickly the Foundation swung into action, raising money for critical research aimed at finding treatments and vaccines and to provide personal protective equipment for health care workers.
“Everyone at the Foundation is completely motivated,” he says. “They are doing incredible things.”
A former trial attorney, U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate and municipal judge, Paul is co-chairman with his brother Roger of Koch Development Company of St. Louis. The company, which they formed in 1970, develops, owns, and manages real estate and entertainment properties.
In addition, it developed and owns the largest Ferris wheels in the country. The company made history in 2011 when it developed SkyWheel, the first wheel of its kind in the United States. Located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the 20-story, 200-feet-high attraction, called an observation wheel, has glass-enclosed, climate-controlled private gondolas that can seat up to six people.