The Family that Gives Together: Gary and Tim Halls Are Making a Difference

Gary Halls describes himself as “social.” The owner of Halls Sales & Marketing food brokerage, Gary is very active in the St. Louis Zoo's Marlin Perkins Society, which is how he first learned about the Danforth Center.

“When my friend George Fonyo started telling me about the Danforth Center, I had never heard of it,” says Gary, “But once I got over here, I realized what the Danforth Center is trying to do is save the world!

Inspired, he and his late wife Bonnie became Danforth Society members. Over the next dozen years, they served on the Plantasia committee and the Friends committee, with Gary serving as chair of the group.

Gary and the late Bonnie Halls attending Plantasia in 2017. Gary and Bonnie were involved with the Danforth Center for over a decade before Bonnie’s passing in 2023. Gary served previously as chair of the Friends Committee, a role his son Tim has now undertaken.

A Family of Philanthropy

Gary traces his philanthropy to early habits at his church, as well as his belief in giving during his lifetime. “I’ve always wanted my kids and grandkids to enjoy what we’ve been able to do in life.” That includes walking by the Bonnie & Gary Halls Greenhouse at the Danforth Center, where a local startup is growing dandelions for sustainable rubber.

Gary’s son Tim adds “My parents really established a culture of philanthropy in our family. I always knew that giving back was something we were supposed to do.” He adds with a chuckle: “Plus Dad said if I wanted an inheritance, I had to join the Danforth Center Friends Committee. “

As chair of the Danforth Center Friends Committee, Tim Halls welcomes guests to Conversations events at the Center.

Hometown Pride

Tim is a partner in the Moneta Group with more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He is also a member of the Danforth Society and current chair of the Danforth Center Friends Committee.

“I’ve lived in St. Louis all my life and I want to see this city succeed. Knowing that there’s not a single place on the planet that has this many plant science PhDs—that’s special. The Danforth Center is capitalizing on that, and the rising tide of economic activity helps everybody.”

Tim has made promotion of the Danforth Center his personal mission. “Unlike the Zoo, we don’t have cute animals,” he says, laughing. “But the more people who know about the mission of the Danforth Center, the more they want to help.”

You Can Make a Difference

There are many ways to get involved at the Danforth Center. Visit to learn more.


A version of this story originally appeared in the Leaflet, the free newsletter of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Sign up to receive more stories like this straight to your inbox.