PRESIDENT & CEO at a Glance
- Lifetime community organizer
- Served 30 years working for the city of Seattle.
- Director of Community Outreach & Senior policy advisor for Mayor Greg Nickels.
- Public Relations Manager for Housing & Human Services
- Strategic Advisor for the Department of Transportation
- Program Manager for the Department of Neighborhoods
- Team member; Designed and implemented the City of Seattle’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI)
MOVING FORWARD: 2013-2014
I am amazed that I celebrated my first anniversary as President & CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle on June 4, 2013. It has been a fast paced year with some major accomplishments that I will share with you in this message.
It began with moving back into the former Urban League building on 14th & Yesler in December 2012. The new owners, Retail Lockbox, purchased and renovated the building we formally owned and brought 80 permanent jobs into the Central Area. We occupy the second floor and continue to provide housing foreclosure prevention, mediation, financial education, credit counseling and criminal expungement classes.
I’d like to welcome our 12 new board members and our well respected, connected and, enthusiastic board chair Mr. Nate Miles. Please check out their profiles on our website. We have a few additional board members to add and are working diligently to complete that task.
The board has been busy; we’ve revamped the mission statement, vision and bylaws, elected officers, and formed working committees. Our fiscal year ended on June 30th and the board approved the 2013-2014 budget. We’ve also completed an 18 month strategic framework which will guide the work of the ULMS staff through July 2015. A copy of the framework will be available on the website soon.
I hired Mr. Shomari Jones as the Vice President of Operations and Development. Shomari most recently worked at the Meredith Matthews East Madison YMCA and has a strong background in program development, education and health. He’s a graduate of Tuskegee University and Leadership Tomorrow. Shomari is the right fit to my outgoing, visionary, bullet style (as he calls it) tireless work ethic. Working with the board, and following the strategic framework, we will move the league forward and bring back employment, education and health programs for African Americans in Seattle and throughout the Puget Sound Region.
Speaking of staff, I want to say thank you to the ULMS staff for believing and supporting me this past year. I realize that change can be difficult and I appreciate staff’s confidence in me, as together, we move the ULMS forward. My sincere gratitude goes out to: Housing Director, Linda Taylor; Comptroller, Marzieh Rassaian; Housing Counselors, Natalie Lockhart, Mr. Mack Murray, Marilyn Harris, Sharran Wallace, Angela Williams, Daniel Smith, and Sherrhonda Brown; Housing Assistants and Front Desk Support, Dennis Jimerson, Bridgett McGinnis and Paul Sweeny; Accounting Support, Yemaya Ruiz Hall, IT Support, Michael Crye and Harder House Staff, Carolyn Austin and Darnell White.
I also want to thank you, the community, corporate sponsors, partnering organizations for your donations (volunteer time and money), constructive criticism, prayers, hope and support for the work that we accomplish day in and day out. We can’t do this work with all of you.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be going in to my 2nd year. Look for our upcoming events on the website as we will launch our membership campaign, and host an evening with Wayne Brady at Benaroya Hall and save the date for our annual breakfast fundraising on December 6, 2013 at the Westin Hotel. I look forward to seeing you in the community as we MOVE FORWARD!