The Milwaukee Urban League announced Monday that its President and CEO Ralph E. Hollmon will retire by December 31. Hollmon, who has led the agency since 2002, has agreed to continue in his role through the search process and to assist his successor to insure a seamless transition.
“Ralph Hollmon has been an outstanding leader for the Milwaukee Urban League and the broader Milwaukee community,” said Outgoing Board Chair Simon Davis.
“During his tenure, he has significantly improved the overall financial condition and stewardship of the organization, while being an advocate for students and adults who have benefitted from the critical education, employment and racial inclusion programs the League offers.”
Former Board Chair Jackie Herd-Barber added, “Ralph Hollmon has demonstrated a passion for helping people move toward self-sufficiency. Under his leadership, the Milwaukee Urban League helped thousands of students enter college and obtain needed financial assistance and assisted hundreds of men and women find employment or start, operate or grow their own business.”
Other accomplishments include:
• Working with law enforcement on the ongoing challenges to improve police community relations
• Helping develop the Dr. Wesley Scott Senior Living Community and rent-to-own single family housing in Metcalf Park
• With assistance from the Guild and Young Professionals, working with the City of Milwaukee Elections Commission to adopt the polling site at the Metropolitan Baptist Church
One of Hollmon’s most noteworthy achievements is the purchase of the Milwaukee Urban League headquarters at 435 W. North Avenue. The building is located in the heart of Bronzeville, an area designated by the City of Milwaukee as the African American Cultural and Entertainment District. Hollmon said that his goal prior to retirement was to raise $500,000 of which $400,000 will be used to complete the purchase of its building and $100,000 to establish a building maintenance fund. He said paying off the mortgage on the building will enable the Urban League to use more of the funds for program services and create a legacy for future generations. He also believes it could serve as an anchor for Bronzeville that will motivate revitalization and other major development.
“It has been an honor to lead the Milwaukee Urban League for the past 14 years, and I am very proud of the impact we have had and will continue to make in this community,” Hollmon said. “None of this would have been possible without outstanding Board members, a great staff and the generosity of the philanthropic, business and corporate community.”
Hollmon added, “Even with our progress, our community has many remaining challenges with: ensuring that all of our children receive a quality education, lowering unemployment, especially among black males, and reducing unacceptably high levels of poverty in parts of our city. These challenges let us know that there is still a great need for the services that the Urban League provides.
“With the ongoing support that we have received, and by continuing to work together, I firmly believe that we can help those we serve become more self-reliant so they can improve the quality of their lives.”
Current Board Chair Noah Fenceroy, Senior Managing Attorney, Manpower North America, will lead a search committee to identify the League’s next President and CEO. Interested candidates should contact the Milwaukee Urban League for additional information on the search process.