African American Chamber’s Ossie Kendrix will continue leading organization after moving to Dallas

Ossie Kendrix, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin. (Photo: Anese Alexander)

Last updated on November 11th, 2020 at 01:48 pm

Ossie Kendrix, the president and chief executive officer of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, has moved to the Dallas area with plans to continue leading the Milwaukee-based organization remotely.

Kendrix and his wife, Deirdra, plan to maintain dual residences in Milwaukee and Texas. The move was prompted by an expansion of Deidra’s consulting firm, DC Global Group, in the Dallas area.

The AACCW board of directors asked Kendrix to retain his role in 2021, but plan to work with him on a leadership transition and determine a possible successor later next year.

Kendrix has led the chamber since 2017.

In recent years, he has spearheaded the organization’s plans to develop its new Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space at 1920 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Milwaukee.

AACCW announced last month it reached its $1 million fundraising goal for the project, and expects to open the space early next year.

The 4,000-square-foot facility will include a commercial kitchen tailored for baking to help grow catering and other businesses, private offices, a coffee shop and retail space.

The project has received a few significant contributions over the past year, including $300,000 from former Milwaukee County executive Chris Abele, a $144,400 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and an undisclosed gift from American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation to complete the Legacy campaign.

Recently, Advocate Aurora Health also announced it is granting $250,000 to AACCW for its RISE entrepreneurial training program.

Incoming AACCW board chairwoman Nikki Purvis applauded Kendrix’s leadership during a challenging year.

“While teleworking, he has introduced new programming and services to members; developed, nurtured and strengthened strategic partnerships; and completed the $1 million Legacy Capital Campaign,” Purvis said. ”During these unconventional times, it is critically important – from an operational and relational standpoint – for the chamber to continue to focus on implementing our plans for 2021 and creating a sustainable environment for staff, members and donors alike.  Ossie has proven that teleworking is not a hindrance to his leadership, so I am confident the Board’s decision to support his dual residency is fitting for the moment.”

Kendrix projects AACCW’s membership to grow 25% annually and that it will help launch as many as 80 new businesses at the Legacy Space over the next three years.

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