Greater Milwaukee Foundation names Vincent Lyles as new Milwaukee Succeeds executive director

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The Greater Milwaukee Foundation announced today that it has chosen Vincent Lyles to serve as the next executive director of Milwaukee Succeeds, following the retirement of longtime leader Danae Davis.

“Vincent is an undisputed changemaker in Milwaukee, and his undeniable passion for supporting Black and Brown children of all ages in reaching their full potential is perfectly aligned with the foundation’s generational commitment to racial equity,” Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of GMF, said. “As we further invest and engage in our connected vision to make education work better for our city’s youth, Vincent’s deep relationships, experience and love of community will take our impact to the next level. We are thrilled he is joining our foundation family.”

Lyles will begin his new role on Jan. 23. Currently, he serves as the system vice president of community relations at Advocate Aurora Health.

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He joins the foundation as the third leader to serve as Milwaukee Succeeds’ executive director, succeeding Davis, who retired in November after leading the initiative since 2015.

“I’m very appreciative of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Milwaukee Succeeds in conveying their trust in me. It is both an honor and a privilege to follow in the footsteps of leader and friend, Danae Davis,” Lyles said. “The work that has been accomplished is quite impressive. I look forward to working with the Milwaukee Succeeds team and coalition of community collaborators in taking this work further on behalf of our children and Milwaukee’s future.”

Launched in 2011 by GMF and its partners, Milwaukee Succeeds supports a vision of “cradle-to-career” success centered on racial equity and changing systems, with particular focus on early childhood education for Black and Brown children and high school success for Black males, said the foundation in a press statement. It leads a coalition of over 100 organizations, including educators, nonprofits, businesses, philanthropists and government.

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Milwaukee Succeeds oversaw the development of the MKE Early Childhood Education Coalition, whose advocacy secured $7 million from the city of Milwaukee in ARPA funding to support the early childhood education workforce, informing $46 million in state investment to keep providers safely open and serving families, and advocating for $29 million in the state budget to increase Wisconsin Shares childcare subsidy rates statewide.

Prior to his role at Advocate Aurora Health, Lyles was president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee for more than seven years, leading a team of more than 600 staff and 2,000 volunteers. He has also held leadership positions with Robert W. Baird & Co. and M & I Bank/BMO Financial Group.

Lyles holds both a bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate from the University of Wisconsin and received a certificate in nonprofit management & leadership from Harvard Business School. His board service includes Marquette University, BMO Funds, Badger Mutual Insurance, Near West Side Partners and MyPath.

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