The Sherman Phoenix Foundation has named Stacia Thompson as its first executive director.
Thompson most recently was vice president of workforce innovation for the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Previously, she was vice chancellor of economic and workforce development for City Colleges of Chicago and was a director of programs at Gateway Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
In her new role, Thompson will manage daily operations while building community relationships that "support economic equity and empowerment, strategic investment and training, entrepreneurial success and emotional wellness for leaders of color," the foundation said.
“As part of our search we interviewed numerous qualified candidates from around the country. What stood out about Dr. Thompson was her experience in creating programs that focus on educational and workforce opportunities and community engagement,” said Ron Adams, board chair of the Sherman Phoenix Foundation and vice president of field diversity and inclusion at Northwestern Mutual. “Not only is Dr. Thompson a qualified leader, but she’s also an entrepreneur, and we knew that entrepreneurial mindset would ensure our mission came to life.”
Thompson was chosen following a nationwide search by Goodwill TalentBridge in partnership with the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources.
In the fall, the foundation named its inaugural board of directors and launched its search for an executive director.
The foundation, which was announced last summer, is the nonprofit arm of the entrepreneurial hub at 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave. in Milwaukee’s central city.
“I am both honored and thrilled to be chosen as the inaugural executive director of the Sherman Phoenix Foundation,” Thompson said. "The board has high standards and created a strong vision for Sherman Phoenix to serve its small business tenants and the Sherman Park community. I look forward to building upon and further developing the amazing foundation and core tenets that Ms. Sabir, Mr. Adams and the board of directors have created.”