The African American Leadership Alliance of Milwaukee has named Deneine Powell as its first president and chief executive officer.
Powell is the former executive director of Groundwork Milwaukee, a nonprofit focused on promoting environmental, economic and social well-being.
Founded in May 2017, AALAM has been led by a volunteer board for the past three years. The nonprofit organization, which is focused on growing and retaining the region’s pool of African American talent, publicly launched in fall 2019.
“We are thrilled to have Deneine join AALAM as its first president/CEO,” said Antonio Riley, AALAM board chairman and founder of Stewart Riley Consulting LLC. “She has expansive knowledge and experience in many of the key areas needed to take AALAM to the next level, and we’re excited to have her at the helm to develop and support a thriving pool of diverse and talented African American leaders in our city.”
During her six-year tenure with Groundwork, Powell oversaw its fundraising, marketing, partnerships, grant writing, youth programming, volunteer activities, and diversity, equity and inclusion programs. Under her leadership, its organizational revenue grew more than 350%, AALAM said.
She previously held leadership positions with Milwaukee Community Service Corps. and the Lilly & Hamilton Inc. Business Strategy Group. She was also previously managing director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
She assumes her new role in September.
“Over the course of my career, I've realized that the aspects of my work I find most rewarding are entrepreneurial in nature – I enjoy the challenge of growing a business,” Powell said. “I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and partnering with AALAM’s hardworking board to identify ways to improve the retention and advancement for Black professionals in Milwaukee, while cultivating community partnerships through community engagement and collaboration. Milwaukee has a bright future. I’m excited to watch it grow.”
Powell was a part of the first cohort of the African American Leadership Program, which was a predecessor to AALAM.
AALAM has taken on the AALP, which had been housed at Cardinal Stritch University since 2008.