LISC Milwaukee announced today that it is working with its national office to search for a new executive director, as Leo Ries, executive director of LISC Milwaukee for the past 15 years, announced his resignation from the organization, effective April 30th.
As LISC embarks on a new strategic plan this year, Ries feels the time has come for new leadership to set the future direction of LISC Milwaukee and help develop and execute the plan during his or her tenure.
“The timing is right for this move, both for me and for the organization,” said Ries. “From a personal standpoint, I still have a lot I want to contribute to the community, but also feel a strong calling to outside interests, especially since my wife recently retired. From an agency perspective, LISC is as strong as ever and positioned well to thrive under the fresh perspective of a new leader.”
LISC and its partners have overcome many challenges and achieved remarkable successes over the past 15 years. When Ries became executive director, he was one of just three employees. Since then, LISC has flourished to become a more robust organization and developed numerous programs that are vital to the Milwaukee community, including safety partnerships with the Milwaukee Police Department and the creation of Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) with Marquette University and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), a 28-week curriculum designed to increase minority representation in fields of real estate development, property management and construction management.
“Leo’s advocacy for Milwaukee neighborhoods and commitment to bettering our community is exemplary,” said Lisa Glover, chairwoman of LISC Milwaukee’s advisory board and member of the LISC National board of directors. “The progress that LISC has made under Leo’s leadership speaks for itself. We are sincerely grateful for his years of service and wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors.”
Since 1995, LISC has generated more than $368 million in total development costs of LISC supported projects. More than $123 million in LISC and affiliate funding has been distributed to LISC’s partners. To date, LISC has assisted 110 community-based organizations, and financed more than 2,300 houses and apartments and more than 1.4 million square feet of commercial and community space. Under the leadership of Ries, LISC has developed a strong structure and network in Milwaukee that will sustain the organization and help it grow consistently and be successful long into the future.
LISC’s national office will assist in the search for a new executive director along with the support of the local advisory board. Until a new permanent director is named, Chuck Vliek, program vice president, will be serving as interim executive director, supported by LISC’s internal management team within the local office that will keep operations running smoothly.