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The Sherman Phoenix Foundation announced today that Dr. Stacia Thompson has been named as the nonprofit’s first executive director. In this role, she 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.
Thompson was chosen following a nationwide search led by Goodwill TalentBridge in partnership with the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources.
“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 VP 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.”
Dr. Thompson is known for being a change agent in developing economic empowerment and workforce strategies. With deep expertise in community development, program development, entrepreneurial services and economic development, she is also an expert speaker and facilitator for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Her previous roles include tenures at the University of Wisconsin Parkside, Gateway Technical College, City Colleges of Chicago and most recently the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago.
“I am both honored and thrilled to be chosen as the inaugural Executive Director of the Sherman Phoenix Foundation,” said Thompson. 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.”
In addition to her professional roles, Thompson has served on many boards such as Community Women’s Club, Hispanic Business and Professionals Association, National Council of Workforce Education, Career Launch Chicago Advisory Committee, Cook County Coordinated Re Entry Council, Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute Workforce Development Board, and Racine Creative Center. She is a past recipient of the NAACP Youth Award, UW Parkside Community Service Award, YWCA of Southeast Wisconsin Women of Distinction Award, Black Softball Circuit Hall of Fame inductee, and Professional Women’s Network for Service Inspiring Women Leadership Award.
ABOUT THE SHERMAN PHOENIX FOUNDATION
The Sherman Phoenix Foundation is focused on critically needed leadership, training and action by leaders of color on economic equity and empowerment. The Foundation will work to collaborate with leaders working to build inclusive and just economies for communities of color. It will support strategies focused on:
- Economic equity and empowerment;
- Entrepreneurship and small business success;
- Strategic corporate investment and training; and
- Emotional wellness for leaders of color.
Additionally, the nonprofit organization will lead all programming at the Sherman Phoenix that brings cultural and economic vibrancy to the hub, including technical assistance for the 25+ small business tenants, wellness programming, educational offerings and arts and cultural events.
ABOUT SHERMAN PHOENIX
The Sherman Phoenix was birthed after the police shooting of an unarmed Black man in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee in 2016. Our community came together to transform a fire-damaged bank building into a thriving hub for 25+ Black-owned businesses.
Having opened in late 2018, the Sherman Phoenix quickly became a model for healing our city by generating positive economic and social returns in communities of color and a vibrant community space that embraces talent and innovation, employs over 100 people, builds community wealth, and inspires new narratives for our future. The Sherman Phoenix includes much-needed community spaces to curate art exhibits, film showings, and cultural events. For more information, visit www.shermanphoenix.com.