Renaissance West Community Initiative Names New CEO
William “Mack” McDonald, Jr., will replace Laura Clark and lead RWCI into its next phase
CHARLOTTE, Oct. 7, 2016 – Renaissance West Community Initiative (RWCI) has named William “Mack” McDonald, Jr., as its new CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Mack will succeed Laura Clark, who has led the organization through its building and development phase as CEO and is stepping down on December 31 to join United Way of Central Carolinas as its Chief Impact Officer.
“I am honored to assume the role of CEO for Renaissance West Community Initiative,” said McDonald. “It is a privilege to take the reins from Laura and help drive this community forward on our mission. Growing up in similarly challenged neighborhoods around Charlotte, I have experienced many of the same trials our residents are facing now and am living proof we can end the cycle of poverty. I am committed to helping all our residents and neighbors achieve their goals and supporting them and their children throughout their journeys.”
RWCI is leading the revitalization of a neighborhood on West Boulevard with a mission to improve economic mobility through a holistic approach that includes mixed-income housing, cradle-to-career educational opportunities and supportive services.
McDonald, who currently serves as RWCI’s Chief Operating Officer, is a Charlotte native who graduated from Olympic High School. He has more than 25 years of experience in non-profit management and was most recently the Associate Dean of Corporate and Continuing Education at the CPCC Ballantyne Center before joining RWCI. Prior to that, he held leadership positions at United Way of Central Carolinas and Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. A native of Charlotte, Mack holds an undergraduate degree from North Carolina A&T State University and an MBA from UNC Greensboro.
During Clark’s four-year tenure as the founding CEO of RWCI, the organization has achieved many accomplishments that have set the community up for success. RWCI formed an innovative partnership with CMS, developed plans for a high-quality child development center and launched numerous programs designed to improve economic mobility. In addition, RWCI collaborated with residential developer Laurel Street Residential as 334 new units of mixed-income housing were built and leased. RWCI also grew its staff and launched a fundraising campaign to ensure its sustainability. Under Clark’s leadership, RWCI launched a campaign that as raised more than $12 million to-date, including nearly $5 million for the child development center, which is expected to start construction before the end of the year.
“Renaissance West has been my passion for the last four years, and our staff and board of directors should be very proud of the progress we have made in transforming this community,” said Clark. “When we recruited Mack as part of our succession planning, we knew that he was uniquely qualified to take on this role as the organization moves into its operational phase of work. I am confident that with his skills, experience and personal commitment to the mission, he will drive the community forward and ensure success for our residents.”
McDonald will oversee the openings of the new CMS PreK – 8 school and the Howard Levine Child Development Center over the next year as well as the implementation of a number of new programs that support children, families and seniors.
About The Renaissance
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) a $20.9 million HOPE VI grant for the revitalization of the former Boulevard Homes, located at West Boulevard and Billy Graham Parkway. The public housing site had been home to 900 people who struggled with poor educational attainment, poverty, and violent crime, which at one time was five times the city average. Redeveloped by Laurel Street Residential, the community now includes 334 units of mixed-income housing and a community center. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will open a new PreK-8 school on the site in 2017.
About Renaissance West Community Initiative
Renaissance West Community Initiative is a nonprofit organization leading the revitalization of the former Boulevard Homes public housing site into a vibrant village called The Renaissance. The initiative uses a holistic community redevelopment approach focusing on multiple critical factors including mixed-income housing, educational opportunities, youth and adult development programs, health and wellness services and commercial investment. RWCI is responsible for developing, coordinating, and evaluating a comprehensive array of services and supports, such as health care, out–of-school-time programs, and workforce development to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
Renaissance West Community Initiative was formed by community leaders in the fall of 2012 and is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors.
United Way hires local leader Laura Clark as chief impact officer
From Charlotte Business Journal (http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2016/10/07/united-way-hires-local-leader-laura-clark-as-chief.html)