ALBANY ALBANY, Ga. — Longtime Girls Inc. Executive Director LaKisha Bryant was the first person interviewed for the vacant CEO spot at United Way of Southwest Georgia.
Turns out, the committee didn’t need to look any further. United Way announced Thursday that Bryant has accepted the position.
United Way Board of Directors Chairman Jim Deal said the committee named to select the new CEO interviewed four other strong candidates but was “thrilled” to offer the position to Bryant.
Bryant replaces Dewayne Miles, who left the United Way post earlier this year.
Deal said the organization is looking to Bryant to lead the way in fundraising and to regain trust in the local agency.
“She has strong fundraising capabilities,” the board chairman said. “She is already thinking outside the box.”
United Way of Southwest Georgia provides funding for 22 agencies in a 13-county area. The agency just completed its yearly fund drive, raising about 85 percent of its $1.3 million goal.
Bryant will continue her duties at Girls Inc. through June 29 and will begin work at United Way on July 1. She will direct a staff that includes three full-time employees and three part-time workers.
“By bringing LaKisha on board in this position, we hope to continue to cultivate a spirit of pride in the United Way, as well as garner more support for our fund development campaigns and enhance the organization as we position for the future,” Deal said.
“Having LaKisha as CEO is great for us here locally, because she is a product of this community and passionate about the people in this community. She understands the importance of the relationship between United Way and our partner agencies.”
Bryant said she wants to make a difference in the lives of the people who depend on the services that the United Way partner agencies provide in Southwest Georgia.
“I’m also equally excited to continue to serve as a model for girls and young women as I lead this organization as the first female to serve as CEO,” she said.
Bryant has a master of arts degree in communications from the University of Alabama. She also has a bachelor of arts degree in English from Claflin College in Orangeburg, S.C. She has 16 years experience, including nine in the nonprofit sector.
In addition to the position at Girls Inc., Bryant is a former employee of Miller Brewing, now MillerCoors.
Girls Inc. plans to bring an executive search committee together within the next two weeks and begin a national search to replace Bryant.
“LaKisha has given her all to Girls Inc. of Albany during her tenure as executive director, and leaves us an organization that is thoughtful, accountable and strong,” said Barbara Rivera Holmes, Girls Inc.’s board president. “It is tough to see her move on, but that is softened knowing that, through United Way, she will continue her extraordinary work for the benefit of all of Southwest Georgia.”