Herman Lessard has been appointed to Senior Vice President of Affiliate Services for the National Urban League. He will be responsible for leading the “Hub of the Wheel” for the affiliate network inclusive of all constituent auxiliary groups.
Lessard is a veteran Urban Leaguer with self-directed, results-oriented track record of mending fragmented organizational structures into focused participatory and collaborative environments in which high performance teams become a common goal. His various affiliations during at 21+ year span are proof-positive of being the type of change agent for this position (Chair, Minority Business Solutions Committee, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce; President of the National Urban League Association of Chief Executives; Board of Governors, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX; Austin Community College Foundation Board of Directors; Past-Board Chair, Austin Revitalization Authority; and Envision Central Texas Board of Directors).
Beginning in 1987 as the Director of Education (Memphis, TN), Lessard directed the Family Life Education department and served as the business, political and community advocate that directly impacted the amount of funds available to meet the needs of the department and the constituents. In 1990, Lessard then moved to Vice President of Programs/Director of Education and Career Development (Portland, OR). In this role Lessard was instrumental in the development of the “Integrated Family Service Center” model for Multnomah County creating the empowerment and enterprise zones. As President & CEO (Austin, TX) in 1994, Lessard increased the agency’s funding from $500K to $2.4M in his first four (4) years through alternative, aggressive fundraising and effective budget management. During the tragic time of 9-11-01, Lessard’s Austin affiliate became the temporary ‘Hub of the Wheel’ for the National Urban League to keep all technological communications flowing. In 2004, Lessard was appointed President & CEO (Saint Petersburg, FL). Within three (3) months of his appointment, Lessard developed new and reestablished business and industry relationships resulting in additional support and recognition throughout the Pinellas County communities.
Lessard, a Chicago, Illinois native, obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in History/Pre-Law from DePaul University. He was an Education Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership, Inc. and has extensive training in various topics (Conflict Resolution, Total Quality Management, Cultural Diversity/Cultural Sensitivity) from the State of Oregon Department of Education, Quality Through Leadership, Inc. and Management Aspects, Inc.