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Published: Friday, 6/29/2007

Greater Toledo Urban League looks for experience in its new chief

Mickler Mickler

Greater Toledo Urban League officials last night stressed that they would like to find someone with previous Urban League experience to become the next president of the organization.

The Urban League board of directors came together for its annual board meeting last night at the Main Toledo-Lucas County Public Library downtown in the middle of its own changing of the guard.

Its first and only president, Johnny Mickler, left the organization last month to become president of the Urban League in his hometown of Greenville, S.C.

Mr. Mickler, who attended last night's meeting, said he believes the local Urban League is in good position to attract a top candidate.

The organization reported a profit of $160,000 through May of its budget year, which ends June 30.

Assistant Treasurer John C. Jones told the organization that 70 percent of the organization's funding through grants for programs has been approved for the next fiscal year.

"[The 2008 budget] is another positive that we're sitting at," Mr. Jones said. "Some people may questions that our [chief executive officer] is gone, but I think we're in a good position."

After the meeting, Mr. Mickler credited the Urban League staff and the board members for its leadership and making sure the organization is on sound financial footing.

"I'm in Greenville now and I'll tell you I wish I had the directors there that I had here," Mr. Mickler said. "I had outstanding directors here. They are committed and know what they're doing. The [Urban League in Toledo] is in good hands."

Paul Hubbard, interim president and chairman of the president's search committee, said the committee has been in touch with the National Urban League, which will advertise Toledo's president's position through its newsletter.

He said the organization also will recruit at the Urban League's upcoming national convention in St. Louis July 25-28.

Mr. Hubbard said he believed the Toledo job would be attractive to many of the roughly 109 Urban League affiliate presidents around the country. The Urban League's budget was $1.023 million last year.

"I would think Toledo is one of the top 20 or 30 [Urban League affiliates] in the country," Mr. Hubbard said. "So you have roughly 80 or 90 affiliates grooming our next president, but they may not know it yet. Johnny has raised our budget to a point where it would be enticing for an individual to come in.

"All of our financials are in order, our programs are in order, and the city has embraced the Urban League in a very positive way. We have everything here that would make a person want to become our next president."

James Murray, president of Ohio operations for FirstEnergy and chairman of the Urban League board, said Mr. Mickler has set a high standard for the next president, but he and the board are determined to find someone who can step in and keep the affiliate operating at a high level.

Contact Clyde Hughes at:


or 419-724-6095.

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