Urban League president to retire

Urban League president to retire

William Clark
William Clark

William Clark, longtime president and CEO of the Urban League of Rochester NY Inc., has announced his retirement, effective April 5, 2019.

Clark’s career at the Urban League spans 37 years, beginning as chief financial officer, overseeing the agency’s annual operating budget and Salute to Black Scholars Endowment Fund. In 1983, he was promoted to vice president of finance and administration and also served as chief program officer and personnel administrator.

On Jan. 1, 1994, Clark was named interim president and CEO, replacing former Rochester Mayor William Johnson, who had led the agency since the early 1970s. On June 27 of that year Clark was confirmed as president and CEO.

“When I started my career at the Urban League of Rochester in 1981, I never envisioned that it would be as rewarding, satisfying and fulfilling as it has been,” Clark said in a statement. “It has been a journey of love and I am honored to be a part of the Urban League’s history in this community. I will always be an Urban Leaguer and stand ready to continue supporting and furthering its mission.”

During his time with the Urban League, Clark saw the organization’s annual operating budget increase to more than $6 million per year. He was instrumental in the purchase of the league’s headquarters at 265 N. Clinton Ave. and the $750,000 capital campaign to renovate the building. Through his leadership, the Urban League has served tens of thousands of Rochesterians, helping them achieve economic self-reliance, parity and power and civil rights.

“It goes without saying that Bill Clark’s service, passion and commitment to the Urban League movement is without comparison,” said National Urban League President Marc Morial. “His absolute professionalism, commitment to empowerment and fighting injustice and steady hand has made the Urban League of Rochester one of the best affiliates in the history of the Urban League movement.”

Through the years, Clark has been a board member or involved with a number of local nonprofits including the Monroe County/Rochester Workforce Investment Board, the JPMorgan Chase Bank National Community Advisory Board, the YMCA of Greater Rochester board of directors, the University of Rochester Medical Center board of trustees and the Greater Rochester Health Foundation board of directors. He formerly served as a trustee for both the Center for Governmental Research and the Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, as well as a member of the City of Rochester Planning Commission. Clark also represented the Urban League on the state commissioned Principal Project Advisory Team to improve the development of school building leadership.

“Through Bill Clark’s leadership, the Urban League of Rochester has expanded its services and evolved to meet the diverse needs of the Rochester community,” said Glen Jeter, Urban League of Rochester’s board chairman. “We are grateful for his service and look forward to continuing his strong legacy.”

The Urban League of Rochester was founded in 1965 as an affiliate of the National Urban League. The organization’s mission is to enable African Americans, Latinos, the poor and other disadvantaged to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power and civil rights. The League has more than 25 programs in the areas of business development, education and youth development, family and children services, housing services, services for individuals with developmental disabilities, workforce development and economic development.

Officials said Clark’s position will be advertised to the local community beginning Nov. 1.

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