Nonprofit HR Associates Finds New Leader for OneWest

Nonprofit HR Associates CEO Evon Smith OneWest

January 16, 2018 – Washington, D.C.-based executive search firm Nonprofit HR Associates has placed Evon Smith as president and CEO of Louisville, KY-based OneWest, a community development group. This concluded a six-month national search.

“We were impressed with Evon’s proven success in developing collaborative partnerships and leveraging resources with non-profit organizations, government entities, businesses, investors, and community stakeholders – all of which will be crucial in this role,” said Paul Costel, board member, leader of the search committee, as well as president of JP Morgan Chase Bank of Kentucky. “She clearly has an entrepreneurial mindset and experience managing a small start-up organization with limited resources.”

With more than 20 years of experience in real estate development, Ms. Smith is the founding president of Sustainable Community Resources, a real estate development firm with offices in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, NC. She is also a partner in a $100 million mixed-use development project in Greensboro called the South Elm Street Redevelopment Project. In addition, Ms. Smith has served on the North Carolina State Association of Community Development Corporations board, the North Carolina Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise advisory board, and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership Real Estate Committee.

Visionary Leader

“We chose Evon because she’s a visionary leader with experience in raising capital, getting projects off the ground, and seeing them through to completion,” said Steve Poe, chair of the OneWest board and president of Poe Companies. “She has a proven track record in lifting up disadvantaged communities through economic development and demonstrated skills in commercial development, including financing, facility design and construction.”


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OneWest is a non-profit organization working to establish new pathways to private and public capital, in an effort to generate sustainable economic development and neighborhood revitalization in West Louisville, in partnership with community residents.

In her new role, Ms. Smith will direct the execution of OneWest’s five-year strategic plan, which includes advocating for commercial and mixed-use development efforts, beginning at the 18th Street and West Broadway corridor.

Established in 2000, Nonprofit HR Associates is led by president and CEO Lisa Brown Alexander. Under her direction, Nonprofit HR has served some of the most prominent organizations in the country, including Amnesty International, Independent Sector and NeighborWorks America. Ms. Brown Alexander has more than two decades of human resource management experience working with non-profits and for-profit organizations.

Non-Profit Sector

The non-profit sector has gained economic strength in recent years, making it the third largest employer in the country. Nearly two million not-for-profits employ 10.7 million people and produce $1.9 trillion in revenue. In the past decade, employment in the sector has grown by 17 percent. With demand for non-profit talent at an all-time high, search firms have no shortage of work looking for candidates.

Here’s a sampling of recent search work for top non-profits from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

BoardWalk Consulting helped in the placement of Jennifer Blatz as president and CEO of StriveTogether, a national non-profit working to improve education for children. The search was conducted by an eight-person search committee of StriveTogether board members, long-time investors, executive directors of two local partnerships as well as BoardWalk Consulting.

Diversified Search has recruited Freda Fung as East Asia president of Special Olympics, the largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. She takes over from Mary Gu Shuhang. Jason León, managing director in the recruiter’s Washington, D.C. office, led the assignment.

Human Capital Consultants places John W. Sigmon as new CHRO of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. The Washington, D.C.-based search firm completed the engagement in under two months. As one of the largest not-for-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C., area, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation employs more than 2,200 individuals across the U.S.

Easterseals has selected Angela F. Williams as its new president and CEO. Non-profit recruiting specialists Koya Leadership Partners conducted the search. Easterseals is the country’s leading non-profit provider of services for people with disabilities, including veterans and their families.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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