Edgar Mendez

LISC Milwaukee Director Laura Bray Resigns

Leaves just four months after replacing longtime director Leo Ries at neighborhood improvement group.

By , Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service - Dec 9th, 2015 03:01 pm
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Laura Bray, newly appointed executive director of LISC Milwaukee. Photo by Jabril Faraj.

Laura Bray, newly appointed executive director of LISC Milwaukee. Photo by Jabril Faraj.

Laura Bray, hired less than four months ago as the executive director at LISC Milwaukee, resigned Friday, according to a note from Susan Hatch, chair of the organization’s Advisory Board.

Chuck Vliek, program vice president of the national LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) organization, will serve as interim executive director.

Dawn Hutchison-Weiss has been named interim deputy director, according to the note, which Hatch sent to key LISC stakeholders. Hutchinson-Weiss has been serving as the organization’s director of communications.

“Hutchison-Weiss will lend her six years’ experience… to insure local continuity and decision-making until the search process is concluded,” Hatch wrote.

According to Hutchison-Weiss, Bray left the organization to dedicate more time to her family.

“We appreciate the time and effort Laura has contributed, and we look forward to new leadership to continue down the path of renewed and focused impact in our neighborhoods and the community,” Hatch said in the statement.

Calls to LISC board members were not immediately returned.

Bray was hired in August to replace longtime LISC executive director Leo Ries, who retired from the organization he ran for 15 years. Prior to joining LISC, Bray was executive director of Menomonee Valley Partners (MVP) for 10 years, where she oversaw completion of the Hank Aaron State Trail, the building of Three Bridges Park and the Menomonee Valley branch of the Urban Ecology Center. After leaving MVP, Bray became CEO of life sciences company BioForward Inc., a position she held for seven months before joining LISC, an organization she often partnered with while at MVP.

Her resignation will not affect current programming at LISC, according to Hutchison-Weiss. “We’ll still be working on community safety, the ACRE program, the MANDI awards and all our other projects,” she said.

This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

3 thoughts on “LISC Milwaukee Director Laura Bray Resigns”

  1. Kathleen says:

    Why does this article not state what LISC stands for?

  2. Marie says:

    “According to Hutchison-Weiss, Bray left the organization to dedicate more time to her family.” That’s always code-speak. Will we ever learn the real story in a published format?

    Here’s some pure conjecture by someone who does not know Laura Bray nor anyone else at LISC…

    Bray and Menomonee Value Partners achieved huge successes in transforming the MV by being sustainability visionaries and having a lean operation outside the mainstream.

    Whatever its name means, LISC is a huge national org and won’t even bother with small-scale community development projects (I think it may be under $2 million). Maybe in MKE and elsewhere, visionaries function most effectively outside massive bureaucracies. Or they have trouble infusing those behemoths with new visions while trying to manage them.

    Of course, maybe Laura Bray truly does just want to spend more time with her family…

  3. Bruce Murphy says:

    Kathleen, good point, we added the full name, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, to the story.

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