Social Development Commission
Press Release

In remembrance of Donald “Don” Sykes

Statement by Social Development Commission Board of Commissioners and Staff August 14, 2017

By - Aug 14th, 2017 02:28 pm

The Board of Commissioners and staff of the Social Development Commission (SDC) are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Donald “Don” Sykes, longtime executive director of SDC.

Sykes led the agency for two decades (1968 – 1988) and was the foundation in building Milwaukee County’s largest anti-poverty agency. He worked tirelessly on behalf of low-income people and the community as a whole. He was resolute in his efforts not only at SDC, but also throughout both his professional career and public-spirited service.

The magnitude of Don’s intellect, hard work, and many, many contributions was recognized at the national level when he served the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community Relations for the Clinton Administration. Recognition at the national level further demonstrates how truly fortunate the Milwaukee community was to have Don care about the betterment of our city and residents.

As the leader of Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB), he achieved significant success diversifying and dramatically increasing funding sources and partnerships for MAWIB. His new approach to growing the workforce was victorious for those in need of jobs.

Don was a pioneer in this community, an exceptional man, and a stalwart individual who gave of himself at the highest level.

We share our heartfelt condolences with his loving family, circle of friends and former coworkers.
His legacy at SDC, and throughout the community, will forever be remembered and the impact he made on our community will shine into the future.

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