Monday, October 22, 2007

Untold Story: Johnathan Holifield

There are 8 million stories in the naked city. I'm not sure where I heard that line ... but, it has a ring of truth to it.

There are many untold stories in our BDPA history. One of them occurred in Cincinnati in the early part of this decade. I was the chapter president in 1999-2001. During that period I received a call from the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce requesting my attendance at a meeting to discuss a technology initiative. That meeting gave much needed credibility to our BDPA chapter in the Cincinnati area. We met a number of people that later provided us with corporate sponsorships and corporate memberships. The chapter still has a seat on the advisory group for that initiative ... now known as CincyTech USA.

The brother that gave me the call was a lawyer and former Cincinnati Bengals running back ... Johnathan Holifield. As such, I was proud to see that Jonathan Holifield has been picked to lead the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, a civil rights agency and community development organization.

Holifield, who most recently ran the parks department in Buffalo, N.Y., will replace Myron Robinson as chief executive officer, who announced his retirement last September after 16 years.

"He’s a great choice. He’s been a fighter for a long time," said Robinson, who helped choose his successor for the 90-year-old Cleveland institution, which is known for its focus on job training in the black community.

In a prepared statement, Holifield said he was humbled to join a flagship affiliate of the Urban League movement. Holifield, 43, was chosen after a nationwide search and will begin as CEO on Dec. 1. He will help oversee the Urban League’s annual $3 million budget.

The one-time NFL running back was a 1987 draft choice of the Bengals. He played in the league for two years and went on to earn a master’s degree in education and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati. Holifield also served as vice president of the Cincinnati NAACP and the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

I hope that BDPA Cleveland chapter reaches out quickly to Bro. Holifield. That is a strategic alliance that should be cultivated with quickness!

Anyhow, BETF-Blog readers, do you have an untold story in our BDPA history that you would like to share?


Villager said...

Anyone from Cleveland, OH reading our blog?

Villager said...

I was sad to learn that Cleveland's Urban League branch closed down due to overload of debt. Sign of the times I guess...