The in Battle Creek, Michigan, has selected La June Montgomery Tabron to be its next president and CEO, effective January 1, 2014. She will succeed Sterling K. Speirn, who will have served eight years when he steps down as president/CEO at the end of the year.
Tabron has served in numerous leadership positions during her twenty-six years at the foundation and currently serves as executive vice president of operations and treasurer, in which position she has been instrumental in shaping the foundation's future direction. Her leadership with respect to the foundation's place-based funding in Mississippi and New Orleans, for example, resulted in the launch of a strategic focus on the educational achievements of young males of color.
"I am pleased to have this opportunity to serve and to lead this wonderful foundation to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children," said Tabron. "Growing up in a family of ten children in inner-city Detroit, I know first-hand the day-to-day challenges faced by the families we seek to help. In so many ways, my own journey illustrates the power and impact of what is possible with the right conditions."
After the foundation announced a year ago that Speirn would step down at the end of this year, it launched a search for successor that considered candidates from both the U.S. and abroad. "La June is the perfect choice to lead WKKF," said Speirn. "She has been a co-architect of the foundation's strategy, and she has done it with great skill, grace and leadership. The board's decision to choose "home-grown" talent speaks volumes about La June's ability to lead the implementation of this work. And the board is making history with naming the first female and African American to lead the foundation since its founding more than eighty-three years ago."