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Charles F. Lomax Jr. Named As President and CEO

The Knoxville Area Urban League has selected Charles F. Lomax Jr. as its new president and chief executive officer to succeed the retiring Phyllis Y. Nichols, who led the organization for two decades. Lomax, the City of Knoxville’s director of community empowerment, will assume the leadership position on Dec. 12, 2022. Lomax emerged from a pool of candidates considered during a national search conducted in cooperation with the National Urban League. He has served as a city director for nearly three years. “The board unanimously voted to select Charles as the next generation leader of the Knoxville Area Urban League,” said Jan Brown, board chair of the nonprofit. “It was a clear decision, and we are fortunate to welcome his proven expertise in community leadership, strong vision and passion for equality to the organization.”
Nichols, who announced last June that she would retire in the fall, was the longest-serving CEO of the five leaders in the organization’s 54-year history in Knoxville. “Charles will lead with enthusiasm and commitment to our mission of equity, civil rights and economic self-reliance for all,” Nichols said. “He has the ability to bring opportunities for further engagement across all of our platforms and programs in order to deepen the work and impact of the Knoxville Area Urban League in our community.” As Knoxville’s director of community empowerment, Lomax serves as a liaison between community organizations and the city, addressing concerns and collaborating for meaningful change and a more equitable place to live and work. He helped establish the city’s Empower Knox initiative, an effort to improve the lives of at-risk youth and young adults and empower the organizations that serve them. He also has been the pastor at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Alcoa for more than a decade.

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