Imagine MKE has selected David Lee as Chief Executive Officer, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He began his tenure on June 10, 2019.
Mr. Lee is an impactful, nationally recognized nonprofit leader with more than 15 years of experience in government policy and advocacy, hunger relief, and community affairs. Most recently, he served as the Founding Executive Director of Feeding Wisconsin, working with 1,000 local agencies to provide 60 million meals to nearly 600,000 Wisconsinites in need. Through his strategic planning and brand representation, Mr. Lee increased Feeding Wisconsin’s starting budget of $100,000 to more than $1 million in just four years. From 2010 to 2014 he worked with Feeding America in Chicago, first as Government Relations and Advocacy Director and later stepping into the Program Development Specialist role. With Feeding America, Mr. Lee increased the number of meals coming from national programs by 12 percent, resulting in the distribution of more than of 218 million meals. He also developed state legislative policy, managed a budget of more than $1 million, and directed a national focus group to determine perceptions of hunger and hunger relief funds. Mr. Lee has held additional leadership roles at the Hunger Task Force and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Demonstrating his commitment to the importance of community and nonprofit leadership, Mr. Lee serves on various boards in the Wisconsin area, including the Healthy Kids Collaborative, Ex Fabula, the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund, and the Wisconsin Local Food Network. He is also a member of the Outpost Natural Foods Collective board of directors, where he served as Board Vice President and Board President. Mr. Lee holds a bachelor of arts degree in film and drama from Vassar College.
In making the announcement, Search Committee chair Deanna Tillisch said, “Not only has David gained national recognition as a nonprofit leader but he also has a rich performing arts background as an actor, screenwriter, and director. These experiences have prepared him to lead the work of Imagine MKE and advance our coalition’s shared agenda.”
“I am more than humbled to lead an organization that has such a strong foundation of collaboration and commitment to see Milwaukee as a premier arts city,” said Mr. Lee. “My goal is to listen with humility and learn how we can accelerate the incredible work that has already begun.”
“ACG congratulates Imagine MKE and its dedicated board and search committee on selecting David Lee as its inaugural Chief Executive Officer,” said ACG Vice President Jenna Deja. “Mr. Lee’s extensive nonprofit management experience and dedication to community growth will prove essential to Imagine MKE as it builds its arts and culture coalition from the ground up. ACG is confident that he will help the organization embody its mission to unite diverse artists and arts and culture groups to strengthen their ability to thrive and contribute to an inclusive, engaged, and inspired community for residents and visitors of Greater Milwaukee.”