Urban Alliance appoints interim executive director

Chris Pompey Courtesy Urban Alliance

An economic development nonprofit in Kalamazoo chose an interim leader as it searches for its next permanent executive director.

Kalamazoo-based Urban Alliance said Tuesday that it appointed Chris Pompey to the role of interim executive director. Pompey formerly served as the nonprofit’s director of prevention. He replaces Luke Kujacznski, who served as executive director for six years before leaving the organization in May.

“Urban Alliance is very disappointed to say goodbye to Luke,” Pompey said. “He impactfully led our team and leaves behind large shoes to fill. I am excited to guide Urban Alliance as we continue to forge ahead in a progressive direction and positively impact those we serve in the community. We have made great strides recently despite the challenges of the pandemic, but there is always work to be done in creating a safe and healthy Kalamazoo. There are lots of folks hurting right now, and the need for intervention is greater than ever.”

Originally from Baltimore, Pompey joined Urban Alliance in 2018, bringing many years of nonprofit experience, as well as an extensive education focused on psychology with a concentration in addictions.

“Chris has always been a valued asset to Urban Alliance,” said Scott Goodwin, Urban Alliance director of communications. “His presence, along with his down-to-earth and relatable communication style, resonates with folks, and he’s able to connect on a meaningful level. I have no doubt he will be able to lead our team to new levels and expand the capabilities of Urban Alliance.”

Urban Alliance was founded in 1999 with the mission of helping to break the cycle of generational poverty in Kalamazoo. The organization has implemented a variety of community-based economic development initiatives, most recently focused on reducing homelessness, combating gun violence, and providing support services to those suffering from substance use disorder and mental health issues.

The organization also runs programs aimed at cultivating relationships among local community members for all to gain a better understanding of the barriers and challenges that those within the city’s urban neighborhoods face.

Urban Alliance serves as a partner of Hub ONE, which along with Prevention Works, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo and Big Brothers Big Sisters, serves as a collaborative nonprofit effort to create a shared system of infrastructure, resources and best practices to address the impact of intergenerational poverty in Kalamazoo.

Last year, Urban Alliance purchased the former Stockbridge United Methodist Church at 1009 East Stockbridge Ave. in Kalamazoo’s Edison Neighborhood, which it has called home since 2015. The property is undergoing a series of renovations that will allow the organization to expand its services and offerings to the community. Once the renovation is completed, Urban Alliance plans to use the building’s sanctuary to serve as a versatile connection space for meetings, events, concerts and more.

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