The West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology named Jamon Alexander as its new president and CEO.
WMCAT on Monday said it appointed Alexander to the role. He succeeds former President and CEO Daniel Williams, who left WMCAT to become president of the Steelcase Foundation on Feb. 22.
Most recently the director of workforce development at WMCAT, Alexander spent six years growing the nationally recognized program that provides holistic support and career training to adults seeking living-wage careers in the health care industry.
As WMCAT’s next leader, Alexander will be tasked with advancing the organization’s mission of equitable access to opportunity and providing vision and leadership around WMCAT’s work in West Michigan.
“I am excited and honored to step into the role as president and CEO,” Alexander said. “Being from and of Grand Rapids, I’m deeply invested in economic security with families as a foundation for community prosperity. With the pandemic shifting the cultures of learning and work, our next challenge is exploring the future of opportunity to ensure equitable outcomes with individuals and families. I’m looking forward to this challenge with our team.”
WMCAT, which is based at 614 First St. NW, Suite 300, on Grand Rapids’ West Side, engages adults in tuition-free career training and leadership development, connects high school students to creative exploration through the visual arts and digital media, and runs two social enterprise businesses.
“On behalf of the WMCAT board of directors, I am very excited about the future of WMCAT under Jamon’s leadership,” said Tim Williams, WMCAT board chair and vice president of diversity and inclusion at Meijer. “He is well positioned to both guide and amplify WMCAT’s innovative leadership and community impact. The board and I look forward to supporting Jamon and his leadership of WMCAT.”
Prior to WMCAT, Alexander led fundraising and volunteer efforts at the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Spectrum Health Foundation and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Heart of West Michigan United Way.
As a longtime nonprofit professional and community advocate, Alexander has spent much time actively influencing the Kent County workforce development system through collective impact collaboratives. He is part of the Equity Action Team for the Essential Needs Task Force (ENTF), an equity adviser for K-Connect’s fourth- through 12th-grade workgroup and a core team member of Invest Health, a national initiative that addresses the social determinants to health.
Alexander is one of the founders of BL²END (Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions) and currently serves on its advisory committee.
He is alumnus of the REAL (Racial Equity in Action Leadership) cohort with the National Equity Project.
In 2014, he received the Community Advocate Award by Grand Rapids Young Professionals, and he was named a member of the 2013, 2015 and 2019 classes of 40 Under 40 Business Leaders by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.
Alexander earned a bachelor’s degree in public and nonprofit administration from Grand Valley State University, which named him Young Alumni of the Year in 2012.
Founded in 2005, WMCAT is a nonprofit with a mission to provide a culture of opportunity for people to create social and economic progress in their lives and the community.
Through afterschool and summer arts and technology programs, WMCAT engages high school students in creativity and civic engagement.
WMCAT also provides career training in medical coding, medical billing and pharmacy technician fields to under- and unemployed adults.
Additionally, the nonprofit has two social enterprises: Ambrose, a commercial screen-printing business, and Public Agency, a design thinking consultancy.