Kathy Thornton-Bias named President & CEO

Help spread the word

Share this page:

Kathy Thornton-Bias named President & CEO

Dear community partners, donors and friends,

We are pleased to share with you that after a unanimous recommendation, the Board of Trustees has named Kathy Thornton-Bias as the next President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. Kathy’s first day on the job is Friday, March 1.

Thornton-Bias is a highly respected executive in the business and retail space with a career that spans almost three decades. During that time, she has held senior leadership roles for more than 15 years in large organizations and possesses a wealth of fundraising experience. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in Rhetoric and Communications, she joined Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, where she would eventually become the first African American to hold the title Vice President for Divisional Merchandise. She then served as the President of the Retail Division for New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where she doubled revenues and tripled profits. After 11 years at MoMA, Thornton-Bias became Bang & Olufsen’s President of North America, launching a new revenue stream which would ultimately produce 30 percent of the overall sales for the company. She later moved to Milwaukee to become the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Verlo Mattress franchise.

Thornton-Bias has served on numerous non-profit boards including a current board member of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Ron Brown Scholars Program, and the University of Virginia, where she serves as a trustee. She is also a member of the Junior League and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She has received widespread recognition from a number of esteemed publications including Ebony Magazine, which placed her on their “Power 100” list, and Essence Magazine, which named her to their list of “Game Changers.”

In addition to her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, she also earned a master’s in business administration from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.

The search process was conducted over several months by executive search firm Egon Zehnder, in partnership with a committee led by BGCGM Board Vice Chair Bob Mikulay. A number of Clubs employees and community partners were engaged to provide input on what traits they find important in a CEO. Applications were received from qualified candidates across the country, all of whom had direct ties to Milwaukee. Our search team was tasked with finding someone to set a strategic vision, build effective relationships within the community, and provide organization leadership.

We are excited for Kathy to join the Milwaukee community and BGCGM family, and can’t wait for you to experience her vision for supporting our members. Over the coming months, Kathy will be out in the community meeting many of you in person. As you learn about her priorities, strategy and goals for both the Clubs and the community, we know you will be as hopeful about the future as we are.

We thank you for your continued support of the Clubs. Without your generosity, be it time, treasure or talent, we would not be able to support the thousands of kids who walk through our doors every day.