The African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin’s Board of Directors announced Thursday that Nikki Purvis has been named the Chamber’s new President and CEO.
In a release posted to its website, Purvis is described as “an experienced business leader and advocate.” Purvis takes the Chamber lead following the departure of Ossie C. Kendrix, Jr. Kendrix is now chief operating officer at The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center in Dallas.
“We are thrilled Nikki will take the helm of the Chamber,” said Dr. Lia Knox, chair of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin Board of Directors Dr. Lia Knox said in a statement. “Nikki emerged from a rich pool of highly qualified candidates, and we feel fortunate to have her. The Chamber Board is confident she will take us to amazing new heights while sustaining the organization’s significant growth and impact.”
According to the release, Purvis has more than 20 years of public and private sector leadership experience, most recently serving as the City of Milwaukee’s inaugural Chief Equity Officer, overseeing the Office of Equity and Inclusion. In this role, she led the City’s racial equity efforts, which included identifying system-wide programs and initiatives and policy considerations to address racially equitable outcomes, accessibility concerns, and equal rights for protected classes. She also provided strategic direction and oversight for the City’s Small Business Enterprise business inclusion program, which promotes economic development for small, disadvantaged businesses.
“I am honored and excited to bring my experience and vision to the Chamber,” Purvis said in a statement. “Whether it is community relations, economic development, or small business advocacy, the Chamber’s mission is to provide strategic direction, create a shared vision of development, and increase relationships through networking and quality interactions. Business owners that thrive in today’s environment intentionally engage, network, and partner with other business owners, fellow entrepreneurs, and organizations like the Chamber. In this next chapter, my vision is to lead the Chamber to support its members in recovering and excelling from the economic impacts of the pandemic and reentering an era of growth and success.”
“I’m fulfilled about this appointment and look forward to supporting Purvis’ leadership as the new Chamber President and CEO,” Kendrix said in a statement.
Purvis is a native Milwaukeean and alumna of Riverside University High School, Marquette University, and Cardinal Stritch University. In addition, she received certificates of completion from Cardinal Stritch University, Morgan State University, and John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Executive Education.
Purvis’s start date is August 15, 2022. Kendrix will continue to consult the Chamber and onboard the incoming leader.