Friends of the Near West Side,

 I’m reaching out to share the news of my departure from Near West Side Partners, effective at the end of this year, to pursue a new opportunity as President and CEO of University City Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina.

University City Partners (UCP) serves the Charlotte community much like NWSP serves the Near West Side – and that’s by design. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of its staff, Board, anchor institutions, business owners and residents, NWSP has established itself as a model for private-public partnership and resident engagement.

I did not make the decision to move lightly, and I’ll always have tremendous love and pride for the City of Milwaukee, the Near West Side and everything we’ve accomplished together. This will always be my home, and it’s a testament to the strength of our organization that I have this exciting chance to continue NWSP’s organizational model and successes at UCP.

While it’s difficult to part with a community and organization so dear to me, I know I’m leaving you all in good hands. My friend and longtime NWSP Associate Director Lindsey St. Arnold Bell will serve as Interim Executive Director in the coming months. Her behind-the-scenes work has been instrumental to the organization’s growth and success and I have no doubt that she’s the best person to lead the organization at this time. 

It’s been an honor to help build and lead NWSP. Together, we’ve created a safer community, brought over 47 new businesses to the neighborhood and made business resources more accessible to entrepreneurs, hosted countless community events, installed over a dozen murals and public art features, and kept each other safe and supported during a pandemic – and that’s not even a fraction of it! To say the importance and impact of this organization has exceeded my wildest dreams would be an understatement.

It takes a village to raise a community. The devotion, passion and tenacity of our village makes me confident that this organization and the tremendous work we do will carry on without skipping a beat. Thank you for your commitment to our amazing neighborhood of neighborhoods. I can’t wait to see all you accomplish. 

Be well Near West Siders,

Keith Stanley,

Executive Director

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