Wanda Walker Appointed Director of Program Excellence


Wanda N. Walker will join Jeremiah Program in the new position of Director of Program Excellence. Walker, who most recently served as Chief Administrative Officer for Community Action of Minneapolis, begins her work with Jeremiah July 15, 2013.

As Director of Program Excellence, Walker will oversee and contribute to the continued delivery and development of superior programming within existing campuses while transferring the knowledge from one campus to the next as the organization expands nationally. Walker will be responsible for program development, design, evaluation and process improvement in collaboration with the senior leadership and will provide leadership in the evaluation and improvement of the program model.

“Jeremiah Program’s growth depends on a strong infrastructure,” said President & CEO Gloria Perez in announcing Walker’s appointment. “Wanda’s role as Director of Program Excellence will help us fulfill our commitment to continuous improvement and consistency across campuses. Her experience and personal commitment to our mission will be an asset and welcome addition to our leadership team.”

Jeremiah Program currently has two fully operational sites—in Minneapolis and St. Paul—that serve 300 women and children annually. The next step in the organization’s national expansion is an Austin, Texas, site, opening in two stages in 2013-15. Leaders in the communities of Fargo-Moorhead and Boston (Endicott College) are also actively exploring the possibility of establishing a program in their communities.

In her 12 years with Community Action of Minneapolis, Walker worked with staff, board and volunteers to deliver effective programs and services to low-income Minneapolis residents. Prior to Community Action, Walker was a public health program consultant and a teen center director with the Georgia Department of Human Resources, volunteer administrator with Catholic Social Services of Atlanta, and associate director of Wesley Child Care Center in Cincinnati. Earlier in her career, she was a social worker in Cincinnati.

Lucy Gerold Named Executive Director for Minneapolis-Saint Paul Campuses


Jeremiah Program is pleased to announce that Lucy Gerold has been named Executive Director of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Campuses. Lucy has been serving as Interim Executive Director for the past three months. She was chosen from a large pool of talented candidates during an extensive national search.

“Lucy’s passion for our program is evidenced by her long history of volunteer work at Jeremiah,” said Michael McHugh, chair of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Community Board of Trustees. “Her excellent managerial skills honed from a distinguished career with the Minneapolis Police Department is exactly what we need to move what is already a great program to the next level of excellence.”

In making the announcement, McHugh and Jeremiah Program President & CEO Gloria Perez said that the search team was invigorated by Lucy’s clarity for the future, her leadership skills, her passion for the mission and her dedication to proven practices to reduce poverty.

In addition to serving as Interim Executive Director, Lucy has taught Personal Empowerment courses at Jeremiah for the past four years. “I believe deeply in the mission of this organization,” she said in accepting the position. “True life change comes through transformation from the inside out. That’s the opportunity Jeremiah provides and the opportunity our young, determined moms embrace. I am thrilled to be a part of this life-altering, two-generation work.”

Gerold was a 34-year employee of the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). She was a Deputy Chief and Precinct Commander. She also created and led the implementation of community policing in the mid-1980s as the Director of Community Crime Prevention/SAFE. With the success in Minneapolis, she became a member of a national team who trained and developed cops across the country to effectively implement community policing. She held numerous positions within the MPD, including Commander for Leadership and Organizational Development.