Nicole McKinney has been named President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit.
McKinney formerly served as the inaugural executive director of the Friends of the Children-Detroit. During her tenure, she formed new community partnerships, served children with some of the highest needs and raised more than $1 million in funding – despite the pandemic. Her previous experience includes serving in key roles for United Way for Southeastern Michigan from 2004 to 2020, including work-based learning director, director of high school success and Detroit and Wayne County area director.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit has been a pillar in the community for nearly 50 years, serving youth,” McKinney noted. “This is an organization that I have always respected and held in high regard. My past experiences have prepared me for this moment to lead at a crucial time, particularly as our youth have been so impacted by the pandemic. I’m excited to get to work.”
McKinney is a Leadership Detroit Class XXXVI graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber, and a Leadership 21 Graduate Class, Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber. She currently serves on the Michigan Teacher Tenure Commission, where she was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and is a trustee of the Birmingham Public Schools.
Among her colleagues at United Way, Tonya Adair, chief people, equity and inclusion officer, praised McKinney’s tenure. “I had the pleasure of working with Nicole and immediately recognized her leadership skills and persistence as we worked to support those in the community,” Adair said. “Her service with us at United Way will serve her well as she moves into this new role to continue to benefit Detroiters.”
Kathie Patterson, BBBS Board Chair, said McKinney’s leadership experience and success with youth programs, is a perfect fit with BBBS. “Nicole has been deeply involved in the community and has used her passion for helping youth over many years. We are pleased she is joining our organization.”
McKinney starts at BBBS on June 27. The board hired a search firm, The Hunter Group, to assist in locating a new leader. McKinney replaces Jeannine Gant, who successfully led the organization for seven years. She stepped down to work in leadership development and corporate service learning.
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) was formed in 1974 with the merger of five local BBBS organizations from throughout the Metro Detroit area. BBBS is one of the largest mentoring organizations in Southeast Michigan.