Héctor Colón is the president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS). Under his visionary and servant-leadership approach, Colón has positioned LSS for greatness – adapting new models and business strategies to increase impact and viability for staff, clients and the organization. Before the start of Colón’s tenure in 2017, the organization had not met its budget for four consecutive years. During Colón’s first three years, LSS grew from over $4 million in losses to $8 million in gains resulting in a $12.4 million financial turnaround. No stranger to financial turnarounds, Colón worked with his team to turn multimillion dollar deficits into multimillion dollar surpluses while serving as executive director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, he led several countywide initiatives, including efforts to reform the juvenile justice system, end chronic homelessness, transform mental health care and end a 30-year waitlist for disabilities services.
Colón will say that his own personal and professional turnaround began in boxing. As a member and champion of the national USA boxing team, he won seven national titles and competed in the 1992 Olympic trials. At the height of his boxing career, Colón stepped away from a lucrative career to serve God. Today, as the USA Boxing Board vice president, he and the organization focus on inspiring athletes to discover their own path toward personal and professional greatness. He also serves on the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and the board of directors for M3 Insurance, as well as Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ; NCBS), the holding company for Nicolet National Bank.
Colón’s life experiences and success prepared him to answer the call of servant-CEO. He is working to inspire a servant-CEO collective to revolutionize the social services sector as we know it today in the following ways: position the nonprofit industry as the employer of choice; fully commit to the growth and development of all clients and their potential for greatness; and reimagine a servant-led sector that will thrive well beyond the next century. Colón was named a 2021 Notable Minority Leader and the 2019 Nonprofit Executive of the Year by BizTimes Media.He also was chosen as Hispanic Man of the Year by United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS). His first book “From Boxing Ring to Boardroom: Five Virtues for Life and Leadership” is now available for purchase on amazon.com and hectorcolonmke.com.