We are thrilled to announce the hiring of our very first executive director, Renée Thompson. Renée brings tremendous experience, skill, and leadership to this role. Her multi-sector experience and enthusiasm for social justice will allow WeRISE to take the next steps toward eradicating racism in our community, with your support.
As the Executive Director of WeRISE for Greater Westerville, Renée Thompson looks forward to combining her experience and passion to promote equity and justice through crucial and civil community conversations. Identifying and strategically building upon diverse skills and experiences have been constant themes found throughout Renée’s professional career.
Ms. Thompson is the founder and president of Unlimited Potential for Achievement (UPA), At UPA, Renée taught of the benefits of the diverse potentials and strengths residing within individuals and organizations. Prior to establishing UPA, Renée served as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Ohio State University Mansfield. During her tenure at OSU Mansfield, Renée gained a reputation for reframing the conversation of diversity to one that celebrates all aspects of diversity. On campus, students and faculty alike found Renée to be a committed advocate who represented various aspects of demographic and experiential diversity. Beyond the campus community, Renée espoused ‘diversity’ as one of the greatest untapped resources for our 21st century workforce.
PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Five people posing together outside. From left to right: James Chaffin (WeRISE VP), James Prysock (WeRISE Board Member), Renée Thompson (WeRISE Executive Director), Vashitta Johnson (WeRISE Board President), Colleen Moidu (WeRISE Board Member)
Renée began her business career in the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), Small Business and Minority Business Diversion. There she assisted in the review and re-write of legislation to support statewide procurement and set-aside programs for minority and women-owned businesses. After her work at ODOD, Thompson served as an Assistant Vice President in the Corporate Training Division of Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation. While there, Renée developed customer service curricula and program development for the national division of corporate employee training.
Thompson continued to utilize her training and business development skills as the Director for the Midwest region of the New York-based National Development Council (NDC). At NDC, Renée provided training and technical assistance in housing and economic development to government, corporate, community, and faith-based entities throughout the country. Thompson continued her work in training and program development as Project Manager in the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. There, she facilitated the establishment and implementation of the State’s Ohio Strengthening Families Initiative (OSFI). Her responsibilities included policy, fiscal, and programmatic management of grants within the OSFI program.
Throughout her busy career, Renée has been blessed to have the support of her children and her husband, Bobby. In addition to UPA, Renée has a full life researching her ancestry, traveling, writing and mentoring youth.