James Willis Promoted to Executive Vice President and COO of Gesher in Southfield

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Courtesy of Gesher Human Services
Courtesy of Gesher Human Services

Human services and workforce rehabilitation executive James Willis has been announced as the new executive vice president and COO of Southfield’s Gesher Human Services, one of the largest human service agencies in metro Detroit.

Willis, who has been with the nonprofit agency for 26 years, has been promoted from his former position of vice president of vocational rehabilitation and workforce development. He now will oversee business operations of the organization.

“Throughout his time at Gesher Human Services, James has worked tirelessly towards our mission of ensuring that people with disabilities can lead fulfilling lives, whether that is through day programming or working in the community,” says Paul Blatt, CEO of Gesher.

“Starting as a job coach, and working in roles such as youth employment specialist, vocational evaluator, and most recently, vice president of vocational rehabilitation and workforce development, Jim has constantly shown us his commitment and the strength of his leadership, and I am proud to announce his promotion.”

In his new role, Willis will be responsible for ensuring the organization’s program, fiscal, and strategic goals are met, and key community needs are consistently addressed. He also will be responsible for designing and implementing policies to further support agency culture and vision.

“I am humbled to serve as the COO of an extraordinary organization and team of caring and compassionate professionals that has such a long history of providing services, support, and advocacy for individuals in need across metro Detroit,” Willis says. “I look forward to the opportunity in carrying the work of building equity within our community.”

Willis earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from Wayne State University.

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