Message from the Executive Director, Darryl Johnson

We wish a hearty farewell to a friend, community advocator and a great Riverworks supporter Leo Ries. On April 30, 2015 Leo stepped down as the Program Director of the Milwaukee LISC office after 15 years in that position.

Over those 15 years, under the direction of Leo, LISC has accomplished much by bringing together the right combination of resources and people to get projects done that often defied the logic of the mainstream economy.  Leo loved the opportunity to help ‘connect the dots’; his greatest satisfaction over the past couple of years has been two projects that change the way we deal with race in this town:

  • Milwaukee Police Department on proactive community safety strategies (establishes partnerships among law enforcement, residents, business owners and members of other neighborhood institutions)
  • The opportunity to re-launch the ACRE program (The Associates in Commercial Real Estate program is an industry-supported initiative that recruits and retains minorities for professional careers in the field of commercial real estate)

Leo stated “I’m still young enough to continue supporting Milwaukee’s growth as a vibrant, diverse, urban community, but perhaps in a less demanding role.”

Riverworks Development Corporation and Milwaukee LISC Office are teaming up to purchase and install and bench in honor of all the great work that Leo has done here in the City of Milwaukee.  The bench will be installed along the Beerline Recreational Trail between Buffum Street and Townsend Street (near the mural project that LISC assisted in funding). On the bench there will be a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. which Leo will select.


We here at Riverworks look forward to working with you as you develop and shape your new role working in the community sitting on your new bench in the Riverworks Center.