ALI CENTER NAMES DEVONE HOLT NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO

DeVone Holt
DeVone Holt

Ali Center names DeVone Holt new President and CEO 

LOUISVILLE, KY (July 9, 2024) — The Muhammad Ali Center board of directors recently named DeVone Holt as its new President and CEO.

Holt brings a unique set of experiences and expertise to the Muhammad Ali Center that includes his most recent position as Chief External Affairs Officer at Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. During his five years at Goodwill, Holt championed the development of a $120 million Opportunity Campus in one of Louisville’s most under-resourced communities. The 20-acre campus includes a $50 million 125,000 square-foot resource center and the first hospital to be opened in Louisville’s inner-city in more than 150 years.

“DeVone emerged as someone with the passion and expertise to guide the Center into its next chapter,” said Ali Center Co-Founder and Lifetime Member Lonnie Ali. “I’m confident he’ll put his talents and dedication toward our success and longevity.”

As a Louisville native and Eastern Kentucky graduate, Holt brings nearly 30 years of experience in public relations, brand management, government affairs, strategic communications and fundraising to the Muhammad Ali Center.

At Goodwill, he was responsible for the nonprofit organization’s marketing, communications, public relations, fundraising and government affairs. He also served as Superintendent of Kentucky’s very first high school for adults, which Goodwill opened in 2022 after a successful multi-year legislative lobbying and fundraising campaign led by Holt.

Previously, he served as the National Director of Customer Engagement for ResCare Workforce Services and Special Assistant to the Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools. In those roles, he functioned as the lead external affairs officer for both organizations and introduced a collection of innovative solutions to help maintain their respective status as the nation’s largest workforce services provider and America’s 28th largest school district.

“I grew up in the same community where Muhammad Ali was raised and have a high regard for the six guiding principles that he used to establish his center,” said Holt. “Being entrusted to manage the legacy of my personal hero while simultaneously helping other people pursue greatness is one of the highest honors I could receive. This is my dream job.”

Holt was hired by the Muhammad Ali Center board of directors after a rigorous vetting process and a recommendation from the center’s selection committee. He is the first Louisvillian to be named President and CEO of the Ali Center.

“Just as Muhammad said, 'Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,' DeVone understands the Ali Center's role in service to the Louisville community, to the world and to furthering Muhammad's legacy as a champion of peace and justice for all people ”said Nicole Yates, Molina Healthcare AVP and leader of the Muhammad Ali Center selection committee. “I was proud to serve as chair of the transition team that recommended this outstanding leader whose vision, passion and dedication will lead the Ali Center forward and upward."

As the former West Louisville Economic Development Director for Louisville’s chamber of commerce, Holt’s previous work helped create approximately $400 million in new business investments and more than 1,000 new jobs for the city’s inner-city community. He also served as lead host of the former Saturday Morning Solutions radio show for 10 years and authored the book, Hip Hop Slop: The Impact of Dysfunctional Culture.

The Muhammad Ali Center’s mission is to mobilize Muhammad Ali’s legacy to foster respect, inspire generations of changemakers, and advance social justice. The center’s vision is to help establish a just and compassionate world where all people can reach their greatness. It is led by a board of directors co-chaired by Ingrid Gentry and Roula Allouch.

“We’re looking forward to getting DeVone’s tenure underway and working closely together,” Gentry said. “The Board is excited about this addition and where the center is headed.”

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