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CAA announces new President/CEO Mark B. Lawson

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By Nikki Williams

Herald Contributor

Mark Lawson. Photo provided

The Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA) Board of Directors is honored to announce that Mark B. Lawson will succeed Gwen L. Robinson as the agency’s president and CEO. Lawson currently serves as managing attorney of consumer law at the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, where he has worked for almost 20 years.

Lawson is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati, Class 37, and is a member of Leadership Action, Class 4. He received his B.S. in mathematics from Xavier University and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati.

He has been an integral part of the CAA team for many years. He was a member of CAA’s Board of Directors for 18 years, serving 12 of those as board president. He has given countless hours of volunteer service and provided much-needed support to CAA’s children and families.

CAA administers the federal Head Start program, providing early childhood education to low-income children to help prepare them for a life of learning. The agency also helps people acquire job skills, find employment, pay utility bills, and meet other basic needs as they work to become self-sufficient. Thirty-five thousand families receive assistance every year through CAA.

“I have spent my career advocating for poor families in the Greater Cincinnati region. I’m excited to bring this experience to CAA to build upon the agency’s long history of empowering people in poverty,” Lawson said. “I look forward to working with CAA’s caring and talented staff to help even more families lift themselves out of poverty.”

Lawson assumes his new position on September 4, as Gwen L. Robinson retires after 23 years of serving the community as CAA’s president/CEO.

“After a national search, the board of directors is confident that Mark is the best person to lead the agency,’’ said Chandra Mathews-Smith, CAA’s board chair. “His intelligence, his experience assisting low-income families, and his long relationship with CAA position him to be an excellent leader as we continue to serve as a lifeline for struggling families,”

“It has been one of the greatest challenges, but also one of the greatest joys, to serve as CAA’s president and CEO all these years. I know the agency will continue improving lives in the hands of such an excellent team and an extraordinary leader like Mark Lawson,” said Robinson.

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