The Community Action Organization of WNY’s (CAO) Board of Directors has Selected Thomas U. Kim as its New President and CEO.

Kim has a 30+ year career of extensive organizational, management, and fiscal leadership experience across non-profit, government, military, and for-profit sectors. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Primo Center in Chicago, an organization that serves the city’s homeless population. 

Kim’s life experience also stood out to CAO’s Board. He grew up in extreme poverty while being raised by a single immigrant mother. His family experienced racial injustice first-hand.

The Honorable Craig D. Hannah, CAO’s Board President, said he looks forward to working with Kim.

“The Board, with the help of an extensive search process conducted by the executive search firm Catapult Executive Consulting, selected Kim because of his high-level leadership and management experience with many non-profit organizations across the nation.” Hannah added: “His passion for driving change in low-income communities stems from a first-hand understanding of the issues they face.”

Retiring President and CEO of CAO, L. Nathan Hare, said he is  impressed by Kim’s record of leadership.

“Mr. Kim is an inspiring leader who can carry our mission forward with a new vision, ideas, and enthusiasm,” Hare said.     

In September of last year Mr. Hare announced plans to retire after serving the anti-poverty agency for 18 years. Hare,  a lifelong resident of the City of Buffalo ,  has worked in youth employment, youth training and education, foster care, social services, and juvenile justice for more than 40 years.            

He served as leader of the CAO   since 2002. 

Between 2002 and the present, he   increased the agency’s operating revenue from under $20,000,000 to well over $40,000,000 and brought the agency’s employee headcount from just over 300 to well over 800. He also dramatically expanded the number and quality of program offerings that were aimed more broadly at eliminating the root causes of poverty and the lack of opportunity.   

The Community Action Organization of WNY was incorporated in 1965 and operates anti-poverty programs in Erie and Niagara counties. Annually, CAO serves more than 50,000 families and individuals .  

Hare will continue his work in the community as an antipoverty leader, activist, and educator, and will continue to empower the vulnerable and unheard. He is hopeful for what the future will bring under new leadership at CAO.