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Coalition For The Homeless Appoints Michael Nichols As Interim President/CEO
News Release
Friday, February 01, 2019

The Board of Directors for the Coalition for the Homeless is has announced the hiring of Michael Nichols to serve as Interim President/Chief Executive Officer for the organization. Nichols' appointment to this position is key to the Coalition's strategic planning initiative and leading the agency to be an even more visible leader in advocacy and public education on homelessness and related issues, as well as supporting those partner agencies working together as a part of The Way Home.   

"We are thrilled to announce that Michael is joining the Coalition," said Alan Watkins, Chairman of the Board with the Coalition. "The Coalition has been such a vital part of our community's success toward solving homelessness. Expanding on our organization's strengths and programs will be critical to reaching our goal where no one will be without permanent housing for more than 30 days. I feel certain that his skill set and leadership will increase the Coalition's capacity as both a local and national leader on solving homelessness and move our region closer to that goal."  

Nichols has been an active participant in business and civic activities in Houston for more than three decades. After earning his bachelor's degree in History from Brown University and his Juris Doctorate from Emory University, Nichols practiced law and served two terms in the Georgia House of Representatives before joining Sysco Corporation and working his way up the corporate ladder to become Senior Vice President of Administration and General Counsel. After retirement from Sysco Corporation, he joined Grocer's Supply Company as Chief Operating Officer. Nichols also served as Interim CEO of the Houston Parks Board.  

In addition to his strong business and legal experience, Nichols also brings a strong nonprofit and community service background to his new position with the Coalition including chairing the City of Houston Financial Task Force at the request of former Mayor Annise Parker. He has also served as Chairman of the Houston Food Bank and as an officer of Congregation Beth Israel. Nichols is a board member of the American Jewish Committee, with which he chaired the two Immigration Summits with Rice University.  

"I am honored to serve as the Interim CEO for the Coalition for the Homeless at this very important time," said Nichols. "Since 2012, the Coalition and its partners have made significant progress toward its goal of creating and maintaining a system where no one has to be without permanent housing for more than 30 days. Although we face significant challenges including continued recovery from Hurricane Harvey, fighting the synthetic marijuana epidemic, and the economic downturn, I am very optimistic about reaching our goal. We have strong support from committed partners in Houston City Hall and Harris County Commissioners' Court, the more than 100 partner organizations who work together as part of The Way Home, and Houston's philanthropic community who I believe are eager to provide the necessary resources to help the Houston region reach its goal. I am excited to play a role in helping the Coalition grow and creating a community where homelessness is rare, brief, and non-repeating."  

In addition to new executive leadership, the interim Chief Operating Officer Lynn Lohr, who was appointed to the position after the leadership transition in December, has made strategic staffing decisions to support the organization's growth. As the Chief Programs Officer for the Coalition, Eva Thibaudeau-Graczyk oversees a team that drives the collaboration of The Way Home, implements and advances permanent housing and case management programs, and provides education and training to partner agencies. Adding a new member to the Executive Team, Sara Brown was promoted to the position of Director of Development & Communications in an effort to increase the level of public education in the community and secure vital funding and other resources for the organization and the homeless response system as a whole.

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