Nonprofit Executive of the Year: Héctor Colón


Catherine Jozwik 

A nationally ranked amateur boxer, Héctor Colón is not afraid to tackle challenges and take risks. During his tenure as president and chief executive officer of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS), Colón has led with a bold vision, helping the organization thrive.

One of the Midwest’s major health and human services organizations, LSS provides aid to nearly 40,000 individuals a year through dozens of programs focused on addiction, mental health, foster care, disabilities, refugee resettlement, youth and family, and services for senior citizens.

Prior to Cólon’s tenure, LSS had not met its budget for four consecutive years. He led a reorganization and, after losing $2 million in 2017, LSS now has a $1.5 million surplus.

In addition, his collaborations with other area nonprofits and committees, such as Partners for Change, a group advocating for improved mental health services, has allowed LSS to further realize its mission to: “Act Compassionately. Serve Humbly. Lead Courageously.”

“When we move beyond the myth that running a nonprofit business means sacrificing compassion, we can see that focusing on the bottom line, maximizing outcomes to quantifiable – rather than anecdotal – ends, allows an organization to stay deeply entrenched in its mission.”

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