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Knoxville Area Urban League CEO announces retirement

After nearly 30 years as president and CEO of Knoxville Area Urban League, Phyllis Y. Nichols announced she is ready to hang her hat.
Phyllis Nichols, CEO and President of KAUL
Phyllis Nichols, CEO and President of KAUL(WVLT)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 8:11 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knoxville Area Urban League announced on Thursday that Phyllis Y. Nichols, president and CEO of the organization, will be retiring in September.

It is a bittersweet day at the Knoxville Area Urban League! Please join us in congratulating our President and CEO...

Posted by Knoxville Area Urban League on Thursday, June 16, 2022

KAUL officials congratulated Nichols on her retirement, saying her departure “will leave a huge hole.”

“We know she is excited to see the next chapter for the organization, but she will be missed,” KAUL’s Facebook post said.

Nichols was one of the longest-serving CEO of the five leaders in the organization’s history in Knoxville. She first joined KAUL in 1994 as a curriculum and education specialist and became CEO in 2000.

“Leading the Knoxville Area Urban League has been challenging but also the most fulfilling work one can imagine,” Nichols said in her retirement letter to the nonprofit’s board of directors. “The people I have been privileged to work with, the engagement with our national organization, our board and the community we serve have all contributed to the accomplishments we have achieved.”

Nicols’ work was highly recognized with 11 awards and honors from various organizations such as the University of Tennessee and PBS.

The hunt for a successor to Nichols’ role is already underway. “Phyllis is committed to supporting a smooth and effective transition as she enters a well-deserved retirement,” Board Chair for KAUL Jan Brown said.

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