Chytania Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Chytania Brown has over 20 years of experience in criminal justice, workforce development, community development, policy, and advocacy. In 2020, she became the first African American female to be appointed President and CEO of Employ Milwaukee, Inc. Chytania oversees the administration of federal, state, and philanthropic funds and the creation of effective programs that ensure alignment between the skills demanded by a changing economy and those offered by the region’s labor force.
Chytania began her career as a parole agent followed by advancement into numerous Senior and Executive Leadership roles in workforce development, including 17 years at Employ Milwaukee, which was previously known as both the Private Industry Council (PIC) and Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB). As a change agent at Employ Milwaukee, she led the creation of a reentry department to provide tailored employment and training services to individuals involved in the criminal justice system, participated in national research projects, and expanded youth and young adult workforce resources by building an Office of Career Exploration. Prior to rejoining Employ Milwaukee in 2020, Chytania was the Administrator of the Division of Employment and Training at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) under two gubernatorial administrations. On the state level, she spearheaded innovative American Job Center initiatives that expanded service delivery inside Wisconsin correctional institutions and launched a Mobile Career Lab for out-of-state veteran recruitment and enhanced community connectivity.
Chytania is working on her Doctor of Philosophy for the Advancement of Learning in Service at Cardinal Stritch University. She is inspired by the quote, “The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible.” – Unknown
Julie Cayo, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Performance
Julie Cayo has over 20 years of experience in urban planning, economic development, workforce development, and community development and revitalization. Julie oversees the planning, fund development, compliance, and business intelligence functions of Employ Milwaukee. Julie spent the first decade of her career making plans for the built environment through downtown redevelopment, brownfield remediation, and traditional urban planning projects. In 2012, Julie joined Employ Milwaukee where she realized that making plans to connect people to sustainable economic well-being is her passion. Julie’s areas of expertise include data-driven program design, project management, and developing neighborhood-based initiatives. Julie has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP).
Lowell B. Raven, C.P.A., Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Lowell has been a Certified Public Accountant for over 33 years and has been a Licensed C.P.A for over 12 years. His professional experience spans both six years in public accounting and twenty-nine years in private industry. His not-for-profit experience includes working as a Controller and C.F.O. for large NFP social service organizations (Chicago Commons Association, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and Oak-Leyden Developmental Services, and now Employ Milwaukee, Inc.) as well as large NFP healthcare organizations (Howard Brown Health, Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles and Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center).
With 35 years serving not-for-profits organizations, Lowell has developed expertise in this industry to resolve both common and unique issues. He is very experienced in internal financial reporting, including aspects related to preparation of financial statements, consolidated financial reports, budgeting/trend analysis, expense allocations and agency reorganization to increase operational efficiencies, improve internal processes and reduce excess costs. Lowell possesses extensive audit, accounting, finance, cash and treasury management, tax, and compliance experience. He also possesses extensive experience in writing and updating accounting policies and procedures manuals to strengthen and improve internal controls. Lowell also possesses extensive experience with Uniform Guidance as he has directly worked with a myriad of federal, State of Illinois and Wisconsin, and City of Chicago and Milwaukee funding sources on grant reporting and compliance requirements as he has directly managed tens of millions of dollars of federal, state and city contracts. He also has experience overseeing information technology and facility operations.
Lowell earned a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Iowa and is a member of the American Institute of C.P.A.’s. He is also a member of the Illinois C.P.A. Society and had served on the Society’s Not-For-Profit (NFP) Committee for nearly nine years including their NFP Conference Task Force.
Vanesa Carmona-Lewis, Vice President of Programs and Business Solutions
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Vanesa has supported her community by contributing her talents to workforce development and economic assistance for more than 10 years. She began her career as a Case Manager in the Wisconsin Works program and advanced to Senior Leadership. She has experience in project start-ups, community relations and change management. Vanesa oversees program delivery, business solutions, strategic community outreach and communications at Employ Milwaukee. She is a first generation college graduate and has her Bachelor of Arts in Italian Studies, Master of Science in Nonprofit Management and a certificate in Cultures & Communities from UW-Milwaukee.