William F. Jones, Jr. became Chief Executive Officer of Focus: HOPE in 2009 after an extensive career with Chrysler and Chrysler Financial. Jones is the fourth CEO in Focus: HOPE's 45-year history.
Under Jones' leadership, Focus: HOPE has expanded services to the community through its three primary areas of focus: a food program, education and training programs, and community development initiatives. Jones has placed a high priority on excellence in education and, in particular, supported academic achievement and opportunities for children growing up in the neighborhoods around Focus: HOPE.
Workforce development training, which has opened career opportunities to more than 12,000 graduates in the areas of machining, engineering and information technology, are being expanded under Jones' direction into new and growing fields like health care and weatherization.
Community development activity has increased with the launch in 2009 of the HOPE Village Initiative which targets the 100-block area surrounding the Focus: HOPE campus on Oakman Boulevard. This initiative aims to provide excellent educational pathways and strong support services for children from birth through high school and beyond, breaking the cycle of poverty. Its goal is that by 2031, residents of the area will be educationally well prepared and economically self-sufficient, living in a safe and supportive environment.
The organization also has encouraged economic revitalization in Focus: HOPE neighborhood, bringing an estimated $98.5 million in investments into the area. New construction along Oakman Boulevard includes a $5.1 million, 24-unit apartment building constructed by Lutheran Child & Family Service of Michigan as well as a $50 million transformation of the former Bell Building which will provide transition housing for homeless adults, a health clinic and offices for Neighborhood Service Organization.
Jones also has encouraged providing a broader range of services to the 42,000 mothers, children and senior citizens who receive nutritious food from Focus: HOPE each month. Tax preparation, assistance with utility bills, flu shots, and health screenings are among services now available on a regular basis to the low income families that require food assistance.
Jones' corporate career includes six years at Metropolitan Life and 26 years at Chrysler and Chrysler Financial, interrupted by a brief stint at Nissan in 1991. Jones began his Chrysler career as corporate analyst and progressed through a variety of finance and operations assignments. In 2000, Jones was named Vice President Corporate Financial Controlling, and remained with the manufacturer until 2004 at which time he was transferred to Chrysler Financial to serve in a dual role as its Vice President for DaimlerChrysler Financial Services and the President and Chief Executive Officer for the DaimlerChrysler Insurance Company. His assignments also included stints at Chrysler Technologies and Chrysler Europe. In 2007, he was appointed COO of Chrysler Financial, a position he held until his retirement in 2008.
A native of Hampton, Virginia, Jones earned a B.A. in Psychology in 1973 and an MBA in 1981 from Columbia University. He was chairman of the Chrysler Financial Diversity Council. Currently, he is a member of the Focus: HOPE Board of Directors, the Governor's Talent Investment Board, Walsh College Board of Trustees, and the Board of Directors for the Detroit Regional Chamber, Forgotten Harvest, and Eastern Market.