Ronald L. Walker, II
Ron Walker is a nationally recognized business leader and workforce development expert with extensive public and private expertise in corporate strategy, government, banking, customer acquisition, executive level management, business integration, and strategic planning. With a successful career as an executive level banker and strategic consultant to companies and entrepreneurs, he brings a wealth of experience in economic development, finance, and innovative strategies to UNCF. Walker is also currently the COO of the Lupoli companies which is the 5th largest real estate development company in Massachusetts. Walker was appointed in 2015 by Governor Charlie Baker as Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Under his leadership as Secretary, the administration made significant improvements in the development of the Commonwealth’s labor force. Walker fostered a focus on regional strategies to address workforce development and economic growth, which resulted in the largest Massachusetts labor force since 1976, and a historic low of the unemployment rate of 2.8%, at times. Prior to his appointment, Walker was co-founder and President of Next Street Financial, LLC, a merchant bank that provides strategic advice and access to capital to companies and entrepreneurs nationally. He has held several corporate executive positions in large financial institutions including leading the bank’s advisory board. Additionally, Walker has been involved multiple business deals including a recent $400 million real estate transaction in Boston Massachusetts. This is one of the first major real estate deals with a state agency in Massachusetts that required minority investment partners. A Mattapan, Massachusetts native, Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from Prairie View A&M University. He also completed two Executive Education programs at Harvard Business School; Finance for Senior Executives and Governing for Nonprofit Excellence. Mr. Walker has received numerous awards for his business and community leadership, such as the 2019 UNFC New England 75th Anniversary Leadership Award, the 2013 Boston Business Journal CEO of the Year Award, and the 2012 Central Boston Elder Services Community Service award to name a few. Mr. Walker recently gave the 2019 Founders Day and Honors Convocation speech at Prairie View A&M University. He was also appointed by the President as Chair of the President’s Advisory Council.