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Von Washington Jr.
Von Washington Jr.

Von Washington Jr. certainly understands the value of an education.
Growing up the son of a college professor and professional actress,
Von has been exposed to his parents’ love for and expertise in
written and verbal communications for as long as he can remember.
As executive director of community relations for The Kalamazoo
Promise, Von is tasked with being the spokesperson for The
Kalamazoo Promise, which includes responsibilities to key
community stakeholders, media relations, and promoting a system
of communication and information around a common vision of
becoming an education community. 

The prior to working with the Kalamazoo Promise, Von was an associate-vice president at Southwest
Michigan First and concentrated his efforts on business
development by partnering with existing regional companies on
their job creation efforts. On behalf of the organization, he was also
responsible for developing collaborations between educational
institutions and businesses in order to best prepare the region’s
future workforce.

Von arrived at Southwest Michigan First from the Kalamazoo Public
Schools where he served as principal of Kalamazoo
Central High School from August 2007 to July 2012. While there, he
enjoyed a visit from President Barack Obama who selected that
school in 2010 at which to deliver the first-ever presidential
commencement speech at a high school for its winning entry in the
Race to the Top Commencement Competition.

Von holds a bachelor’s degree from Western State College of
Colorado and a master’s of Educational Leadership from Western
Michigan University.