Nearly 600 employees of education-and-finance company ECMC Group of Oakdale will relocate next month to refurbished Washington Square, the three-building complex in the Gateway District of downtown that’s being reinvented as a next-generation technology-and-business hub.
However, ECMC Group CEO Dave Hawn won’t make the trip.
Hawn, 52, a former Wells Fargo banker who joined ECMC eight years ago, will become CEO on Sept. 1 of Urban Ventures, the 70-employee south side nonprofit that works with business, schools and community groups to fight poverty and build economy in the core city.
Urban Ventures partnered several years ago with Ryan Companies to build the $28 million Colin Powell Leadership Center and Christo Rey Jesuit school in the striking complex on Fourth Avenue S., a block north of E. Lake Street, and helped revitalize a neighborhood also buoyed by Wells Fargo Mortgage campus that replaced Honeywell 15 years ago.
Hawn replaces Tim Clark, who left Urban Ventures for another nonprofit. Hawn said Urban Ventures has doubled its revenue to more than $5 million in recent year sand serves about 15,000 youth and adults annually with a variety of training, family counseling, after-school education and other programs.Hawn said he was called by his faith to leave the corporate world after 30 years.
Since joining ECMC in 2008, Hawn helped grow ECMC to 3,500 employees—overseeing $30 billion in assets, $700 million in annual revenue, and a $600 million charitable foundation. Hawn said his most significant act was working with the U.S. Department of Education and the Consumer Protection Bureau to take over part of failed private-college and trade school operator Corinthian College, which was doomed by high student-default rates, most of it on government loans for trade schools. ECMC helped refinance or forgive about $480 million in high-cost debt for aggrieved students.
“There were 100-some [Corinthian] schools and we bought 50 of them,” Hawn said. “We’re down to about 24 campuses. We’re working to bring quality nonprofit education at a lower cost. We’re trying to demonstrate, that there is a nonprofit high-touch model that this nation needs.”