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Rod Ritcherson


Lupe Martinez, President, and Chief Executive Officer of UMOS will assume the newly created title and position of President Emeritus, effective January 1, 2024.

Lupe Martinez has been with UMOS for 54 years, 49 years as President/CEO. In my request to the UMOS Board to step back from day-to-day management of the organization, I was honored with the title of President  Emeritus. This affords me the opportunity to continue to be of service to UMOS and focus on long-range planning, building, maintaining, and enhancing strategic partnerships, securing funding for the agency, overseeing government and legislative affairs, and assisting the board with the transition of a successor CEO,” says Lupe Martinez.

Martinez has grown UMOS from a small, single state, single focused organization, into the largest Hispanic-managed non-profit in Wisconsin and one of the largest, multi-state non-profit corporations in the country. UMOS currently operates in seven states with over $100 million in secured contracts.

“We are delighted that Lupe will remain a member of the UMOS family and continue in his new role to help UMOS grow and prosper,” says Ben Obregon, Chair, UMOS Board of Directors. The UMOS Board Personnel Committee, in conjunction with an executive search firm, will begin an internal and external search for a successor CEO to lead UMOS into the future. “Jose Martinez(no relation to Lupe Martinez) has been appointed interim CEO, effective January 1, 2024, to provide day-to-day leadership until a permanent CEO is selected,” stated board chair Obregon.

Jose Martinez has been with UMOS for over 27 years. He has held several positions at UMOS including Director of Child Development, Wisconsin Works (W-2) Director, VP, Farmworker & Community Based Services, and Senior Vice President, Farmworker & Community Based Services. He currently holds the position of Chief Operating Officer.

Lupe Martinez has devoted his entire 54-year professional career at UMOS to improving the living and working conditions of migrant and seasonal farm workers and other low-income populations. Lupe Martinez, himself, is a former migrant worker whose family traveled throughout the Midwest harvesting crops.

When Martinez was appointed Executive Director in 1974, UMOS was a  migrant farmworker serving agency only. Today, under Martinez’s leadership, UMOS is nationally recognized, providing diverse programs and services to diverse populations in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and throughout Wisconsin.

Martinez has positioned UMOS as a performance-based, data driven, customer focused corporation. He oversees the operations of over 50 programs, often competing against larger, Fortune 500 corporations. UMOS programs are divided into three major divisions: Child Development, Workforce Development, and Social Services. UMOS also produces five corporate and community events.

Martinez advocates for farmworkers and other under-served populations at the local, state, and national level. At the national level, he is chairperson of the National Farmworker Alliance, comprised of 23 CEOs of national and regional farmworker trade associations and organizations.

Martinez sits on the board of Farmworker Justice, a national non-profit that collaborates closely with federal elected officials on immigration reform and other federal legislation that impacts agricultural workers. Martinez also served six years on the board of the National Council of La Raza (UNIDOS US) and is past chair of MAFO, a national partnership of farmworker and rural organizations that conducted a national farmworker conference for 30 years.

At the state level, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle appointed Martinez to sit on the Wisconsin Council on Migrant Labor, a statutory council that enforces the state’s migrant labor laws. He was reappointed by Republican Governor Scott Walker, and recently served as chair of the Council under Democratic Governor Tony Evers.

Lupe Martinez is also President of the Wisconsin Farmworkers Coalition, comprised of farmworker serving agencies throughout the state and served as State Director for LULAC, the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the country.

At the local level, Lupe Martinez serves on the Mexican Fiesta and Employ Milwaukee Workforce Investment Board.

Martinez has received many awards, honors, and recognitions. In the last 5 years Martinez was named by Madison 365 publication as the most powerful Latino in the state of Wisconsin. He was recognized by the Green Bay Packers Foundation with the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. He received the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) Farmworker Advocate Hall of Fame Award, the Farmworker Justice Farmworker Advocate Award, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM) Lifetime Achievement Award, BizTimes Media Non-Profit Executive of the Year Recognition, the Hometown Hero Award from the Wisconsin State Assembly, the Omega School Legacy Award, The World Citizen Award from The International Institute, the Cesar Chavez Community Service Medallion from the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, and in November of this year Martinez was honored with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s 2023 President’s Award for Leadership in Racial Equity and Social Justice.

“Although my role may change, my commitment to UMOS and those we serve has not and will not. I am honored to have played a role in the growth and success of UMOS and I look forward to continuing this effort by working closely with the UMOS board and the new CEO, as well as with our strategic partners, funding sources, elected officials, and leaders in the communities where UMOS serves,” Martinez concluded.

UMOS is a non-profit, advocacy organization that provides programs and services which improves the employment, educational, health and housing opportunities for under-served populations.


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