The Indianapolis Urban League has been around since 1965, but it's only known two executive leaders during that half century.
Next week, the local affiliate of the national civil rights organization will welcome its third.
Tony Mason was chosen last week to succeed Joseph Slash as the group's president and CEO. The appointment is effective Oct. 13.
Linda Thomas, chairwoman for the Indianapolis Urban League board of directors, said Mason was chosen in a unanimous vote by the board.
Mason, 48, has spent 20-plus years in local sports and special-events management. As senior vice president of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, he oversaw the Near Eastside Legacy Project and various community outreach efforts including the NFL’s Emerging Business Program.
Prior to that, Mason spent eight years as executive director of the Circle City Classic. He previously served as an administrator with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Amateur Athletic Association of USA, Indiana Black Expo Inc., Wichita State University and Miami University of Ohio.
"We spoke with numerous outstanding candidates," Thomas said in a written statement. "Tony Mason quickly rose to the very top as the appropriate choice to guide the organization and build upon the momentum of our past leadership."
Mason will be charged with leading Urban League staff and volunteers through a five-point strategy that includes education and youth empowerment; economic empowerment; health and quality of life empowerment; civic engagement; and civil rights and racial justice empowerment.
"As former president of the Indianapolis Urban League Young Professionals, Tony Mason understands the critical mission of the Urban League Movement and will bring that combination of passion and service to his new role leading the Indianapolis Urban League," said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, in a written statement. "I look forward to working with Tony as he prepares to lead one of our most important affiliates into a new era."
Slash, a deputy mayor under Bill Hudnut and former vice president at Indianapolis Power & Light, told IBJ in May that he was preparing to step down after 12 years with the organization. Slash took over as CEO from the local chapter’s iconic founder, the late Sam Jones, in 2003.