Commissioner Preston Cole
The Department of Neighborhood Services welcomes its new Commissioner, Preston D. Cole. Cole was nominated by Mayor Tom Barrett and confirmed as Commissioner on July 6th, 2016 by the Milwaukee Common Council. Cole brings with him a wealth of knowledge about the City, operations of City government, experience of managing large organizations and getting results.
Most recently, Cole was the Director of Operations for the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works. In this position he served as deputy Commissioner of DPW, where he was responsible for 2400 employees, O&M and Enterprise budgets of $300 million and a capital budget of $108 million. He directed the Milwaukee Water Works, Infrastructure Services, Operation and Administration Services.
Before arriving in Milwaukee, Cole drew distinction for becoming the first African-American forester hired by the Conservation Department. He holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Forest Management and was the former Parks Superintendent for the City of St. Louis, as well as a Resource Forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Locally Cole serves on the Board of Directors for the Water Council, helping Milwaukee to become globally connected to the research, innovation, education and business development of water resources. At the State level, Cole is on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board. In this role he is involved in setting statewide policy on forestry, wildlife, air, water, and stewardship programs for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.