This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 17, 2012 - After being at the helm of the local Urban League for more than a quarter of a century, James H. Buford, 67, will retire in the middle of next year, he announced Thursday at a meeting of the agency's board.
Under Buford's leadership, the local league has enjoyed growth and recognition. In 2004, it became the first local unit to be named a five-star affiliate, based on community service and growth. When Buford became president in 1985, the group had an annual budget of about $2.5 million. The agency now runs more than $20 million worth of programs for residents of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County in Illinois.