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Honoree Headshot

Raphael Holloway

Chief Executive Officer
Gateway Center

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Founded: 2005
Industry: Homeless Service Provider

Don H Bravaldo

Raphael Holloway is chief executive officer for Gateway Center, which connects people experiencing homelessness with the support to become self-sufficient and find a permanent home.

“By utilizing a holistic, collaborative approach that eliminates and reduces barriers while creating opportunities, Gateway Center assists individuals and families in securing sustainable income and obtaining stable housing,” the nonprofit said.

When Gateway Center’s executive director retired after 10 years of service, Raphael Holloway was chosen to be the chief executive officer in 2016. Holloway established a senior leadership team composed of a chief financial officer, director of residential services, director of community engagement, director of facilities and director of resource development. He grew the team from approximately 30 employees to almost 100 to ensure Gateway Center had the capacity to serve the individuals and families experiencing homelessness who needed assistance.

“I think the most important risk I took to become a leader remains a risk that I still take today,” Holloway said. “That risk is to be willing to leap or simply put, not being afraid of the unknown, believing enough in yourself and the team that you have put together to push yourself when setting goals or exploring new opportunities. Taking this risk has been transformative in my professional life and has allowed the teams I have led to be transformative in the lives of others.”

Holloway also expanded the board of directors and ensured it became more diverse and inclusive. Under his leadership, the budget has increased to approximately $9 million, revenue streams have diversified after being heavily dependent on the United Way for years, programs expanded and “the organization is thriving as we strive to make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring in Atlanta,” the nonprofit said.

Holloway serves on a number of local nonprofit boards, including Open Doors, Atlanta Fire and Rescue Foundation, the community advisory board for Agape Youth & Family Center and the regional advisory board for Atlanta Regional Commission.

Holloway is an alumnus of Leadership Atlanta 2020 — the 50th anniversary class, a member of the Atlanta Kiwanis Club and a member of 100 Black Men of Atlanta. In 2021, he received the TechBridge Bill Bolling Nonprofit Leader Award and Atlanta Magazine’s heroes who inspire doctors recognition. In 2021 and 2022, Holloway was recognized by Atlanta Magazine as one of Atlanta’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders.

In addition, Holloway has published op-eds in the Saporta Report, participated in numerous community panels discussing homelessness, mental health and nonprofit leadership, and he has served as a subject matter expert with local media on the issues of homelessness, public health and behavioral health.

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Raphael is known for his uncompromising style. He has an extensive collection, and each bowtie is reflective of his personality, creativity, and ingenuity. Raphael began wearing bowties early in his professional career because he wanted to stand out from his peers. Years later, the bowtie continues to set him apart while leaving a lasting impression that is hard to forget!

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