Commissioner of Building & Public Property
Born in Waukegan, Illinois on June 5, 1955 at St. Therese Hospital, William Melvin McKinney III “Billy” is the youngest of six children to Elma Whitehead McKinney and William Melvin McKinney II.
The McKinney family lived in North Chicago until July of 1962, when the family moved to Zion, IL. Commissioner McKinney attended Zion-Benton High School, where he was an Honor Roll Student, while playing football, basketball, baseball and participating on the cross-country team. After graduating in 1973 from ZBTHS, Commissioner McKinney accepted an athletic scholarship to play basketball and baseball at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. While at Northwestern, Commissioner McKinney became the team’s MVP for 3 consecutive seasons, an All-Big 10 performer for 3 consecutive seasons, as well as recognized as an All-American by most media outlets. Northwestern honored Commissioner McKinney in his last game of his college career by establishing the Billy McKinney Award, which is awarded annually to a Northwestern student-athlete who exemplifies McKinney’s traits of Leadership, 110% Effort, and Positive Mental Attitude. Commissioner McKinney completed his final year of collegiate basketball as the leading scorer in Northwestern University history, a record that stood for 36 years.
After leaving Northwestern University, Commissioner McKinney worked for the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 39 years in various team and leadership capacities. Commissioner McKinney worked as a professional athlete for the first seven years and using the same skill-sets of leadership, 100% effort, and positive mental attitude, he transitioned into leadership with the NBA as a Front Office Executive for 32 years. His playing career took him to the cities of: Kansas City (Chiefs), Salt Lake City (Utah Jazz), Denver (Nuggets), San Diego (Clippers), and back to Chicago to finish his career with the Chicago Bulls. After retiring from playing, McKinney’s versatility, likeability, professional demeanor, and business acumen catapulted him into the front office management with the Chicago Bulls, where he became the first African-American executive in the history of the organization. While in Chicago, Commissioner McKinney was instrumental in the drafting of Bulls’ legends, Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant and building the initial Championship team. Commissioner McKinney’s management career consisted of positions as General Manager for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. He also served as Assistant Vice President of Basketball Operations with the Chicago Bulls, Executive Vice President of Basketball for the Seattle Sonics, and Executive Vice President of the Seattle Sonics and Seattle Storm. In addition, Mr. McKinney spent the final nine years in the NBA as the Vice President of Scouting for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Throughout Commissioner McKinney’s 32 year tenure in executive roles with the National Basketball Association, he has successfully developed and negotiated international business contracts and partnered with colleagues, business professionals, and competitors to achieve goals, build solid business relationships, and represent not only his organization, but all of the fans who supported his teams. His experience in working with teams and building organizations has benefited people and organizations at home and around the world. In addition to his position with the NBA, Commissioner McKinney served on the Seattle Sports Commission where he worked with business leaders, community activists and citizens to help strengthen local business, kids and local pride by supporting local teams from professionals to amateurs while bringing world class events to Seattle like the annual Boeing Classic Golf Tournament.
Throughout his tenure in the NBA, Commissioner McKinney had Zion on his mind and in his heart. Commissioner McKinney has been active in community affairs for many years and has served on leadership boards of many local and national organizations including: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Boys & Girl Club, The Urban League, The United Negro College Fund, Junior Achievement, The Zion Benton High School Board, The Seattle Sports Commission, Boy Scouts of America, Easter Seals, and the Marillac House in Chicago. In addition, Commissioner McKinney shared some of his vast experience and knowledge as a professional public speaker for many years and has spoken on a myriad of leadership, life, and professional topics such as: Teamwork, Building the Proper Work Environment, Leadership, Developing New Business Sales, and How to Overcome Adversity, to name a few topics. He has spoken at University of Michigan, General Mills, Honeywell, ServiceMaster, The Waukegan Yacht Club, Ethan Allen, Prudential Life Insurance, Washington Decca Youth Leadership Institute, and Minnesota Special Olympics.
In 2013 McKinney moved back to, Zion, IL, his hometown, to work on the Zion Benton Township School Board, and in and 2015, he was appointed as the Commissioner of Building, Property & Zoning for the City of Zion by Mayor, Al Hill.
Through his efforts on the City of Zion Building Department Commissioner McKinney was instrumental in implementing the rental house certification program which ensures that life and safety issues are monitored and repaired to protect the safety of its citizens. In addition, his work with the building department personnel revived the City of Zion Clean Up Days where he partnered with the City to enlist the help of residents and volunteers in effort to restore pride natural beauty of the city’s neighborhoods.
In July of 2017, Commissioner McKinney completed his tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks, and continues to serve as Commissioner with the City of Zion. Commissioner McKinney currently lives in Zion, IL. In his spare time, he loves to golf, play tennis, ride his bike, play with his Chocolate Lab, Murphy, who he rescued as a puppy, and mentor kids.