The Board of Directors of Community Build, Inc. (Community Build), a 501c3 nonprofit community development corporation based in South Los Angeles, announced the selection of Robert M. Sausedo as its new president and chief executive officer. A native Angeleno, Sausedo has been engaged and involved with civic matters that impact youth, economic development, social justice and literacy for over 30 years. He, along with several of his colleagues, led a post-1992 Civil Unrest effort to rebuild and expand the Jefferson – Vassie D. Wright Memorial Branch Library in the Jefferson Park community of Los Angeles.
Most recently, Sausedo served as deputy for Agency and Review for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. His responsibilities included a broad portfolio covering economic development, community engagement, commission appointments and development. Prior to joining Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ staff, Sausedo held several local, statewide and national positions in the energy efficiency and financial services sectors.
As Community Build’s president and CEO, Sausedo will manage a staff of 68 in two, separate locations, the administrative offices in Leimert Park and the Youth and Community Center. One of Sausedo’s major responsibilities will be leading executive management in identifying new program services and growth opportunities that will enable Community Build to achieve its strategic objectives and ensure long-term viability as a key African-American community development corporation that meets the unique needs of underserved groups in South Los Angeles and adjacent service areas.
Sausedo succeeds Community Build, Inc.’s interim president and CEO, Kimberly Ramsey, who held the top position at Community Build after its president and CEO, Brenda Shockley was tapped by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to become Deputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity in 2016.
Community Build’s Board chairperson, Beverly Davis stated that “Sausedo, with his experience and efforts to rebuild South Los Angeles following the 1992 civil unrest, made him uniquely qualified to lead the organization. “
“Community Build was developed in response to the conditions that led to the civil unrest in 1992, and our mission is to revitalize low-income communities in South Los Angeles,” said Davis. “Robert’s experience and success with empowering underserved communities, his work with youth and his track record for economic growth, directly aligns with our mission and where we see the organization going in the future.”
Community Build was founded in 1992 with the support and assistance of the Honorable Maxine Waters, United States Representative of the 43rd Congressional District. Community Build’s programs focus not only on developing marketable skills and providing employability training, but also on providing educational and long-term career counseling to underserved young people in South Los Angeles.
Community Build opened the Youth and Community Center in 1994 and provides education, training, employment, and supportive services to over 26,000 youth and young adults with emphasis, over the past twenty-four years, on outreach and programs for at-risk youth, out-of-school youth, foster youth, youth offenders, gang-involved youth, first-generation college bound youth and families.
Currently, Community Build is involved in the development of a mixed-use project in South Los Angeles which began construction in April 2018. Located on the corner of 88th Street and Vermont Avenue, the development will include 60 units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons and low-income families, and a 9,000-square-foot youth and community center, including a café and rooftop terrace. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2019.
Community Build founding board member, Reverend Clyde W. Oden, Jr. noted that at this critical juncture, Sausedo is the best person to lead the agency.
“Robert’s hire comes at a very crucial time in the history of our organization. South Los Angeles in general and Leimert Park, in particular, are undergoing significant changes in both demographics and commerce,” said Reverend Oden. “Community Build intends to support those efforts that promote economic empowerment and affordable housing for the residents of this community. Sausedo understands that vision and is committed to helping Community Build remain as a catalyst for good in our community.”
“I am humbled to have been selected as the new president and CEO of Community Build,” said Sausedo. “In tandem with the board, I look forward to setting the course for the next quarter century of ushering in the latest innovative approaches to building up our youth, community and civic responsibility.”