One South Euclid (OSE), has selected Annette Iwamoto as its first Executive Director to lead the community development corporation. Iwamoto will head OSE’s residential and commercial development initiatives, including South Euclid’s first business incubator, as well as community outreach efforts, fundraising, grant approvals, and current and future programming. She is also tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Mayfield and Green development plan that was recommended by Heritage Ohio.
“We’re thrilled to have a proven leader like Annette on board. She brings with her a wealth of experience in fund development, grant writing, strategic planning, data analysis, program evaluation and community and government relations,” says Vaughn Johnson, OSE Board President. “OSE has grown considerably since it began in 2009 and the time was right for an Executive Director to help lead and shape the organization’s next phase,” he added.
As Executive Director, Iwamoto is OSE’s first dedicated staff member and point of contact. "With this level of leadership, we'll be able to more readily get the word out to residents, businesses, and other stakeholders about what we do and meet the goals of a thriving, vibrant community," says Iwamoto.
“What initially drew me to this position is my passion for community engagement, relationship building, and connecting people to each other. That’s how you get things done. You connect people, you brainstorm, and it can lead to innovation. I also love getting to know the neighbors and neighborhoods of a community and working with residents and businesses to make sure it's a community they’re proud of while meeting their needs.” she said.
Iwamoto has led a life of service. As a child in Los Angeles and later Tucson, she was exposed to community service early and encouraged to follow her passion. Later in college as she contemplated a career as a human rights attorney, she had second thoughts, and instead, spent two years with City Year, an Americorps program, to give back to the community. While there, she received leadership development and learned about social work. That led to a master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community and Social Development from the Mandel School at Case Western Reserve University. Although she started her professional career in community development, for the last eight years she worked in human services at Providence House as the Strategic Initiatives Manager. She now brings a myriad of professional skills developed over the years to her role as Executive Director of OSE.
Iwamoto is open to South Euclid residents, businesses and other community stakeholders reaching out to her. She can be contacted at either 216-316-5373 or at Annette@OneSouthEuclid.org.