L.A. River Revitalization Corporation Announces new Executive Director: Omar Brownson

LOS ANGELES, CA.—(January 19, 2011)— Today the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation (RRC) welcomes its new Executive Director, Omar Brownson, who will lead the RRC’s revitalization efforts along the Los Angeles River.

"The RRC is key to implementing the L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan," said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who spearheaded the Master Plan, a 25-50 year blueprint to transform the concrete-lined River into a continuous greenbelt linking communities. "I welcome Mr. Brownson to the L.A. River family and look forward to working with him and the Corporation to renew our neighborhoods along the L.A. River."

“After an exhaustive search and review of many exceptional candidates, the River Corporation is thrilled to retain Omar Brownson as its first executive,” says Daniel Tellalian, board chair of the RRC. “Mr. Brownson's diverse experiences in real estate, sustainable development, finance, philanthropy, and public affairs makes him well-suited to the broad vision of river revitalization. Omar is a social entrepreneur in the true sense of the word and the ideal individual to lead an ambitious start-up like the RRC.”

Mr. Brownson has years of real estate and managerial experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, particularly with the start up and expansion of mission-driven enterprises. Most recently, he had established the Los Angeles practice of Seslia and Company, a financial advisory firm, where he developed innovative real estate and public finance strategies.  Mr. Brownson grew up in Los Angeles and is an active civic leader, currently serving as board chair of the Liberty Hill Foundation. 

“The L.A. River represents one of the city's greatest opportunities for connecting recreation, urban revitalization, and economic development. I am tremendously excited about building the River Corporation platform and bringing to fruition the vision of the River Master Plan along with our numerous River supporters and friends,” said Mr. Brownson.

Working with the City of Los Angeles, the RRC is a nonprofit corporation charged with fostering sustainable development, redevelopment, and revitalization along the 32 miles of the L.A. River, including parks, open spaces, retail opportunities, housing and businesses.

To address periodic catastrophic flooding, the L.A. River was lined with concrete in the 1940s. Over time, the L.A. River became perceived as merely a flood control channel, rather than an ecological and recreational resource.  Development along the river turned their backs to the River, and blocked access to adjacent communities.  L.A. River advocates see the L.A. River as a unique opportunity to create new open space, recreation and waterfront development for all Angelenos to enjoy.