, the Milwaukee-based community development organization formerly known as Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, has named JoAnna Bautch
as its executive director.
Bautch was most recently director of movement politics for Citizen Action of Wisconsin and previously led communications at the United Community Center.
Founded in 1995 by School Sisters of St. Francis, VIA CDC focuses on neighborhood revitalization in Silver City, Burnham Park and Layton Park, leveraging more than $50 million in neighborhood investment. Since 2012, it’s supported 900 neighborhood resident leaders and volunteers who have implemented 64 community improvement projects. It’s also facilitated the investment of $8.7 million in commercial property improvements and $5.2 million in 27 turnkey renovation homes for new homebuyers.
In an announcement this week, VIA CDC said it is now in one of its strongest positions in recent history.
“I grew up in the neighborhoods that VIA Community Development Corp. has served for over 25 years on Milwaukee's near south side,” Bautch said. “This area is home to some of the most diverse constituencies in the state of Wisconsin and I am so very honored and excited to have been chosen to be the next executive director for VIA CDC, a non-profit organization dedicated to working with all of its neighbors to see our communities grow and succeed together.”
At Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Bautch led programming that develops local leaders into progressive candidates for elected office, especially women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ candidates.
Bautch succeeds outgoing executive director Brianna Sas-Perez, who will remain in advisory capacity through May. Bautch assumes her new role March 21.
“The VIA CDC Board and School Sisters of Saint Francis - U.S. Province leadership unanimously selected JoAnna Bautch. JoAnna has a proven track record of leadership and infectious enthusiasm for supporting the growth and development of the Milwaukee community,” said Marjorie Rucker, VIA CDC board chair and executive director of The Business Council Inc. “We are very excited to have JoAnna lead VIA CDC during a time of growth and we look forward to continuing to work towards our mission.”