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Essel Leaves CRA Successor Agency

Friday, December 21, 2012

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - When Gov. Jerry Brown axed redevelopment agencies across the state, Chris Essel, the then-CEO of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, stayed on to manage the successor entity charged with dissolving local redevelopment work.

Now, the former Paramount Pictures executive is leaving the redevelopment world to become president of the Southern California Grantmakers. The regional association works on problem solving through effective grantmaking. Essel’s appointment will begin Feb. 1.

“Ms. Essel brings to SCG decades of community building, civic involvement and leadership experience, as well as a deep knowledge of our region,” said Carl Ballton, chairman of the SCG board. “In addition, she has a high degree of visibility, extensive relationships, expertise in corporate philanthropy, finance, government and community relations, and a passion for forging creative solutions to complex community challenges.”

Essel was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to head the CRA in May 2010. Since July, she has managed the CRA successor agency as it winds down operations, selling excess properties and ensuring that its contractual obligations were met. The successor agency continues to meet monthly. Its actions require approval by a seven-member oversight board.

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