Robert M. Sausedo is 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.
Prior to joining Community Build Inc., 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 manages a staff of 68 in two, separate locations, the administrative offices in Leimert Park and the Westmont / West Athens CBI Center. One of Sausedo’s major responsibilities is to lead 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 beyond.
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.
In the response to the 1992 civil unrest, Brenda Shockley with the support and assistance of U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, created Community Build. Beginning with the construction of 16,000 square feet of commercial space in Leimert Park, Shockley worked for 24 years at the organization to revitalize South Los Angeles through human investment and commercial and economic development.
One of the early programs Shockley undertook was a pilot project to provide education, training, employment placement and support services to former gang members and other at-risk young people. Today, that pilot program serves as the model for all of Community Build’shuman development programs.
Throughout her tenure, Shockley continued to create and manage groundbreaking programs that became templates for urban redevelopment and community revitalization. Community Build was selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to administer one of only seventeen nationwide Youth Fair Chance National Demonstration projects. Structured after Community Build’s earlier 1993 pilot program, this project achieved such tremendous success and recognition that it resulted in the creation of the Youth Fair Chance Plus (YFC+) program.
In 2008, she orchestrated the organization’s successful award of the Family Source Center contract which served over 10,000 community residents over an 8 year period.
Recognizing Shockley’s ability to get things done, in 2016 Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti appointed her as Deputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity where she focuses on fighting poverty, housing the homeless, expanding affordable housing and improving access to workforce development resources.
On Juneteenth 2020, Mayor Garcetti announced that Shockley would become the first Chief Equity Officer for the City of Los Angeles. This appointment is in addition to her current position as Deputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity. In her role as Chief Officer of Equity, her responsibilities include tackling issues such as the unsheltered pandemic, community revitalization, education, and equal employment opportunity.
The Honorable Maxine Waters, United States Representative of the 43rd Congressional District is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today. She has gained a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor. Congresswoman Waters has combined her strong legislative and public policy acumen and high visibility in Democratic Party activities with an unusual ability to do grassroots organizing.
Community Build could not have been developed without the assistance and support of Congresswoman Waters. Following the Los Angeles civil unrest in 1992, she faced the nation’s media and public to interpret the hopelessness and despair in cities across America.
Her decades of experience in public service helped Community Build’s strategize to create programming that would strengthen and revive the community, such as developing marketable skills, providing employability training, providing educational and long-term career counseling to underserved young people in South Los Angeles.
Over the years, Congresswoman Waters has brought many government officials and policy makers to her South Central L.A. district to appeal for more resources. Most notable include President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Secretaries of Housing & Urban Development Henry Cisneros and Andrew Cuomo, and Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve System.
Congress Woman Maxine Waters continued to use her skill to shape public policy and serve her constituents, including $10 billion in Section 108 loan guarantees to cities for economic and infrastructure development, housing and small business expansion; $50 million appropriation for Youth Fair Chance program which established an intensive job and life skills training program for unskilled, unemployed youth.
As a co-founder of Seed Collaborative, Tara is a subject matter expert in economic development and community economic development finance. She also provides leadership for the firm in the areas of financial management and business strategy.
Prior to joining Seed, Mrs. Taylor served as the Executive Vice President of Dickerson Insurance Services, where she oversaw revenue generation and operations for the Large Group Consulting division.
Mrs. Taylor spent her early career in Boston as a development and marketing associate with First Night, Inc. before moving on to work at Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF/ ICA Group, a nationally focused socially-responsibly venture capital fund.
After arriving in Los Angeles, she settled at Community Financial Resource Center (CFRC), Los Angeles’ first certified Community Development Financial Institution. Tara was an executive with CFRC for 16 years, the last eight years of which she served as its COO.
A graduate of Wellesley College, Ms. Taylor’s education also includes a Master of Arts in Urban Planning in Regional and International Economic Development from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a graduate certificate from the Marshall School of Business in Real Estate Development and Finance from the University of Southern California.
A native of Denver, Colorado, Tara is a classically trained dancer and avid supporter of nonprofits in the areas of arts programming, civic engagement, economic & social justice, and educational attainment for underserved youth.
Taylor became CBI’s Interim Chief Operations in November 2020. She is in charge of Community Build’s daily operations including managing the staff of 68 in two, separate locations, the administrative offices in Leimert Park and the 88th and Vermont location. She is responsible for ensuring each department and individual employee has the resources and support needed to operate CBI’s services and programs as well as CBI’s hundreds of client. In addition, Taylor will also work to define the role and responsibilities for the permanent chief operations officer position.