Since assuming the role of Executive Director of Southside United HDFC-Los Sures on October 2nd, Mr. Juan Ramos, a longtime community leader in housing and human rights, was named among the Mayor’s “2017 Advocates of the Year,” on October 17.
The Board of Directors of Southside United HDFC-Los Sures, the 45-year-old nonprofit with a legacy of providing and managing affordable housing in the Southside of Williamsburg, announced Mr. Ramos’ appointment in September.
Juan has been an active board member since 2012 and served as Chair for the past two years. Robin Sirota Bassin, LMSW, the organization’s Social Services Director for the past 23 years, guided the organization in the role of Acting Executive Director until Mr. Ramos’ appointment.
“We believe that Mr. Ramos is best suited to steer Los Sures into the future because he embodies the traits that are important for the organization’s success—commitment, integrity and respect for the civic, civil and human rights of others,” said David Lopez, Chair of the Board of Directors of Los Sures.
“His blend of skills will enable the organization to flourish because he understands the needs and challenges of our community and staff,” said Martin S. Needelman, Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation ‘A’ Executive Director and Chief Counsel and long-term Los Sures Board member.
“Juan’s years of experience in coalition-building, combined with the organization’s housing and community development expertise, will enable Los Sures to continue its mission to develop and manage its impressive portfolio of affordable housing and cultivate its private and public partnerships,” said Kenneth J. Mahon, President and CEO of Dime Community Bank and Los Sures Finance Committee Chair.
Mr. Ramos is a community leader who developed firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of the organization since his initial volunteer efforts with Los Sures and the Southside more than 10 years ago. He is a well-known figure in the community and has a proven record of accomplishment in managing non-profit organizations and coalition-building.
Most recently, he has served as the Deputy Director of the Crown Heights Mediation Center, where he was responsible for supervision of staff and programming at all of the organization’s Brooklyn sites. The Mediation Center is part of the Center for Court Innovation, a not-for-profit that seeks to create a more effective and humane justice system by designing and implementing programs, performing original research and providing reformers around the world with the tools to launch new strategies. Juan created relationships with funders, city-wide partners, and government officials that contributed to the overall success of the program.
“I am humbled by the confidence that the board has entrusted in me to lead this critically important community organization. While I bring a diverse set of skills to the role, I look forward to expanding my areas of expertise and building on Los Sures’ foundation,” Mr. Ramos said. “I want to assure all of our stakeholders that our mission to develop and manage affordable housing remains as strong as ever. I understand the significant role that our real estate partners and financial investors have played in ensuring our viability for the past 45 years. I look forward to creatively crafting new ways to build our portfolio while serving the needs of the neighborhood.”
Mr. Ramos began his career at Safe Horizon, where he served in various capacities helping families and communities overcome a cycle of violence, eventually becoming Director of their Batterer Education Program and the recipient of their Gordon Campbell Leadership Award in 2012. The seventeen years he spent with the organization nurtured his sense of community and human rights. He worked as the Program Manager of the Center for Court Innovation’s Save Our Streets Bed-Stuyvesant Program until 2016, when he was promoted to Deputy Director for the organization’s Crown Heights Mediation Center.
Juan serves as a consultant to A Call to Men, a national organization that seeks to engage men, boys and communities to overcome their role in society’s violence against women. In this capacity, he’s represented the US State Department in Latin American and has conducted trainings with professional sports teams in this country.
Juan has been widely recognized for his contributions. He was acclaimed by El Diario la Prensa as one of The Most Influential Latinos in New York in 2008 and his outstanding training and advocacy efforts were acknowledged by the NYC Department of Mental Health last year. He has been recognized by local organizations and political leaders including Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, then-City Councilperson (now Deputy Borough President) Diana Reyna and the St. Nicks Alliance.
Juan has also served on the boards of many local organizations. He is Chair of the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence, the co-founder and a Board member of Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH) and a former Board member of El Puente.