Inside Stories

Former Lawrence Mayor Makes Stop in Lowell

Lowell – Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA) announced today that it has named Dan Rivera as interim Executive Director, effective July 8, 2024. CBA’s current CEO, Yun-Ju Choi, will step down from the post on July 5.

The decision followed an extensive search by a committee comprised of Board Chair Sixto DeJesus, executive board members, and CBA staff, and led by Search Committee Chair Patricia Coffey.

InsideLowell has learned the former Lawrence Mayor’s contract calls for a term of six-to-nine months, giving the Board more time to determine the next step. A source close to the situation tells us Rivera would be a great candidate for the permanent CEO position if he is interested when the time comes.

“We are excited to welcome Dan to lead CBA during this transitional period,” Coffey said. “With his proven leadership, expertise in working in diverse regions, a strong commitment to community and economic development, and extensive experience in public, private, and nonprofit sector management, we are confident in Dan’s ability to advance CBA’s mission and guide the organization forward.”

Coffey added, “As an anchor organization in Lowell, CBA is fortunate to have identified an interim with such comprehensive community development experience and a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dan understands not only our community, but the region, as well.”

Most recently, Rivera served as President & CEO of MassDevelopment, the Commonwealth’s development and landbank agency.  He previously served for seven years as Mayor of the City of Lawrence, MA. A United States Army veteran, Rivera earned his bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and a master’s in business administration from Suffolk University. He and his family live in Lawrence.

“I am honored to join CBA and eager to work with its talented staff and collaborate with our community stakeholders to foster sustainable development and address key challenges facing our neighborhoods,” said Rivera. “Together we will strive to respond to community needs through collective action.”

Board Chair DeJesus thanked Choi for her decade-long leadership, noting, “During her tenure, CBA experienced tremendous growth in programming and housing creation. Dan will certainly position us to expand on that legacy.”

Founded in 1982 to preserve Lowell’s Acre Neighborhood during urban renewal, CBA is a member-driven community development corporation providing affordable housing and offering a range of free programs that support financial stability and family and individual wellbeing. The Acre has been home to immigrants since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Although one of Lowell’s poorest neighborhoods economically, the Acre is rich in history, culture, and potential.

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