The board of directors of the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) recently appointed Joseph “Joe” T. Rouzan III as the new executive director of the organization. Rouzan assumes the leadership of VSEDC left vacant by the loss of the founder and executive director Marva Smith Battle-Bey, who died in April of 2016.

“After a thorough and deliberate selection process, the board of directors is delighted that Joe will lead VSEDC, as we navigate through the evolving and expanding needs for economic and small business development solutions in South Los Angeles,” said, Bill Holland, board vice president.

Rouzan most recently held the position of director for the City of Los Angeles Business Source program overseeing nine Business Source Centers throughout Los Angeles and operating a $4.5 million annual budget. The new executive director concludes 29 years of city service which includes 13 years with the Economic and Workforce Development Department and 16 years with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Prior to his most recent city service, Rouzan served as the vice president and chief of staff for the Brotherhood Crusade, general manager of both the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and Hawthorne malls and owned and operated JTA Security Management and Investigations.

Rouzan holds a bachelor of science degree in public administration.

“I want to thank the VSEDC Board for allowing me to serve as the organization’s executive director. This is a bitter sweet point in my life, as well as my professional career. There will never be another Marva Smith Battle-Bey, but I do plan to lead this organization in a fashion that will make her proud by creating economic and career opportunities throughout Los Angeles, particularly South LA,” said Rouzan.

(VSEDC) is a community-based non-profit organization located in South Los Angeles.

Established in 1979 as a citizen advisory committee by Mayor Tom Bradley and Marva Smith Battle-Bey in response to the South L.A. community’s concern regarding the closing of a Sears department store. The organization began operations in 1981.

The organization has produced more than $60 million in physical development projects and created/retained more than 3,000 jobs in the South Los Angeles community.

Projects include the development of retail facilities, housing units as well as the creation of business centers to train entrepreneur.

For additional information, call VSEDC at (213) 753-2335.