Gladys Oliveros, who has been a fixture in East Boston since immigrating from Colombia 35 years ago, was announced as the new executive director of East Boston Main Streets.
Oliveros replaces longtime director, Max Gruner, who left his post last week for a new job in New Mexico.
“It is amazing and I’m happy to see so many familiar faces that will help me along the way,” said Oliveros during Gruner’s farewell party that also served as an opportunity to introduce her to the community.
Oliveros, who has been working as a program supervisor at Boston Center for Youth and Families’ Paris Street site for the past two years said she has some pretty big shoes to fill replacing Gruner.
“It’s going to be a challenge but together we can do it,” Oliveros contied. “East Boston has been my home and my community for 35 years and I have always looked for ways to help the neighborhood. I look forward to working with all of you. For those of you who know me know if you pick up the phone and call me I am there and it will be the same at Main Streets.”
Oliveros also thanked Gruner for his six years of service to Main Streets.
Oliveros is a native of Barranquilla, Colombia and moved to Eastie over three decades ago.
Before working for BCYF Oliveros founded Casa de la Cultura. Casa de la Cultura is a Community Center focused on the Latino population of Eastie–offering education, information, recreational and cultural events to promote diversity growth among our community. The organization offered language classes, computer classes, chess classes for kids, citizenship’s classes as well as immigration services, and fitness.
East Boston Main Streets is a nonprofit community improvement organization committed to fostering an inclusive community that supports the growth and well-being of small business community and residents.
In Eastie, Main Streets started as a novel idea–to take a stretch of Eastie’s business district along Meridian Street decimated in the 1970s by poor design, steel grates and unsightly signage and transform it into an attractive commercial area with a uniformed look.
Throughout the 1990s EBMS exploded onto the scene handing out grants to business owners on board with Main Streets’s vision of storefront improvements and a more welcoming business.