OPDC Announces New Executive Director

Wilson WandaThe Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC) is pleased to announce and welcome to its team Wanda Wilson as Executive Director.  OPDC is a community-based organization dedicated to maintaining the vitality of Oakland through planning, development, community engagement, and job placement services.

Ms. Wilson is a committed and experienced leader in community development, nonprofit management, and neighborhood revitalization.  She has a breadth of experience in forming collaborations, building consensus, and managing complex projects.  Passionate about Oakland not only as a residential neighborhood but as the economic driver and cultural hub of our region, Wilson will draw on experience from neighborhoods throughout the city and from knowledge gleaned from other cities to make Oakland a great place to live, work, and play.

“Over the past two and a half decades OPDC has made Oakland a better place and helped people improve their lives.  They’ve done so by building bridges rather than fences,” said Wilson.  “I am thrilled to be on board with such a strong organization and am committed to building upon OPDC’s successes to reach new heights.  I look forward to working with OPDC’s talented staff and extensive partners.”

Jeff Maurin, President of the OPDC Board of Directors, added “Wanda’s passion for the neighborhood, wealth of experience, extensive network, and natural leadership will help OPDC maintain our services to the community during these trying economic times while also exploring new initiatives to maintain OPDC as a community development leader.”

Wilson’s prior work experience includes serving as Senior Planner for the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning and most recently as a Program Officer for Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development.  Projects range from launching a community-wide dialogue process to transforming Schenley Plaza from a parking lot to a beautiful urban park; from helping a small neighborhood organization develop a revitalization strategy to facilitating the completion of a multi-million dollar investment strategy for Oakland.  She earned her Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University, and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology from Denison University.

OPDC has developed over 300 units of housing in a mix of low and moderate income housing for both owner and rental markets.  OPDC’s workforce development program serves over 400 people per year to link them with living wage jobs with benefits in the medical industry.  OPDC leads planning efforts involving community residents, institutions, and businesses to ensure productive dialogue leading to a shared community vision.

OPDC is a committed member of the Oakland Task Force and last year formed the Oakland Zone Neighborhood Partnership Program with their partner agencies to secure investments from UPMC Health Plan, Dollar Bank, and PNC Bank to sustain each organization’s work and to enable collaborative projects.

Wanda can be contacted at 412-621-7863 ext. 15 or wwilson@opdc.org.