Anna Frantz Named Executive Director of New Community Organization

Posted: January 6, 2017

Our West Bayfront (OWB), a community organization on Erie's lower west side, has announced the appointment of Anna Frantz as its first executive director.

In this position Frantz will oversee the management, development and expansion of the new organization as well as programmatic activities. She will also serve as the OWB's primary liaison with residents, businesses, government entities as well as faith-based and non-profit organizations.

Frantz comes to OWB from Erie's Emerge 2040 initiative, a public-private partnership that stewards the implementation of Destination Erie, a 25-year vision for the Erie region that establishes goals related to economic growth, housing, transportation, the environment and community development. Frantz was the initiative's executive director.

Prior to that position, she served for eight years in the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development where she was responsible for managing the allocation of millions of city dollars and for supervising dozens of projects through initial loan application, deal point negotiation, coordination of legal and construction reviews and closing. Frantz developed skills in affordable housing finance, budgeting, project management and working creatively and strategically to improve housing for thousands of low-income New Yorkers.

"Anna Frantz was chosen because we believe that she can most effectively represent OWB and its residents, and set the future course for the new organization at its inception," said Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D., Gannon University's vice president for academic affairs and member of OWB's Board of Directors. "Her credentials are highly impressive and her ability to communicate with people on all levels is extraordinary."

Our West Bayfront was formed in 2016 with guidance from neighborhood residents and community partners, including Gannon University, Housing and Neighborhood Development Service (HANDS), National Fuel Gas, the Neighborhood Resource Organization, Neighborhood Watch Council and United Way of Erie County. OWB's mission is to enhance the quality of life in Erie's West Bayfront neighborhoods by promoting civic involvement, thoughtful development, historical preservation and neighborhood pride.

"This is an exciting time for Erie and for the West Bayfront neighborhood in particular." Frantz said. "I'm looking forward to building on the work done over the last few years by neighborhood residents and Gannon University and to contributing to the revitalization of the neighborhood.

Frantz is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree, and of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she received a master's degree in city planning.