Egleston Square Main Street (ESMS), a business promotion organization, has hired Luis Edgardo Cotto as its new executive director, according to a press release.
Cotto will take over March 31 from interim Executive Director Giovanna Tapia, who in turn replaced Betsy Cowan when she left last fall to join the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development.
“I am very excited about the position and the opportunity to build on the successes achieved by Betsy, the board [of ESMS], the merchants and residents,” said Cotto, according to the press release. “I have started to introduce myself to residents and look forward to the continuous process of community building.”
Cotto is originally from Hartford, Conn., where he served as a two-term City Council member from 2008 through 2012. During his time on the council, he wrote and helped get passed immigration legislation that assured equal service to all Hartford residents regardless of documentation status. Cotto’s other legislation accomplishments include the “Ban the Box” ordinance, which removed barriers to employment for people with criminal backgrounds.
Cotto also led the City’s commitment to the arts and creative economy by re-establishing the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the citizen-led Commission on Cultural Affairs. Cotto helped pass an arts stimulus program that put nearly $2 million into the local economy.
His past experience includes working as in arts administrator in Hartford and Washington, D.C., as well being on the advisory board of the Cambridge Arts Council and a member of the cooperative workspace Make Shift Boston.
“The board conducted a very competitive hiring process and it is so glad with the results,” said Juan Gonzalez, board co-chair of ESMS. “Luis is bringing to the organization significant experience and skills to continue building our organization and improving the district.”