The City District announced the hiring of a new executive director, Nikki Aviles, who started in the position on June 13, according to a press release.
City District is a nonprofit organization whose mission, according to its website, CityDistrictOrlando.com, is to “bring people together to build better businesses, be good neighbors and strengthen the community at large.”
Aviles said that the role of executive director for City District excited her because it will allow her to use the abilities she has learned over many years of working with nonprofits.
“The city of Orlando put this program in place for a reason,” Aviles said. “I want to be an additional resource to the people and the businesses that live, work, play and learn downtown. I’m here for them.”
According to the press release, Aviles has been working with nonprofits since she was a teenager, most recently as director of Rebuilding Together of Central Florida, an organization that repairs homes for free and provides affordable housing for those who need it.
“[Volunteering] gave me a sense of fulfillment and made me feel closer to my community, and giving back, just in general, felt good to me,” Aviles said.
The press release said Aviles moved to Orlando in 2014 after leaving New York, where she earned a marketing degree at Mount Saint Mary College. She said she instantly fell in love with this city, specifically noticing the way people interacted with one another.
“It was a community that I had never experienced before, and I felt welcomed, and I felt home, like this was the place I wanted to be,” Aviles said. “It was the culture and the people that I fell in love with, but it was also the innovation that Orlando aspires for.”
Aviles said the idea of innovation will be an important part of her plans as executive director, and she would like to build the organization and get more people on the board and the committees. She said that input from the community is important because the job cannot be done alone and that the people are the final decision makers, not her.
“It’s not just me that loves Orlando,” Aviles said. “Everybody who lives in Orlando loves Orlando, and everybody wants to see it grow to its fullest potential.”