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Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) congratulates Leo Valentino Mendez, Vice President of Planning & Design for being appointed to the Board of Directors of Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED) Detroit. 

“We are thrilled to have Leo join our Board of Directors. His commitment to community and his professional accomplishments complement our board’s skills and strengthen our ability to serve the senior citizens and families of Southwest Detroit and beyond,” said Ago Benavides, Chairman of LA SED.

LA SED was established 60 years ago with a mission to advance the social, education and economic development of Hispanics and all residents of Southwest Detroit. A 501c3 non-profit agency, LA SED assists people of all ages with a variety of bilingual services through the development of programs that address the area’s diverse ethnic groups.

“Connecting with the people in the communities where I live and work has always been a core principle of mine,” Mendez said. “Architecture and design impacts everyone and lending my skills to make those experiences inspirational and positive, while helping communities move forward means everything. It is an honor to join the board of LA SED and share my passion and talent with the Latino community of Southwest Detroit.”

As Vice President of Planning and Design for Olympia Development of Michigan, Mendez is responsible for the oversight and implementation of the high-level design plans for The District Detroit as well as guiding design direction for multiple ongoing projects including a variety of ground-up, preservation, adaptive re-use, residential, commercial, retail and mixed-use projects within the heart of the sports and entertainment district in Detroit.

Leo joined Olympia Development in March of 2019 and has worked across a multitude of projects. When asked what his three favorite projects are to date, he quickly answered with his first two: 2715 Woodward Avenue – a five-story, state of the art building located in between Little Caesars Arena and Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business, that is home to Boston Consulting Group and Warner, Norcross + Judd  —  and The Eddystone & Basan  the revitalized historic building with 92 thoughtfully designed apartments featuring a highly anticipated restaurant and lounge. For his third, there are so many he is working on as part of The District Detroit that are yet to be revealed, he only offered a coy smile. 

A graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy, with a Bachelor’s in Architecture and Business Administration, Leo is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).