Manatí native Albors tapped to lead ACACIA Network
By The Star Staff
ACACIA Network Board of Directors Chairwoman Carmen J. Villa-Lugo announced earlier this week the appointment of Lymaris Albors as the new executive director (CEO) of the group, becoming the first Puerto Rican woman to lead the largest community organization in New York State and the second largest in the United States.
The Manatí-born Albors will manage an organization that has a $500 million budget and over $900 million in assets. The appointment comes after the announcement of the retirement of Raúl Russi, who held the position for two decades.
“Lymaris Albors, a native of Manatí, Puerto Rico, becomes the highest-ranking executive in our organization, after serving as Director of Operations (COO) and Executive Vice President in recent years,” Villa-Lugo said, adding that Russi “will remain as president of ACACIA Network, concentrating on expanding ACACIA’s portfolio of affordable housing and other key strategic initiatives.”
The announcement coincided with Russi’s 20th anniversary in the organization. He first joined in 2001 as CEO of Basics Inc., and subsequently spearheaded the affiliation with Promesa Inc. in 2009, leading to the creation of ACACIA Network. During his tenure, Russi grew the organization from an annual operating budget of less than $5 million. ACACIA Network comprises more than 100 affiliates and related entities in six states and Puerto Rico.
“The promotion of Lymaris Albors to the position of CEO is a very important step in ensuring the sustainability of the ACACIA Network mission,” the group said in a statement. “The Board of Directors has recognized that she is an extremely well qualified Latino visionary and is knowledgeable about the organization.”
“She has worked tirelessly to restructure this entity in order to provide the staff with the opportunity to shine and with excellent results. Her commitment to our mission, our history, and our communities is evidenced by the success of the many projects she has started and completed during her years with us,” the group said. “We have witnessed her growth and development, and we are excited to have her lead ACACIA as our Chief Executive Officer.”