Owiso Makuku joins Main Street Landing with over two decades in development, redevelopment and community development, committed to equity at every step along the way. Consistent with Main Street Landing's philosophy, she has a values driven, inclusive approach to her work and will continue to carry that sentiment into her role as CEO. Born and raised in NYC, she has a strong appreciation for diversity and the uniqueness of people and places. Her working life has been spent improving communities for all of its residents.
Owiso’s first extensive exposure to the Burlington Waterfront was when she served as the Waterfront Coordinator and Housing Special Projects Manager in Burlington’s CEDO office in the early 2000s where she first met and admired Melinda Moulton, her predecessor as CEO of Main Street Landing. Her first CEDO project was to resurrect the Request for Proposals for what is now 40 units of housing known as Champlain Housing Trust's Waterfront Housing, located at the base of Depot Street. In her career, she’s made contributions to the cities of Cambridge (MA), Burlington (VT), New York (NY), Essex (VT), Detroit (MI), the State of Michigan and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Her work in Michigan — for the state and for the the City of Detroit — was through the Detroit Revitalization Fellowship Program, a program developed by Michigan Foundations to move the City of Detroit forward. She was a member of the first cohort of Fellows.
Owiso is currently committed to the Boards of CarshareVT and the Energy Co-op of VT, sits on the Steering Committees of the VT Affordable Housing Coalition (VAHC) and the Burlington 2030 District and serves as a Corporator for Northfield Savings Bank, using these experiences to better serve, support and build community. Owiso led the first Juneteenth celebration in Essex, working closely with a group of dedicated community volunteers and other Essex Town and Village departments to realize the event. She believes in the strength of a great team and collaborative approaches.
She is the product of NYC public schools, Phillips Academy, Middlebury College and MIT, where she earned a Master of Architecture and a Master in City Planning (and an appreciation for keeping a paper copy handy for any high-stress situations or presentations that involve technology).