COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Hilltop RISE organization’s mission is to bring economic development to the area, and now the group has a leader to help get there.

This week, the organization named its first-ever executive director. Morgan DeBoth said her goal is to be a champion for this community.

She said she has a passion for Columbus’ west side and this new role is all about helping the area she loves reach its full potential.

“I want to listen to our community and see what they want because my voice is meant to amplify theirs,” DeBoth said.

DeBoth was a part of the revitalization of the Franklinton area and is now the first-ever executive director for the Hilltop RISE economic community development corporation.

“Hilltop RISE is a new private CDC working on the redevelopment of the area,” DeBoth said.

The organization’s focus is revamping opportunity zones like West Broad Street and Sullivant Avenue.

DeBoth said her game plan is to build relationships.

“I’m hopeful to connect with local community members, re-establish and build trust, partner with local agencies and stakeholders, and to meet with new business owners as well as current business owners to really see what the need is and listen to them in order to form what projects I’ll be working on,” DeBoth said.

She said no one understands the needs of the area more than the people, so that’s why listening will be so important.

“This community is tenacious and fiery and has such a wonderful history and I feel like we need to listen to that history in order to build upon a bright future,” DeBoth said.

Local business owners like Eric Miller said he’s looking forward to this partnership.

“I think it helps the growth to continue and really fan the flame of the good things that are already happening,” Miller said.

He owns the Design Refinery on Westmoor Ave. He said he and his neighbors are always coming up with new ideas to draw people into the Hilltop.

“These business owners on this block kind of have this unofficial mission or bond and that is just to be an anchor here in the hilltop neighborhood,” Miller said.

Miller said he’s ready for people to see the potential they’ve seen in the Hilltop for years.

“I love it when people come in and they say, ‘Wow, the people here are friendly,’ you know the business owners or people hanging out here or at Third Way,” Miller said.

NBC4 asked DeBoth where she sees the Hilltop in 10 years. This is her response.

“Oh my goodness, hopefully thriving and when I say thriving, what I hope is to hang onto a sense of its history and its character, as well as just creating a place that is safe and equitable and accessible for all residents and all folks who would like to invest here,” she said.

Hilltop RISE is holding an open house at the Third Way Cafe on W. Broad Street on Feb. 8 from 6 to 8 pm. DeBoth said this will be a great way for the community to get to know her and share their ideas.