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Mayor Taveras Launches Economic Development Director Search

Among Mayor Taveras’ immediate goals for economic development in the City of Providence are maximizing the development of the newly recovered I-195 land; improving the City’s public transportation system; retaining existing businesses, recruiting new investment and reforming the City’s zoning, permitting and licensing processes; strategic investments in Providence’s arts and entrepreneurial communities; the pursuit of policies to reduce the City’s carbon footprint and grow a green economy, and; expanding workforce development and training in all neighborhoods.

Thursday, January 20, 2011
Providence business leaders tapped to lead search and selection process

PROVIDENCE – Mayor Angel Taveras has formed a search committee to seek and identify candidates for a cabinet-level position to lead the City’s economic development effort. The eight member committee will be chaired by attorney and business leader Mark Ryan.

Ryan is a principal at Moses & Afonso, Ltd., where he concentrates on corporate and business law. From 1986 to 2009, he worked in various capacities for the Providence Journal. Ryan is the First Vice Chairman and Trustee of the Providence Performing Arts Center and Director and member of the Nominating and Legislative Committees of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

Additional search committee members include: Taveras’ Chief of Staff John Pagliarini; Andrew Cortes, Director of Building Futures; William Parsons, Deputy Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation; Yahaira (Jay) Placencia, Senior Vice President and Senior Client Manager for Bank of America’s Business Banking Division; Jim Riley, Secretary-Treasurer for the UFCW New England Council; Allan Tear, founding partner of Betaspring, a Providence-based entrepreneurship accelerator; and Laurie White, President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

“Mark Ryan and the members of this search committee understand the urgency of our mission: to help businesses prosper, create well-paying jobs, and put our City’s residents back to work,” said Mayor Taveras. “This talented consortium of partners represents many facets of our community, and each will bring an important perspective to our effort to recruit an economic development professional who can leverage our City’s assets and forge a new path toward economic prosperity.”

The committee will seek to complete the search process within 100 days.

“The committee will identify candidates who have the vision to define the future of economic development in the City of Providence and the skills to bring that future to life,” said Ryan.

“Through this process we have the opportunity to build on the good work that has been done to foster collaboration across City and State and create a plan for economic development that broadly engages the community. It is an honor to support Mayor Taveras as Chair of this search committee and I am humbled by the opportunity to lead such an important process.”

Taveras has made reinvigorating the City’s economic development a cornerstone of his administration and an immediate priority for 2011. Taveras’ first step toward this goal is to have the departments of Planning and Development, Inspections and Standards, and Zoning and Licensing all report into the Director of Economic Development. The City’s next economic development chief will be charged with coordinating the multiple departments to ensure that the process required to do business in Providence is clear, fast and predictable.

Among Mayor Taveras’ immediate goals for economic development in the City of Providence are maximizing the development of the newly recovered I-195 land; improving the City’s public transportation system; retaining existing businesses, recruiting new investment and reforming the City’s zoning, permitting and licensing processes; strategic investments in Providence’s arts and entrepreneurial communities; the pursuit of policies to reduce the City’s carbon footprint and grow a green economy, and; expanding workforce development and training in all neighborhoods.

The committee expects to meet next week to kick off the search process. Members of the committee are serving as volunteers and will not be paid for their work.

“Providence has been especially hard hit by the global recession. While the situation here and across the country is very challenging, I have no doubt we will succeed. As I said in my inaugural address, we in Providence have at our fingertips resources and assets that other cities can only dream of. Our universities and hospitals supply us with an abundance of talent, energy and innovation. We are blessed with a community of entrepreneurs, artists and activists who challenge and inspire us to dream big and do better. We are a city of creators, who for much of our nation’s history, have defined American arts, culture and industry,” said Taveras. “Harnessing the power of these resources will be the focus of my economic development team.”

Applications may be submitted to the Mayor’s Policy Director Matthew Stark.

Press Release

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2 Responses to Mayor Taveras Launches Economic Development Director Search

  1. jen coleslaw July 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Any news on how this search is going?

  2. Jef Nickerson July 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    I have heard nothing.

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