Common Council Appoints Seven to Industrial Development Agency Board
At their meeting on Monday, January 29, 2018, the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council appointed seven members to the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Board to serve two-year terms to succeed the five members whose terms expired December 31, 2017. One of the preceding five members will continue to serve on the board.
These members will be at the helm of a critical agency focused on turning around the economy of the City of Poughkeepsie through business retention, expansion, and attraction. The mission of the City of Poughkeepsie IDA is to promote economic activity and private investment in the city to advance job opportunities and the welfare of residents through the use of tax incentives and other supports.
At a time when Poughkeepsie is suffering a high unemployment rate of more than 14% and a poverty rate of 24%, business activity and job creation are of the utmost importance. The newly appointed board will be focusing on outreach to new and existing businesses to identify projects for financial assistance and will be proactively identifying key sectors for targeted development.
The seven members of the IDA board bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the agency and to the business community in the city:
Melanie Vetter is a recently returned native of the City of Poughkeepsie who has thirty years private sector experience as a marketing executive working with Fortune 100 companies. She has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and experience working with the financial services and tourism industries.
Jay Mandle is an economist and professor emeritus of Colgate University. His research and experience has focused on developing economies as a means for improving economic well being, particularly through micro enterprise.
Nathan Shook brings unique experience in both the construction industry and as a lawyer focused on construction law, real estate, and commercial litigation. Originally from Poughkeepsie, he is a graduate of Marist College, Brooklyn Law School, and the Pace University Law School Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program.
Randall Johnson returns to the IDA board for a second term and brings experience as a senior civil engineer for large urban infrastructure construction projects.
Sarah Brannen has worked in the public and non-profit sectors on economic and community development for more than fifteen years. She previously managed an economic development portfolio of $30M in New York City and now directs programming for a nonprofit organization in the Hudson Valley that supports workforce training and social enterprise development.
Sarah Salem has experience in development and public relations in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors as well as extensive professional experience with Hudson Valley environmental and activist communities and networks.
Tyler Jones is the Vicar of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in the City of Poughkeepsie. He previously had a career spanning more than two decades in the maritime industry and in waterfront development and management in Alaska and Florida.
“The caliber of the people on this board and in the applicant pool as a whole is remarkable,” said Ann Finney, Councilmember At-large, “and I am grateful for the level of engagement by residents who desired to serve their city and revitalize our economy.”
Majority Leader, Lorraine Johnson, shared, “The Council had a lot of interest in this important board because people are engaged and know the community needs investment. We need jobs for residents and this agency will focus on that.”
Sarah Brannen, who will serve on the board, said, “I am honored to have been chosen to serve on the IDA and look forward to working with the business community in the city to ensure they are aware of the resources available to them to help with critical investments in our city.”
“This new IDA presents a great opportunity to turn around the economy of the city to benefit our residents, while also leveraging the assets we have, such as a beautiful waterfront and diverse history,” said Sarah Salem, who will also serve on the board.