Strategic Economic Development Committee

Meetings

  • Meets monthly

Members

The group, led by co-chairs Genesis Ramos and Bill Fioravanti, meets monthly to keep vital development projects on course and moving forward.

  • Bill Conyea is the founder of Crestview Global, a technology advisory and talent acquisition firm. He has deep familial connections to and passion for the City of Newburgh, having spent much of his childhood here, including attending junior and high school. He hopes to leverage his unique set of technological, business, financial, and development skills to improve financial sustainability and stability throughout the City. He is honored and excited to work alongside SEDAC, City officials, and developers to improve the quality of life for residents, visitors, and business owners through inclusive and diverse economic development.
  • Austin F. Dubois was born and raised outside of Middletown, NY. He is now a proud father, business owner, and homeowner here in the City of Newburgh. Austin is committed to helping City Government establish a foundation for a thriving economy to improve the lives of all Newburgh residents. In his free time, he can be seen communing with his family, friends, and neighbors along Liberty Street and elsewhere in the City.
  • Bill Fioravanti (Co-Chair) is Orange County's Director of Economic Development, a committed community volunteer, and a longtime Orange County resident. He serves as a board member for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, and currently leads fundraising efforts for the popular Newburgh Illuminated Festival. Bill is immediate past-president of the Crystal Run Village (CRVI) Board of Directors, past-president of the Wallkill East Rotary Club, and was the longtime Advisory Board chair and internship recruiter for Middletown High School's Academies of Finance and IT. He is passionate about the work of non-profits and has volunteered for numerous local causes including Junior Achievement, Leadership Orange, NFA's P-TECH Academy, Big Brothers Big Sisters, San Miguel Academy, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Bill is a proud homeowner in the City of Newburgh where he lives with his wife Elizabeth and daughters Caterina and Mira.
  • Emma Fuentes is a strategic communications consultant and Newburgh landlord. She brings over a decade of communications and narrative development experience to the table, as well as familiarity with Newburgh's small business landscape. As a member of SEDAC, she is thrilled to collaborate with professionals from planning, development, and organizing backgrounds to envision what's possible for Newburgh, and to tell new stories about this exceptional City.
  • Dwayne Jordan is the Owner of Yenom Holdings, LLC. He joined SEDAC to support the betterment of our community by contributing his knowledge of real estate investing. As a unique player in the local business landscape, Dwayne was awarded the 2019 Dutchess County 40 Under 40 award representing young talent in the business community. Dwayne prides himself on being a straightforward investor who understands calculated risk in the real estate investment landscape and is a proven strategic planner in the markets he develops.
  • Kathy Lawrence, having spent most of her career in non-profit management and food justice and most of her adult life in New York City and Orange County, Kathy moved to Newburgh to be part of a diverse and vibrant community. She is committed to equitable economic development that serves the whole City and is honored to bring her skills, enthusiasm, and experience to SEDAC.
  • Jerry Maldonado, as a resident and homeowner in the City of Newburgh, Jerry joined SEDAC as part of his commitment to advancing the equitable revitalization of the City. With over two decades of experience in community planning, housing, and economic development in cities across the country, Jerry looks forward to partnering with public, private, and community stakeholders to advance development without displacement; strengthen our neighborhoods and commercial corridors, and support the economic and cultural vitality of our City.
  • Genesis Ramos, MPA (Co-Chair): Genesis joined SEDAC because her personal experience, as well as her career in the public sector, affords her insight and understanding of socioeconomic factors. As a lifetime resident, she is interested in seeing Newburgh thrive and grow. For Genesis, it is crucial to consider equitable economic outcomes at all times for residents of the City and her personal goal within her committee work is to ensure this perspective remains at the forefront of all conversations.

Overview

The Mayor's Strategic Economic Development Advisory Committee (SEDAC) is a volunteer, community-led, non-chartered advisory board of residents, business owners, community leaders, and stakeholders tasked with analyzing, reviewing, and advising the City Council on economic development opportunities that are effective, inclusive, and equitable. The group is committed to prioritizing strategies, projects, and programs that encourage economic and community development throughout the City of Newburgh.

The committee was established in August 2019 by Mayor Torrance Harvey to analyze and review proposals for future City-owned land sales and has since broadened its scope to provide guidance surrounding a variety of economic development and redevelopment readiness activities.

Vision & Mission

SEDAC supports economic redevelopment activities that promote the inclusive revitalization of the City of Newburgh and prioritizes development strategies and projects that:

  • Build upon the City's historic, cultural, and natural assets
  • Create equitable and inclusive economic outcomes and opportunities for diverse residents within the City
  • Create opportunities through real estate investment
  • Expand job creation, employment, ownership, and small business development opportunities, including targeted support for local residents, minority- and women-owned businesses
  • Improve Newburgh's public profile and facilitate sustainable growth in the City's tourism sector
  • Preserve and expand housing choices that are affordable for a broad range of incomes (from less than 30% of income to market rate)
  • Promote environmentally sustainable development practices
  • Strengthen the City's tax and revenue base

In Partnership with the City of Newburgh Government and departments, SEDAC will:

  • Develop, review, and assess RFPs, property disposition guidelines, land use and development policies, and practices that advance these goals
  • Engage residents and stakeholders in creating and pursuing a shared vision and plan for economic development in the City of Newburgh
  • Prioritize the development of corridor-based re-investment and revitalization strategies that promote equitable and sustainable growth
  • Work in partnership with the City Manager and Comptroller to support the creation of a sustainable 3 to 5-year fiscal plan

Recent Work

In the fall and winter of 2019, SEDAC members reviewed four submissions in response to RFP Number 20.19, a call for development at 15 South Colden Street. Through a process of in-depth assessment, interviews, tours of developers' existing projects, and rounds of final scoring, SEDAC formally recommended The Kearney Group for the purchase and development of the East End Lofts project.

Kearney is now on track to break ground in 2021, ultimately adding 65-70 housing units serving a broad mix of incomes and an anchor restaurant, helping to create a vibrant linkage between Liberty Street, the Newburgh Brewing Co., and the waterfront commercial corridor. Kearney's commitment to offering housing for a wide variety of incomes, job-creating commercial space, previous experience working within the City, and successful mixed-use/mixed-income developments throughout the region all align with SEDAC's development priorities.

This first proposal process will serve as a model for the sort of hands-on review and assessment SEDAC will regularly perform moving forward, ensuring diligent, efficient, and timely progress.

Amid the COVID-19 shutdown, SEDAC has continued to advance its 2020 priority activities by meeting with City Engineering and Planning staff, learning about existing and forthcoming City-wide development studies, working on the City's Downtown Redevelopment Initiative application, and drafting RFPs for future publishing.

2020 Priority Activities

  • Creation of the SEDAC Vision and Mission Statement (Complete)
  • Development of a Comprehensive Roadmap for Economic Development:
    • A City-wide plan and corridor-based approach, informed by formal studies, analysis, and articulation of potential corridors (In Process)
    • Downtown Revitalization Initiative Application focusing on connecting lower Broadway and the waterfront via the hillside (In Process)
  • Initiate Community Engagement and Transparency Surrounding Development
  • Redevelopment Readiness:
    • Developing recommendations for streamlined and predictable development policy and practices, with clear reference documents and timelines
    • Identifying and removing barriers to economic development
  • Short-Term Development Actions:
    • The Kearney Group "East End Lofts" Project at 15 South Colden Street (Approved by City Council)
    • RFP Development for Some City-Owned Properties (In Development)

Contact Information

For more information about SEDAC's work, contact: