Narkewicz Names Economic Development Commission
NORTHAMPTON — Following up on a campaign promise, Mayor David J. Narkewicz has named an 11-member economic development commission to guide his decision-making when it comes to business growth and retention in the city.
Vice President, TD Bank [finance/banking]
Vice President, O’Connell Development Group
[real estate development]
Dr. Robert Fazzi
President, Fazzi Associates
Vice President for Public Affairs, Smith College
Vice President of Global Sales, InRESONANCE
Marketing Director, Iron Horse Entertainment Group
Vice President, Phillips Enterprises, Inc.
Chief Marketing Officer, LogicTrail Strategic Marketing | Interactive [marketing/tourism]
Founder, Faces, Inc.
Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce
Florence Civic and Business Association
The commission, which will be advisory in nature, draws ambassadors from a number of different economic sectors — banking and finance, real estate development, health care, higher education, technology, the arts, manufacturing, tourism, and retail. It also includes representatives from the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce and the Florence Civic and Business Association.
In a press release, Narkewicz said the Economic Development Advisory Commission, or EDAC, will advise on business retention and attraction, marketing and tourism, workforce needs, regulatory streamlining, barriers to business development, and finding partnerships and regional opportunities to support the local economy.
The city is currently without a dedicated economic development staffer, after the December departure of Teri Anderson, former director of the now-defunct Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO). Anderson left for a job with Common Capital, a private non-profit organization based in Holyoke.
Even though Narkewicz eliminated CEDO, which was funded largely with dwindling Community Development Block Grants, his fiscal 2013 budget retains a line item for an economic development director in the Mayor’s Office.
Narkewicz said last month the economic development commission would help him define “what that position should look like.”
Narkewicz, who was elected in November by a wide margin, pledged a “fresh look” at the city’s economic development activities during his campaign.
The first meeting of the EDAC, a public body, will scheduled for early next month.
— Mary Serreze