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Dr. Young Named Co-Chair of MHREDC

February 10, 2022

press release provided by Empire State Development

The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) today announced that Dr. Marsha Gordon, President & CEO of The Business Council of Westchester (BCW) and Dr. Kristine Young, President of SUNY Orange, have been appointed as Co-Chairs of the Council, effective immediately. Dr. Gordon and Dr. Young succeed Dr. Donald P. Christian, President of SUNY New Paltz, who has served on the Council since 2016 and as Co-Chair since 2018 and will be retiring this year. The MHREDC works together to grow the economy in the Mid-Hudson region which includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.

“The Regional Economic Development Councils positioned throughout the state have played an invaluable role in convening local stakeholders who have the knowledge and expertise to effectively spur economic development in their communities. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, these local champions have moved our state forward through their leadership,” said Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin. “In particular, the Mid-Hudson REDC has worked tirelessly to transform the region with increased tourism opportunities, new and expanded businesses, and good paying jobs for New Yorkers. As chair of the Regional Councils, I congratulate both Dr. Marsha Gordon and Dr. Kristine Young on their new leadership roles and thank Dr. Christian for his stewardship of the council over the years.”

Former MHREDC Co-Chair and SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian said, "Having worked closely with Drs. Gordon and Young on the MHREDC, I am thrilled that they are stepping into these leadership roles. I know that these two innovative leaders will bring new ideas to the table and continue to grow the success of the Council in advancing the economy and quality of life in the region. I am grateful for my time on the Council and have been rewarded that this work aligns so well with the College’s role and values as a top-tier public university and major economic engine in the Hudson Valley."

MHREDC Co-Chair and President & CEO of The Business Council of Westchester, Marsha Gordon said, “I am extremely honored to serve as a co-chair for the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council. As a long-standing member of the business community, I have seen this model of a bottom-up, regional strategy to economic development transform our region and I look forward to serving with Kristine Young and the rest of the council to continue its many successes.  I want to thank Dr. Christian for his leadership and dedication to the council and I wish him health and happiness in his retirement.

MHREDC Co-Chair and SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young said, “The seven counties in the MHREDC comprise one of the most vibrant and attractive areas of New York State. I look forward to partnering with Marsha, as well as other MHREDC team members, to showcase the region’s strengths and advance its growth well into the future. As a fellow educator, I have appreciated Dr. Christian’s exemplary leadership within the higher education sector, as well as his stewardship of the MHREDC and his dedication to growing the region’s economy for the benefit of us all.”

Dr. Marsha Gordon brings more than 25 years of community, commerce and leadership experience to her role. Under her leadership, the Business Council of Westchester (BCW) has tripled its membership, developed programs to meet the needs of the County’s diverse business community and become a lead advocate for business and economic development in the region and New York State. Dr. Gordon has been President and CEO of the BCW since 2001 and was also President of the Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Dr. Gordon served as President of Build the Bridge Now, which helped to fast track the building of a new Tappan Zee Bridge. Dr. Gordon has served on several boards including on the executive committee of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Council, the Business Council of New York State and the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board. Dr. Gordon holds a BA from Brooklyn College, an MBA from Marist College, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Pace University.

SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young is a visionary leader who is focused on delivering a meaningful “SUNY Orange Experience” for students while simultaneously tackling implementation of the College’s new Strategic Plan 2020-2025, the roadmap by which SUNY Orange will reach its 75th anniversary in 2025. The plan is designed for the College to empower student success, strengthen the region’s economic future, and sustain and invigorate its own institutional future. Previously, Dr. Young spent 17 years at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill. Dr. Young earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., in 1996 and her master’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. Her doctorate degree is from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges, where she shapes the organization’s advocacy for more than 1,200 community colleges nationwide. She served a one-year term on the AACC Executive Committee and was the chair of the AACC Commission on Public Relations Advocacy and Advancement in 2020-21. For 2021-22, she chairs the AACC Commission on Institutional Infrastructure and Transformation. Young is in her fourth year of service on the MHREDC as chair or sitting on several MHREDC committees. She also holds membership on the boards of several local organizations.

The REDC process has transformed New York State government's approach to economic development, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up, regional economic growth and streamlining the state funding application process. Established in 2011 as a centerpiece of the State’s strategy to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, the Regional Councils replaced the state's old top-down approach with one that is community-based and performance-driven. Through 10 rounds of the REDC competition, the MHREDC has delivered over $815 million for 1,020 projects.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of New York State's transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, the 10 Regional Councils developed long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.

Since the establishment of the REDCs in 2011 until the most recent round in 2021, which is still in-progress, over $7.5 billion dollars was awarded to more than 9,100 economic and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.