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ESD Announces New North Country Regional Director

Stephen Hunt will serve as ESD’s Director for the North Country and as the Executive Director of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council
(June 19, 2014)

ESD Announces New North Country Regional Director

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced Stephen M. Hunt II, who previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman William Owens, will oversee the North Country regional office. As the new North Country Regional Director, Mr. Hunt will work under the leadership of ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams, managing daily operations of both North Country offices—Plattsburgh and Watertown—and promoting economic development practices that both retain and attract businesses and create jobs in the region. In addition, Mr. Hunt will take on the role of Executive Director of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC), where he will assist in coordinating the Council’s activities and implementing the region’s Strategic Plan.

“Steve brings to ESD an extensive background in public service and community relations in the North Country, and we welcome him to the team,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “With Steve’s knowledge of the North Country and familiarity with its constituencies, he will help advance our goals of driving private sector growth and creating jobs. In addition, Steve will be a tremendous asset to the North Country Regional Council, and I look forward to his leadership and support of the Council’s long-term strategic plans for the region’s economic growth. I also thank Roseanne Murphy for her years of dedication and service to ESD. We are very grateful for her leadership and achievements in the North Country and wish her the best of luck in her retirement.”

In his former role as Deputy Chief of Staff/District Director for Congressman William Owens, Mr. Hunt was responsible for the direct operations of four congressional offices, and constituent casework services, including more than 2,000 successfully closed cases that secured nearly $10 million for residents of the district. Prior to serving as Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Hunt served as Governor David Paterson’s North Country Regional Director, where he administered the day-to-day operations of two regional offices and briefed executive chamber staff on regional issues, including fielding and identifying solutions for constituent communications.

“I’m excited to take on this new role as ESD’s North Country Regional Director, helping to grow business and create jobs in the region I call home,” said Hunt. “There is a tremendous amount of momentum building in New York State and the North Country is making great strides under Governor Cuomo’s leadership. I’m proud to be on the ground in the region, working to provide new economic opportunity for the communities of this beautiful and unique seven-county region. I’m especially honored to join the staff at the regional office and work with the co-chairs and members of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, as we implement our region’s Strategic Plan to generate new investment and jobs.”

Roseanne Murphy, ESD’s North Country Regional Director since 2011, will help with the transition by remaining in the Plattsburgh Office until her retirement later this summer. Ms. Murphy expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to work as regional director and applauded the appointment of Mr. Hunt.

“It’s been a privilege to work at Empire State Development and with the North Country Regional Economic Development Council,” said Roseanne Murphy. “I am particularly proud of the accomplishments the North Country has realized since the creation of the Council. Because of the hard work of the co-chairs and the many volunteer members, the region has seen unprecedented collaboration and focus, moving it forward in a positive direction that has produced real results, and continues to grow jobs and sustainable economic growth in the region.”
Congressman Bill Owens said, “Steve has served as a valued member of my staff in Watertown and he will be missed. He has been a dedicated public servant for the past four and a half years, helping thousands of constituents and showing great compassion for their concerns. He will be an excellent addition to the Empire State Development team supporting job creation and economic growth throughout the North Country.”

“Steve Hunt is an outstanding choice and one who brings a strong knowledge of the North Country region after his years of service for past Governors and more recently Congressman Owens. We have worked with him regularly on economic development projects and on our various efforts to build our connections with Quebec and Ontario. His strong experience and awareness will make him both a great leader for Empire State Development in our region and a great advocate for the North Country in Albany,” said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. “As for Roseanne Murphy, I can't say enough about all she has done for the North Country over the last twenty years that I have worked with her. This includes everything from organizing the initial redevelopment plans for the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base to helping the Regional Council win three statewide competitions in a row. She has been a consummate professional who helps to make things happen and, as she approaches retirement, has much to be proud of in terms of enhancing the North Country and the lives of its citizens.”

“When Governor Cuomo launched the Regional Economic Development Councils in July 2011, Roseanne Murphy was handed no small task to steward a Council of volunteers who had never come together before and who needed to develop the first comprehensive strategic plan and priorities for economic development across the State's largest geographic region. Her commitment and dedication to the process buoyed the entire North Country REDC as well as the elected officials, economic development professionals and residents of our communities,” said Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson University and Co-Chair of the North Country REDC. “Steve Hunt has stayed connected to the NCREDC's activities since its inception. Building on the successes of the last three years, we look forward to working with Steve and having his added expertise and perspective on many of the Global NY initiatives planned and our goals to lead the economic renaissance of New York's small cities and rural communities.”

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I Love NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.nyworks.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

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