Syracuse: Owens, Walsh Join Department of Neighborhood and Biz Dev

Mayor Stephanie A. Miner today announced her appointment

of two deputy commissioners of neighborhood and business development.

Sharon F. Owens, who will serve as director of neighborhood development, and Benjamin R. Walsh, who will serve as director of business development, will report to Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development Paul Driscoll. Driscoll was named commissioner in December.

Miner also announced in December that she would be merging the former departments of economic development and community development to create one Department of Neighborhood and Business Development.

Owens, 46, a graduate of Syracuse University, has more than 20 years of experience working with City of Syracuse families and communities through her work with several not-for-profit agencies that include: Home HeadQuarters, Inc., as director of its NeighborWorks(r) of America Affiliated HomeOwnership Center; Jubilee Homes of Syracuse as associate director; the People's Equal Action and Community Effort, Inc. (PEACE) as the family and community coordinator and youth services director; and the Dunbar Association. Sharon is active in the local community and has served on several boards and committees including the Southeast Gateway Corporation, Inc., the Spanish Action League of Onondaga County, Inc. and currently the Syracuse Alliance for a New Economy, Inc. and the Bennett Fienberg Foundation.

"Mayor Miner is committed to building strong neighborhoods," Owens said. "As deputy commissioner, I feel empowered by the knowledge that our Mayor understands the importance of strong, vibrant neighborhoods to the overall growth of our city."

Walsh, 30, served as the director of urban initiatives for the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York (MDA). Prior to his role at the MDA, Walsh worked for the SUNY Center for Brownfield Studies at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). In his capacity as a Brownfield Research Support Specialist at SUNY ESF, Walsh served as an advisor to cities throughout New York State as they assembled comprehensive urban Brownfield strategies.

Walsh is a graduate of Ithaca College and earned a master's degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

"Mayor Miner has outlined a compelling vision for the City of Syracuse and I look forward to working collaboratively with our public and private community partners to bring this vision to reality," Walsh said.

Owens, Walsh and Driscoll will be sworn in later this month.

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