HUDSON–The Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) Board of directors has elected a new president, president, Tony Jones of Roe Jan Publishing. David Fingar of Mid-Hudson Cablevision has been elected vice president.
Colin Stair of Stair Galleries in Hudson was elected to join the not-for-profit organization’s officers on the CEDC’s Executive Committee. The announcement of the changes was dated September 1.
Mr. Jones replaces David Crawford, president of Crawford Associates, Inc., who stepped down in July after 25 years of service following a report from the state Authorities Budget Office critical of some CEDC board practices. Mr. Jones, who previously served on the CEDC board from 1997-2006, was elected to a new term on the 24-member board in February 2014.
The CEDC is the main economic development organization in Columbia County. Its mission is to strengthen the area’s tax base through economic development and job creation. It also assists businesses that want to locate or expand in the county and can make loans or assist businesses in obtaining financing.
After the release of the Authorities Budget Office report, which focused on a citizen complaint about CEDC support for a new wholesale food warehouse proposed by Ginsberg’s Foods, the county Board of Supervisors suspended funding for the operation of the CEDC and called for further investigation. The CEDC responded by replacing its executive director with an interim executive director, F. Michael Tucker. In addition to hiring Mr. Tucker and beginning the search for a new, permanent director, the CEDC said it was reorganizing its operations.
“It’s going to be a board of high engagement,” Mr. Jones said of his new position in a CEDC release. “And, as we continue to move ahead inclusiveness will be important. The larger we make the conversation, the more transparent and sustaining will be our results.”
Most recently, Mr. Jones owned in partnership with his late wife, Victoria Simons, The Independent, a small community newspaper they built into a twice-weekly publication that was the official newspaper-of-record for every town, village and school district in Columbia County for a number of years. Later they added The Paper, an arts and entertainment publication, as well as two Antiquer publications covering the Hudson Valley and western CT/MA. They sold the company in 2001.
Before buying The Independent, Mr. Jones was an editor at Harper’s Magazine and re-inventor of Harper’s Weekly. A graduate of Yale, he later was editor of the Yale Alumni Magazine when it won an award as the best alumni magazine in the country.
Mr. Jones was a bank director for 20 years, first with Hudson City Savings, then Hudson River Bank & Trust, then First Niagara Financial Group, where he served as chair of the Corporate Governance & Nominating Committee until retiring from the board in 2013. He currently serves on the board of the Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation. Mr. Jones and Ms. Simons have five children, two of whom remain in the area.
David Fingar, newly elected vice president, replaces Mary Bartolotta of Coldwell Banker Bartolotta & Associates, who is continuing as a CEDC board member. Mr. Fingar was appointed to the CEDC board in August 2014. He has served as chief engineer for Mid-Hudson Cable for the past 30 years. His past community service includes two terms as councilman for the Town of Livingston. He and his wife, Linda, have three children and five grandchildren.
Mr. Stair, now a member of the CEDC Executive Committee, was appointed to the board in March 2009 and has been part of the organization’s Management Team, which until recently provided oversight of the day-to-day operations of the organization. He is an auctioneer, an expert in furniture restoration and is the owner of Stair Galleries and Restoration in Hudson and Claverack. He and his wife, Katrina, have two children.
Completing CEDC’s Board of Directors officers are Hudson Supervisor Sarah Sterling as secretary and Robert Sherwood of Kinderhook Bank as treasurer.
For more information about CEDC programs and services, visit www.columbiaedc.com or call 518 828-4718.