Saratoga County

Ex-SEDC vice president now agency leader

The county’s economic development organization has a new leader.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The county’s economic development organization has a new leader.

Dennis A. Brobston of Clifton Park, a former vice president of the Saratoga Economic Development Corp., has been named the new president of the agency.

Brobston replaces Kenneth A. Green, a prominent figure in regional economic development who resigned abruptly in November after being arrested on a drunk driving charge in Saratoga Springs.

“With Dennis, we have someone who can step right into the job,” said Michael Dennis, who headed the SEDC search committee.

Brobston is currently executive director of the Wesley Foundation in Saratoga Springs, the fundraising arm of the Wesley Health Care Center and senior living communities. He was SEDC’s vice president of community development from 1997 to 2005, overseeing small business development and contacts with many local communities.

He will start his new job in early March. He couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday.

SEDC is a key player in the county’s job creation efforts and the primary force behind planning for the high-tech Luther Forest Technology Campus.

Dennis said Brobston’s knowledge of the area, successful experience with new employers and existing relationships with state and local officials will speed the transition process.

“We felt he can come right in and start on day one,” Dennis said.

There was a nationwide search, and about 30 résumés were considered. Dennis declined to discuss Brobston’s salary.

SEDC, which is based in Saratoga Springs, is the private nonprofit organization responsible for marketing Saratoga County to new businesses and existing businesses looking to expand. It has six employees.

After Green’s departure, SEDC senior vice president Jon A. Kelley also left for a private real estate development job. His replacement has yet to be picked.

“We want to give Dennis some time to get in the office and get organized, then we will search for the No. 2 position,” Dennis said.

Green has since formed his own consulting firm, and the city of Glens Falls is considering hiring him to do some economic development work for it.

SEDC contracts with Saratoga County and a number of towns to provide economic development advise and marketing. It also oversees the county’s Empire Zone program.

SEDC has been involved in attracting companies, including State Farm Insurance, the Quad/Graphics printing plant, Ball Metal Container, and the Ace Hardware and Target regional distribution centers.

In recent years, it has been the primary developer of the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta and Stillwater, which is now being overseen by a subsidiary corporation. Advanced Micro Devices has plans to locate a computer chip plant there, and SEDC continues marketing it to other companies.

“We want to bring other manufacturers and tech companies to that site,” Dennis said.

Brobston came to Saratoga County in 1986 as a sales manager for Fort Steuben Products. In 1995 and 1996 he held an economic development position with the Southern Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce before being recruited by SEDC.

Brobston is a lay leader at Shenendehowa United Methodist Church in Clifton Park. He lives in Clifton Park with his wife Teresa and has two grown children.

Categories: Schenectady County

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