NBEDC establishes Executive Fellowship Program

NEW BEDFORD- The New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC) has launched a new program to harness the talent and energy of established executives to support the City of New Bedford’s economic development agenda.
Under the NBEDC’s Executive Fellowship Program, professionals in the community – largely recently retired executives – bring proven leadership and expertise to the NBEDC organization. These established executives are partnered with graduate and undergraduate students to provide day-to-day support on project-related work. The natural mentoring opportunities are a benefit to the executives, students, and NBEDC and City of New Bedford staff who are engaged in each project.
Projects for the summer of 2012 include providing greater public access to the Acushnet River through riparian restoration, creating a physical center for the Armory District by turning the Quest Center into a creative campus of emerging technology companies, and harnessing and building on the recent successes in the downtown.
“With City finances extremely tight, I’ve encouraged departments to think creatively about ways to leverage their resources. I have often said we need to learn to do more with less. Tapping private sector talent though the Executive Fellowship Program is exactly the right approach,” Mayor Mitchell said. “This program is a great example of putting that principle into practice.”
“The goal is to offer established leadership executives and emerging leaders an opportunity to have a tangible impact on New Bedford’s future,” said Matthew Morrissey, NBEDC Executive Director. “The energy and enthusiasm that each fellow has brought to their projects is palatable, and their work will have a real affect on some of our most important projects.”
The eight junior fellows engaged in the program are undergraduate and graduate students or recent degree-recipients in disciplines such as Economics, Business, Public Policy, Communications, and Land-Use Planning. The five senior fellows volunteer their time for the duration of the program to mentor these students and to continue to be involved in strengthening the city. All program participants are working with the NBEDC staff, Mayor’s Office staff, and other City officials.
“I am truly excited about participating in the NBEDC Fellowship Program,” said David Waxler, a recently retired trial attorney in New Bedford who is partnered with a student from the UMass School of Law. “The opportunity to bring the River Walk from the drawing table to construction is a challenge I look forward to. Mayor Mitchell has set this project as a priority and has assembled a talented team of City Departments to work together to get it done. This team approach is a perfect fit for the Fellowship Program.”
The NBEDC is a nonprofit organization comprised of 250 successful leaders in business, education, and government led by a nine-member Board of Directors. In conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, the Council sets the agenda for the city’s key strategic economic development areas.
For more information about the NBEDC please call (508) 991-3122 or visit the NBEDC website at www.nbedc.org.

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