Last updated: February 19. 2013 7:49PM - 648 Views

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WILKES-BARRE ‚?? The Diamond City Partnership announced Friday it has hired Larry Newman, the vice president of planning, policy and development for the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, to serve as DCP‚??s full-time executive director ‚?? a new position for the organization.

Newman, 43, of Wilkes-Barre, will assume his new role effective Dec. 3.

‚??For more than a decade, Larry has helped to lead Downtown Wilkes-Barre‚??s ongoing revival,‚?Ě said Elizabeth Graham, chair of the DCP Board. ‚??In fact, he directed the creation of the Diamond City Partnership in 2001. We are very excited that Larry ‚?? who is respected statewide for his work ‚?? will be bringing his skill and passion to bear on a new challenge: taking Downtown‚??s progress to the next level.‚?Ě

For the past nine years, Newman has worked for the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, where his downtown work was part of an extensive portfolio of economic and community development initiatives. He has been a primary driver behind many of the catalytic projects and initiatives undertaken in Downtown since 2001, including the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District, the Barnes & Noble Wilkes-King‚??s Bookstore, the Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre, Elevation Lofts on Main, and Wilkes-Barre Movies 14. He has almost 20 years of urban planning, economic development, and historic preservation experience in both the public and private sectors.

William D. Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, noted that Newman has been a vital part of the Chamber team, and that his contributions over the many years that he has served the community have been vital to the success of the development and re-development of downtown Wilkes-Barre and the region.

‚??There is not a project or initiative in downtown Wilkes-Barre that Larry has not been involved in for the last two decades. As the Vice President for Planning, Policy and Development for the Chamber, Larry has been an invaluable team member whose influence has been felt well beyond the City of Wilkes-Barre. In addition to his role as a downtown development specialist, Larry has been directly responsible for the success of the five business parks owned by The Chamber and the thousands of jobs that have been created there. As the new executive director of the Diamond City Partnership, Larry will be continuing with his life‚??s work of revitalizing the city he loves, Wilkes-Barre. I wish him all the best, and look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role.‚?Ě

‚??DCP has systematically achieved each of its initial goals,‚?Ě stated Graham. ‚??Its work has made Downtown Wilkes-Barre cleaner, more vibrant, and more comfortable, giving us a strong foundation from which to build. However, during the recent renewal of the Downtown Improvement District, our ratepayers made it clear that they wanted to broaden the range of activities and create a full-service downtown organization. For the past 18 months, Mr. Newman has served as a part-time Interim Director. His role will now be expanded to a full-time position. Having Larry focus solely on the Business Improvement District will be a tremendous boon for the Downtown.‚?Ě

‚??I‚??m thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the next phase of the Diamond City Partnership‚??s evolution,‚?Ě said Newman. ‚??Downtown Wilkes-Barre has come a long way since 2001 ‚?? and it has done so, most recently, in spite of a challenging national economy. However, there‚??s still much more to be done. Downtown‚??s future matters to all of us: it is the Wyoming Valley‚??s economic, civic, and cultural hub ‚?? and today, more than ever, a vibrant central city is vital for regional economic competitiveness. I am looking forward to working with DCP‚??s board and all of Downtown‚??s stakeholders to ensure that Downtown Wilkes-Barre continues its reemergence as a place of pride for our entire community.‚?Ě

Newman currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, the Commonwealth‚??s statewide downtown advocacy organization. In 2003, he was the recipient of the North Branch Land Trust‚??s first annual Stewardship Award, and in 2007, he received Leadership Wilkes-Barre‚??s annual Award for Outstanding Community Leadership. As an architectural historian, he recently co-authored the Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania volume of the Society of Architectural Historians‚?? Buildings of the United States series.

A graduate of Wyoming Valley West High School, Newman received a bachelor's degree in architecture from Princeton University and a master of architecture from Harvard University. He resides in downtown Wilkes-Barre with his wife, Marisue, and their three children.
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