Longtime Broome County IDA executive director retires

By Kelly McCarthy

Longtime Broome County IDA executive director retires

March 15, 2013 Updated Mar 15, 2013 at 6:35 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The executive director of Broome County's economic development arm steps down after leading the agency for more than 15 years.

Richard D'Attilio may be leaving his desk at the Broome County IDA office, but his expertise won't be out of Broome County's reach.

"If they need me, I'll be here," he said Friday. "If they need me in the future to consult I'd be happy to do that, so I'm not just going home to sit on the swing on the porch."

After 35 years working in economic development --18 years at the Broome County IDA, including 15 years as its executive director -- D'Attilio is ready for some rest and relaxation.

"There comes a time when you just have to look ahead instead of looking at your career, and what you'd like to do looking forward. I guess the stress relief is the biggest factor I'd like to point to," D'Attilio said.

D'Attilio lists the Charles Street Business Park, L-3 Communications, and Maines Paper and Food Service corporate headquarters as memorable projects throughout his career.

"It's going to be very difficult to replace him, those are big shoes to fill," said Terrance Kane, chairman of the IDA Board of Directors. "So what we're looking for is a person with a diverse background that can represent the community."

The not-for-profit agency supports economic development through financial assistance and tax exemptions for businesses.

"Their goals are the same as the municipalities' goals and our goals are to create jobs by bringing in new business," said Debbie Preston, (R) Broome County Executive.

In a study released by the Authorities Budget Office on IDAs in New York State, Broome County totaled more than $27 million in tax exemptions from 2008 to 2011.

"We fall right about in the middle. If you were to take a look at all the IDAs across the state, we're right about in the middle of the pack," Kane said. "So basically our return on investment is pretty good."

The agency hopes whoever fills D'Attilio's shoes can help the IDA grow that return.

"I've come to realize that you won't get jobs if you don't have investment first," D'Attilio said. "So helping a company invest will ultimately benefit the community because they are not investing to decline their business, they're investing to expand it."

The Broome County IDA will work with a consultant to conduct a national search during the next 90 days to look for a new executive director. D'Attilio says if no replacement is found within 90 days he will stay on with the agency month-by-month until someone is hired.