|BALTIMORE, MD. (November 19, 2012) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake named Ms. Brenda McKenzie as President and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), effective December 7, 2012. McKenzie comes to Baltimore from the Boston Redevelopment Authority with nineteen years of community and economic development experience.In her nearly two decades of experience overseeing development in two major American cities, McKenzie implemented strategies to attract and retain businesses, create jobs, and energize neighborhoods. She helped generate positive job growth in Boston, even at the height of the economic difficulties, and in Chicago, she facilitated billions of dollars in residential and retail investment.
“We are excited to introduce Ms. McKenzie to Baltimore,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “To begin growing again, we need to create new, good paying jobs for residents and strengthen our communities. Brenda comes here with energy, optimism, and a commitment to our goal of growing the city by 10,000 families in the next 10 years.”
McKenzie was selected by Mayor Rawlings-Blake after a national search effort and recommendation from BDC board members, the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development, and a team of local business leaders.
“Baltimore is a great city with a strong base and brimming with potential. I am excited to come here as this mayor, and the people of Baltimore begin to do what hasn’t been done in half a century—grow this city,” said Ms. McKenzie. “I am looking forward to working with community members and stakeholders to develop new and innovative ways to help each community flourish and grow.”
“The BDC is pleased to have a new president and chief executive officer in place before the close of 2012,” said Arnold Williams, chairman of the BDC. “This appointment will allow a great start to 2013 in solidifying and enhancing the economic and business development initiatives of BDC. Ms. McKenzie’s immediate past experience in Boston—a city much like Baltimore, with great educational and research institutions—and her experience with workforce development, land redevelopment, financing, community partnering, and waterfront projects will be a tremendous asset to BDC and the City of Baltimore.”
Since 2008, Ms. McKenzie has served as economic development director for the Boston Redevelopment Authority. She developed and implemented a collaborative economic strategy that emphasized growth in the entrepreneurial tech and industrial sectors and supported the growth of businesses in city neighborhoods and the downtown business districts. She advised Mayor Thomas Menino on Boston’s strategy to attract investment and expand the job market. McKenzie successfully facilitated $15 billion in private development throughout the city.
Prior to serving in Boston, McKenzie was the global responsibility senior manager for Starbucks Coffee, managed private development with Kenzie Enterprises, LLC., and served as deputy commissioner for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, where she oversaw over $1.8 billion in residential and retail development, including 7,000 new housing units. She earlier served as the assistant commissioner for the Chicago Department of Housing and as special assistant to the chief financial officer in the Chicago Housing Authority and the City of Chicago’s Budget Office as an analyst.
McKenzie holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.
“I am pleased to welcome Ms. McKenzie to the BDC,” added Woody Collins, COO of M&T Bank’s Mid Atlantic Division and BDC Board Member. “Baltimore will certainly benefit from Brenda’s years of experience and her proven track record in Boston and Chicago.”
“Brenda is the complete package,” said Don Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee. “Her public and private experience positions her well to lead the BDC. Her background includes a blend of strategic planning, marketing, deal making and an appreciation of the importance of neighborhoods to economic development.”