Senior Staff Bios


Maria Torres-SpringerMaria Torres-Springer
President and CEO
Prior to her appointment to NYCEDC, Maria served as Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS). Before joining SBS, Maria served as the Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at NYCEDC, a Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding, and the Chief Operating Officer of Friends of the Highline. She received her bachelor’s degree in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University and a master's in public policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

James N. Katz
Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff
James oversees NYCEDC's Government and Community’s departments, the Policy and Diversity practices, and the Public Affairs and Marketing departments. He is also chiefly responsible for day-to-day management of the President’s Office. James has served since the beginning of last year as NYCEDC’s Director of Policy and Planning, helping to manage NYCEDC’s transition to the de Blasio administration. Before this, he was a Senior Advisor and Special Counsel to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, where he worked on enforcement and legislative matters related to nonprofit governance and public integrity. James holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Euan Robertson 
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Euan leads the Strategic Planning Team, the Center for Economic Transformation, and—together with Seth Myers—the Asset Management and Capital Divisions. Recently, Euan spent 17 months as the First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services, where he oversaw the launch and implementation of key initiatives including the Small Business First program and the City’s First Look initiative. Previously, Euan served as President and COO of the not-for-profit MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and as an Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Center for Economic Transformation here at NYCEDC. Euan holds an MBA from London Business School and an MA from the University of St. Andrews.

Carolee Fink
Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer
Carolee oversees the RETS and PDT departments here at NYCEDC. Previously, Carolee served as Senior Advisor to Deputy Mayor Glen and, before that, to Deputy Mayor Robert Steel. In those roles, she was responsible for implementing the de Blasio administration’s City-wide economic development strategy and job-creation efforts. She also served as the lead City Hall Advisor for NYCEDC, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Hudson River Park Trust. During the Bloomberg Administration, Carolee championed economic development and job creation efforts in Brooklyn, serving as the lead City Hall advisor for DOT and DCP, following a long tenure in Real Estate Transaction Services here at NYCEDC. Carolee is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

Kim Vaccari
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Prior to joining NYCEDC, Kim served as chief financial officer and treasurer for the New Jersey Transit Corporation. Before joining New Jersey Transit she worked as a public finance banker for Banc of America Securities on P3 projects and transportation bond financings and as director of finance for the MTA, where she was responsible for all aspects of funding the MTA’s capital program funding and debt issuance. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in government finance from Wheaton College.
Meredith J. Jones
Executive Vice President and General Counsel 
Prior to joining NYCEDC, Meredith worked at corporate law firms and as counsel to a multi-national engineering and construction company. She also served as general counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and as Chief of the Cable Services Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and received her juris doctor from Yale Law School.
Seth Myers
Executive Vice President and Director of Project Implementation
Seth attended Columbia University and received a graduate degree in urban planning. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Seth worked in the Mayor’s Office of Capital Project Development where he was involved with key projects in Lower Manhattan and, in particular, at the World Trade Center site. Since 2006, he has managed the planning, design, and construction of large-scale capital and infrastructure projects, with a focus on coordination between multiple agencies or government entities.
Emil Martone
Executive Vice President and head of the Capital Division
Emil Martone leads the Capital Division at NYCEDC, managing the division’s $5 billion project portfolio, including 75+ projects in design/construction, as well as 30+ engineers, architects, landscape architects, and other technical and administrative project support staff. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Emil was a practicing architect and an associate at the Hillier Group. He received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Louisiana State University and is a licensed architect in New York and New Jersey.
John Cicerello
Executive Vice President and head of Asset Management
John is a graduate of Baruch College of CUNY where he majored in business/accounting and received his MBA in finance from New York University. Prior to joining NYCEDC, John worked at Borell Associates, LLC as a managing member.

Richard Cote
Executive Vice President, Asset Management
Rich Cote oversees NYCEDC’s facilities operations, maintenance, and construction management. Under his leadership NYCEDC has developed and implemented facilities management standard operating procedures and reorganized the section to centralize repairs and maintenance to reduce costs, track work orders, and improve responsiveness to tenants requests. As supervisor of the construction management section, he has overseen $100 million plus worth of capital improvements to NYCEDC assets in the last two years. Prior to his work at NYCEDC, Rich served in the United States Army starting in 1982 and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Retired Reserve. Rich is a combat veteran and was responsible for developing and building bases, training facilities, and housing overseas, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the U.S., he was an executive officer, facility manager, contracting officer, and operations officer at various locations. Rich is a Graduate of Valley Forge Military College and Manhattan College.

Thomas McKnight
Executive Vice President and head of Planning, Development, and Transportation
Thomas is a graduate of Fordham University and also has a graduate degree from New York University in urban planning. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Thomas worked at New York City Council.
Jeffrey Nelson
Executive Vice President for the Real Estate Transaction Services Group
Jeff is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in political science. He received his MBA from the Wharton School of Business. At NYCEDC, Jeff oversees a portfolio of NYCEDC-led public-private development projects throughout New York City with a focus on the 125th Street corridor, Financial District, the St. George Waterfront, and Downtown Brooklyn. During his time at NYCEDC, Jeff has closed transactions that comprise over 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use development and have generated in excess of $400 million in proceeds for the City.
Charles Gans
Executive Vice President and Co-head of the Real Estate Transaction Services Group
Prior to his role at NYCEDC, Charlie worked at (Bovis) Lend Lease, a construction management firm, where he managed residential, office, and hotel construction projects during various stages of pre-development, construction, and close-out. Since joining NYCEDC in 2010, Charlie has overseen numerous complex public-private development projects including Cornell NYC Tech, Seward Park (Essex Crossing), and a new ambulatory care center for Memorial Sloan Kettering co-located with a nursing school for Hunter College. Charlie received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in civil engineering from Northwestern University.
Spencer Hobson
Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Finance Group
Spencer oversees NYCEDC’s Finance Division, which includes the Accounting, Budget, and Grants Management departments. Previously, he assisted in managing NYCEDC’s Internal Audit group for many years. He is a life-long resident of Queens, NY and received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from CUNY at York College in Jamaica, Queens. He is a certified public accountant as well as a certified internal auditor. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Spencer spent several years conducting audits throughout the east coast for a hotel and restaurant employee’s union trust fund.

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