Monday, October 20, 2008

New DCED Secretary

Hi everyone,

The Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development is John Blake. According to the press release from DCED, Blake has served as the executive deputy secretary of the department since 2007. Incidentally, Blake has apparently done some work with the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, the organization which assists in the operation of the Main and Elm Street programs, so I feel pretty good about this pick!


Governor Rendell Names John Blake Acting DCED Secretary

HARRISBURG – Governor Edward G. Rendell today named John Blake as acting secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development following the resignation of Secretary Dennis Yablonsky, effective later this month.

Blake has served as DCED’s executive deputy secretary since February 2007 where he has been responsible for the daily administration and operational oversight of the department. He has more than 25 years of experience in housing, community, and economic development in the public and private sectors.

Prior to his DCED appointment, Blake was the director of Governor Rendell’s Northeast Regional Office where, for four years, he served as the primary liaison to local government and to the business and economic development community in 15 counties of Northeast PA.

“John’s portfolio of experience, achievement and practical savvy that he brings to the position will serve Pennsylvania’s business and communities well as we face challenging economic times,” said Governor Rendell. “I am confident John will help us to build upon the track record of outstanding achievements of DCED.”

Prior to joining the administration, Blake worked as vice president and senior development advisor for PNC Bank’s northeast and central Pennsylvania markets, where he helped manage and grow a $35 million portfolio of community development loans and investments; served as the primary community development advisor; and served on the PNC Foundation’s allocation committees in both markets.

In 1998 Blake was selected from among 9,000 applicants nationwide to serve a two-year Community Builders Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Philadelphia. In that capacity, he represented HUD to 17 eastern Pennsylvania counties marketing HUD programs and monitoring contracts for compliance and performance.
He also served as executive director for the Lackawanna County Redevelopment Authority where he secured and leveraged more than $50 million in federal, state and private investment for housing, public works and infrastructure improvement projects to support business and job growth over the course of 15 years.

He holds a number of professional affiliations, including service with the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, the Advocacy Alliance, the Great Valley Technology Alliance, and the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority.

Blake, a lifelong resident of Archbald, is a graduate of Villanova University and holds master’s degrees from Marywood College and the University of Scranton. He is married with two children.

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