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Former Suffolk economic chief joins Manhattan tech startup

Theresa Ward, seen on Sept. 14, 2016, resigned

Theresa Ward, seen on Sept. 14, 2016, resigned as Suffolk County commissioner of economic development and planning last month. Credit: Barry Sloan

The former economic development chief of Suffolk County, Theresa Ward, has joined a technology startup in Manhattan.

Ward said last week she was hired by Unqork, which provides software to the financial services industry. She said she will be helping the company expand its services to a new market: government.

Ward said she plans to continue serving as board chair of the county’s Industrial Development Agency, which provides tax breaks to expanding businesses. She owns a house in Southold and is registered to vote there, she said.

Ward resigned as commissioner of economic development and planning last month to work for Unqork. She was appointed to the $173,000-a-year commissioner's job by county executive Steve Bellone in 2016. The IDA post is unpaid and subject to annual election by the IDA board.

Previously, Ward worked for Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, the largest film studio outside of Hollywood, and for New York City government.

Unqork has about 50 employees and was founded in 2017 by CEO Gary Hoberman, former chief information officer for insurance giant MetLife.

Unqork raised $22 million from investors in April, including Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. in Lake Success. Broadridge has received tax incentives from the Suffolk IDA.

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