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Suffolk IDA elects chair of board of directors

Chair Natalie Wright during the meeting of the

Chair Natalie Wright during the meeting of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge on Feb. 13. Credit: Newsday / Steve Pfost

Natalie Wright was elected chair of the board of directors of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency last week.

Wright’s election came days after the county legislature confirmed her appointment by County Executive Steve Bellone to be commissioner of economic development and planning.

Wright succeeds Theresa Ward, who resigned from both posts last year to take a job at Unqork, a Manhattan-based provider of software to the financial services industry and governments.

The IDA offers tax breaks to expanding businesses. It has frequently, but not always, been led by Suffolk's economic development commissioner.

Wright joined the Bellone administration last year as chief deputy commissioner in the economic development department after four years at the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, where she administered $2 billion in grants for community reconstruction, infrastructure and small businesses.

Also elected last week to one-year terms as IDA officers were Kevin Harvey, vice chairman, and Sondra Cochran, treasurer. Secretary Anthony Giordano was reelected.

All board members serve without compensation and are appointed by the county legislature.

Separately, Harvey announced the resignation of longtime board member and former vice chairman Grant Hendricks due to the demands of his construction company, Independent General Contracting, or IGC.

The Hauppauge company does site work, land clearing and grading, demolition, excavation and drainage.

“Since my service began eight years ago, our company has had to decline from bidding or participating on projects that apply for and receive financial incentives,” Hendricks wrote in a Feb. 4 resignation letter. “In today’s market, our company’s sustainability is dependent upon us being competitive on every opportunity available to bid.”

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