PITTSBURGH, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC), acting on the recommendations of their Succession Committee, has named Robert C. Stephenson, president of the Strategic Investment Fund for the past seven years, as the new president of RIDC. He succeeds Frank Brooks Robinson, Sr., and becomes only the fourth president of the non-profit economic development agency in its more than 50-year history. "Bob's more than 35 years of experience in a variety of economic development endeavors, his knowledge of our region and its needs and exceptional success in leading the Strategic Investment Fund, makes him the ideal candidate for this position," said Stephen Hansen, chairman of RIDC's Board of Directors and president and chief executive officer of Dollar Bank. "Bob has big shoes to fill. Brooks Robinson had led RIDC for the past 22 years and the corporation has had some remarkable achievements under his leadership." "Brooks Robinson is a tough act to follow," noted Stephenson. "Under Brooks' guidance RIDC has become one of the nation's preeminent economic development agencies. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead as we strive to continue to grow and expand our economic base, preserving both existing jobs and creating new employment opportunities." "I have worked with Bob Stephenson for many years," said Robinson, "and can think of no more qualified individual to lead RIDC in the years ahead." Robinson will continue to serve on RIDC's board of directors and be available for advice and counsel during the leadership transition period. Stephenson spent most of his career in the private real estate industry and many of those years with the DeBartolo Corporation. He managed commercial, retail, and industrial real estate properties and portfolios; bought, sold and leased office buildings, shopping centers and warehouses; handled the development, redevelopment and renovation of commercial properties; financed various types of real estate projects and created large- and small-scale development projects across western Pennsylvania, as well as in other cities including Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Seattle, Boston and Cleveland. He has also handled consulting assignments in cities across the country. A long-time resident of Upper St. Clair Township, he is a member of the National, State and Local Real Estate Boards. In 1981, he was recognized as Realtor of the Year by the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh, and in 1996 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties' (NAOIP) Western Pennsylvania Chapter. He is a member and past president of the Society of Industrial Office Realtors, Western Pennsylvania chapter, Core Net Global (formerly National Association of Corporate and Real Estate Executives) Pittsburgh chapter, Mortgage Bankers Association of Pittsburgh, and NAIOP's Western Pennsylvania Chapter, as well as a member of the Institute of Real Estate Management and Urban Land Institute. Stephenson also currently serves on the real estate committee and/or advisory boards of several local civic agencies. In 1996, Stephenson became president of the privately funded Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). The Strategic Investment Fund is a $70 million fund providing financial assistance for a range of economic development projects in Pittsburgh and the ten counties of southwestern Pennsylvania. A native of Meadville, PA, he is a graduate of Allegheny College. Robinson has served as president of RIDC since 1981. He first joined RIDC in 1963, after starting his professional career as an architect with Deeter Richey Sippel in Pittsburgh. He left RIDC to join the administration of former Governor Dick Thornburgh in Harrisburg in 1979 and served as Deputy Secretary of the State Department of Commerce and then Executive Director of the Governor's Economic Development Cabinet Committee before returning to become president of RIDC. A graduate of Yale University and Carnegie Mellon University, Robinson resides in the city of Pittsburgh's East End. He serves on the boards of directors of The Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Dollar Bank, Catalytic Connection, Regional Development Funding Corporation, Carnegie Hero Fund and American Respiratory Alliance and The Advisory Board of the Pittsburgh Symphony. He is a former chairman of the Public Auditorium Authority, now the Sports & Exhibition Authority, as well as The Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh. Under Robinson's leadership, RIDC has developed and expanded urban and suburban office and industrial parks across southwestern Pennsylvania. RIDC is presently serving as the general partner in ALMONO, Inc., a limited partnership that acquired the former LTV Hazelwood Works last year and expects to seek Requests for Qualifications from developers for the site in the next few months. RIDC also is involved in a major redevelopment project for the former Heppenstall plant in the city of Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville area. RIDC owns and operates RIDC Park West in Findlay Township, RIDC O'Hara in O'Hara Township, and RIDC Thorn Hill in Marshall and Cranberry Townships. Urban business and industrial parks under RIDC's direction include RIDC Riverplace and its Industrial Center of McKeesport and City Center of Duquesne, as well as Keystone Commons and as the property manager of the Pittsburgh Technology Center. RIDC has provided financial assistance for projects including the Software Engineering Institute, 2000 Technology Center, Union Switch & Signal, Penn Garrison Apartments, Conair, and Atlantic Baking Company. RIDC is active in the development of the Meadow Ridge Business Park in Greene County, and Neshannock Business Park in Lawrence County, and has funded multi-occupancy building projects in Armstrong and Butler Counties. RIDC also operates a Foreign Trade Zone that includes Greater Pittsburgh Airport and the Sony plant in Mt. Pleasant. Recognized as one of Pennsylvania's largest and most successful not-for- profit economic development agencies, RIDC also acts as loan sponsor on behalf of business enterprises throughout the region with a variety of federal, state and local agencies.
SOURCE Regional Industrial Development Corporation