Uphams Corner development nonprofit’s CEO stepping down

Perry Newman

Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is looking for a new leader. CEO Perry Newman plans to step down in June after six years in the top job. Newman, 63, said the Uphams Corner-based organization, which has a real estate portfolio and small business lending programs, is in strong financial shape.

“The stars are in alignment for new leadership,” he said in a phone interview.

A Codman Square resident, Newman took the job in December 2015 after stints at Combined Jewish Philanthropies and heading up his own international business development firm, Atlantic Group, in Portland, Maine. He also served for four years as director of international trade for the state of Maine.

Dorchester Bay EDC was set up in 1979, with a focus on affordable housing and economic development. The organization says it has built or preserved more than 1,100 units of housing and 160,000 square feet of commercial space. Much of its real estate portfolio is in Uphams Corner, where the organization is headquartered, and Grove Hall.

Its ongoing real estate projects include 43 units of senior housing on Leyland Street, the renovation of Uphams Corner’s Pierce Building, and 62 units of affordable housing and artists space inside the former Citizens Bank building at 572 Columbia Road.

The organization recently wrapped up development of the Indigo Block, which includes 80 units of mixed income rental housing and 20,000 square feet of commercial space.

The small business assistance program has loaned to hundreds of small businesses, from “coffee shops, to web designers, to undersea marine repair services, to restaurants, and auto repair shops,” among others, according to Newman.

The organization has 30 staffers, assets totaling $229 million, and an annual operating budget of $5.5 million. A 16-member board of directors oversees the operation.

Dorchester Bay EDC said it is looking for someone with at least seven years of senior leadership experience, preferably in the nonprofit sector. The job comes with a salary ranging from $190,000 to $240,000. Eos Transition Partners is handling the search for the new executive.

Newman praised the Dorchester Bay EDC’s staff for their work.  “Many are from the community we serve and dedicated their careers to this community,” he said. “I feel privileged to have worked with them and I’m really profoundly moved by what they accomplished.”

As for Newman, he is still contemplating his next steps after helping the next CEO get up and running.

“I like to say I still have miles left in me,” he said.

A Cleveland native, he has lived in Codman Square for the last eight years, Monday through Friday, while returning to Maine on the weekends.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to untangle myself from Dorchester Bay,” he said. “It’s been a tremendous experience and I wouldn’t change a bit of it.”

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