Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan Appoints Lisa Berger to Lead Economic Development

Posted September 9, 2019

KINGSTON, N.Y. – County Executive Pat Ryan announced today the appointment of Lisa Berger to be the new Director of Economic Development. Berger, who served as the Director of the Ulster County Office of Employment and Training for the last five years, previously worked as the Deputy Director of Tourism as well as the Director of the New Paltz Chamber of Commerce.

Berger will take over the position currently held by Suzanne Holt who departs County service at the end of this week for a new opportunity in the private sector.

“Lisa Berger will be a tremendous Director of Economic Development and a true asset to Ulster County,” said County Executive Pat Ryan. “Lisa possess the skills, dedication, and knowledge needed to better position our County for economic success today, and the vision to drive our success in the future. Her extensive workforce development experience and deep knowledge of Ulster County’s economy make her the perfect fit for this critical role. I’m looking forward to working closely with Lisa to ensure that Ulster County builds an economy that works for all. At the same time, on behalf of the entire staff and County, I want to thank Suzanne Holt for her years of dedication to the County, her achievements and commitment to public service, and wish her the best moving forward in her new endeavors.” 

“It’s an honor to be appointed by County Executive Ryan to this position,” said Lisa Berger. “I am excited to be serving the people of Ulster County in this new capacity and look forward to growing and diversifying the County’s economy in a sustainable, equitable way.”

“I’m excited to learn that Lisa Berger will be stepping into this role as I know she will hit the ground running, and will devote her energies to help build a successful economy which will benefit all of Ulster County’s residents,” said Ulster County Legislator Brian Woltman, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, Housing, Planning and Transit. “I’d also like to express my gratitude to Suzanne Holt for her years of dedicated service to the people of Ulster County as the Director of the Office of Economic Development.”

“I am excited to begin working with Lisa as we build the local economy and create living wage opportunities,” said Ulster County Legislator Lynn Archer, Deputy Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, Housing, Planning and Transit.

“Lisa Berger is an outstanding choice to be heading Ulster County’s economic development efforts. She has the knowledge, expertise and the connections that will prove vital in our efforts to attract new businesses to Ulster County,” said Ward Todd, President, Ulster County Chamber of Commerce. “In addition, her background and experience in dealing with existing local businesses will ensure that they have all the tools they need to grow and succeed in Ulster County.” 

"Lisa Berger will make a great addition to the team being assembled by County Executive Pat Ryan.  Her expertise in the county's workforce and her prior experience in tourism make her the right person to lead the county's economic development efforts,” said Jonathan Drapkin, President & CEO Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress.

“I am very pleased with Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan’s appointment of Lisa Berger to Director of Ulster County’s Office of Economic Development,” said Frank Falatyn, President & CEO of FALA Technologies and Immediate Past Chair of Ulster County Workforce Development Board. “The work that Lisa has accomplished with Ulster County manufacturers and other business sectors to help find and train the next generation of skilled workers will be key in her new role to attract new companies and grow jobs in Ulster County. The forward momentum that Lisa has brought to workforce development will be a plus in her new efforts to help lead Ulster County’s economic development work.”

“Lisa Berger is an excellent choice by County Executive Patrick Ryan to serve as the Director of Economic Development in Ulster County. She has the local knowledge of our community and the strategic geographic location of Ulster County and our proximity to metropolitan New York and Albany capital region,” said Tony Marmo, President, Normann Staffing. “She is a native of the New Paltz area and has private sector experience of knowing what it takes to make payroll since her family was in the agricultural business. She has the big picture experience of State and Federal funding for the local labor force given her experience as Director at Ulster County Office of Employment & Training. She has done an excellent job of bringing the right people together to show what Ulster County offers to attract new employers and what it takes to retain existing employers. She is an excellent communicator and is just what we need in Ulster County to head up our economic development team.”

“As Chairman of the Ulster County Workforce Development Board, I have had the great pleasure of working with Lisa Berger, the Director of the Office of Employment and Training extensively since 2014. With Lisa's guidance, our Board and office have worked on designing and implementing many new innovative workforce initiatives that have positively benefited job seekers and employers in Ulster County,” said Sean Mahoney, Workforce Development Board Chair, Owner, Next Step Digital. “Lisa has brought an extremely creative and knowledgeable guiding hand to our office. Lisa's extensive knowledge of Workforce Development and Tourism make her an exceptional choice to be the new Director of Economic Development. On behalf of the Ulster County Workforce Development Board, we sincerely thank Lisa Berger for her years of incredible service and know she will serve Ulster County very well in her new role. "

“Lisa Berger is a proven workforce development leader who understands how regional economic development strategy impacts local communities,” said Christopher Marx, Associate Vice President for Workforce, Economic Development & Community Partnerships. “She brings experience working with New York State policy makers while leading programs that focus on guiding Ulster County job seekers toward living-wage career opportunities and supporting Ulster County's large and small businesses. At SUNY Ulster we look forward to continuing to collaborate and partner with Director Berger in her new position.”

The Department of Economic Development currently is positioned under the Ulster County Planning Department. The Ulster County Executive has the sole authority in appointing the Director of Economic Development.