PITTSBURGH, PA (November 14, 2019) Mayor William Peduto and Urban Redevelopment Authority board chair Sam Williamson today announced Greg Flisram of Kansas City, Mo., will be the new Executive Director of the URA.
Flisram is currently the interim president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City (EDCKC). He will join current URA interim executive director Diamonte Walker, who is being promoted to Deputy Executive Director, in leading Pittsburgh’s redevelopment arm.
“Greg’s experience and vision will be perfect for Pittsburgh as we prepare for the next generation of the URA,” Mayor Peduto said. “Working with Diamonte and URA staff, his appointment will enable us to build an authority focused on neighborhood development, workforce development, equity and affordable housing.”
In Kansas City, Flisram’s organization EDCKC has been responsible with creating 3,500 new jobs in the city and for $1 billion of capital investment per year. Before joining EDCKC he was the development director for the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he led that city’s successful downtown riverfront redevelopment efforts and advised the Green Bay Packers on the development of the sports and entertainment-focused “Titletown District” adjacent to Lambeau Field. Before joining the public sector, he worked in development roles in cities including Milwaukee; Grand Rapids; Muskegon, Mich., Newport Beach, Calif.; and Sugarland, Tex.
“Pittsburgh is a national model of economic renewal and reinvention that many people have had their eyes on for a long time. I’m looking forward to helping write the city’s next chapter and to help spread prosperity to neighborhoods and populations that have not been lifted by the rising tide. I’m very excited to hit the ground running,” Flisram said.
The appointment will be subject to a vote today by the URA board.
“This is a dynamic leadership team, and Diamonte and Greg are going to help us implement a vision of the URA that is more focused on people than on projects,” Williamson said.
Walker joined the URA in 2017, quickly becoming the driving force behind the agency’s MWBE strategy and ushering in economic inclusion initiatives such as the microloan program and the Catapult/Gallery on Penn retail incubator.
“I am overjoyed with the appointment of Greg Flisram as the URA’s new executive director. This signals a bold, new direction for the agency as we work to center our economic development strategy on creating an exemplary quality of life for all Pittsburghers,” Walker said. “I look forward to serving with Greg as a part of this new strategic leadership team. I’m honored and humbled to serve as Deputy Executive Director on behalf of the URA’s board and the City of Pittsburgh.
The first order of business for Flisram and Walker will be working with URA staff to begin a planning process to implement recommendations – developed over the past year by HR&A Advisors – that will more effectively plan and implement economic development initiatives for the City.
A forthcoming report will establish a vision for the URA’s next chapter and identifies several important reforms that the URA and City government must undertake to advance progress towards a more prosperous and equitable Pittsburgh. Recommendations will include establishing and communicating a clear economic development agenda; streamlining coordination and strengthening connections among the URA, City agencies, external stakeholders, and community partners; embedding clear goals and metrics into URA strategic planning; and developing a financial sustainability plan.