Manatee County names Geraldine Campos Lopez director of new Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity Department

  • Oct 28, 2016

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Oct. 28, 2016) –County Administrator Ed Hunzeker earlier this month announced a new county department to oversee community redevelopment and County Commissioners approved the appointment of the new department director, Geraldine Campos Lopez.

Geraldine Campos Lopez
Geraldine Campos Lopez

 Lopez leads Manatee’s new Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity Department. The new department will oversee redevelopment efforts particularly in the County’s southwest district. It will also include the Housing and Community Development and Economic Development divisions which were formerly a part of Manatee’s Neighborhood Services Department. Karen Stewart will continue to lead Manatee’s economic development efforts.

“Redevelopment is a challenge in Manatee County, and after a nationwide search we found someone with an outstanding background,” Hunzeker said when introducing Lopez to County Commissioners. “Geri understands how to bring private capital to the table to reinvest in the urban core of Manatee County.”
Cheri Coryea will continue to lead the Neighborhood Services Department which will include Manatee’s Public Library System, Probation Services, Neighborhood Planning, Criminal Justice and Health Care Services. Social service programs will also be a part of Neighborhood Services.

Lopez received her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Yale University. Later she earned a Master in City Planning and Urban Design Certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council.
“I’m truly honored and excited to be leading this new department,” Lopez said. “I’m excited because I see so much opportunity here. I’ll bring the skills, talents, diversity of thought and regional connections to bear so we can do great things in Manatee County.”
“I’m thrilled to have someone with your experience,” said Manatee Commissioner Betsy Benac. “I want to accommodate people who want to live in an urbanized area, but how do we do that? There’s got to be public-private partnership. We need to understand how things are being done elsewhere in the country.”
Lopez was most recently a private-sector consultant. She has more than 20 years of experience spanning the redevelopment, economic development, community development, and urban real estate development markets in the public, private and non-profit sectors. For 14 years she worked with the City of Clearwater to administer economic development and housing programs including affordable housing programs using federal and state funding. There she also oversaw activities and incentives for the city’s economic development programs.
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