The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has announced the hire of Mark Geise as Senior Planner for the organization. Mr. Geise comes to the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation from Chautauqua County where he served as Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development since 2009. Mr. Geise, who will be replacing Peter Lombardi in this role, will be responsible for providing creative planning recommendations and approaches for a wide variety of neighborhood and urban planning issues.
“We’re very thrilled to have Mark joining our team,” said Greg Lindquist, executive director for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. “Mark brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and his urban planning experience at the county level will be very useful for future Jamestown Renaissance Corporation projects,” said Lindquist.
Mr. Geise will be working in collaboration with the stakeholders and will oversee the grant process by prioritizing/preparing projects for funding and aligning these needs with available resources in order to fulfill the organization’s mission. Mr. Geise will also coordinate several projects that are already underway, including the UNITE North Main Street corridor study, implementation of projects identified in the Jamestown Urban Design and Neighborhood Plans, strategizing/implementing projects identified in the recently-completed Downtown Jamestown Economic Development Strategy prepared by AECOM, and several other initiatives currently underway in the greater Jamestown area.
“Mark has done a lot of great things for our county. He has made quite a mark on Chautauqua County history and we can’t wait to see what he can do in the City of Jamestown,” said Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney, board co-chair for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. “Many of the projects we are working on at the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation compliment Mark’s skills and education very well. It will be yet another exciting time for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation,” said Dr. Ney.
Mr. Geise holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Design from the University of Buffalo. Most recently, Mr. Geise led the County’s Comprehensive Plan Development process, an effort to create the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance, and was the founder of the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation. He has also taken a lead role in several trail development projects, including development of equestrian trails in the Cherry Creek area, development of a trail/park in Mayville which is currently under development, and development of the Welch Trail in Westfield that was recently funded by the State. Mr. Geise has also played a facilitation role in the development of Chautauqua Lake Sewer Integration Plan and reactivation of the Chautauqua Sewer Agency, with the goal of extending sewer infrastructure around Chautauqua Lake.
Under Mr. Geise’s leadership, the County was awarded a multitude of NYS Planning Association awards, including “Planning Excellence in Comprehensive Planning” for creation of the County’s Comprehensive and Greenway Plans, and other planning excellence awards for the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt Management Plan and the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan. These plans were leveraged to procure millions of dollars in funding to implement many of the projects recommended in the plans. Mr. Geise is also a member of the WNY REDC Smart Growth evaluation team, where he has served for several years. Prior to joining the County, Mr. Geise was a Senior Planner with Ecology and Environment in Lancaster, NY, where he served as an environmental planner, worked on bids and proposals, was involved in marketing green initiatives, and served as a Liaison to E&E’s Middle East operations. Mr. Geise will continue to serve as Executive Director of the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation.
Mr. Geise is married to Katie Geise, Executive Director of the Chautauqua County Workforce Investment Board, for almost 25 years and they reside in Fredonia, NY. They have three children.
“It is my pleasure to welcome Mark Giese to the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation team. He has a great deal of experience having worked in the Chautauqua County Planning Department for several years, including his most recent assignment as the executive director of the Chautauqua County Land Bank,” said Mayor Sam Teresi, board co-chair for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. “Mark brings a unique set of skills to the table and is very enthusiastic about being a part of the positive changes happening within the downtown area of the City of Jamestown,” said Mayor Teresi.