Kevin Seawright’s Strategic Vision
Kevin Seawright, known for the strategic development of inner-cities on the east coast, has devoted his life to the transformation of inner-city real estate and small business enterprise. Assisting Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, New Jersey, as Executive Director of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, Seawright supplies venture capital to develop small businesses, increase commerce at the Elizabeth Seaport, and expand rail freight to and from the port.
Seawright remembers his own first job in an inner-city Philadelphia youth program and its effect on his development. He has developed a youth program which employs 3,000 Newark students each summer. He considers summer employment of youth crucial in the development of Newark teens and in their contribution to the success of Newark’s workforce. He insists on a college education, on campus or online, for everyone. With a 32 percent increase in the number of Americans taking colleges classes, he is happy to report that the number of Americans enrolled in distance learning classes is 6.7 million!
During his 11 years as a financial officer for the City of Baltimore, Seawright implemented a CitiStat software system which monitored the effectiveness of the city’s departments and held them accountable for their activities. He collected performance data statistics which identified strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, to improve the quality of service within each department. The CitiStat software helped the city meet its goals and exceed expectations.
Since 2007, the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, formerly the Brick City Development Corporation, has offered business counseling, discount advertising, state tax credits, and tax exemptions to Newark’s medium and small businesses. The Newark CEDC financed facade improvements and real estate development, and contributed funds to large scale business projects.
Kevin Seawright, Chief Financial Officer of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, empowers business owners, who are denied loans by traditional banking institutions. The CEDC makes its loan decisions based on financial data, sound management practices, and experience.
Recently, Seawright completed a leadership course at the University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business, which taught management and leadership skills needed to lead transformational entrepreneurial organizations to create jobs and transform the regional economy. The course included winning grants, fundraising strategies, and effective business management.
“Leading Nonprofit Boards” at Notre Dame teaches the creation, structure, and operation of nonprofit boards of directors. Growth and maturation of the board with the expansion of the business is systematic and requires training, ongoing evaluation, and occupational development of the board members to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization.