June 28, 2011 – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today that a public-private partnership of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority (SRA) and DevelopSpringfield has been finalized. The two agencies were tapped by Sarno to plan and manage a comprehensive multi-year effort to rebuild all sections of the City affected by the June 1 tornadoes. Both organizations have now taken the actions necessary to formalize the partnership.
Mayor Sarno also announced that two local executives will be loaned by their respective employers on a temporary basis to assist in the rebuilding effort. Gerald W. Hayes, of Westfield State University, will be loaned to the SRA, and Nicholas A. Fyntrilakis, of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, will be loaned to DevelopSpringfield. They will lead the initial phase of the planning and rebuilding effort and help build long-term capacity.
”My top priority has always been the safety of the citizens of Springfield and I am extremely proud of the way our community has come together to respond to this disaster,” Sarno said. “Now we must turn our focus toward rebuilding our City in a way that reflects the vision of our citizens, businesses and the community at large.”
“As we enter the crucial rebuilding phase, we must move quickly to develop actionable and realistic strategies - a blueprint that will reflect a community-embraced vision for a stronger and even more vibrant Springfield,” Sarno said. “I am delighted to have the services of these two very talented and well-respected leaders to assist in this effort.”
Hayes has more than 30 years experience in leading urban redevelopment efforts in cities in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including extensive work in the City of Springfield. He has been Vice President for Administration and Finance at Westfield State University since 2009.
Fyntrilakis, who has served as chairman of DevelopSpringfield since its inception in 2008, has been with MassMutual since 2002 and currently serves as Assistant Vice President of Community Responsibility. He has been engaged in driving the State Street Redevelopment Program and also serves on the board of the Springfield Business Improvement District. He also served on the Springfield School Committee for seven years.
“I can’t thank Westfield State University and MassMutual enough for providing the services of these two talented professionals to support the City’s redevelopment during this unprecedented time of rebuilding,” Sarno said.
U.S. Congressman Richard E. Neal said "The City of Springfield faces an enormous challenge as it begins to recover following the worst natural disaster in a generation. But I know the strong and resilient people of Springfield, from East Forest Park to the South End, are up to the task.”
Neal continued “Under the capable leadership of Mayor Sarno, that recovery process is already underway. And today, the Mayor has tapped two skillful local executives to lead that effort.”
“I have known Jerry Hayes personally and professionally for more than 25 years. In my opinion, there is no one more qualified to help lead Springfield’s rebuilding efforts. During my years as Mayor, he was an important member of the City's economic development team. He has had successful careers in the private and public sectors. I look forward to working with him again.”
“The people of Springfield take great pride in the rebirth of the State Street Corridor, and through his work at MassMutual, Nick Fyntrilakis helped make that project successful. I am certain he will bring his considerable talent to the recovery effort” said Neal.
John Chandler, Senior Vice President at MassMutual said “MassMutual is proud to play a part in Springfield’s rebuilding efforts.” "As leader of our Community Responsibility unit and programs, Nick is ideally suited to assist DevelopSpringfield in this important effort.”
“No one understands the intersection where the public and private sectors meet better than Jerry Hayes,” said Dr. Evan S. Dobelle, president of Westfield State University. “His experience in urban redevelopment will enable Springfield to shape its own future in a way that is innovative, cost effective and well-planned.”
Hayes and Fyntrilakis will serve without compensation from the SRA or DevelopSpringfield through December 31st at which time the arrangement will be re-evaluated. The work will be in addition to their respective roles and responsibilities with their employers.
Mayor Sarno said that an advisory committee of key stakeholders from the affected neighborhoods -- including neighborhood representatives, civic leaders and members of the business community, will be established to participate in the planning and implementation process. “My administration will support an inclusive planning process in every way possible.” Sarno said that he would appoint the committee in early July.
“As we look forward to rebuilding, the City is focused on a transparent process that involves input from the various constituencies impacted by the tornado,” Hayes said. He said that a consulting team with demonstrated success in rebuilding communities that have endured similar disasters will be engaged to prepare a blueprint for rebuilding and implementation.
“The focus will be on implementation strategies that will capitalize on unique opportunities, employ innovative practices and maximize available resources. It is critical that we develop a plan that takes into account the connectivity between the neighborhoods impacted and that supports and builds upon institutional anchors,” said Fyntrilakis.
Nick Fyntrilakis and Jerry Hayes pictured below.