Greater Jamaica Development Corporation gets new president

Hope Knight
Photo courtesy of George Arzt Communications, Inc.

The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) announced Thursday that it named Hope Knight, previously the chief operating officer of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ), as its new president.

“Hope has the background and experience to best project the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation’s mission,” GJDC Board Chairman Peter Kulka said. “She has proven herself extensively in her work at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and she is widely respected throughout circles dedicated to expanding economic development and opportunity in emerging urban communities.”

Knight, 50, has helped UMEZ create hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs in its service area since 2003. She has served as vice president for Morgan Stanley in New York and in Tokyo. She serves on the boards of several corporate and nonprofits including the Carver Bank Community Development Corporation, Grameen American and Morgan Stanley New Markets, and she is the chair of the board of trustees of Marymount Manhattan College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business management. She also earned a master’s of business administration degree from the University of Chicago.

“I am excited at the prospect of joining the superb team at Greater Jamaica to build on the work they have done to lead the restoration of Downtown Jamaica to its historic central role in the economic vitality of Jamaica, Queens and beyond,” Knight said. “I have large shoes to fill following Carlisle Towery’s four decades of commitment to Jamaica. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and build on the progress to which he has contributed so much.”

“I could not be more delighted to leave Greater Jamaica Development Corporation in the capable and dedicated hands of Hope Knight,” former GJDC President Carlisle Towery said. “Jamaica is poised to reach even greater heights in the future, and everything about Hope’s experience and commitment gives us reason to believe she will help take us there.”

Knight said she looks forward to meeting with Jamaica’s elected officials, Borough President Melinda Katz, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, as well as community leaders, heads of cultural organizations and officials from economic development and transportation agencies that are important to Jamaica’s progress.