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Staten Island Launching Pad!

Jeannine Marotta’s appointment as the Regional Vice President for the American Cancer Society Staten Island Chapter was significant for two reasons. First, it sends a message loud and clear that the American Cancer Society is serious about its plans to reduce cancer in the borough. More importantly, Jeannine represents the seventh SIEDC staff person to move on to a higher position of influence.

No other private company, not a for profit entity or an elected official office on Staten Island has a better track record at launching careers than SIEDC.

SIEDC was created in 1993. While it took some time to find its legs, and ultimately became the powerhouse organization on Staten Island, its legacy of producing future Staten Island leaders is remarkable.

In addition to Marotta, in the last ten years, this is SIEDC’s launching pad record:

Gina Gutman, Deputy Director of SIEDC becomes Vice President at Time Warner Cable on Staten Island.

Dan Delehanty, Deputy Director of SIEDC becomes Vice President at Capital One Bank.

Vin Lenza, Deputy Director of SIEDC becomes Executive Director of the Staten Island Not For Profit Association.

Barbra Fischetti, Director of Development at SIEDC now works for Senator Andrew Lanza.

Mike Latona, part time staffer at SIEDC became a key staff member of Borough President James Molinaro’s staff.

Paula Coyle, Director of Programs at SIEDC became a Community Affairs staffer at RUMC.

Not included in this list is Helen Tvedt, who was once Director of Programs for SIEDC, who went on to run Economic Development in Yonkers.

So what is it about SIEDC that makes it produce future leaders in so many sectors?

“When you are a part of SIEDC, you meet all the major players on Staten Island,” says an SIEDC insider. “Whether it’s a high ranking elected official, a bank president or a community leader, they all deal with SIEDC on a daily basis.”

A former staffer told me, “it’s the work regiment. If you can work there and do a successful job, you can work anywhere on Staten Island.” SIEDC is famous for taking on more projects and programs than your average not for profit, particularly economic development agencies. In addition to their annual Economic Development Conference and other programs, they are the only business group in New York State to run a Film Festival, a Health and Wellness Expo and most recently a local Fashion week.

So how do they do it?

“Claro Metrics,” says our insider. “It’s a Taskmaster system created by SIEDC President and CEO Cesar Claro that not only assigns staffers annual Measurable Results, but produces weekly and even daily tasks. The system monitors staff’s work on a daily basis. They know it, so they produce and they produce on a high level. The reward is that everyone at SIEDC, from the Chairman of the Board to a member who just signed up, is made aware of the individual staffers achievements. It’s a system that rewards hard work.”

“Think about it, says our insider. The TriBeCa Film Festival has a staff of 75. SIEDC runs a full week Film Festival with a staff of 8. The only way you can do this is with great management, precise tasks and dedicated staff people.

SIEDC’s membership has grown by leaps and bounds over the last three years, exposing staffers to even more major players and allowing the organization to take on more projects.

Landing a job at SIEDC is not easy. In addition to an extensive review of all resumes, candidates must past a management interview as well as a Personnel Committee. But once you are there, you are on the launching pad.

“SIEDC built its budget, it’s constituency and it’s clout by doing more than everyone else,” says our insider. “But they could not have done all of that without the people and the metrics system.”

The staff people that put in the hours and made all of that possible are now reaping the rewards.

We suspect Ms. Marotta will not be the last.

Written by guest contributer George Fox.