For Release — Wednesday, September 20, 2006
PRESIDENT OF THE BROOKLYN CHAMBER AND A LEADER OF THE
STATEWIDE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, IS NAMED BUSINESS COUNCIL PRESIDENT
ALBANY—Ken Adams, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce since 1995 and a business leader who has emerged as a catalyst helping chambers across the state work together on economic-development issues, has been named president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State.
Adams will succeed Daniel B. Walsh, who has been the Council's president and CEO since January of 1988. Walsh, 71, is retiring. The Business Council's Board of Directors elected Adams on Wednesday, September 20, during a board meeting at The Business Council's Annual Meeting. Adams's tenure is scheduled to begin November 1.
"This job offers both challenge and opportunity, and I'm thrilled to accept it," Adams said. "There's a strong foundation at The Business Council, and there are chambers and individual business leaders across the state eager to work for policy changes that New York needs to enhance its competitiveness.
"We hope to unite New York's business community to develop a focused policy agenda, and then build strong relationships with our new Governor and the state Legislature to make the changes we need to make this great state even greater."
At The Business Council, Adams will provide leadership and strategic direction what is for the state's largest broad-based business group and the leading voice of business advocacy in Albany.
Under Adams's leadership, the size and influence of the Brooklyn chamber has increased substantially. For example, with Adams at the helm, the Brooklyn chamber has:
- More than doubled its membership.
- Significantly increased the effect of its marketing, advocacy and small business services.
- Increased its annual budget from $800,000 to $6.6 million.
- Launched 10 new economic-development initiatives for Brooklyn.
- Improved the Brooklyn Chamber’s relationships with officials at all levels of government.
During his tenure at the Brooklyn Chamber, Adams has been a key member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber Alliance of New York State (CANYS). He served as its chairman from April of 1993 through December of 2004. CANYS is an association of local and regional chambers that is affiliated with, and administered by, The Business Council.
During his service to CANYS, Adams traveled extensively across the state to hear from chamber executives and their members about the challenges that New York's businesses face and how policy changes in Albany could enhance the competitiveness of New York State employers.
Before joining the Brooklyn Chamber, Adams was director of the MetroTech Business Improvement District in Downtown Brooklyn. The BID provides public safety, street cleaning and business development services throughout a 25-block area surrounding MetroTech Center. Under his leadership, the BID augmented its services, improved community relations, and received citywide recognition for its management and programs.
He was the founding Executive Director of New York Cares, which he ran from 1988 to 1994. He managed the organization’s growth from 500 to 6,000 volunteers serving in citywide social service and community revitalization projects. Adams raised more than $6 million in private funding and in-kind donations to support the expansion of New York Cares’ services. He also created new programs, such as the New York Cares Coat Drive and New York Cares Day. His promotion of New York Cares helped launch similar volunteer organizations in more than 20 American cities.
Adams also serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Coney Island Development Corporation, Dodge YMCA, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Chamber Alliance of New York State, Downtown Brooklyn Council, Fulton Mall Improvement Association, Middlebury College Alumni Association, and the NYC Workforce Investment Board. He is also on the advisory committees of the New York City College of Technology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the Brooklyn Chapter of the American Cancer Society, and the Long Island University School of Business.
Adams, 46, grew up in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Middlebury College, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
Dan Walsh became president of The Business Council in 1988 after serving 15 years in the state Assembly, including eight as Assembly Majority Leader. A native of western New York, Walsh earned bachelor's and master's degrees at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, Cattauraugus County, before entering public service.