Former Kingston economic development director dies



KINGSTON – Steven Finkle, the former economic development director in the City of Kingston, has died. He passed away at a Philadelphia hospital on Tuesday, following a long illness, family friends said. He was 59.
Before Finkle’s long tenure with Kingston government, he was the business development director at Stewart Airport near Newburgh, where he was instrumental in developing the airport’s industrial park.
Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo praised Finkle.
“Given three administrations, three mayors in this city, in economic development and community development he was very, very much involved and had a real significant impact on the city’s economic growth and quality of life,” the mayor said.
March Gallagher, chief strategist at Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, remembered Finkle as a friend and mentor who had much influence on the region.
“He had a huge impact from Orange County to Ulster County and when I traveled around the state or went to New York State economic development council meetings, everyone knew Steve Finkle,” Gallagher said.  “He trained economic development professionals by giving courses. His impact is really tremendous.”
Deputy Dutchess County Planning Commissioner Ronald Hicks said Finkle was a “mentor and friend” with whom he worked on an off for some 15 years.
“He was a wealth of information and just an all-around great man,” Hicks said.  “His power was knowledge and a genuine compassion and concern for the betterment of the region, but particularly for the people of Kingston.
Since Finkle left Kingston government some three years ago, he had operated an economic development consulting firm.
He is survived by his wife and daughter.

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