Acting President's Bio


Rick Russo has a 39-year history of economic development work in Brooklyn. He has held senior management positions at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce since 2003, and served as Board Member and economic development consultant from 1996 to that time. He directed the Brooklyn Business Solutions mayoral initiative, authoring an Operating Plan modeled city-wide.     

Rick was Executive Director of the North Flatbush Business Improvement District from 1993-2003, where his work received Model BID designation by the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and was the subject of a New York Times cover story and national publications including City Journal. He guided the Kyoto Prefectural Government in the creation of Japan’s first-ever BID, and has been director and consultant to eighteen BIDs, LDCs and CBOs throughout New York City since 1988. 

He served on the Executive Committee of the NYC BID Managers Association and on the NYC Host Committee of the International Downtown Association (IDA) as Chair of the ‘Brooklyn Experience’. Rick served as commercial revitalization consultant to Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden for the Downtown Brooklyn Council, and from 1985-93 was Development Director of the Atlantic Avenue LDC, working extensively on capital projects, vacancy and zoning initiatives for the historic district. Among his many honors, Rick received a Citation for Exemplary Community Service from the New York City Council in 2001, and SBS awarded him for a ‘Decade of Outstanding Service’ in 2003. 

As Program Director for the Brooklyn Arts Council from 1979-85, he managed the satellite office at Brooklyn Borough Hall and created the Decentralization Program in Brooklyn for the largest re-grant mechanism of the New York State Council on the Arts, and again worked with BAC from 1992-4 at the Brooklyn War Memorial as Re-Grant Director.  
Rick was Associate Producer of the famed Village Halloween Parade from 1992-2002, and was Producer of Memory Lane for broadcast legend Joe Franklin, working with him on WOR Radio from 2003-8, including his final broadcast. Rick was also Executive Producer of the world-renowned 1986 concert and album John Cage Meets Sun Ra, which was re-released in 2016 on CD/LP by Modern Harmonic with international distribution by Sony.