Beniston Named YNDC Director - Vindicator

Ian J. Beniston has been named executive director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., succeeding the agency’s founding executive director, Presley L. Gillespie, who resigned in May.

Gillespie, who left to become president of Neighborhood Allies, a Pittsburgh community-development organization, said he fully endorsed Beniston to become YNDC’s executive director.

Beniston, of Youngstown, had spent five years as deputy director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp.

Founded in 2009, the organization focuses on revitalizing targeted urban neighborhoods and provides planning services for the city.

A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Beniston has a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Youngstown State University and has studied at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to lead YNDC and look forward to continuing the development of a highly collaborative model with many partners focused on stabilization and revitalization of neighborhoods across the city,” Beniston said.

“He possesses not only the knowledge and experience, but the passion and the vision to foster growth and success for the organization,” said Lisa Metzinger, YNDC board president.

YNDC is based at the Iron Roots Urban Farm, 820 Canfield Road.

Beniston is being paid $75,000 a year as director, compared with $106,090 for Gillespie when he left.

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