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PEARL RIVER, NY-The Rockland Economic Development Corp. has pegged Ronald Hicks to take over the reigns of the locally based REDC as its president and CEO in early June. Hicks is currently the director of economic development for the City of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Hicks, a Hudson Valley regional director for New York State’s Empire State Development Corp., replaces Holly Freedman, who announced in January she was stepping down from the post after serving as president and CEO of the REDC for 13 years.

William Helmer, chairman of the REDC Board of Directors, says Hicks bested a pool of more than 35 candidates for the post. Hicks, as economic development director for the City of Fort Lauderdale, established an economic development and real estate office, a Business Improvement District and collaborated with the city’s planning director and private developers on more than $1 billion in new projects.

The REDC is the chief economic development agency in Rockland County and is funded by the County of Rockland, the US Department of Defense, corporate and foundation grants and private sector contributors.

“I am pleased to bring a person of Ron’s caliber on board as president and CEO,” Helmer says. “His successful background in economic development and his commitment to business growth in Rockland County will be an invaluable addition to REDC.”

Rockland County executive C. Scott Vanderhoef adds, “Rockland is quickly becoming a destination spot for businesses seeking a place to grow and thrive and we look forward to working with Ron Hicks to help make our county an even better business base. With his expertise and experience, we are sure this partnership will be a productive one.”

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