Urban Edge, a community development corporation based in Jackson Square, will soon have a new chief executive officer (CEO), as Frank Shea is slated to take the reins of the organization on Nov. 3, according to an email blast from Urban Edge board chair Karen Royston.
Shea, who has more than 20 years of experience with federal and state affordable housing and community development programs, will replace interim CEO Susan Davey. Davey took over earlier this year after Chrystal Kornegay left the organization when she was appointed chief of the state Department of Housing and Community Development by Gov. Charlie Baker.
Shea has served as the executive director of the Olneyville Housing Corporation in Rhode Island for the past 15 years, according to the email. He helped lead the organization from having two staff members and an annual budget of $100,000 to a staff of 14 and a budget of $1.6 million.
“What I’m most excited about is Frank’s experience collaborating with residents – his leadership led to economic development and other comprehensive revitalization activities for residents in the community,” said Royston in the email. “Frank’s experience collaborating with community leaders, implementing broad based strategic partnerships and experience with community development funders is admirable; I am confident that Urban Edge is in more than capable hands.”
She said that Shea grew up in Jamaica Plain during the 1960s and 1970s, witnessing the community’s response to the Southwest Corridor highway proposal and was inspired. The highway proposal was a plan to run I-95 through JP and other Boston neighborhoods, which was fought off by local activists. The route instead became the Southwest Corridor Park and MBTA/Amtrak rail lines.