Request for Qualifications: Economic Development Advocate


Economic Development Advocate
Village of Dobbs Ferry Local Development Corporation

About the Village of Dobbs Ferry

The Village of Dobbs Ferry is a diverse Rivertown community of approximately 11,000 residents located on the east shoreline of the Hudson River in southwestern Westchester County 20 miles north of downtown Manhattan. The Village has a total land area of 3.2 square miles. The Village is accessible by vehicle to major highways, including the NYS Thruway and the Saw Mill River Parkway, and has its own train station on Metro North Railroad’s Hudson line. The Westchester Bee Line has several bus routes that serve Dobbs Ferry. The Old Croton Aqueduct Trailway and the South County Trailway run north and south through the Village on its western and eastern sides.

Dobbs Ferry is unique in that it has multiple business districts. The ‘downtown’ primarily consists of the businesses along Cedar and Main Streets and spills out onto the ‘gateway’ at Broadway and Ashford. Rivertown Square and Chauncey Square are commercial areas located in the eastern part of the Village along the Saw Mill River Parkway. Finally, along Ashford Avenue there are smaller pockets of commercial real estate which service nearby residents.

About Local Development Corporations

A Local Development Corporations (LDC) is a type “C” not-for-profit corporation created pursuant to NYS Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, Section 1411. LDCs are not political subdivisions but may be formed for a “public purpose” at the direction of a local municipality.  The LDC provides expanded economic development capability since it is not constrained by the extra layer of restrictions placed on municipal corporations. The LDC exists as one type of tool to assist the municipality’s efforts toward creating a quality community. LDCs have extensive powers to provide and receive economic development assistance and can be extremely effective in formulating and implementing local economic development projects. LDCs are empowered to administer federal or state programs or to receive funding from federal or state sources. Municipalities may not directly fund a LDC but may contract with the LDC to carry out a service or improvement for the municipality.

Description of the LDC Advocate Role and Function  

The Village of Dobbs Ferry Local Development Corporation seeks qualified candidates to serve as Dobbs Ferry Economic Development Advocate, a contract-based, consulting advisor dedicated to promoting the resources of the LDC to the community with the goal of facilitating economic development. The Dobbs Ferry Local Development Corporation is dedicating resources to advance the interests of the wider community by supporting local businesses and others in their efforts to promote the downtown and other business districts as flourishing commercial marketplaces and community gathering places.

The Economic Development Advocate will report directly to the Local Development Corporation Executive Director and provide advice on strategies, policies, and programs with the Board of Directors. While assisting the LDC as an independent contractor, the individual is expected to serve as a “bridge builder”, striving to connect and benefit diverse stakeholders—local merchants, property owners, and Village residents—while working to foster vibrancy in the commercial districts of the Village. 

The Economic Development Advocate will be expected to create and present a work plan to the Board of Directors that outlines goals, initiatives, and milestones for achieving success, and will be required to prepare progress reports no less than once quarterly.  Responsibilities may be grouped in the following four areas:

1. Working with Stakeholders

  • Work closely with Village staff, including the Village Administrator, DPW, Building Department, Clerk, as well as relevant professional consultants, boards and committees
  • Recruit and collaborate with volunteers
  • Communicate regularly with the local business community to build consensus on needs, seek input on projects and initiatives, and encourage participation and engagement
  • Connect with property owners and managers regarding programs and initiatives, and seek their input and involvement
  • Communicate bi-weekly with Local Development Corporation and present quarterly to the Board of Trustees on progress of initiatives

2. Economic Development

  • Define opportunities and strategies that respond to the local market (e.g. surveys and studies)
  • Identify and track vacancies in the business districts and recruit appropriate businesses 
  • Work with existing businesses to identify ways they can respond to market changes
  • Generate income opportunities for the Local Development Corporation to ensure continuation of economic development opportunities in the Village

3. Physical Improvements

  • Coordinate efforts between the Downtown Committee, Beautification Committee, DPW, Sustainability Task Force and other entities toward making improvements to public spaces
  • Research and propose projects to help improve economic viability of business districts
  • Assemble and disseminate information regarding opportunities for financial support from the LDC to the public and stakeholders in the community

4. Promotion and Events

  • Work with Recreation Department, DPW, and the rest of Village staff on planning and managing events to promote downtown business (e.g. annual Ferry Festa)
  • Develop promotional programs to market Downtown Dobbs Ferry and other commercial areas through promotions, branding, and social media


Candidates for the Economic Development Advocate should have significant relevant experience, with skills such as planning and advancement, economic development, event planning, retail, marketing, volunteer and non-profit management, grant writing, fundraising, and business development. 

The Advocate will develop relationships with stakeholders, creating unity and building interconnectivity. Hence, strong networking and interpersonal skills are a must. They should have knowledge of the Dobbs Ferry community and its history, and ability to reference similar municipalities and point to successful strategies/programming. They are expected to have or acquire knowledge about the powers granted to Local Development Corporations in general and opportunities for LDC to partner with the municipality, community members and property/business owners.

The Advocate is expected to be energetic, organized, a self-starter and manager, creative and assertive. Diversity is a core value in the Village of Dobbs Ferry and the Local Development Corporation and will be a priority in the search for candidates for this position.

Compensation range: commensurate with qualifications, equivalent to $25,000-35,000/annual

Interested candidates should send a resume including qualifications, skills and references along with a cover letter to: 

Executive Director
Village of Dobbs Ferry Local Development Corporation
112 Main Street
Dobbs Ferry NY 10522

c/o RFQ Review Committee

Or via email to:

The Dobbs Ferry LDC will be accepting responses to this RFQ on a rolling basis until a candidate is chosen.