Planning board chair takes consulting job

Bethlehem's former director of economic development and planning has joined an economic development team called HB Solutions, LLC.

George E. Leveille, the current planning board chairman, took a job with the consulting affiliate of law firm Harris Beach PLLC as its fiscal and community advisor. The town's new director of economic development and planning is Michael Morelli, who works with Leveille on a regular basis in Bethlehem's planning department.

Leveille brings to his new position more than 30 years' experience in public and private economic development, real estate, finance, land use, event planning and management, and strategic planning. His duties will include consulting with clients on issues relating to tax base analysis, fiscal planning, economic development strategy, community planning and consensus building, and special events planning and management.

No stranger to the area, Leveille had an extensive career in local government. Aside from working for Bethlehem, he was chairman and then executive director of the Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency. Leveille was influential in engineering Bethlehem's first comprehensive plan and had a hand in rewriting of the town's zoning law and subdivision regulations.

He also served as the voluntary chairman and member of the Board of Directors for the Albany Convention Center Authority from February of 2006 until July of 2008, where he oversaw the establishment of the authority.

Leveille has also been involved in Albany government for more than a decade, serving in various positions, including commissioner of development and planning; commissioner of economic development; president of the Albany Local Development Corporation; executive director of the Albany Industrial Development Agency; and founding co-chair of the Capitalize Albany Executive Committee.

Leveille led the Capitalize Albany Economic Development Strategy that documented more than $1 billion in new investment in Albany between 1994 and 2001. He began his career as an economic development coordinator in the Albany County Executive's Office and later became a senior planner in the county's planning department.

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