JCIDA names new chair

Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency in Watertown. Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — For the first time in 10 years, the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency will have a new board chair.

Robert E. Aliasso Jr. is replacing longtime Chair David J. Converse, who’s stepping down from the seat he’s filled since 2011. Mr. Converse said he enjoyed his time heading the board and working on economic development.

“It’s fun,” he said, “We’re doing positive stuff. We’re always a positive, and that’s good.”

The county IDA unanimously approved the change in leadership during a Thursday morning meeting. A nominating committee recommended the new slate of officers.

After the vote, Mr. Converse joked that it meant that he no longer had to read the board packet full of lengthy resolutions every month.

But Mr. Aliasso joked it will, instead, give his predecessor more time to ask questions in his new role as a board member.

Board member Lisa A. Ruggiero, who also serves on the Watertown City Council, said the economic development group should rely on Mr. Converse’s historical knowledge of the agency by keeping him as an adviser and member of the executive committee.

The board plans to make that recommendation official at next month’s meeting.

Mr. Converse, owner of Converse Laboratories, has been involved in the agency since its beginning in 1990. His current term on the board expires on Dec. 31, 2022.

Mr. Aliasso, who is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Stebbins Engineering, is also taking over as chair of the IDA’s sister organizations, the Jefferson County Local Development Corporation and the county’s Civic Facility Development Corporation.

The other IDA officers are: John H. Jennings, vice chair; Paul J. Warneck, treasurer; and W. Edward Walldroff, secretary.

LDC officers are: Mr. Walldroff, vice chair; Mr. Warneck, treasurer; and Kent D. Burto, secretary.

CFDC officers are: Mr. Jennings, vice chair; Mr. Warneck, treasurer; and Mr. Walldroff, secretary.

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