MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - In an effort to continue his overhaul on City Hall in his third month in office, Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas has brought a hometown executive back to help “turn around failing institutions.”
This week, Thomas announced that Shawn Patterson Howard will serve as the city’s Commissioner of Planning and Community Development, as well as the Executive Director of the Mount Vernon Urban Renewal Agency, which remains under threat of a government shutdown.
Patterson brings more than two decades of experience to Mount Vernon, having spearheaded community programs, project management, grant procurement and relationship building, according to Thomas. She was also partially responsible for the revitalization of the downtown Yonkers Waterfront.
During her career, Howard has served as the CEO of the Yonkers Family YMCA, the Executive Director of the Mount Vernon YMCA and she has been the director of the Mount Vernon Drug Treatment Court.
“I’m thrilled to return home to serve my beloved Mount Vernon,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to engaging with all people and partners throughout our community to grow our local economy into a global player. Together, we can seize the unprecedented opportunities for economic and social redevelopment.”
Thomas’ appointment of Howard is just the latest in his overhaul of City Hall, having recently appointed former Fortune 500 executive Rick Pogue as the Mount Vernon Human Resources Commissioner.
“Shawyn Patterson Howard is widely known and revered throughout the region as a change agent,” Thomas noted. “We are grateful she is coming home to implement economic growth plans while reinvigorating our Urban Renewal Agency. She will provide greater coordination between private development and public boards to ensure projects move forward in a timely and responsible manner.
“This appointment reaffirms our pledge for competency in City Hall. Her skills in coalition building and proven abilities to right the future are unmatched. Her expertise in mobilizing resources and motivating both staff and public stakeholders to execute on one vision makes her an excellent leader for the Planning Department.”