Filipina American leaders named to NYC’s Economic Development Team

(L-R) Maria Torres-Springer, New York’s deputy mayor for Economic and Workforce Development; and Anne del Castillo, commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

Led by Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, the team includes Anne del Castillo who will continue as MOME Commissioner

NEW York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard the new members of his economic development team, which has two of the highest-ranking Filipino Americans in the Adams cabinet.

The team — which will be led by Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer — includes several new appointments, as well as a handful of previously announced appointments.

Among them is Anne del Castillo who will continue to serve as commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).

“New York City is the economic engine of the nation and is going to lead this economic recovery, which is why we will need proven leaders who have a comprehensive understanding of the economic landscape of this city, and a track record of ‘Getting Stuff Done,’” said Mayor Adams. “Each member of this diverse group of individuals truly knows the communities they serve, and has the skills, the talent, and the emotional intelligence to shepherd an inclusive and equitable economic recovery for all New Yorkers. Appointing a team like this is how we bring back our city stronger than ever.”

“Our primary focus is on rebuilding the city’s creative economy—arts, entertainment, nightlife, and championing NYC’s role as a global creative capital, attracting and supporting world class talent, local business and visitors from around the world,” del Castillo told the Asian Journal.

Also joining the team are Andrew Kimball who will serve as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Lindsay Greene who will serve as CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, and Clare Newman who will continue to serve as president and CEO of The Trust for Governors Island. Along with del Castillo, they will all report to Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer.

Collectively, they will be focused on building an equitable recovery across all sectors of the city’s economy and bringing New York City back following COVID-19.

“Under Mayor Adams’ leadership, we are fighting every day to drive a recovery for all New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer. “That is why I am so thrilled that we are appointing visionary leaders like Andrew Kimball, Lindsay Greene, Anne del Castillo, and Clare Newman, whose depth of expertise is matched only by their commitment to New York City bouncing back better than before, with a stronger, more equitable, and more resilient economy.”

At MOME, del Castillo will be a crucial partner for the city’s creative economy, from the film sector to the nightlife industry. She will also work with partners in and out of government to aid its recovery, as it was disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Del Castillo was first appointed as commissioner in 2019.

“I am honored to be re-appointed by Mayor Adams to continue the important work of recovering and strengthening New York City’s media, entertainment, and nightlife sectors,” said MOME Commissioner Anne del Castillo. “These industries are vital to our vibrant culture and economy — generating $150 billion and 500,000 jobs pre-pandemic — and define our city as a global capital.”

Del Castillo holds more than 25 years of experience in film and TV production, public media, arts, and nonprofit administration. Since her appointment in 2019, Commissioner del Castillo has focused on bolstering New York City’s world-class arts, entertainment, and nightlife sectors and advanced an economy that works for all New Yorkers.

“It is a privilege to work with Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer. As the first Filipina-American Deputy Mayor, she is a trailblazer and an inspirational leader,” del Castillo said. “I have great admiration for her work. She brings tremendous experience to the role of leading our city’s economic and workforce development and a deep commitment to public service.”

In a previous interview with the Asian Journal when she was appointed as commissioner in 2019, del Castillo said it’s “a privilege and an honor to serve.”

“I never ever thought that I’d be in this position. It’s a privilege and a very significant responsibility that I feel every day. It’s not just because I am Filipina that I feel like diversity is important in the industry,” she said. “New York City is an incredibly diverse city and I had the benefit… if I had grown up Filipina anywhere else, it would be a very different experience.”

Prior to her appointment, Commissioner del Castillo served as director of Legal Affairs and then chief operating officer and general counsel of MOME.

Since joining the agency in 2014, she has guided the development of numerous initiatives, including Broadway/Off-Broadway in the Boros to bring free live performances to the five boroughs; New York Music Month to provide resources, workshops, and seminars for New York City musicians and industry professionals at various stages in their careers; the Freelancers Hub to create a central resource hub for freelance workers in the creative industries, among others.

Previously, del Castillo worked as vice president of development and business affairs at American Documentary, producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series POV, and associate director of the Austin Film Society.

Industry leaders have expressed their support to Mayor Adams’ announcement and del Castillo’s service at MOME.

“Anne del Castillo has been a marvelous champion for the work that makes our city vibrant, and I’m delighted her leadership will continue in Mayor Adams’ administration,” said Ruth Dickey, executive director, National Book Foundation. “We are lucky to have her breadth of experience and creative thinking in this role, and I look forward to working with Commissioner del Castillo and the city to celebrate the critical role that books and publishing play in making New York an incredible place to live, work, and visit.”

“We congratulate Commissioner del Castillo on her well-deserved reappointment,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO, NYC & Company. “She’s a tireless advocate for our city and in promoting New York City as an iconic capital of film, television, theatre, nightlife, and so much more. Her support of the city’s tourism industry is immeasurable, and we appreciate her incredible spirit of collaboration and support. We look forward to working alongside her in the Adams’ administration.”

“We’re thrilled that Mayor Adams is keeping Anne del Castillo on as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment because her experience and expertise will be essential in ensuring our city is the media and entertainment capital of the world as we recover from the pandemic,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director, New York City Hospitality Alliance.

“I commend Mayor Adams for reappointing Anne del Castillo in her role as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment,” said Michael Royce, executive director, New York Foundation for the Arts. “Commissioner del Castillo’s leadership in the arts and entertainment industry broke new ground when she came into office by creating innovative opportunities for artists, and I look forward to her continually inspiring all of us in the cultural sector with her accessible, inclusive, and smart leadership.” n

Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at momar.visaya@asianjournalinc.com.

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