After job creation, battle with politicians, Saratoga County chief development officer Dennis Brobston retires

After job creation, battle with politicians, Saratoga County chief development officer Dennis Brobston retires

SARATOGA SPRINGS — After overseeing the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation’s most expansive and tumultuous years, President Dennis Brobston said he will step down at the end of the year.

SEDC’s chairman of the board, John Munter, Jr. announced the resignation Thursday night, saying Brobston’s 15 years at the head of the nonprofit had been transformative.

“Every family in Saratoga County and the surrounding counties has access to better job opportunities because of what Dennis and his team have accomplished,” Munter said in a statement. “Our economy has grown as companies have invested in facilities, technology and talent. Saratoga County is a better place to live, work and play thanks to this team. They have laid the foundation for Saratoga County residents to continue benefiting from an ever-growing economy for years to come.”

GlobalFoundries was one of the projects SEDC initiated. The international company in Malta, SEDC estimates, has created more than 3,000 jobs in the province and more than 20,000 indirect and induced jobs across the region.

Brobston, who has headed SEDC since 2008, has also been involved in helping the country and supporting dozens of other projects, small and large, including distribution centers for Target and Ace Hardware, Quad/Graphics, Greenfield Manufacturing, Agrochem , Synergy Park and Cortex . SEDC estimates that the county under Brobston’s leadership saw $16 billion in economic development, with more than 5,000 jobs added and more than 4,000 retained.

“While the big projects get the press and accolades, it’s the small businesses, locally grown and owned, that still deliver the most growth and stability,” said the 63-year-old. “We’ve worked with hundreds of companies and thousands of people over the years.”

Brobston also endured the biggest threat to the organization when the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors fell out with SEDC in 2015 when SEDC refused to allow politicians to sit on the board. Brobston feared that politicians would send economic growth to their communities and also leak messages about possible deals for political gain.

The county retaliated by stripping SEDC of its funding and creating a competing economic development arm, the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, which managed and funded the county at a rate double what the SEDC gave.

SEDC continues its efforts and lives on fees and donations, while Prosperity Partnership struggled to gain a foothold. The county dissolved the competing operation in March after spending more than $4 million on the entity.

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