Session: Day Two - Keynote

Bill Wilkins,
Director of Industrial Development - LDCENY

William “Bill” Wilkins is the Executive Director of the Local Development Corporation of East New York, under whose auspices he also manages the East Brooklyn Business Improvement District, and the East New York Housing Development Corporation (a not-for-profit affordable housing arm). Also, he oversees several Federal, State, and City economic development initiatives earmarked to bring investments, tax incentives, and employment opportunities to East Brooklyn.

 

Before assuming this position in 2023, and after a period as interim Executive Director, he served the organization as the Director of Economic Development and Housing. In this capacity, he expanded the East Brooklyn Empire Zone via legislation on the local and state levels to encompass Canarsie and the Biotech Center at SUNY Downstate. This effort caused significant capital investment and employment growth. Under his direction, he assisted businesses to secure over 75 million dollars in capital investment, $25,000,000 in tax incentives and credits, and supported the purchase of over 350,000 square feet of land, which created over 600 new jobs.

In housing, he was responsible for the development of over 600 units of affordable housing, in ast Brooklyn which includes Livonia Phase Two (L2), Van Sinderen Plaza, Eldert Lane, and Broadway Triangle Plaza.

 

Bill was born, raised, and resides in East Brooklyn. This background gives him invaluable insight into the community’s many economic issues and brings a much-needed local perspective and response. Bill recognizes that a community’s well-being rests with the economic well-being of the individual. As such, he also counsels’ residents on various financial literacy and workforce development issues. Advisory boards, media outlets, and civic leaders seek Bill’s community expertise.

 

A graduate of Syracuse University, Bill has also enhanced his professional life with certifications from Harvard University, the American Banking Institute, and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. He is a strong advocate for neighborhood youth, having been personally affected by events resulting from youth violence, and is committed to ways that redirect the energy and passion of young people into positive outcomes. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Trey Whitfield School, former Board Member of the Minority Education Sports and Arts, Chairman of the ENY Food Co-Op and Economic Development Committee of Community Board 5, served on CB 5 for over ten years, and a member of Berean Missionary Baptist Church and Kappa Alpha Psi.

 

Bill is married to Denyce Wilkins, an attorney with the City of New York. They have three children: Danielle, a public interest attorney at USC; Danah, a research scientist with NYC DOH; and Jahquan, a rising actor with network television and New York City theatrical credits.