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Syracuse Mayor Miner appoints members of new Office of Innovation

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has announced staff appointments for the newly created Office of Innovation.

A three year, $1.35 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies is funding the office.

The new staff members include Adria Finch who will serve as a project manager. Finch previously served as an economic-development specialist for the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc.

Sam Edelstein will be the office’s analytics coordinator. He previously worked with the Syracuse University (SU) Office of Alumni Engagement. Edelstein has also worked in the tourism industry in Washington, D.C. and also taught English in Songtan, South Korea, Miner’s office said in a news release.

The staff members also include Addison Spears, who will serve as program coordinator in the office of innovation. Spears previously worked at law firm Tully Rinckey, PLLC where he was a senior marketing associate and handled its social media and digital-marketing portfolio. He served in a similar position with Melton Truck Lines in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The appointments also include Jonnell Robinson, who will serve as the Office of Innovation’s university fellow. In this consultancy role, Robinson will provide research and mapping expertise. She currently serves as an assistant professor and director of the Syracuse Community Geography Program at SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


Office of Innovation background

Miner first announced the creation of the new Office of Innovation last December.

Then in late February, the mayor announced that Andrew Maxwell will serve as director of policy and innovation in her administration and will lead the new office.

Syracuse was one of 14 cities selected in 2014 as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams (i-teams) program.

The program seeks to improve the “capacity of city halls to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives,” according to Miner’s office.

Bloomberg Philanthropies focuses on five areas for “creating lasting change,” which include public health, environment, education, government innovation, and the arts.

The nonprofit organization encompasses all of Michael Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving.

Bloomberg is a former mayor of New York City.


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