City Economic Development Director Appoints New Chief of Providence Redevelopment Agency

Donald D. Gralnek, Seasoned Real Estate, Sports & Entertainment Lawyer and Chief Executive takes on reins of City Agency

Providence, RI – James S. Bennett, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, announced the appointment of Donald D. Gralnek of Barrington, as head of the Providence Redevelopment Agency.

Gralnek, who assumed the post last month, has extensive background in real estate, sports and  entertainment and  corporate law;  government relations, and professional and amateur sports organizations.  A former member of the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Tech Museum of Innovation and San Jose Repertory Theatre, he has taught at the University of California Berkeley Extension and San Jose State University, and served as former Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the San Jose Sharks (NHL,)and negotiated numerous agreements with such organizations as the American Hockey League, City of San Jose, (Calif.,) Association of Tennis Professionals, Arena Football, NCAA Tournament and many international concerts and performers.  

A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Stanford University and Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall, University of California,) he also holds a Master of Community Planning degree from the College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley, with great distinction.  He formerly served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel to the San Jose Sharks (NHL,) and Sharks’ Sports & Entertainment; was a senior partner in Jones Day law firm (Los Angeles office,) and a partner in Rogers & Wells law firm (Los Angeles.) 

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Donald Gralnek to our economic development team,” said Director James S. Bennett.  “His extraordinary skill in real estate, corporate affairs and government relations provides an invaluable resource to this city and to the Mayor’s work to build a strong and thriving economy.

“As a built city, we are constantly looking at ways in which we can appropriately reclaim properties, develop our I-195 land and growing Port of Providence, and create a city that both respects its past and plans for its future.  Donald’s skill set clearly provide us the expertise to do all of this well,” Bennett said.

Mr. Gralnek will be aligning PRA’s authority, assets and programs with the Mayor’s economic development plan and programs in order to promote more jobs and economic growth in the city of Providence.

“As a Rhode Islander, it gives me great joy to come to this capital city and state, and align my experience with the opportunities this great capital city affords,” Gralnek said.  “Providence enjoys remarkable historic properties, intellectual capital and a strategic location along the Boston-Washington corridor, which would entice many developers.

“Aligning those assets with the opportunities before us, will ensure Providence becomes one of the region’s strongest and most vibrant economies, and an attractive place to build a business.  I am honored by this appointment and look forward to being a part of this exciting mission,” Gralnek said.

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