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Mayor Walsh nominates two new members to the BRA/EDIC Board of Directors

July 20, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today nominated Priscilla Rojas, of John Hancock Financial, and Carol Downs, co-owner and general manager of Bella Luna & The Milky Way in Jamaica Plain, to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and Economic Development Industrial Corporation (EDIC) Board of Directors. They will take the place of Consuelo Gonzales-Thornell and Paul Foster whose terms have expired.

"I want to first thank Consuelo and Paul for their many years of service to the BRA and the people of Boston," said Mayor Walsh. "Together they helped guide the agency and our city through economic downturns and the development boom we're fortunate enough to be experiencing now. As change continues at the BRA, I'm excited for the new perspectives that Priscilla and Carol will bring to the table. I'm confident that their diverse backgrounds in business and development will benefit our city as we move forward."

The five-member board of directors is comprised of four mayoral appointees and one appointee made by the governor. Ms. Downs will become treasurer of the board, the position formerly filled by Ms. Gonzales-Thornell. Mayor Walsh's nominations will require confirmation by the Boston City Council before they can assume their duties. 

Priscilla Rojas is a senior manager of audit services specializing in investment management at John Hancock Financial. She has 12 years of international audit and consulting experience with several Fortune 500 companies, having worked in over a dozen countries, including India, Australia, Japan and Ireland. She holds a bachelor of science in accounting from DePaul University and is a licensed certified internal auditor and project management professional. A native of Illinois, Ms. Rojas currently resides in Boston's Leather District with her husband.

Carol Downs has been a small business owner, community volunteer and resident of Boston for over two decades. She is a founding co-owner and current general manager of Bella Luna & The Milky Way, an award-winning dining and entertainment landmark in Jamaica Plain that opened in 1993. Since 2001, Ms. Downs has been a trustee of the Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, which both of her children attended. She holds a bachelor of arts in philosophy from the University of Virginia and resides in Roslindale with her husband and two children. 

Ms. Gonzales-Thornell is the longest serving member currently on the BRA/EDIC board, having served since 1989. Mr. Foster has served on the board since 2006.