Natalia Urtubey, Celina Barrios-Millner appointed to Economic leadership positions
Under the direction of Chief of Economic Development John Barros, Urtubey will continue implementation of the 2016 Citywide Small Business Plan to ensure that Boston is an attractive and accessible place for small businesses to grow and thrive. Barrios-Millner will oversee the newly created Inclusion and Equity Unit, which leads the implementation of the Economic Inclusion and Equity Agenda to create access to opportunity for women and people of color by focusing city policy on income and employment, wealth creation, business development, and economic mobility.
"Ensuring a thriving, equitable economy that benefits all Bostonians has always been a top priority for this administration. Since creating the Economic Development office in 2014, we have been able to foster economic inclusion and equity by eliminating barriers and creating opportunities for residents to build wealth and a sustainable future here in the City of Boston," said Mayor Walsh. "Through Natalia's leadership and creativity on Imagine Boston 2030, and Celina's breadth of knowledge and successful policy track record, I am very confident these two units will work hand-in-hand on implementing smart, innovative policy and remain strong advocates for opportunity for all Boston residents and businesses."Urtubey's extensive knowledge of Boston's neighborhoods and small business community will complement her experience in creating growth strategies and building partnerships across community stakeholders. She will manage a 12-person staff focused on tracking and producing research on local and national trends to inform decision making about small business development tools, coordinating with local residents and existing businesses to ensure that there is a strategic and policy-driven approach to growth without displacement, and working with residents and other city officials to remove any barriers to do business in the City of Boston.
Through initiatives aimed at supporting small businesses and neighborhood wealth creation, the Small Business Unit works with small businesses throughout the city via direct services and a strong partnership with the Boston Main Streets Foundation and its 20 neighborhood-based 501(c)3 organizations. Urtubey will manage and oversee the distribution for over $3 million in small business resources under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, over $3 million in investment in small businesses within and outside of the 20 Main Streets Districts, and direct and implement Mayor Walsh's 2016 Small Business Plan to provide coordinated service delivery and economic opportunity for Boston's 40,000 small businesses.
Previously, Urtubey served as the Executive Director of Imagine Boston 2030, working to implement the first citywide planning process in over 50 years, and was responsible for ensuring it was representative of Boston residents' vision and concerns. In this role, Urtubey was instrumental in keeping the process visible and accessible to all Bostonians, bringing community leaders together, and identifying opportunities for collaboration. Originally from Colombia, Urtubey helped launch the City's first Latinx Employee Resource Group.Celina Barrios-Millner will lead the new Equity and Inclusion Unit within the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, and is tasked with implementing Mayor Walsh's Economic Inclusion and Equity Agenda and overseeing the City's efforts to connect local residents, veterans, and people of color to economic opportunity through the Boston Resident Jobs Policy (BRJP) and the Certification and Contracts programs. In this role, Barrios-Miller's two decades of experience in creating opportunities in disenfranchised communities through community engagement and strategic policy development will guide her 17 member team in managing and enforcing BRJP on City of Boston and BPDA construction projects to ensure local residents can benefit from the over $15 billion in development in the pipeline and connect minority and women-owned enterprises (MWBEs) to millions of dollars in economic opportunities through procurement.
"The work of our Equity and Inclusion Unit is not only key to achieving a just society, but it's also a strategic imperative for our economy. Boston is growing, and the work Celina will be leading is essential to ensuring shared prosperity in every corner of our city," said Chief John F. Barros. I look forward to strategically shaping these two units' work to ensure broad, sustainable economic inclusion and believe Celina and Natalia will work side-by-side to create access and implement smart policies."
Originally from Venezuela, Barrios-Millner most recently led Immigrant Integration efforts for the City of Boston where she provided strategic direction to departments to ensure that immigrant residents and their needs are at the forefront of policy and program design. Previously, she led Partnership Development for the State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (SOMWBA) to generate business opportunities and resources for certified woman (WBE) and minority-owned businesses (MBE).
Created in 2014, the Mayor's Office of Economic Development is a one-stop resource for all businesses in the City of Boston, which promotes policies that help businesses grow while fostering economic inclusion and equity. Divided into three focus areas, the office also includes the Business Strategy Unit, which is focused on attracting, engaging, and retaining global organizations and partnerships, as well as managing and expanding Boston's light industrial and manufacturing sector. Milestones include the development of the city's first ever Economic Inclusion and Equity Agenda, publication of the city's first Small Business Report, launch of the Small Business Resource Center, passage of an updated Boston Residents Job Policy with elevated develop standard for hiring and building in Boston, and new Neighborhood Business Access Loans.
The Economic Development Cabinet includes the Boston Planning and Development Agency, Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing, and the Office of Workforce Development. Together, these offices work together to ensure Boston an appealing and accessible place for working families, entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors to innovate, grow, and thrive in a way that fosters inclusion, broadens opportunity, and shares prosperity, thereby enhancing the quality of life for Bostonians and the experience for all visitors.