John C. Whitehead resigns after nearly five years as LMDC chairman
John C. Whitehead, the congenial and well-respected Chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced on May 11th that he will resign his position at the end of May 2006, after more than four and a half years of spearheading the post-9/11 redevelopment efforts.
"I have been both honored and humbled to have led the LMDC for the past four and a half years," Chairman Whitehead said. "Through the continuing work of the rebuilding, I am confident that Lower Manhattan will emerge better than ever."
In prepared statements, both Governor George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised Chairman Whitehead for his efforts at the corporation.
"John Whitehead has repeatedly answered the call to public service and as a city, state and nation we owe him a debt of gratitude," stated Governor Pataki.
Mayor Bloomberg added, "When New York City was experiencing some of the toughest times in its history, John Whitehead stepped up to the challenge and played an integral role in downtown's resurgence and revitalization."
Also, during a regularly scheduled meeting of the LMDC Board of Directors, many members offered plaudits to the outgoing chairman.
LMDC President Stefan Pryor, who called Chairman Whitehead his mentor, gave a personal and detailed tribute as well, calling the U.S. Navy veteran "a true American hero."
"We have faced significant challenges, but under the steady leadership of John Whitehead we have been able to successfully navigate the terrain of the rebuilding," said Pryor. "As we move forward with our mission, the guidance, experience, diplomacy and grace of John Whitehead will be missed."
Chairman Whitehead was presented with a framed copy of an LMDC-board resolution commemorating the accomplishments of his tenure, along with a ceremonial gavel. He also received a standing ovation from the packed board room, which included staff members and officers of the corporation and other agencies, as well as members of the public and media.
In the days following Whitehead's founding of the LMDC, he immediately led efforts to create the Family Room and to honor the memories of those who were lost by working on interim memorial projects, such as the Tribute in Light, the Tribute Center, and StoryCorps.
Chairman Whitehead led efforts to provide residential grants to stabilize and rebuild the housing market in Lower Manhattan, and joined the Empire State Development Corporation in establishing a business-recovery grant program to help keep businesses downtown and attract new ones.
Prior to joining the LMDC in 2001, Whitehead spent 38 years at Goldman Sachs, and was named its chairman in 1976. He has served on the boards of numerous companies, and was a director of the New York Stock Exchange and chairman of the Securities Industry Association. In April 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Whitehead Deputy Secretary of State under George Shultz. Whitehead was also awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Reagan.