Community People

Greenway Conservancy Promotes Jesse Brackenbury to Executive Director

Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy Executive Director Jesse Brackenbury, shown here at the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council in March 2013 (NEWF Photo)

The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy Board of Directors has dropped the “acting” from Jesse Brackenbury’s title and voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to appoint him as Executive Director. Brackenbury has been filling the interim role at the non-profit since Nancy Brennan resigned from the position about a year ago.

“Jesse Brackenbury has proven that he is a very capable leader of the Greenway,” said Georgia Murray, Chair of the Conservancy’s Board in a statement. “He has embraced the public/private partnership and promoted the Greenway as an economic driver for Massachusetts. He will help fulfill the Greenway vision of a great urban park: a place that welcomes people from all over the Commonwealth and beyond, and gives both residents and tourists a beautiful space to play, relax, and enjoy.”

The Conservancy’s lease from the State expired in November 2013 and has been temporarily extended while negotiations continue with MassDOT, land owner of the public parks that were built on top of the Big Dig tunnel. State funding makes up approximately 40% of the Conservancy’s budget and is at the center of the negotiations according to those close to the situation. Previously, the State has questioned compensation levels at the Conservancy in comparison to other public park positions. As Executive Director, Nancy Brennan was regularly paid over $200,000 per year in salary and bonuses. At the January 28th board meeting, the issue of compensation for Mr. Brackenbury was said to be under negotiation. His employment was also noted to be “at will” rather than under a defined contract.

Brackenbury’s first major effort upon joining the Greenway in 2009 as Finance Director and COO was the food truck program that started as a pilot and has expanded throughout the park system. As acting Executive Director last year, he also oversaw the completion of the Greenway Carousel and the new mural by artist Matthew Richie in Dewey Square. The Conservancy said that “earned income has increased six-fold to nearly half-million dollars” since he joined the staff.

“After four years of working for the Greenway Conservancy, I am thrilled to be named Executive Director,” said Brackenbury. “The Greenway’s events, fountains, and beautiful gardens provide a free, fun day for visitors, and the opening of the Greenway Carousel added a landmark destination. Now we will build upon this success, including more public art and other programs for our diverse visitors. We are dedicated to working collaboratively with city, state, business, and community leaders to develop a sustainable financial model – one that will assure a vibrant Greenway that brings pride to the citizens of Boston and Massachusetts.”

Executive Director Jesse Brackenbury and Conservancy staff are expected to host a series of community workshops in the near future similar to the one held last year in the North End.