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Introducing the CNY Conservancy's new Executive Director - Dr. Philip Bean

Photo Credit: Alex Cooper at the Observer Dispatch

Photo Credit: Alex Cooper at the Observer Dispatch

The Central New York Conservancy's new Executive Director is Dr. Philip Bean. A Utica native, Bean has served for the last 23 years as a college administrator, primarily as a dean at Harvard and Haverford colleges. He was also a lecturer in history at Hamilton and Utica colleges in the early 1990s.

"We're thrilled to have a local person who grew up with the parks and Parkway as our new director," said William F. Locke, the Conservancy's founder and president of its board of trustees.

"I grew up at the corner of Clementian Street and Parkway East and spent a lot of time in these parks, particularly Roscoe Conkling Park, when I was a kid," Bean noted. "These parks and the Parkway were an important part of my growing up, they are of national historic significance, and I consider myself very fortunate to be able to contribute to the process of restoring them and being part of the exciting process of rejuvenating my hometown."

Bean is the son of the late Albert and Gertrude Bean, who both worked in the Utica public schools. A graduate of Proctor High School, he earned degrees from Union College, Oxford University, and the University of Rochester. He has written on immigration history, using Utica as a case study, and is the author of The Urban Colonists: Italian American Identity and Politics in Utica, New York (Syracuse University Press, 2010). He has also been a contributor to the Utica Observer Dispatch on topics of local interest.

"It's great to be home again," said Bean. "Although I've been lucky enough to have encountered many wonderful people in my travels and to have lived in some nice cities over the decades, no other place has seemed like home, and no people have been so warmly welcoming as the people of Utica and the surrounding area." Bean succeeds Peter Falzarine, who served as the first Executive Director of the Conservancy for the past 5 years. "It has been my honor to serve the CNY Conservancy," Falzarine remarked. "I look forward to the future successes of the Conservancy as they carry on the Olmsted legacy."

From the Executive Director

I am writing to you for the first time as the new Executive Director of the Central New York Conservancy. It's marvelous to be back home after 23 years! I'm particularly happy to return to a role that will allow me to make contributions to the community that nurtured me and the parks in which I formed such happy memories.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to my predecessor, Peter Falzarine, for his 5 years of dedicated service to the Conservancy. Thanks to his efforts, I inherit a sound operational structure and base of support on which to build.

I look forward to working with you on advancing the mission of the Conservancy to restore, preserve, and promote our historic Olmsted Parks and Parkway System. I hope to raise awareness about the Conservancy and the significant contributions it has made to the Utica area through its work on these unusual quality-of-life assets.

Finally, my goal is to earn your support, while enlisting the support of those not currently involved. Each year, the Conservancy raises and invests $100,000 in our Olmsted parks and parkway, which is at least as much as the City of Utica—with whom we have an invaluable partnership—can earmark for all 16 of Utica's parks plus the Parkway. We can make this significant investment only with the active support of people like you, and I therefore want to close with a warm thanks to you all for being loyal friends of our beautiful, historic parks.

Best wishes,
Philip A. Bean, Executive Director