It’s been said that a wise man knows that there’s something to be learned from everyone.

Mayor-elect Matt Tuerk is applying that philosophy as he counts down the days until taking office. Tuerk is on a mission to gain as much insight and perspective from Allentown’s constituents and leaders as possible. He has assembled a team of 27 well-sourced executives and community representatives, including a former colleague from AEDC, to make up his transition team as he prepares for his new role as Allentown’s 43rd mayor.

Prioritizing direct input from city supporters and residents is nothing new for Matt. He ran his campaign (literally and figuratively) on the belief that the best way to access Allentownians was by knocking on as many doors as possible and meeting as many residents as time would allow. Tuerk’s passion for individual stories from Allentown’s residents earned him the win, and he’s preparing to apply those unique perspectives as he maps out his plan in office.

Photo credit: Matt for Mayor Facebook Page

A new working relationship

In the meantime, his transition team will provide assistance on topics including public safety, housing, and quality of life for Tuerk’s consideration. One of Tuerk’s team members is Scott Unger, executive director of AEDC. Unger is looking forward to offering support to the mayor-elect, and he’s particularly pleased to have the opportunity to work with a former colleague in a new fashion. “It was inspiring to meet with a group of people who all share a common concern for the city and its residents,” says Unger. “I look forward to working with the team as they assist mayor-elect Tuerk hone his vision for Allentown.”

The two men worked together from 2008-2013 while Tuerk held the position of assistant director at AEDC under Scott’s leadership. In addition to their passion for Allentown’s prosperous economy, Unger and Tuerk shared multiple project successes and milestones while working under the same roof. They both speak fondly of enhancing the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center incubation program and founding AEDC’s Urban Made program, an initiative providing resources and financial support for Lehigh Valley manufacturers.

Tuerk followed his role at AEDC with a position at LVEDC before resigning to campaign for mayor. During his seven years at LVEDC, Tuerk’s working relationship with Unger continued as AEDC and LVEDC work in partnership on projects specific to brownfield redevelopment and cultivating the region’s manufacturing sector.

S. Unger inside Allentown Metal Works. Photo credit: StayCalm Industries

Transitioning for success

Once in office, Tuerk will provide other forms of resources with plans to improve the quality of life for residents of the Queen City. Until then, he’s preparing for his new role by holding a total of four sessions with his transition team before January 3rd.

The transition team includes Luis Acevedo, Sherri Brokopp Binder, Daniel Blount, Becky Bradley, Leslie Cogorno, Gregory Edwards, Saeed Georges, Dawn Godshall, Yamilett Sancho-Gomez, Veronica Gonzalez, Justin Grimshaw, Jack Gross, Julio Guridy, Jane Heft, Kari Holmes, Nagi Latefa, Victor Martinez, Roger McLean, Santo Napoli, Jessica Lee Ortiz, Seth Phillips, Jennifer Ramos, Janet Roth, Adrian Shanker, Vincent Sorgi, Charles Thiel, R. Scott Unger.

Lauren Matthews

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