"The transformation of lower Manhattan has been an enormous team effort– with the city, state and federal governments working together, investing together, and forming partnerships with the private sector."

MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG

CEO of Bloomberg LP & Former NYC Mayor
  • 02/17
  • BPC People
  • Community

BPC PEOPLE – B.J. JONES

Title: President & Chief Executive Officer

Favorite BPC Spot: South Cove

Benjamin “B.J.” Jones recently began his new role at BPCA as President and Chief Executive Officer. He grew up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a small town nestled in the middle of the National Military Park that commemorates the pivotal Civil War battle. He started serving the public early, when as a high schooler he worked at the Gettysburg Travel Council (now known as Destination Gettysburg), an information center that helped many of the million tourists that continue to visit the town each year.

After earning his degree in Management from Gettysburg College, he moved to the Washington D.C. area where he began in an entry-level position for KPMG’s State and Local Government consulting practice. Through his nine years at the firm, B.J. worked on a range of different engagements, including modernizing the Georgia Department of Revenue, conducting a statewide performance audit for South Carolina, streamlining motor vehicle services for the state of New Jersey, and analyzing the economic impacts of expanding Metrorail in Northern Virginia. While working for KPMG, B.J. also earned a Master of Public Administration degree from American University.

When B.J. first made his move to New York City, two decades ago, he planned to do it for only a year. The rest, as they say, is history. But while his new home was in the city, his work required constant travel. Although he learned a great deal, he was rarely able to see the full results of the work he and his colleagues put into the studies they conducted for clients – it was always onto the next engagement. So B.J. began working for the New York City government during the first term of the Bloomberg Administration, where he was able to see meaningful change through from start to finish.

There he served in several roles, including Assistant Commissioner of Strategic Planning and Implementation at the Department of Buildings and, later, Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations. During his tenure, he was involved in a number of initiatives, including implementation of the City’s first online permitting system, the first overhaul of the New York City Building Code in nearly four decades, expansion of the City’s job application application portal, and providing temporary shelter and housing repairs for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

In 2014, B.J. joined the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) as Vice President of Administration, where he oversaw both internal operations as well as cultural and educational programming in Battery Park City Parks. During his time with the Authority, he has held several positions, including Chief Administrative Officer, Acting CFO, and Acting President. He has focused on expanding and diversifying community program offerings and modernizing processes and is now also looking to further resiliency efforts and strengthen community relations.  As he explains, “the Authority not only has fiduciary responsibilities, it’s also incumbent upon us to be an agent for the community’s well-being. I want us to have a relationship with the community where we not only listen to their concerns but also to their aspirations, and together make progress day by day.”

During his government career, B.J. became a certified Project Management Professional and eventually earned his Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.  He has developed a keen interest in the factors that contribute to fulfilling and impactful work in the public sector.  “People are at their best when they try to lift each other up,” he says. “And science has shown it’s good for their mental and physical health, too.”

Despite the many different roles in which he has served, B.J. insists his greatest and favorite role is that of uncle. Of doting on his niece and nephew, B.J. smiles: “Doing what I can for the two of them, it just doesn’t get better than that.” In his spare time he indulges his creative side by drawing and playing piano – which he learned, along with how to play nearly every other wind instrument, from his public school music teacher parents – and, as any uber fan would, delving ever deeper into the Star Wars saga. The Empire Strikes Back remains his favorite. But perhaps most of all, he still enjoys strolls throughout the city. “I came to New York and haven’t ever been able to leave,” he reflects. “Twenty years later I’m still here – still in awe and still looking up.”

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