Company: Barry Cassidy Planning and Development
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania, United States
Barry Cassidy, Principal at Barry Cassidy Planning and Development, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in economic development.
In 2010, Mr. Cassidy founded Barry Cassidy Planning and Development, a premier consulting firm specializing in grants, community development consulting, housing, Main Street projects, downtown revitalization, brownfields, transit-oriented development (TOD) and infrastructure funding. Previously, he has excelled in union organization with AFSCME and the United Furniture Workers, as a tenant counselor with Baltimore Neighborhood Housing Services, in commercial revitalization, commercial and residential housing development, product demonstration, and economic development in a number of communities in several states.
Mr. Cassidy originally obtained a Bachelor of Arts in political science and government from West Virginia State University in 1971. He later pursued coursework toward a master’s degree in public management from Carnegie Mellon University in 1984 and earned a Master of Science in cities from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2009. He holds a municipal finance certificate from the University of Chicago Harris School for Public Policy.
Mr. Cassidy’s career achievements stem from his natural ability to relate well to everyone. He calls himself “a poor person’s interpreter,” providing a much-needed voice to those who are not active or visible in the community. became involved in economic planning and development because of his desire to help people and communities. He wanted to seek out people who were not very active in the community and give them a voice. Born and raised in an exclusively white environment, he proceeded to receive his college education from a historically Black university, the West Virginia State University. Gradually, Mr. Cassidy grew to understand people he had not been in contact for much of his life and became immersed in their concerns. In the early 1970s, he organized unions in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee, but he found that he needed a better way to address the issues he longed to see resolutions to. Upon moving to Baltimore, he became involved in organizing county fairs and shows. The organizing work later evolved into planning, organizing and implementing projects for non-profit housing and community development entities, predominantly in low-income areas. Mr. Cassidy subsequently delved into commercial development and downtown revitalization, where all his previous experiences in housing and promotions were utilized. He maintains that he has always been more concerned about completing projects that help people rather than making a profit.
As a career highlight, Mr. Cassidy recalls a special highlight in his career being called to solve the riots and sexual assaults that were prevalent in South Street, the main entertainment district in Philadelphia. He accepted the job and helped to normalize the area before leaving for Phoenixville, a suburban town plagued by racism. He managed to assuage the town’s problem with such spectacular success that the state recognized him with the Keystone Laureate in 2010, according him with the status, “Agent of Change,” with no less than the Pennsylvania governor presenting the award to him.
In the coming years, Mr. Cassidy is hoping to put together a deal in a low-income community to build a baseball stadium and become a co-owner of a baseball team. He soon wishes to be able to enjoy the fruits of the project: watching his favorite team play.
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