A tribute to Patricia Jones, an integral part of WHLDC

Patricia Jones, an integral and leading part of the West Harlem Local Development Corporation since its inception, passed away unexpectedly last week. Ms. Jones was the former chairwoman of the Board of West Harlem Local Development Corporation and continued to serve on the board’s executive committee.

Ms. Jones played a major role in the brokering of the Community Benefits Agreement that Columbia University signed on May 18, 2009.

“It was incumbent on us to broker a deal that would work in favor of the community,” said Theodore P. Kovaleff, a WHLDC board member who also worked with Ms. Jones on Community Board 9. “She labored tirelessly on this.”

Ms. Jones was a member of West Harlem’s Community Board 9 since 2001 where she was a former two-term Chairperson. Ms. Jones devoted herself to her community selflessly, Kovaleff added.

“All too often, the reason why people get involved in something is they think it will feather their nest,” he said. “Not the case with Pat. She was doing it pro bono. She had no external agenda.”

A Certified Public Accountant, Ms. Jones was a Manager with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and later retired from JPMorgan where she was a Managing Director.

“She had a down to earth personality, and she could be a very precise professional,” said Sarah Martin, a WHLDC board member. “She was a thoughtful person. She had compassion. She had a love for people.”

Ms. Jones applied her corporate background into helping the community negotiate the Community Benefits Agreement and was deeply involved with the rezoning of Community District 9 at the time of her death.

She was able to put aside emotions and deal with the facts.,” said Yuien Chin, a friend and former colleague on the WHLDC board. “With that attitude, she was able to help the LDC board through to where they are now.”

Services were held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at Convent Avenue Baptist Church, 420 W. 145th St. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be sent to the Children’s Art Carnival, 62 Hamiton Terrace, New York, NY 10031.

Congressman Charles B. Rangel honored Ms. Jones’ life in a speech he delivered in Congress on November 29, 2012, adding her achievements into the official Congressional Record.

The Columbia Spectator also wrote about Ms. Jones’ life in an article .

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