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Ian Beniston, AICP, HDFP, Executive Director

Ian Beniston is the Executive Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) and reports to YNDC’s Board of Directors. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Ian spent five years as YNDC’s Deputy Director. Ian is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives. He is also responsible for the day to day operations of the organization. His duties include management of program staff, development of innovative programming, resource development, budgeting and finance, marketing and communication strategies, development of strong partnerships and relationships among diverse stakeholders, and organizational development.

Ian brings eleven years of urban planning and neighborhood development experience in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. Previously, Ian served as Director of Policy for the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative. As Director of Policy, he served as a consultant to YNDC’s Board of Directors where he played an integral role in the creation and development of the organization. Ian also spent several years working for the nationally recognized urban planning consulting firm, ACP Visioning+Planning now known as planning NEXT. He began his career as an intern in the City of Youngstown’s Planning Department during the early stages of the award winning Youngstown 2010 planning process.

Ian’s involvement with community initiatives includes serving on the Technical Advisory Committee for the Youngstown Redevelopment Code, steering committee of the Mahoning/Youngstown Vacant Property Initiative, and the executive committee of APA Cleveland. Ian also serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Corrections Association. Ian was selected as a 40 under 40 award recipient in 2009, a 25 under 35 award recipient in 2013, a Next City Vanguard, 40 under 40 making an impact in cities across America, in 2014, and OCDCA CDC Staff Member of the Year in 2015.

Ian holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Youngstown State University. He has studied the European approach to reinventing older industrial cities at the Technical University of Dresden in Dresden, Germany. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has obtained Housing Development Finance Professional certification from the National Development Council. Ian resides in Youngstown with his wife, Krista and Irish Wolfhound, Keira. REVITALIZE.

Contact Ian at or find him on LinkedIn at