Air Products Real Estate Manager to Lead Business Development at LVEDC

By Colin McEvoy on February 15, 2022

Kristin Cahayla-Hoffman, who has spent more than a decade in corporate real estate at Air Products, will join Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) next week to lead its business development and attraction efforts.

Kristin Cahayla-Hoffman

Cahayla-Hoffman, most recently manager of real estate at the Fortune 500 company, will become LVEDC’s Vice President of Business Development and Attraction, a position that was unfilled since the departure of Matt Tuerk to run successfully for Mayor of Allentown.

Cahayla-Hoffman will join LVEDC’s leadership team where she will be responsible for leading the regional economic development organization’s business attraction, retention, and expansion initiatives.

“Kristin is a seasoned professional with a wealth of private sector corporate real estate and asset management experience at a Fortune 500 company,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham. “She will give LVEDC a unique insight into how companies assess corporate real estate transactions. In addition, she’s already very active in national associations that LVEDC works closely with to market the region’s economic assets and to attract companies in targeted areas.”

Cahayla-Hoffman is an active member of the International Asset Management Council (IAMC), the nation’s leading industrial and manufacturing real estate trade association, and a group LVEDC often works with regarding prospective business attraction projects.

“It is a coup for an economic development organization to get a corporate real estate leader like Kristin,” Cunningham said, “and it’s extra special because Air Products is a founding member of LVEDC and a leading investor in our efforts.”

Cahayla-Hoffman will start at LVEDC February 22.

She’s worked her entire career in the Lehigh Valley after graduating from Muhlenberg College. She’s been at Air Products for almost 15 years where she started as a financial analyst in 2007. Prior to that she worked for Volvo and Mack Trucks as an economic support analyst and in e-sourcing support for seven years.

“Over a nearly 12-year career in corporate real estate, I’ve had a lot of interaction with economic developers from all over North America,” Cahayla-Hoffman said. “I’ve always seen and recognized the value they bring to a community, so I’m very excited that I’ll be able to use my experience and background to support the LVEDC team.”

Cahayla-Hoffman will lead a very experienced team of business development and attraction staff including Jarrett Witt, Director of Business Development, and Doug Warfel, Director of Attraction and Lending.

Due to budgetary challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, LVEDC did not hire a new Vice President to replace Tuerk, and instead folded his job responsibilities into that of Karianne Gelinas, who was then named Vice President of Business Development and Talent Supply.

“Karianne did a fantastic job of handling our business attraction and retention efforts while simultaneously continuing her work in strategic initiatives and talent development,” Cunningham said. “The hiring of Kristin will bring us back to a full complement of VPs and allow Karianne to focus on spearheading our special initiatives and fortifying our talent pipeline.”

Gelinas’ new title will be Vice President of Regional Partnerships and Talent Strategies. In addition to leading LVEDC’s talent development strategies (one of the major initiatives of the organization’s strategic plan), she will also be responsible for continuing to build the regional coalition behind the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley marketing initiative.

“Karianne has an excellent track record when it comes to coalition building, having helped build LVEDC’s talent program into what’s been recognized by IEDC as one of the best economic development programs in the nation,” Cunningham said. “These skills will go a long way in helping the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley coalition continue to grow and thrive.”

Cahayla-Hoffman had escalating roles of responsibility over the course of nearly 15 years at Air Products. In her most recent role as Real Estate Manager, she was responsible for managing property acquisitions through a project’s life including contract execution, acquiring easements and working with governmental bodies on potential rezoning/variance issues.

Cahayla-Hoffman has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Lehigh University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business Administration from Muhlenberg College. She also studied abroad at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, which Cunningham said will be helpful experience for LVEDC’s foreign direct investment efforts.

In addition to Cahayla-Hoffman and Gelinas, two other positions at LVEDC will change under the current reorganization: Frank Alvarado will now be Talent Strategies Manager, while Andrew Kleiner will be Director of Regional Partnerships.

LVEDC is also seeking to hire a new Digital Marketing Manager. The job listing can be found on LinkedIn.

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