Stacey Sikes, who has directed Hofstra University’s small business programs for nearly three years, will become the No. 2 executive at the Long Island Association, effective next month.
Sikes, 37, who lives in East Northport, will be vice president of government affairs and communications for the region’s most influential business group, officials said. She succeeds Matthew Cohen who was promoted to CEO and president last month.
She is believed to be the first woman to hold one of the LIA’s top two jobs in the organization’s 95-year history.
“Stacey is a star: talented, innovative and hardworking, with a long history in government, business and academia,” Cohen said. “She will be a terrific partner in leading the LIA.”
He and Sikes have worked together before — in 2005, in the local office of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Sikes comes to the LIA after serving as Hofstra’s executive dean of entrepreneurship and business development since late 2018. She helped start its Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and oversees the institute and the Scott Skodnek Business Development Center.
Earlier this year, Hofstra won a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration for programs to help entrepreneurs survive the pandemic — the only winner from New York State in the nationwide competition for a share of $330,000.
Sikes said she would continue to advocate for small businesses in her new role as the LIA’s chief lobbyist in Albany and Washington D.C.
“I’m excited to work on issues that are important to Long Island and promote economic growth in our region,” she said.
Sikes worked with Mark Lesko at Hofstra before he joined the U.S. Attorney’s office. She also was Lesko’s top aide at the Accelerate Long Island venture capital fund, which was based at the LIA, and was deputy chief of staff when Lesko was Brookhaven Town supervisor. She was special projects director for then-Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi.
Sikes has both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in government and politics from St. John’s University.