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Conference Inspiration: Josue Velney of Velney Construction and Development

By ICIC | December 21, 2023

Josue Velney, founder and CEO, Velney Development, LLC

Josue Velney, the founder and CEO of Velney Development, LLC, stands as an example of the entrepreneurial spirit and resilience that defines ICIC’s work. In a year where ICIC has trained nearly 3,000 small business owners, Josue’s story embodies the heart and soul of what ICIC strives to achieve—driving inclusive economic prosperity, creating jobs, and building generational wealth in under-resourced communities. Steve Grossman, CEO of ICIC, shared Josue’s inspirational story during the kickoff of ICIC’s Annual Conference in Miami on December 12, 2023.

Josue’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of entrepreneurship. A former Marine who served three deployments over five years, Josue returned home to serve his community as a Somerville firefighter and lieutenant for 12 years. Today, as a retired firefighter and full-time real estate developer, Josue holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Wentworth Institute of Technology and is a licensed unrestricted construction supervisor.

His military background has shaped his leadership skills, and he has seamlessly applied them to real estate development. Josue’s commitment is clear—he envisions improving his community through strategic and impactful real estate projects. With a rental portfolio spanning Somerville, Medford, Boston, and neighboring cities, Josue’s influence extends far beyond his business endeavors.

The obstacles faced by entrepreneurs like Josue are immense—high interest rates, labor shortages, and societal challenges such as the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action. However, Josue’s unwavering commitment and optimism are a powerful reminder of the strength found in unity.

United by a Common Vision

ICIC’s conference theme, “REFLECT, REUNITE, and RENEW,” encapsulates the spirit of Josue Velney’s mission for the economic revitalization and renewal of challenged communities. ICIC and entrepreneurs like Josue share a unified vision and shared goals of economic empowerment and sustainable growth through transformative research and pioneering programs.

In the face of daunting challenges, the entrepreneurs ICIC has worked with, predominantly BIPOC- and woman-owned, have demonstrated resilience and unity. These businesses, scattered across the United States and Canada, stand united in the belief that challenging times can bring communities together and lead to shared success.

Josue Velney’s story is not just about individual achievement; it’s a testament to the collective strength and potential found within under-resourced communities. As ICIC continues its mission, entrepreneurs like Josue inspire and reinforce the belief that, as a unified community, we can build a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.


ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities through innovative research and programs to create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents.


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