By Ed Townsend
LIVINGSTON MANOR October 5, 2004 The incredible transformation of Livingston Manor from empty or neglected storefronts to what has now become the area's chief role model for positive change can greatly be attributed to a man with a vision for a community he believed needed a nicer look, affordable housing and a greatly increased tax base.
Last week, for the first time, Andrew and Valerie Krieger, second homeowners at the Alpine Farms on Shandelee Road, shared their vision, accomplishments and future plans for this hamlet and also Andrew's IMG Academies Bharata (IMGB), a wholly owned subsidiary of IMG Academies East (IMGE).
Krieger has entered into a unique public/private sector agreement with the Government of Andhra Pradesh (GOAP), one of India's fastest developing and most progressive states, to develop a world-class athletic training, education, leisure and resort complex in Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh.
Andrew, who prefers to be called "Andy," noted that his family has owned the 600-acre Alpine Farm property for some 16 years but that in December of 2001, "in the bleak of the winter" and with some connection to the area, his vision was that this hamlet needed to "believe in itself."
Following low-key inquiries, Andy negotiated the purchase and remodeling of the former Sorkin Building, Siegel Building, Sturdevant Building, a barn formerly owned by Martin Schwartz which now houses Dr. Livingston's Wines & Spirits, and the Birch Building, which formerly housed the Horak & Bertsch Law offices.
Andy acknowledged that there has definitely been a lot of volunteer efforts and various people pitching in to make the new look of Livingston Manor a "community effort."
"The sweat equity side of what is going on in town has been through people like Gerard Ilaria, president of the Livingston Manor Renaissance, and Chamber of Commerce President Steve Wilkinson, along with many other volunteer efforts," he said.
And with the efforts that the Kriegers were making, other property owners also made renovations and improvements to their buildings.
Good-looking buildings on Main Street are bringing new establishments to town, soon including a bakery, ice cream parlor and a beauty salon in the old Birch Building. A new restaurant is also coming to Main Street, and the location and name will be announced soon.
Andy said that the renovated buildings contain business establishments on the first floor and "affordable, nice residential apartments on the second floor, while maintaining the same facade."
He pointed out that he has purchased additional acreage and property, one of which will house a health club work-out gym, but that a major project which is already in the feasibility-study stage will include the construction of townhouses and single-family homes on some 120 to 130 acres adjacent to Alpine Farms. This development will include an indoor swimming facility, and the project is designed for both year-around residents and the second-home community.
Andy came to Livingston Manor and Sullivan County with a BA in Philosophy, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa; an MA degree in South Asian Studies; and an MBA in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania. He was twice awarded the National Defense Foreign Language Grant at the University of Pennsylvania and is also a four-time winner of the University Fellowship.
Andy is CEO of LMDC, LLC, a real estate development company located in New Jersey, is the author of The Money Bazaar and is a columnist for Forbes Global Magazine. His professional accomplishments also include being president, CEO and principal shareholder of NorthBridge Capital Management, an investment firm that provides financial services to major institutions, trading firms and high net worth individuals.
He traded on the foreign exchange at Soloman Brothers from July 1984 to August 1986, where he became a vice president of the firm. In 1986, he joined Bankers Trust Company, where he was a vice president and global head of currency options trading.
After leaving Bankers Trust with record foreign exchange trading profits, he joined Soros Fund Management, where he was the portfolio manager in charge of foreign exchange trading. After trading successfully at Soros he established his own business in 1988.
In June of 2004 IMG Academies Bharata (IMGB), a wholly owned subsidiary of IMG Academies East, entered into the agreement to develop a world-class athletic training, leisure and resort complex in Hyderabad, India. The vision behind IMGB came from Krieger, who is also a longtime student of Sanskrit and South Asian culture.
The project was born when he realized that IMG Academies' proven track record in developing athletic talent could be successfully applied in India. He felt that this would have a significant impact on the country, particularly when combined with a top academic program.
Krieger is the founder and chairman of IMG Academies Bharata.
IMG, parent company of IMG Academies, is the world's largest, most diverse and, according to Krieger, the only truly global company dedicated to the marketing and management of sport, leisure and lifestyle, representing athletes, performing artists, writers, fashion models, broadcasters, leading corporations, world-class institutions and recreational resorts. They are headquartered in Bradenton, Florida.
"I saw IMG Academies Bharata and the accompanying jobs being created as a way to give back to a culture that has profoundly shaped my life and values," said Krieger, who is also the co-chair of the Microcredit Summit Council of Banks and Commercial Financial Institutions, an organization dedicated to making small loans to impoverished families throughout Asia.
"India is in the midst of an economic and demographic shift, making it the perfect time for IMGB, a longtime dream of mine, he said. I truly believe that delivering IMG Academies' proven methodologies, experience and training techniques will help us tap into, and develop, the vast sports talent pool that exists in India. In time, the success of this program will create new layers of pride and confidence for all Indian people."
IMGB will be built on approximately 400 prime acres located just minutes from the heart of Hyderabad, one of the fastest-growing cities in India. The overall IMGB community will include a championship golf course and a spa resort, in addition to state-of-the-art athletic training facilities, a scholar athlete village and much more.
IMBG Academies will include the Nick Bolletieri Tennis Academy, David Leadbetter Golf Academy, Basketball Acadeny, Soccer Academy, Cricket Academy, Aquatics and an International Performance Institute which will feature physical training, mental conditioning, nutritional programming and a sports medicine center.
Plans are to bid for the Olympics in 2020.
Andy himself is a low handicap golfer and a former professional tennis player.
He and his wife Valerie have been married for three and a half years and have two children, Genevieve and Anika. Andrew has four children from a previous marriage: David, Shoshi, Ilana and Ariel.