Cary Tyson serves as the Executive Director of Portland Downtown, a 501c4 organization that works to stimulate a thriving, vibrant and sustainable downtown community. Prior to moving to Maine, he worked across Arkansas in the fields of downtown revitalization and historic preservation. He was a 2020 America Walks Walking College Fellow and is a veteran of the US Air Force.
As VP, Marketing & Operations and Chief of Staff at the Capitol Riverfront BID, Bonnie Trein oversees community programming and outreach; along with place branding and communications efforts that support neighborhood success. Bonnie serves in an integral strategic planning role, leveraging stakeholder partnerships to coordinate programs. Her enthusiasm for neighborhood development is exhibited in her drive to innovative community experiences. A graduate of Mississippi State University, Bonnie has enjoyed living in DC for 12 years.
Brian Smith is the Senior Director of Planning and Economic Development for the NoMa Business Improvement District in Washington, DC. In his current role, Brian is responsible for attracting and retaining businesses and residents to the neighborhood, and developing future plans to make NoMa even better. Prior to the NoMa BID, Smith served as the Senior Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Durham’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
Robbie Silver is the Executive Director of the Downtown SF Partnership, the community benefit district that serves 43-blocks of the Financial District and Jackson Square in San Francisco. Robbie took the helm during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and formation of the new organization. Overseeing a $4.2M budget, Robbie established cleaning and safety services, and placemaking programs to revitalize Downtown SF, including the largest holiday projection event in the U.S.
Albert Sanchez serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Central Houston, Inc., where he plays a key role in executing the organization’s strategic alignment plan. With an extensive background spanning over 18 years, Albert has gained valuable experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including 13 years as a Dallas Police Officer. Albert holds an MBA from Texas Wesleyan and has further augmented his expertise through certificate programs at Cornell University and Harvard Business School.
Daniel was born in Honduras, grew up in New Orleans and graduated high school in Houston. After playing collegiate soccer in Texas, he ended his athletic career at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix where he completed his Bachelor’s in Marketing, my Masters in Business Administration and went on to serve the GCU community for 17 years. During that time I opened a business in Downtown Glendale before joining the city as the first Downtown Manager.
Ray, a Rutgers University-Camden graduate, joined the CSSD in 2021 with a background and experience in project implementation, community and governmental engagement, and project management and oversite. Prior to the CSSD, Ray was a Project Manager with Camden Community Partnership and was assigned to the CSSD when the two organizations operated jointly. His experience covers the CSSD’s transformation into a formal business improvement district and has since managed the organization’s expansion with the BID.
Ernesto Romo began his journey with Downtown San Diego Partnership as a Maintenance Ambassador in 2008. Now, as Director of Maintenance Services, Ernesto oversees maintenance operations, from power washing, tree trimming, tree planting, and gateway enhancements. Ernesto is committed and works towards making cleaner and safer downtown San Diego.
Patrick Richard is the Executive Director of Downtown Moncton Centre-ville Inc. since March 2022. Patrick joined DMCI with a BA from l’Université de Moncton and previously was employed by the Province of New Brunswick’s lead Economic Development Agency, Opportunities New Brunswick. Patrick is known as the founder of the Hub City Young Professionals, and knows retail and customer service from his leadership role in supporting Bass Pro establishing its store in Moncton.
Briana Paschall is the Marketing Coordinator at City Ave District, a unique multi-jurisdictional business improvement district within the City of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. In her role, she creates and implements all marketing and communication strategies. Briana gets joy out of collaborating with the district stakeholders, small business owners, and community members. Briana is a proud graduate of Temple University, where she received her Bachelor of Business Administration.
Jameson graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Public Administration and has worked in various capacities related to policy and advocacy. Jameson worked in the office of Councilmember Steve Hansen on constituent services and policy matters related to transportation and infill development from 2012 to 2016. Jameson joined the Midtown Association in 2016 as our Advocacy Manager. He now serves as a director where he oversees the organization’s advocacy and placemaking team.
Dave Pancoe is currently employed with The Forks Renewal Corporation as Manager, Site Operations, Special Projects. Dave’s connection with downtown started in his youth, as a former mall rat, For better or worse, he no longer has any hair to dye black or spike. Before working at The Forks, Dave owned and operated a canoe outfitting company for 12 years, and guided polar bear tours in Churchill for 9 seasons.
Vanessa Olson is from small-town Ohio, and grew up very focused on one goal: to leave and be a PR person in a big city (or the President). She began her career in management consulting and politics and quickly fulfilled her dream of moving to various cities. Vanessa fully embodies the Austin lifestyle, enjoying sun, friends and food trucks. She is a 500 hr registered yoga teacher and frequently volunteers with Love-A-Bull dog rescue.
Nabavi Oliver leads internal operations for the DowntownDC Business Improvement District, where he serves as the Chief Operating Officer. With expertise in increasing revenue and establishing processes and procedures that create lasting success and sustainability, Nabavi is passionate about helping organizations thrive. Personally, Nabavi is a mentor and advocate for students’ personal and professional development. Nabavi holds a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University and a Juris Doctorate from Barry University School of Law.
Nelson began his career with the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District in 2016 as their Maintenance Supervisor. In 2019, Nelson became the Manager of Operations where he is responsible for supervising, event support, day to day operations involving the Clean Team and Regina Downtown assets. In his spare time, Nelson cheers on the San Diego Padres and travels the world.
Julie Clark McKinney is the Senior Director of Communications for REV Birmingham, a place-based revitalization nonprofit that creates vibrant commercial districts. Julie builds and implements strategies that solve problems, enhance message and further REV’s mission. Julie earned her B.A. in journalism from Auburn University, M.A. in mass communications from the University of Florida and Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) through the Public Relations Society of America. She spent years in newsrooms before shifting to PR.
Cory currently serves in the role of Vice President of Public Space Maintenance overseeing all cleaning and public space enhancements and amenities for the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. In his short tenure with DPOB, he has become a vital part of the robust community impact that exemplifies his organization’s mission. Cory’s passion for details and engagement enables him to lead a large and dynamic team that continues to exceed the expectations of community stakeholders.
Betsy Lundy currently serves as the Executive Director for the Downtown Bangor Partnership. Betsy was born and raised in Maine and spent 11 years career as an educator in a variety of schools in Boston and Los Angeles, eventually co-founding a secondary school in Jamaica Plain, MA. Betsy’s 15 years living in other cities was responsible for helping her realize how unique Bangor is and how to incorporate new ideas for the future.
Jalitha is a passionate people leader focused on creating and maintaining positive relationships. As the Uptown Community Manager, leads by listening and understanding the priorities of small businesses and residents in Uptown Charlotte. She joined Charlotte Center City Partners in 2021 and holds her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Winthrop University. Jalitha’s motto is “It’s always a great day in Uptown”. It transcends in the work she does with Uptown stakeholders and the community.
With an eye for design and a heart for Louisiana culture, Hunter Hebert excels at connecting the dots between strategic development and civic engagement. As director of operations for the DDD, he creates a safe, sanitary and sensational Downtown New Orleans through collaboration with city agencies, police, and public works entities. From day to day, Hunter guides public maintenance and beautification efforts — all while tackling quality of life issues that arise within the district.
Alena Green is the Director of Economic Development at Central Atlanta Progress where she leads engagement with nonprofits, policymakers, and developers to deliver a more vibrant Downtown. Alena has helped seed civic initiatives including HouseATL and Committee for Better Atlanta advocating for a stronger urban core. Prior to CAP, Alena worked for Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta assisting financial institutions with their community reinvestment objectives. Alena is a proud graduate of Rutgers University.
Audrey Gerlach is Vice President aof Economic Development and Chief of Staff at Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Working to accelerate downtown’s economic recovery, Audrey’s goal is not to “get the city back to normal,” but to build on Downtown Cleveland’s foundation to become stronger than before. Having lived in Washington DC, Amsterdam, and Sydney, Audrey is passionate about the role that placemaking, public art, and multimodal accessibility play in promoting economic growth and fostering community wellbeing.
Cathleen Edgerly serves as the ED of Downtown Lansing Inc. in Michigan’s Capital City. Cathleen is known as a community connector and downtown advocate, serving in rural and urban downtowns. She is known for tying together placemaking and economic development. In 2018, under Edgerly’s leadership, Howell was named a Great American Main Street winner and one of the top downtown’s in the U.S. Post-COVID, Cathleen and her team prioritized innovative ways to reimagine Downtown Lansing.
Jack Cullen, 32, is Executive Director of the newly formed Rock Island Downtown Alliance, an affiliate of the Quad Cities Chamber, in Rock Island, Illinois. Jack is working with a diverse group of public and private sector leaders to revitalize their downtown on the banks of the Mississippi River. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, and a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Jack also serves as a board member for three area nonprofit organizations — Common Chord, Mercado on Fifth and River Action.
Constance Cavallas has served the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District since 2018. She works with neighborhood stakeholders to improve public spaces via projects ranging from cleanliness to public art to safety improvements. Before that, Constance served the San Francisco State University community, with a focus on implementing programs and projects that enriched campus experience for all community members. She also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from San Francisco State University.
As the Georgetown BID’s Communications Director since 2016, Lauren develops and implements strategic communications and PR programming to support the marketing of Georgetown and its business community. She’s been published in The Huffington Post and Washingtonian, and her writing has been recognized by Association Media and Publishing, ASBPE, Hermes Creative Awards and the Min Editorial Awards. Lauren graduated from the University of Mary Washington, is trained through Washington Improv Theater, and lives in Arlington, VA.
Sam Black is currently the director of marketing at Downtown Norfolk Council in Norfolk, Virginia with nine years of marketing experience, ten years in the nonprofit world, and a special interest in Google Ads, analytics and social media advertising. When she’s not geeking out over how her digital ads are performing, tracking website analytics, or drafting engaging website content, she is probably scrolling tirelessly through TikTok or wreaking havoc on a tennis court.
Sydney Bethel Price
Sydney works for the Town of Gilbert as a Redevelopment Specialist managing and enhancing on-going efforts with merchants, landowners, residents and developers throughout Gilbert’s downtown Heritage District as well as overseeing daily operations of the area. Prior to working in urban place management, she worked as a city planner. Sydney earned her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in Urban Planning and Interdisciplinary Studies as well as her master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning.
As King of Prussia District’s Director of Marketing & Communications since 2017, Rachel Ammon oversees all marketing initiatives, including events and activations, sponsorships and corporate fundraising, advertising, websites and social media, press, and publications. Recognized for her role in accelerating KOP’s resurgence, Rachel was included on Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list (2020) and Montco.Today’s Montco Millennial Superstar list (2021). Rachel received her BA in Communications from Shippensburg University.
Sharon directs strategic development and implementation of the Partnership’s public events to ensure they contribute to the vitality and positive activation of Downtown Denver. She is responsible for creative program management and development, fundraising, sponsorship development, operations management, and the development of corporate and community relationships. Sharon oversees the production of A Taste of Colorado, Parade of Lights, Skyline Beer Garden, Downtown Skating Rink, Grand Illumination, the Alley Art Program and the New Year’s Eve Fireworks. Sharon’s vision for Downtown Denver is an inclusive city that is full of vibrant public spaces for families and children to enjoy. In July 2014, she was nominated for the Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business Award and in December 2014, she was nominated for the Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award. She currently serves on the Board of the Metro Denver Sports Commission.