The Red Bird Downtown Sylvania Association announced the hiring of Katie Cappellini as its executive director at the association’s February membership meeting on Feb. 8. “Katie has a great connection to the city and a passion for our downtown,” said Dani Fuller, president of the DSA board of directors.
Although the executive director position is new, it has been a goal of the association since its founding. “In order for this organization to continue to grow, we needed a strong leader at the helm. The next step was to hire an executive director and we felt that Katie was that leader,” Fuller explained.
Responsibilities of the full-time position include: increasing the association’s membership; encouraging participation in the association’s four committees; developing funding sources for the expansion of DSA through grants and fundraising events; coordinating quarterly membership meetings; coordinating the activity of the Main Street program committees; communicate with membership and the community through the development of a quarterly newsletter; foster improved relationships with community partners; and oversee events and programs.
“One of the first pieces of the job is getting to know all of the businesses and property owners in the district and finding out how DSA can help them,” said Cappellini. “I want to establish networking events so that everyone in the district can get together and support each other. We are all working toward the same goals.”
Strengthening the DSA’s four volunteer committees is a top priority for Cappellini. “I will be working to strengthen and recruit members. Each committee will have specific goals to work toward, and I will be there to guide them,” she added.
The four DSA committees include Organization, which raises money for projects through donations and sponsorships, recruits volunteers and manages finances; Promotion of the association under the Red Bird brand; Design, which focuses on the appearance and feel of the district; and Economic Restructuring, which works to fill the district with a diverse group of businesses.
“As a city council member and a member of the committee that put DSA together in 2011, I’ve always seen the need for an executive director,” said Cappellini. “I live here. I have so many community connections, and I feel like I know most of the people on Main Street already. I feel like this is the job I should be doing.”