DSI Seeks Program & Event Manager

JOB TITLE: PROGRAM & EVENTS MANAGER
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Applications close: April 6, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
Responsible to: Executive Director
Status: Full Time (40 hours per week)
Hours: Regular full-time, with occasional evenings and weekends
Benefits: Package to be negotiated
Compensation: $35,000 – 45,000, depending on experience

ABOUT DOWNTOWN SPRINGFIELD INC
Downtown Springfield, Inc. (“DSI”) is a 501(c)6 business association and Main Street organization working to increase economic and cultural vitality in historic downtown Springfield. DSI is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. Our current issue areas are Vitality, Vacancies, Volume and Vision.

SUMMARY OF POSITION
The Program and Events Manager develops and implements fundable programs and events that increase foot traffic in the downtown district. S/he should bring a strong existing network of relationships to DSI and be fearless in seeking partnerships and support for revitalization efforts. The Manager is a leadership position that requires savvy and creativity to work with our many stakeholders and help increase our district’s brand recognition as a cutting edge, entrepreneurial, fun and fabulous, growing district.

DESIRED CHARACTERISTICS
• Experience in the non-profit sector
• Track record of developing and building financial and moral support for new programs
• Experience in event management
• Understanding of neighborhood business districts
• Skilled in public speaking, community outreach and effective networking
• Entrepreneurial spirit and love for urban revitalization

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES
• Program and Service Delivery — Designs, markets, promotes, and delivers high quality programs that help to revitalize downtown. Finds and secures funding for programs.
• Council Guidance & Support — Provides staff support to various committees assisting with program delivery.
• Event Management — Effectively produces DSI events and activities utilizing our volunteer network.
• Community and Public Relations — Works alongside Executive Director to effectively communicate on behalf of the organization and the downtown district.
• Other Duties as Assigned — Other specific administrative and promotion-related duties as defined by the Executive Director.

QUALIFICATIONS
• Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
• Experience in non-profit or government sector
• Technology savvy
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a variety of constituents and personality types

PREFERRED
• Experience in community development organization, chamber or retailers organization
• Previous events management experience
• Previous membership organization experience

CANDIDATE SUBMISSION PROCESS
Prior to April 6, 2018 at 5:00 p.m., qualified and interested candidates are invited to mail or email your resume and a cover letter addressing why this position aligns with your experiences, skills, professional goals and personal passions, with “Program and Event Manager Search” as the Subject, to: Lisa Clemmons Stott, Executive Director, Downtown Springfield, Inc., 3 W Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 15, Springfield, IL 62701 or lisa@downtownspringfield.org. Our timetable is to have the selected candidate start on May 1.

Some Shops with V-Day On Their Minds

2018 Vintage Love Tour at 9 Locations
Self-guided tour of girlfriends and glorious finds on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 10 am – 4 pm

Studio on Sixth at 215 S Sixth
The first 35 customers get an adorable metal heart magnet for free on Saturday, February 10.

Yoga7even at 605 E Washington
February We❤U Sale – Enjoy 1 week unlimited Yoga $15 for the month of February!

Incredibly Delicious at 925 S 7th
February 13 Mardi Gras menu, King Cake, and Lemon Shake Up Cake
February 13 Attending Secret Recipes’ tasting event at the Governors Ballroom at the State House Inn with cake samples
February 14 “Love in Paris” Lunch giveaway for 2 plus brunch items with a featured menu with special valentine desserts
February 17-18th Paired desserts with Danenberger Family Vineyards for National Wine Day

Springfield Clock Shop at 629 E Washington
These beautiful clocks are on sale

The Land of Lincoln Barbershop Chorus headquartered in the Hoogland
The Chorus is once again offering their singing valentines! Order a singing valentine or get more information

Recycled Records at 625 E Adams
The entire month of February is their 38th annual Record Riot. Everything in the store is on sale up to 50% off. $2.00 LP’s are $1.00, used CD’s and DVD’s are buy two get one free, video games and systems, stereo equipment, beer signs, antiques, jewelry ALL on sale

Willow & Birch Salon at 521 E Washington
Check out their Who Do You Love? Facebook Contest, where you can tag those you love to be entered to win in weekly giveaways happening every Friday and then be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to our boutique on Valentine’s Day.

You can also stop by and kiss a card to be entered to win a gift set of their fave lip products! Simply stop in, try on a lip, and then give your best smooch (to paper) to be entered to win.

Itty Bitty Fashion Trunk at 403 E Adams
Grab your best gals and head down to the shop on Feb. 10 from 10a-5p, as they celebrate Galentines Day! Enjoy 10% off the entire store, refreshments and enter to win a $50 IBFT gift card.

VELE at 524 E Monroe
February 14 – A Night Under the Nordic Lights delectable 7-course Nordic-inspired tasting menu complete with complimentary sparkling wine and a little gift to take home. Seating at 5:45pm or 8:00pm. $85 per person (gratuity not included). Reservations

Restaurant Installs Technology to Help Visually Impaired

Maldaner’s Restaurant is the first downtown business — but likely not the last — to install technology to help visually impaired individuals access the business, thanks to a partnership with Sensible Innovations, also a DSI member and an Innovate Springfield member. Sensible Innovations is a Springfield-based technology company whose Aware audible way-finding app for visually impaired people was recently named Consumer Electronics Show 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree.

Aware works with iBeacons, to provide indoors and outdoors turn-by-turn navigational directions, and location descriptions, designed with a focus on visually impaired people, and plays in real time where and when it matters.

“Our visually impaired customers can now order from the menu, without asking a sighted person for help, because it is listed in the app. They can also easily navigate the restaurant without assistance allowing them the independence they deserve,’ said Chef Higgins. “For us, installing the iBeacons was a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want to make your business accessible for all?”

To download the app, search “Aware Wayfinding Sensible Innovations” in your app store.

As Chef Higgins is the first proprietor in downtown Springfield to install the technology required for Aware, Sensible Innovations founder and CEO Rasha Said is championing Chef Higgins’ commitment to his patrons.

“Michael and I collaborated on this project to encourage other local businesses, especially those downtown, to install the iBeacon technology to allow people who are visually impaired the same opportunities, when dining, as those who are sighted,” said Rasha.

Sensible Innovations is a member of Innovate Springfield, a social innovation and business incubator situated in downtown Springfield. Katie Davison, the organization’s executive director said, “We think this is only the beginning for the Aware app to penetrate the Springfield market. The opportunities for the app to provide way-finding assistance to the Springfield community are endless.”

Aware is making a positive impact on the lives of visually impaired people across the city and further afield.

Downtown Springfield, Inc. executive director Lisa Clemmons Stott said she was extremely excited about the launch of Aware at Maldaner’s, which is a member of DSI, “As the ‘front door’ of Springfield, downtown businesses welcome people from around the world. Chef Higgins is leading the way to even more inclusivity by utilizing this technology. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if downtown Springfield was the first neighborhood in the nation to support visually-impaired individuals in this way?”

Rasha and her team have placed iBeacons at Glenwood High School in Chatham and Mary Bryant Home for the Blind in Springfield, the Rosa Parks Hempstead Transit Center in New York and at The Chicago Lighthouse.

Aware has a US utility patent and was coded by Springfield-based Levi, Ray & Shoup Web Solutions.

For more information visit sensible-innovations.com.

2017 Best of Downtown Awards

On January 25, DSI celebrated its 25th anniversary as a business organization representing the interests and vision of a strong downtown neighborhood. That included 18 years of annual awards celebrating the most buzzworthy people and places of the year.

The 25th Annual Dinner was supported by premier sponsors Hanson Professional Services and President Abraham Lincoln Hotel a Doubletree by Hilton. It was the first time in DSI’s history that the dinner was held at the BOS Center. More than 550 guests were in attendance.

Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures from the evening>

Thanks to WSEC Public Television for taping the evening for broadcast:

Congrats to all of our 2017 recipients! 

2017 Best Signage
Tacology 101

2017 Impactful Public/Private Partnership
Artistic Parklet at 6th and Washington: Urban Sassafras and Capitol Area Realtors

2017 Best Event
The Parent Place’s Halloween Parade

2017 Best Retail
Springfield Vintage

2017 Best Restaurant
Long Nine Junction

2017 Best Nightlife
The Legacy Theater

2017 Best Creative Promotion
Willow & Birch’s Social Media Campaign “Countdown to Downtown”

2017 Innovative Business Concept
Hair of the Dog Bar/Bershop

2017 Best Not-for-Profit Initiative
District 186 Public School Foundation Bookfair Pop-up

Best Renovation
Loukinens’ on 4th

Best Holiday Window Display
Wild Rose

Green Leadership
Chris Nickell & Partners/Rooftop Solar Installations

Downtown Advocate
Erin Svendsen

DSI Volunteer of the Year
Dana Saal

Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement
The Late Al Eck, Jr.

Guests were treated to aerial performances by Divas in the Air, and national recording act Fleekbass serving as the evening’s house band. Mayor Jim Langfelder gave the annual State of the Downtown address, focusing many of his remarks on his plans for the Y Block, including green space, areas for interactive experiences, and potentially – hopefully – a downtown higher education/innovation hub.

DSI Outgoing President Tony Comerio of Hanson Information Services passed the gavel to 2018 President Kevin Kuhn of Kuhn & Trello Consulting. The new 2018 Board of Directors was formally recognized for the first time.

For the 2017 awards, the public made nominations for every category except DSI Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement, which were selected by DSI Leadership. The nominations were all vetted by a DSI committee consisting of current members and Past Presidents of the organization.

 

DSI Seeks Marketing Support

Downtown Springfield, Inc. (DSI) has initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to identify a vendor, agency, consortium or contract employee (Agent) who is/are qualified to provide day-to-day marketing services showcasing Downtown Springfield as a growing, vibrant neighborhood & business district.
The duties require an Agent who has demonstrated experience in multimedia content creation and distribution. Agent will work closely with the DSI Executive Director and Promotions Committee to plan and execute marketing activities for the association.

Download the Request for Proposals for Marketing Services 2018

Timeline
Request for Proposal Released – January 11, 2018
Questions Due – January 29, 2018
Proposals Due – Friday, February 2, 2018 by 5 pm
Interview Period – February 7-9, 2018
Planned Contract Award Date – February 12, 2018

Nominees for Downtown’s Best of 2017

Ace Sign and SAA shared an award for the Art Benches project for 2016. Who will win for 2017?

On January 25, Downtown Springfield Inc. will hold its 25th Annual Dinner–including awards recognizing the most buzzworthy people and places in downtown over the past year.

After a public nomination period which ended in November, the Awards Committee is thrilled to announce the 2017 nominees in each of the following categories. Award Committee Chair Jane Mosey-Nicoletta is a Past President and past Volunteer of the Year winner at DSI. “Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the nominees this year — we have a great mix of new and old favorites who people really root for,” said Mosey-Nicoletta.

The 2017 winners, along with Green Leadership Award winner, Downtown Advocate, DSI Volunteer of the Year and Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award, will be announced during the Dinner.

This is DSI’s biggest fundraiser and party of the year to support our work to increase Volume (ie foot traffic), fill Vacancies, increase Vitality and create a shared Vision for downtown’s future. Get your tickets before the early bird deadline of January 16 to support our work in 2018 and to celebrate a year of growth and change in Springfield’s downtown district in 2017>

Look back at DSI Award History 2008-2016

Best Signage
The Roost
Springfield Vintage
Tacology 101

Impactful Public/Private Partnership
Sangamon CEO Program
SAA’s Paint the Street
Urban Sassafras Parklet with IL Realtors/CAR & City of Springfield

Best Downtown Event
DSI’s Friends of the Market Street Dinner
Fat Ass 5K
The Parent Place’s Halloween Parade

Best Retail
The Roost
Springfield Vintage
Urban Sassafras

Best Restaurant
Long Nine Junction
Maldaner’s
Tacology 101

Best Nightlife
Floyd’s Thirst Parlor
The Legacy Theater
Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery

Innovative Business Concept
Hair of the Dog Bar/bershop
Urban Sassafras Take & Make Kits

People’s Choice Holiday Walks Window
Augie’s Front Burner
Murphy’s Loft
Wild Rose

Best Advocate
Brent Boesdorfer
Linda Renehan
Erin Svendsen

Best Renovation
Loukinen’s on Fourth
St. George Building

Best NFP Initiative
100+ Who Care
186 Foundation Pop-Up Bookstore
Central Baptist Feast of Plenty Thanksgiving Meal

Best Creative Promotion
Incredibly Delicious‘ Social Media Cake Campaigns
Urban Sassafras Girls’ Night Out
Willow & Birch‘s Countdown to Downtown

Spotlight: Youngest Holiday Pop-Up Proprietor

As part of its focus on economic vitality, DSI facilitated a number of pop-up stores for the Holiday Walks again this year, to launch new entrepreneurs and highlight great downtown first-floor commercial spaces that deserve a permanent tenant. The pop-ups are possible because of generous property owners who worked with DSI to provide no-cost, low-cost or utilities-only leases for the five weeks of the Walks.

Read more about the other six downtown Holiday Walk pop-ups>

Proprietor Aaliyah Kissick meets the Lincolns during Small Business Saturday. Her pop up is open thru the Walks.

The youngest “proprietor” of our 2017 pop-up program is a 17-year-old senior at Athens High School, who is building on the legacy of the Myers Brothers Department Store at Washington & Fifth by trying out a brick-and-mortar experience in the former Mens Department.

Aaliyah Kissick started AK Boutique, an online retail outlet featuring modern, trendy clothes in June 2017 with support from friends and family. “The Boutique combines two of my great loves: deals and fashion,” says the former Miss Jr.  Teen Illinois and in-demand model (including at the Dare to be Different Fashion Show in August which highlighted twelve downtown stores with women’s clothing). “My motto is ‘We take the work out of thrifting for you’ so you don’t have to be overwhelmed or worried you won’t find something perfect for you,” she says. The clothes she hand-picks for sale are all popular within the last three years, with most items under $15.

Aaliyah has been drawn to the retail world as early as she can remember. She says that since she was about three feet tall, she always made a beeline toward the clearance sections of clothing stores with the natural inclination to organize the jungle of disorganized, packed racks.

After a brief stint working at a local clothing store, she knew she could put her own personal stamp and style on a retail venture. Her emphasis is on making every “body” look beautiful and taking the guesswork out of thrifting for her customers.

Her personal goal with AK Boutique has been to save as much as she can to attend college for a business degree. The opportunity to branch out as a brick-and-mortar for the holidays was an opportunity she just couldn’t pass up, both for the experience and the potential to increase her sales.

AK Boutique offers:
-Sizes XXS to 5X
-Long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, sweaters, jackets, coats, holiday dresses, casual dresses, jeans, dress pants, leggings, skirts, shoes, and purses
-Friendly, helpful staff

Her goal after college? To open a permanent retail boutique in Springfield, of course!

Fashion Show on December 9

On Saturday, December 9, AK Boutique will be hosting a fashion show at 2 pm in the pop-up located at 101 S 5th Street (Washington Street Entrance) and everyone is encouraged to come and check out the available clothing and styled looks. “The models will be local girls with natural beauty to celebrate body positivity,” says Aaliyah.

About the Space

This is the second year that the Myers Brothers Building has hosted a pop-up in the first floor space. It has a beautiful interior and a great history. After decades as one of the city’s top shopping destinations, Myers Brothers Department Store sold out to Bergner’s in 1979, which operated in that location until it moved out to the mall in 1986. AG Edwards had their offices there from 1987-97, and then the non-profit Illinois Assistive Technology Program moved to Spring Street in 2015. To inquire about leasing the space, contact Myers Commercial Realty.

 

Buy Your Tickets to Celebrate 25 Years of DSI

The 25th anniversary of the founding of Downtown Springfield Inc. by business and city leaders is nearly here! Join us (fittingly) on January 25, 2018 for DSI’s Annual Dinner, an evening that will entertain and dazzle, honoring our growing neighborhood and the people who make it special.

Support DSI’s work by purchasing a table or individual tickets now>

This is the biggest fundraiser that DSI holds every year to fund our work. DSI is a 501(c)6 business association that is funded primarily by business memberships, fundraiser and event sponsorships. As a Main Street organization, we undertake a plethora of activities to increase the economic and cultural vitality of downtown Springfield. Our 2017 work led by paid staff, a volunteer board of directors and hundreds of community volunteers, included working on business attraction and small business issues, advocating for more residential units, and promoting this neighborhood as a destination for dining, shopping and socializing. We are also well-known for our 2017 events including the Art Alley Pop-Up, Old Capitol Farmers Market, Amaranth Apple Festival, Friends of the Market Street Dinner, First Fridays and other business promotions and Old Capitol Holiday Walks that bring thousands to the downtown district every year.

Our generous sponsors of the 25th anniversary Annual Dinner are pulling out all of the stops to celebrate the quarter-century mark in style and set the stage for the coming days of vision, vitality, volume and decreasing vacancies.

Read who this year’s nominees are>

Add the date to your calendar>

Trust us when we say, people will be talking about this event in the weeks following — and you won’t want to miss it!

Premier Sponsor
President Abraham Lincoln Springfield, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Hanson Professional Services

VIP Pre-Party Sponsor
AT&T

Co-Host
Watts Copy Systems

Anniversary Video Sponsor
Illinois Realtors

Supporters
Alaina Beaird Graphic Design
Anvil & Forge Brewing and Distilling
Buzz Bomb Brewing Co.
DaveHeinzel.com
Frye Williamson Press
Network Knowledge
Spinner Plastics
131 Photography
Wm Van’s Coffee House

 

Help Save the Historic Tax Credit

The federal historic tax credit to revitalize historic buildings was eliminated in the House Tax Reform bill released yesterday by the House Ways and Means Committee.

We know that the Historic Tax Credit has a proven track record of creating jobs, spurring private investment, and generating fiscal revenue. While the Tax Reform bill is intended to stimulate economic growth, elimination of the federal historic tax credits undermines the revitalization of older and historic town centers like Springfield’s.

Congress will begin debate on this bill next week with a vote expected by mid-November.

Join us as a citizen who supports downtown revitalization by ACTING NOW to communicate the value of the Historic Tax Credit to your Representatives and Senators in Congress:

Find out who represents you in Congress>
Call during office hours. Ask to speak to tax staff or ask for a tax staffers’ email address.

A suggested outline of your email message or phone call:

Introduce yourself as a constituent.

Say “I heard the historic tax credit is eliminated in the House version of the tax reform bill. I am extremely concerned that this important community redevelopment incentive will no longer be available to revitalize Springfield’s central historic district. Our National Register District in downtown Springfield was just expanded a few years ago specifically so that additional buildings could use the federal credit and be rehabilitated.”

You can add how the federal historic tax credit has been influential in revitalizing downtown Springfield:

  • The St. George Building Apartments, which were filled in a few months, at the corner of 3rd and Monroe, used federal historic tax credits to finance it.
  • Neither the Booth Building or the Ferguson Building would be moving forward as projects without the historic tax credit. (Vele Restaurant is opening next week in the Ferguson.)
  • The Chamber’s project to rehabilitate the former First United Methodist Church at Capitol and 5th wouldn’t be moving toward construction without the historic tax credit.

There have been multiple rehab projects in the downtown that have utilized the credit in the last 10 years:

  • the KingTech headquarters in the Buck Building on the north side of the square;
  • the Fisher Latham Block across from the Presidential Library on 6th housing Abe’s Old Hat and Wild Rose on the first floors (done by Carolyn Oxtoby and Dick Morse);
  • the Jennings Ford Dealership rehabbed by INB at 4th and Jackson, and
  • the Windsor Hotel rehabbed by Development Services Corporation into beautiful office space at 4th and Adams (with a portion opening as Itty Bitty Fashion Trunk in late November).

These are just a few examples of the power of the federal historic tax credit. Thanks for your advocacy!

What the Comp Plan Says About Downtown

Rather than attempting to stamp suburbia on our historic downtown as previous comprehensive plans did, “Forging a New Legacy,” Springfield’s new comprehensive plan, allows the community to recognize the uniqueness of each area and the opportunities (and challenges) that go with that uniqueness.

Can Springfield forge ahead with vision as the title of the newest comprehensive plan supposes? Only time will tell.

The plan, now available for public review, makes long-overdue and much-needed updates to the most recent version from 2000.

Although this new plan includes major transportation arterials that were described in previous versions (a strong nod toward outward growth), it does attempt to help steer our focus and attention back toward the center.

“Forging a New Legacy” highlights an increasingly relevant issue: rate of growth. The plan projects that Springfield will grow at around 10 percent over 20 years, or one-half of one percent per year. This conservative (and likely realistic) view on the rate of growth is important because it draws our attention back to preserving what the plan refers to as “legacy neighborhoods.”

By preserving legacy neighborhoods, the costs to city government do not rise as sharply over time (increased roadway maintenance, fire protection coverage, sewerage, etc.). The call for neighborhood master plans, including (and especially) in the central business district, is an opportunity for Springfield to address smaller details that are not necessarily at issue in other parts of the city.

In a similar vein, the comprehensive plan also includes direction for what it calls “special areas,” as well as proposed “opportunities.” These special areas should demand a greater focus, and the authors recognize that additional details must be worked out in accordance with some general principles set forth in the overall plan.

Also of interest to fans of downtown — the plan makes the assumption that railroad relocation will occur and that Third Street will ultimately be transformed into a greenway.

The public is welcome to comment on the plan until Thursday, November 16. Then it goes to the city council for formal adoption. You can access the plan (and other relevant documents) at www.springfield.il.us/Businesses/2037CompPlan.aspx.

This post was written by Steven Simpson Black, who runs his own small business while earning a planning degree from UIS.

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