Three downtown Farmington business owners were elected Monday to lead the Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board of directors.
The slate of leaders is comprised of faces familiar to the downtown revitalization effort: Melissa Andrade, who steps up from Vice-President to President; Steve Schneemann, former Vice-President who is reassuming the role; and Dan Higgins, returning Secretary.
The trio is expected to continue leading activities that enhance the sense of place in Downtown Farmington and promote its assets and that help to retain existing businesses and attract new opportunities. An active upcoming agenda includes important redevelopment and streetscape projects, reorganization in cooperation with the City of Farmington and the formation of a special committee to explore the feasibility of an ice rink in Riley Park.
Andrade, resident and owner of Silver Tree Yoga, moved up through the ranks from volunteer, to board member, to committee chair to president.
“It’s truly an honor to be named president,” she said. “I’ve served as the volunteer coordinator for the past few years and, through that position, can clearly see the passion and dedication the volunteers, as well as the community, have for the downtown.”
Andrade comes to the position prepared with ideas. “I plan to serve the community by continuing with the economic development already initiated by the past board and city. I’m also looking forward to working more closely with our downtown merchants to understand their needs and challenges, along with their strengths.”
She was quick to point out the forward momentum and period of transformation that the DDA is undergoing at this time. “It’s spring time, a time for new beginnings. With four new board members, several new development projects emerging this spring, and a new city visioning endeavor underway, it’s a great time to be part of the community and assist its growth to a more vibrant downtown,”
Former DDA President and board member Robert Rock praised Andrade’s selection. “Congratulations to Melissa, a smart choice to be next leader of the DDA," he said. "I’ve enjoyed working with her over the years. She has the personality that is needed to work with the merchants, stakeholders and city leaders. She is goal-oriented and reliable. I could always count on Melissa and often asked her opinion or perspective on different projects we were working on.”
Rock’s words of advice were succinct, “Keep listening to our merchants,”
Schneemann, owner of S3 Architecture, echoed Rock’s comments: ”We are very pleased that Melissa Andrade has answered the call to serve her community as the DDA’s new president. Melissa brings a fresh outlook and approach to the position and will help the DDA continue to pursue its core mission and agenda from a new perspective.”
Andrade complimented Schneemann’s invaluable knowledge and expertise, adding, “Working with Steve Schneemann as Vice-President is a boon.”
Higgins, owner of Visibles Marketing, stays on for his third year as Secretary. “I’m very happy to serve again during the exciting time for Downtown Farmington and the City of Farmington," he said.
The year-long leadership positions were effective immediately following the election.
Longtime board member and president of the past three years, Rock has left the board to pursue other interests. Of his departure, Andrade remarked, “I’d like to thank the past president, Bob Rock, for his commitment to the downtown. He helped lay the groundwork for a lot of positive changes Farmington will be seeing this spring.”
Source: Farmington Downtown Development Authority press release