Downtown Bellingham PArtnership

Who We Are

 
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We beliEve in our community, we love our city

The Downtown Bellingham Partnership is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the vibrancy and growth of our downtown.  Everything we do is rooted in the idea that our community — Downtown Bellingham — is a place unlike anywhere else.  We work to enhance, promote, and advocate for a vibrant city center through development, promotion, support, and celebration.

     
     

    Our MISSION:

    We champion the health and vitality of downtown Bellingham through the promotion of commerce, culture, and celebration. 

    Our VISION:

    Bursting with creative vitality and authentic charm, Downtown Bellingham is a thriving, healthy community where people from all walks of life can experience a wealth of opportunities to work, shop, learn, and play.

     
     
    Downtown Bellingham is a city of unique, energetic, compassionate (and renewed) excitement. Our community’s vibrancy sets us apart.
    — Alice Clark, Executive Director
     
    Our Downtown is just that, ours! It truly showcases the whole town of Bellingham and the unique energy that makes it a truly special place.
    — Casey Diggs, Board President
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    Our Team

     

    Some of our community's greatest advocates call the Downtown Bellingham Partnership home.  Get to know both the people behind the organization and why they make our team as vibrant as our city.

     
      Alice Clark   Executive Director  alice@downtownbellingham.com    Downtown is truly the heart of the city to Alice. She is thrilled to support and be a part of and its emerging revitalization.  Excited by the opportunities that city renewal presents, she is committed to ensuring the growth taking place now reflects the values of the community. She believes co-creating a city is not only possible — it's necessary.    Born and raised in St. Louis, Alice moved to Bellingham in 1980. She witnessed a variety of changes in the city, from the building of the Bellis Fair Mall to the closing of the G-P paper mill. Using her degree in Graphic Design from Western Washington University, she helped found the Pickford Film Center. Alice later lead the organization through a $3.25 million campaign and opening of the new PFC on Bay Street in 2012.   Attributed to years of working at the Pickford, as well as her service on a variety of community boards, Alice is familiar with the people, places, potential and concerns of Downtown Bellingham. Since joining DBP's board in 2016, Alice has been busy focusing on the community's desire for an increased focus on economic development and addressing the challenges that impact downtown's health and vitality.   

    Alice Clark
    Executive Director
    alice@downtownbellingham.com

    Downtown is truly the heart of the city to Alice. She is thrilled to support and be a part of and its emerging revitalization.  Excited by the opportunities that city renewal presents, she is committed to ensuring the growth taking place now reflects the values of the community. She believes co-creating a city is not only possible — it's necessary.  

    Born and raised in St. Louis, Alice moved to Bellingham in 1980. She witnessed a variety of changes in the city, from the building of the Bellis Fair Mall to the closing of the G-P paper mill. Using her degree in Graphic Design from Western Washington University, she helped found the Pickford Film Center. Alice later lead the organization through a $3.25 million campaign and opening of the new PFC on Bay Street in 2012. 

    Attributed to years of working at the Pickford, as well as her service on a variety of community boards, Alice is familiar with the people, places, potential and concerns of Downtown Bellingham. Since joining DBP's board in 2016, Alice has been busy focusing on the community's desire for an increased focus on economic development and addressing the challenges that impact downtown's health and vitality.   

      Lindsey Payne Johnstone   Events Director  lindsey@downtownbellingham.com    The year 2008 was big for Lindsey and Downtown Bellingham's story. Not only did she graduate from Western Washington University, having spent her last quarter as an intern for the Partnership, she also started as our Events Director and a bartender at Bayou on Bay.   Lindsey's love for the downtown community and its unique identity fuels her passion for our events, as she believes they help to maintain Bellingham's culture. When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Lindsey responded "engaging our community by throwing huge parties!" When not working, you can find Lindsey spending time with her family and friends celebrating music, wine, and popcorn.

    Lindsey Payne Johnstone
    Events Director
    lindsey@downtownbellingham.com

    The year 2008 was big for Lindsey and Downtown Bellingham's story. Not only did she graduate from Western Washington University, having spent her last quarter as an intern for the Partnership, she also started as our Events Director and a bartender at Bayou on Bay. 

    Lindsey's love for the downtown community and its unique identity fuels her passion for our events, as she believes they help to maintain Bellingham's culture. When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Lindsey responded "engaging our community by throwing huge parties!" When not working, you can find Lindsey spending time with her family and friends celebrating music, wine, and popcorn.

      Mason Luvera   Communications Director  mason@downtownbellingham.com    Mason's philosophy is simple; look from the ground-up, the inside-out and outside-in.  That's why he manages all communications and branding for the Partnership, and serves as a key liaison between the City of Bellingham, Tourism, local businesses and organizations.  IE: he thinks Bellingham is awesome and that more people need to think that too.    Professionally, Mason has worked for communications-centered agencies on both the east and west coasts, and served as a communications director in higher education.  Beyond downtown, Mason sits on the Bellingham International Airport advisory board and is the communications co-chair for the Western Washington University Alumni Board of Directors.  Mason calls Bellingham home, but when he's not in the Northwest, you might find him exploring a rustbelt city, searching for a great article or cooking with friends in his adopted home-city of Philadelphia.

    Mason Luvera
    Communications Director
    mason@downtownbellingham.com

    Mason's philosophy is simple; look from the ground-up, the inside-out and outside-in.  That's why he manages all communications and branding for the Partnership, and serves as a key liaison between the City of Bellingham, Tourism, local businesses and organizations.  IE: he thinks Bellingham is awesome and that more people need to think that too.  

    Professionally, Mason has worked for communications-centered agencies on both the east and west coasts, and served as a communications director in higher education.  Beyond downtown, Mason sits on the Bellingham International Airport advisory board and is the communications co-chair for the Western Washington University Alumni Board of Directors.

    Mason calls Bellingham home, but when he's not in the Northwest, you might find him exploring a rustbelt city, searching for a great article or cooking with friends in his adopted home-city of Philadelphia.

      Marissa McGrath   Operations & Development Director  marissa@downtownbellingham.com    Marissa McGrath moved to Bellingham from the strip-mall-abundant Midwest in 2006. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and stuck with local non-profit work for a few years before moving to Vancouver, BC where she worked in development at the Vancouver Art Gallery. She got to see one of the princes there one time (but not one of the young ones and not Prince, The Artist, or anything) and another time she embarrassed herself in front of Joshua Jackson.  When not hobnobbing with the elite and the handsome, she gained a great deal of knowledge about fundraising and community relations. Soon though, she ached for her new-found home and returned to Bellingham to start a small historical walking tour company, The Good Time Girls, and eventually opened a small shop known as The Bureau.  As our Operations Manager, Marissa provides administrative support for the exciting programs and events that the Downtown Bellingham Partnership brings to her favorite place in the world. It’s the least she can do.

    Marissa McGrath
    Operations & Development Director
    marissa@downtownbellingham.com

    Marissa McGrath moved to Bellingham from the strip-mall-abundant Midwest in 2006. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and stuck with local non-profit work for a few years before moving to Vancouver, BC where she worked in development at the Vancouver Art Gallery. She got to see one of the princes there one time (but not one of the young ones and not Prince, The Artist, or anything) and another time she embarrassed herself in front of Joshua Jackson.

    When not hobnobbing with the elite and the handsome, she gained a great deal of knowledge about fundraising and community relations. Soon though, she ached for her new-found home and returned to Bellingham to start a small historical walking tour company, The Good Time Girls, and eventually opened a small shop known as The Bureau.

    As our Operations Manager, Marissa provides administrative support for the exciting programs and events that the Downtown Bellingham Partnership brings to her favorite place in the world. It’s the least she can do.

      Jennifer Walters   Retail Advocate  jennifer@downtownbellingham.com

    Jennifer Walters
    Retail Advocate
    jennifer@downtownbellingham.com

      Morgan Henry   Events & Programming Coordinator  morgan@downtownbellingham.com    Morgan is a Bellingham native, but moved to Seattle in 2007.  She later followed her wanderlust and headed south in 2014, landing in Oakland, CA for three years.  During her time there, Morgan completed her first triathlon and facilitated many events; ranging from backyard movie theaters to logistics for large community events. In 2015, she felt called back to her roots. Once she returned to Bellingham, Morgan began to bring her experience in event planning, placemaking, and community camaraderie to her hometown.  She went to her first Morning Jam event in August 2015 as a way to get further involved in Downtown Bellingham. She is now the curator for that series and the lead for DBP's Commercial Street Night Market event.  When she's not busy at the DBP, Morgan loves to cook for friends, plan for her next epic day-trip adventure, or watch  Chef's Table  with a bowl of her famous black truffle popcorn.

    Morgan Henry
    Events & Programming Coordinator
    morgan@downtownbellingham.com

    Morgan is a Bellingham native, but moved to Seattle in 2007.  She later followed her wanderlust and headed south in 2014, landing in Oakland, CA for three years.

    During her time there, Morgan completed her first triathlon and facilitated many events; ranging from backyard movie theaters to logistics for large community events. In 2015, she felt called back to her roots. Once she returned to Bellingham, Morgan began to bring her experience in event planning, placemaking, and community camaraderie to her hometown.  She went to her first Morning Jam event in August 2015 as a way to get further involved in Downtown Bellingham. She is now the curator for that series and the lead for DBP's Commercial Street Night Market event.

    When she's not busy at the DBP, Morgan loves to cook for friends, plan for her next epic day-trip adventure, or watch Chef's Table with a bowl of her famous black truffle popcorn.

      Dan Gifford   Landscaping Lead  landscaping@downtownbellingham.com

    Dan Gifford
    Landscaping Lead
    landscaping@downtownbellingham.com

      Yaelle Kimmelman   Outreach Coordinator    yaelle@downtownbellingham.com    Yaelle's professional career started quite young — at age 1 to be exact — when she starred in a Sony Commercial in Taiwan. Since then, she's taken a step back from the camera. Yaelle started for the DBP as a communications intern while finishing her degree in Public Relations at Western Washington University.  After completing her internship, she felt passionate about staying in Downtown Bellingham and looked for opportunities to stay. Following graduation, she was hired to her now-role as our Outreach Coordinator extraordinaire!  Yaelle's passion for Bellingham can be seen through her contagious positivity and love for life. When she isn't typing away at the office or working at Bayou on Bay, you can catch her roaming the streets of Bellingham rocking denim on denim.

    Yaelle Kimmelman
    Outreach Coordinator
    yaelle@downtownbellingham.com

    Yaelle's professional career started quite young — at age 1 to be exact — when she starred in a Sony Commercial in Taiwan. Since then, she's taken a step back from the camera. Yaelle started for the DBP as a communications intern while finishing her degree in Public Relations at Western Washington University.  After completing her internship, she felt passionate about staying in Downtown Bellingham and looked for opportunities to stay. Following graduation, she was hired to her now-role as our Outreach Coordinator extraordinaire!

    Yaelle's passion for Bellingham can be seen through her contagious positivity and love for life. When she isn't typing away at the office or working at Bayou on Bay, you can catch her roaming the streets of Bellingham rocking denim on denim.

    Board of Directors

    Our board consists of representatives from across Bellingham who are dedicated to growing our downtown core.  Get to know them.

    President:
    CASEY DIGGS
    Boundary Bay Brewery

    Casey is the Operations Manager for downtown Bellingham staple, Boundary Bay Brewery, and has been working there for 10 years. Boundary Bay is known for their community outreach and impact, but Casey wanted to get involved more than he already was. So when a Partnership board member who he respects and admires approached him about joining, he immediately jumped at the opportunity. Prior to joining the board, Casey was already involved with the Partnership as a member of our events community, helping to make our major events bigger and better. His favorite part about downtown is its people. Breweries, restaurants, big businesses, mom and pop shops, police and firefighters, nonprofits--he loves people working together to make Bellingham better than it already is.



    Vice President:
    SHULTZIE WILLOWS
    Lydia Place

    Shultzie is the Development and Outreach Director at Lydia Place, Art Curator at Honey Salon and Gallery, Power Yoga Instructor, mom to a 1 and ½ year old little lady named Sloan and a Bellingham community collective advocate. Her background includes small business ownership as the Owner/Manager of The Paperdoll Boutique, a founding member of Project BHAM (a retail and event planning collective) and a career in children’s television where she held roles in research, development and outreach with PBS and RCN Entertainment. She loves all things downtown and is thrilled to be on the Downtown Bellingham Partnership Board.


    Treasurer:
    OLIVIA BURKLAND
    Barron Smith Law

    Olivia is a UW graduate who went on to study law at Quinnipiac University, getting her concentration in tax law. She moved to Bellingham in 2011, and worked at Archer Halliday before opening The Burkland Law Office in 2014. When asked about why she loves downtown so much, Olivia replied "I love downtown Bellingham because it's a miniature version of a much bigger city. You have as equal a chance to bump into an artist or a lawyer in the space of ten feet." Outside of work, Olivia enjoys hanging out with her dog, hiking, and being treasurer for the Whatcom County Bar Association and Whatcom Women Lawyers in addition to DBP.


    Secretary:
    SHERYL RUSSELL
    Downtown Resident

    Sheryl is a downtown resident and co-owner of a small business in Bellingham. She moved into the Morse Square Condominiums on Railroad Avenue in 2007. Sheryl reserved the opportunity to purchase her unit when the project was first announced because she wanted to participate in an urban lifestyle and at the same time, have a smaller environmental footprint. Downtown is her favorite “neighborhood” in the city. She enjoys being part of the diverse group who live, work, learn and play in the urban center. Sheryl is excited to be on the Board and who share a vision of a safe, vibrant and connected urban center. She looks forward to working with the Downtown Bellingham Partnership Board to help make downtown Bellingham the best it can be.


    JENA CURRY
    Daylight Properties

    Jena moved to Bellingham in 1985, and shortly after began working at Bellingham National Bank, located at the corner of Holly and Cornwall. When she moved to Bellingham, downtown was the place to be - you could feel the community presence everywhere. However, once Bellis Fair mall came, downtown saw a decline in business and people. The desire to return downtown to its title of being the top business, residential, and visitor destination is what motivated Jena to join the board. She believes the Partnership, along with downtown merchants and residents, can work together to bring the community back to downtown, and grow downtown to be a top spot in the Pacific Northwest. Jena loves downtown's history, beauty, and diversity in its merchants, and has an insatiable passion to share downtown's greatness with others. 


    HEATHER BAKER
    Pacific Continental Realty

    Heather’s passion for the downtown began with LuLu…wonderful things, a family-run business that called the downtown home for 12 years. In 2016, Heather renewed her passion for the downtown and joined Pacific Continental Realty as a property manager and commercial broker. She now manages several downtown buildings and is dedicated to help fill vacancies and to create a vibrant downtown everyone can enjoy. Heather has always been involved with nonprofits that serve the community, and this heart for service and her community is why she loves working with the Partnership, which she's done since 2012. Her favorite part of downtown is the Depot Market and the vibrancy the farmers market brings to downtown. And her favorite spot to eat? Ciao Thyme!


    MICHELLE BOUMA
    Mi Shoes & Heroine

    Michelle grew up on stage…dancing, singing and acting. She has a deep love for the arts and an even deeper love for her community. She lives, works and plays downtown. Michelle opened Mi Shoes in 2005 and has successfully made it Bellingham’s favorite women’s shoe store. In 2015, Michelle opened up her second boutique, Heroine, a women’s clothing store. When she’s not working hard putting beautiful shoes on the feet of the women of Bellingham or gorgeous clothes on their shoulders, she can be found hiking, biking, running or practicing pilates and yoga. She has a daughter that is quickly turning into a beautiful, young woman and a husband that makes her the happiest woman in the world.


    DEB DEWEES
    WWU Alumni Association

    Deborah came to Western Washington University in 1998 and is currently the Assistant Vice President for Alumni, Annual Giving and Advancement Communications. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Western Alumni Association. Deborah’s career in public higher education includes advancement roles as Assistant Director of Development for University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, and Executive Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of Resource Development for Edmonds Community College. Deborah has a bachelor’s in communications with a minor in business administration from Marywood College in Scranton, PA and also studied at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her designation as a Certified Fundraising Professional in 1990 from the University of Indiana School of Fundraising.


    ANDREW KRZYSIEK
    Zervas Group Architects

    Andrew is passionate about good design, and how the Downtown Bellingham Partnership can be a leader in innovation when it comes to design in our downtown. He joined Zervas Group in 1999, and became a partner in 2010. Andrew’s worked on projects for Habitat for Humanity, Whatcom Children’s Museum, Church of the Assumption, and many others throughout the community. Outside of work and the Partnership, Andrew and his wife Angie stay busy running after their two children and enjoying our city.


    NICOLE STARON
    RMC Architects

    Nicole moved to Bellingham in 2013 after being drawn to the area for it's variety of outdoor activities. Being able to ski, golf, mountain bike or sail - all in the same day - makes the Pacific Northwest an amazing place to live. Since moving to Bellingham, Nicole has been a volunteer for the Northwest American Institute of Architects, Habitat for Humanity, and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership Design Committee. She feels that creating vitality in our community is essential in cultivating a meaningful place for all Bellingham residents to live and work. Nicole is a design professional at RMC Architects, and has enjoyed working on a wide variety of projects from master planning, programming, multifamily housing, to graphic design for marketing. Apart from the office and volunteering, Nicole enjoys getting outdoors and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her husband Patrick.