Resources for Doing Business Downtown

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.

 
 
 
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Table of Contents | Introduction

 
 

Welcome:
Resources for doing business downtown.

The story of Bellingham is one of love for life rooted in community. Since its inception, Downtown Sounds has resonated with this story, bringing people into the heart of the city to celebrate together. No surprise, WECU has supported the event all along. WECU is unmistakably born and raised B’ham — part of the fabric of what makes this the best small city in the world. For the 15th anniversary of Bellingham’s beloved summer music festival, let’s make one thing clear: WECU — like community, music and fun — is here to stay. Bellingham residents know that WECU’s lasting legacy means we can count on them to take care of the details, so we can go on living our best lives in our beautiful surroundings.

Browse the guide by topic:

 
 
 

vibrancy and vitality around every corneR

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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1 | About the DBP

 

Your Primary Resource:

the Downtown Bellingham Partnership

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.

Our Staff:

 
 
About Alice:   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.

About Alice:

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

About Marissa:   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.

About Marissa:

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 | Assistant Director

About Jennifer:   Jennifer is a PNW native, born in Seattle with Bellingham roots dating back to the 1930’s.  She left Bellingham in 93’ to seek new adventures & experiences in some of the most beautiful places west of the Mississippi. A few places she called home over the years…. Jackson Hole, Santa Fe, Bend, Boise, Palm Springs & Austin. She came full circle and moved back to Bellingham in the fall of 2017.  Originally, Jennifer returned to Bellingham with plans to open a botanical boutique in Downtown. But once she discovered the ‘Retail Advocate’ position open at the time, that was it - she knew THAT is what she was meant to do. Jennifer is passionate about economic development for downtown Bellingham while preserving its uniqueness, history and authenticity.  Jennifer’s professional background is jam-packed with all aspects of the retail and wholesale world; décor and design, floral and events, and even private aviation. Fabulous side note: she worked with Harrison Ford, just to name drop one of the many celebrities from her life. She says he was very “SWOON worthy.”  Across all, Jennifer believes in embracing change, constant learning and growth, both as individuals, partnerships, and community.

About Jennifer:

Jennifer is a PNW native, born in Seattle with Bellingham roots dating back to the 1930’s.

She left Bellingham in 93’ to seek new adventures & experiences in some of the most beautiful places west of the Mississippi. A few places she called home over the years…. Jackson Hole, Santa Fe, Bend, Boise, Palm Springs & Austin. She came full circle and moved back to Bellingham in the fall of 2017.

Originally, Jennifer returned to Bellingham with plans to open a botanical boutique in Downtown. But once she discovered the ‘Retail Advocate’ position open at the time, that was it - she knew THAT is what she was meant to do. Jennifer is passionate about economic development for downtown Bellingham while preserving its uniqueness, history and authenticity.

Jennifer’s professional background is jam-packed with all aspects of the retail and wholesale world; décor and design, floral and events, and even private aviation. Fabulous side note: she worked with Harrison Ford, just to name drop one of the many celebrities from her life. She says he was very “SWOON worthy.”

Across all, Jennifer believes in embracing change, constant learning and growth, both as individuals, partnerships, and community.

Jennifer Walters | Retail Advocate

About Lindsey:   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.

About Lindsey:

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

About Mason:   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.

About Mason:

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

About Melissa:   She’s new! Coming soon…

About Melissa:

She’s new! Coming soon…

Melissa Sorinsin | Office Coordinator

 
 
 

What we do

Our day-to-day efforts span a wide range. But we channel our mission and vision in everything we do. Our primary focus areas include:

  • Advocate for Downtown Businesses
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  • Connect People to Downtown Through Promotions & Events
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  • Develop Strategy for a Stronger, Sustainable Downtown (Housing & Economic Development)
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Vibrancy, all year long

EventS & Promo

 
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2 | Downtown Events

 
 

Celebrate The City:
Our Events

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.

 

Scheduled Events:

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3 | Promotions & Marketing

 
 

Make everyone our champion:
Promotions & Markeing

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.

 

Scheduled Events:

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Who, What, Where, When, Why

City Information

 
 
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2 | Get Involved with Downtown

 
 

Welcome:
the story of bellingham

The story of Bellingham is one of love for life rooted in community. Since its inception, Downtown Sounds has resonated with this story, bringing people into the heart of the city to celebrate together. No surprise, WECU has supported the event all along. WECU is unmistakably born and raised B’ham — part of the fabric of what makes this the best small city in the world. For the 15th anniversary of Bellingham’s beloved summer music festival, let’s make one thing clear: WECU — like community, music and fun — is here to stay. Bellingham residents know that WECU’s lasting legacy means we can count on them to take care of the details, so we can go on living our best lives in our beautiful surroundings.

 
 
 

Our Idea?
Crafting the story:

“We got You”

Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s (DBP) primary goal is to make Downtown Sounds a can’t-miss event. With 15 years of experience creating celebrations, our reach is diverse and broad and we sure know how to throw a party. We’re excited to partner with WECU to create an even better experience for concert goers and to tell the story of Bellingham’s values as a community. To do this, DBP will collaborate with WECU’s Marketing Department to craft a story, design co-branding and strategize outreach with participation from Beer Garden sponsor, Haggen Food & Pharmacy. WECU’s staff will be a character in the story: the fun-loving friend that is always looking out for you - making sure your covered so you can focus on having fun. WECU staff will enrich attendee experience, but first DBP & WECU will work together to develop the narrative that will drive engagement.

 
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More than Sponsorship:
Built From the ground up

This partnership will provide WECU with an unprecedented level of inclusion in the 2019 Downtown Sounds season and will facilitate WECU staff to permeate the entire event and engage through authentic interactions by participating in scheduled enrichment activities.

We’re excited to present the following experiential opportunities to connect the WECU brand with the Downtown Sounds crowd in four exciting and compelling ways:

 
 

Marketing & Promotion

 
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Downtown Sounds captivates the community for five weeks each summer. We owe it to strategic, authentic marketing and promotion - and we want this to include WECU. As part of building the promotional plan for Downtown Sounds, we will partner with WECU to develop messaging that promotes the event while highlighting the brand personality of WECU. Click here to learn about Downtown Sounds’ impact and reach.

WECU will have input on and be part of the following:

 

Print materials & physical promotions

From our poster to handbills, flyers to a banner across Holly St, WECU will be prominently featured as our premier sponsor.

Press & Media

Downtown Sounds is a sought-after event and receives strong local press coverage annually. We will include the story behind WECU’s sponsorship in our efforts to cultivate this, ensuring WECU’s brand values are tied into the story of the event.

Advertisements

WECU will be featured as a premier sponsor in our advertising - radio, print & social media - ensuring a high level of visibility.

Social Media

We will develop a co-marketing strategy to seamlessly blend WECU into the Downtown Bellingham’s social brand. Our Communications Director will work with WECU’s marketing team to expand the institution’s social media reach and create marketing strategies that includes rich photography and engaging video.

 

On-the-Ground Visibility

 
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As the event’s Premiere Sponsor, WECU will enjoy an unrivaled branding experience on-site at all five Downtown Sounds concerts. As with all preceding benefits, WECU’s marketing team will have input in the design and execution of on-site branding from the beginning.

 

Event Signage

Banners framing the stage and hanging in the family alley will imprint the WECU brand with attendee’s joyous experience of the event.

Prominent Brand visibility

Concert goers can physically engage with the WECU brand through sun gear and party supplies provided by the institution and distributed by everyone’s new favorite party people: the WECU staff.

 

Authentic Engagement

 
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Now for the fun part: opportunities for attendees to interact with WECU staff and brand live. This is where the story of WECU connects directly with people on the ground.

 

Hydration Station & Brand Experience hub

Dancing on a warm summer day leaves concert goers searching for an oasis. Free WECU branded sun gear and bottled water is a great way to make new friends at Downtown Sounds. WECU is encouraged to get creative and go BIG to curate a space with high visibility to draw people in and engage directly with WECU’s staff and new brand.

PHoto Booth

DBP will contract with a popular third party vendor to provide a photo booth for attendees who will receive digital photos perfect for social sharing and designed to highlight Downtown Sounds and WECU’s combined brand.

Emcee & Intermission

For WECU’s best public speakers and entertainers, we’d like to offer a unique chance to rock the mic at Downtown Sounds. DBP staff will work with branches to identify a couple of WECU’s brightest stars to emcee all of Downtown Sounds. DBP & WECU can collaborate to develop scripts, introducing bands and intermission acts, warming up the crowd and making announcements about all of the great ways for people to have fun. With intermission acts that encourage crowd participation, WECU staff can own the dance floor and use this time to give out prizes. Did someone say t-shirt cannon?

 

Next Steps
“We Got YoU”

We at DBP are confident that this proposal will provide WECU with the means to authentically engage with concert goers in various ways that will reinforce the institutions’s place in the hearts and minds of Bellingham residents. With opportunities to craft a story inline with the festival’s existing goodwill, and the freedom to find creative ways to develop WECU staff as characters in the story of Bellingham’s incredible and unique community, we can’t imagine a better fit than Downtown Sounds + WECU. Because of WECU’s commitment to making Bellingham’s dreams come true, residents can feel free to celebrate life in our beautiful city knowing that WECU is there.

 
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