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New officers elected by DABA
ARLINGTON — New officers were elected Dec. 3 by the Downtown Arlington Business Association, with two officers returning for a second term, and new folks stepping in as president and vice president.
The two newcomers this year include, Scott Derr who was elected president and Taunya Sanchez is vice president. Continuing into her second year, Julie Tate will remain on as treasurer, and the veteran of the group, Marilyn Bullock will partner with Marian Ferguson as secretary.
Derr owns and operates the garden store, Instant Colour, at the south end of downtown Arlington. Sanchez launched a home-business, Amazing Gift Baskets, two years ago, and is shopping around for an outlet in town.
An accountant at Unique Interiors, Bullock has been taking notes at the meetings for several years and she sees the past year as being very productive.
“We managed to get a Lodging Tax Grant from the city that paid for advertising of our events across the state,” Bullock said.
“And we now have How-To notebooks for every event to make it easy for new volunteers to step in and help without reinventing the whole thing.”
Retiring are president Jeanne Watanabe and vice president Norma Jean Syrie, who helped formalize the organization as a subsidiary of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce. Syrie continues her service as a director of the chamber.
“We are pleased that we were able to establish a structure and processes that will make it easier for the incoming team,” Watanabe said.
“Downtown Arlington has a wonderful group of business people and it’s been a rich experience working with them.”
Watanabe said she is confident the new group of officers will bring a fresh and enthusiastic perspective to downtown.
“I am grateful they stepped up,” she added.
A real estate sales person, Watanabe was one of the first downtown business people to be impacted by the crashed economy. She closed her 360 Home office last summer and is now planning to open a consignment clothing store, a perfect solution for the recession-based economy.
The new president and vice president both joined DABA during the past year — Derr joined last spring and Sanchez joined about a month ago.
They both joined because they believe it’s important to be involved in the community where they are doing business.
Derr said, he thought it would be a good challenge and a chance to learn how the city works.
“I thought it would be a good chance to try and see if I can make a difference,” Derr said, adding he plans to do whatever he can to improve on the organization’s events. He wants to recruit more business owners to get involved, and he hopes to nurture more interaction among businesses through networking opportunities.
Sanchez has been doing her business Amazing Gift Baskets, selling them across the country on the Web and using a combination of local products and products she orders from afar. She hopes to expand her business to provide part-time employment for single moms and is excited about this opportunity to help build the community.
“I wanted to get involved in encouraging people to come downtown,” she said. “I’d like to spend time to try and improve communications among the community.”
The owner of Julies Barber & Salon, treasurer Tate is committed to the goals of DABA.
“I just hope we can continue bringing people into town,” Tate said.
DABA is the primary organizer of most downtown events, including the May and October Hunts, the Arlington Street Fair, Hometown Halloween, and they partner with the city of Arlington in presenting the new Community Days in September, the Santa Parade and Hometown Holidays.
DABA is seeking a volunteer to represent them in assisting the city in presenting the second annual Arlington Eagle Festival on Feb. 7, 2009.
“We need new volunteers to help those that have worked hard in the past to promote our town,” Bullock said.
“It is up to each business to decide what they can contribute to benefit Downtown Arlington as a whole,” she said. “Together we can all be successful.”