Sunday, April 29, 2007

Moving Forward

Downtown Augusta Alliance announced formation and charter board of directors in a meeting of downtown stakeholders on Thursday, April 26, 2007. Downtown Augusta Alliance d(a)² voted in the charter Board of Directors for 2007. d(a)² joins together downtown merchants, business and property owners and residents to create a common voice for the progress and promotion of downtown Augusta.

Davenport Bruker (Sanford Bruker & Banks) captured the feeling of those present when he stated: "We sorely need a grass roots organization that is an advocate for downtown; and I believe we have been presented with a great opportunity to help Augusta live up to its potential."

The eleven members of the 2007 Board of Directors are: Chris Allewelt, New Moon Café; Davenport Bruker, Sanford, Bruker & Banks Insurance; Emily Carder, Carder Consulting; Jeremy Carr, The Well; Matt Flynn, Blue Sky / Nacho Mamas / Stillwater; Trey Kennedy, Georgia Bank and Trust; Travis Petrea , Metro A Coffee House; Lara Plocha, Blue Magnolia; Robert Steudle, Elduets Treasures of the World; Kristin Varn, Art on Broad; and Jai West, White Elephant.

A dedicated group of downtown merchants and business owners have worked diligently for months to create the Alliance, involve the downtown district and formalize into a not-for-profit corporation, focusing on the simple mantra "making downtown a wonderful place to live, work and play."

"As someone who works and lives in Downtown Augusta, it's very exciting to see those with a vested interest in the welfare of the area coming together to help shape, develop and promote Downtown," said Emily Carder. Travis Petrea of the Metro Coffee House agreed, "It’s exciting to witness. A progressive thinking group of people is long over due in downtown Augusta." d(a)² is the new voice of the downtown business and residential community, committed to making downtown the heart of the Augusta community.

Furthering the progress and vibrancy of downtown Augusta, the Alliance will build effective partnerships among stakeholders, residents, and current downtown organizations. d(a)² will bring fresh ideas to revitalize the economic vitality of downtown, helping to create a vibrant downtown. d(a)² will work toward cleaning up the downtown area, making it pedestrian friendly, improve signage, rehabilitate deteriorating buildings and make downtown the heart of Augusta. Jeremy Carr, pastor of The Well, explained his desire to be involved in the Alliance: "Far too many times there is a disconnect between the faith community and the downtown scene. The WELL hopes to bridge that gap by being involved with the development of the city's events. Being on the board provides a great context to build relationships with other leaders in the community and work in conjunction with one another for the benefit of downtown."

The mission of d(a)² is to promote the health, vitality and progress of Downtown Augusta by making downtown a wonderful place to live, work and play while creating a vibrant multi-use neighborhood where businesses and the residential community can flourish through cooperative efforts of commercial, professional and residential interests. The boundaries for the d(a)² are downtown Augusta from 5th Street to 15th Street and from the north side of Reynolds Street to the south side of Greene Street.

Want to know how you can be a part of this exciting new organization? Talk to one of the 36 Charter Members or call one of the Charter Board members to find out how you can get involved!