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Leadership

Dewitt Peart

President and CEO

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Molly Alexander

Executive Director, Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation

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Melissa Barry, AICP

Vice President, Planning

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Bill Brice

Vice President, Investor Relations

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Casey Johnson Burack

General Counsel & Vice President, Government Relations

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Samia Burns

Controller

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Julie Fitch

Chief Operating Officer

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Lisa Kay Pfannenstiel

Executive Director, Movability

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Michele Van Hyfte, AIA, LEED AP

Vice President, Urban Design

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Staff

Jennifer Cote

Communication Coordinator

Jennifer brings the Downtown Alliance’s initiatives and projects to the forefront by supporting communication efforts through digital platforms.

Jennifer coordinates digital communication, including developing, editing and scheduling content for social media and email marketing for the Downtown Austin Alliance and Republic Square. She has a bachelor’s degree in communication from St. Edward’s University with a background in social media management and graphic design.

Dana Hansen

Communication Manager

Dana tells the story of downtown and the work of the Downtown Alliance through our online communication platforms.

Dana manages the communication efforts of the Downtown Alliance and Republic Square. Prior to joining the Downtown Alliance team in April 2016, she worked for nearly 10 years in nonprofit fundraising and communications in support of causes from youth homelessness to animal welfare. She has a master's in journalism from Boston University.

Irene Kirschenbaum

Administrative Assistant/Receptionist

Irene supports the daily business and office operations of the Downtown Austin Alliance, and assists with meeting/project coordination.

Prior to joining the Downtown Austin Alliance, Irene was a Montessori early childhood educator for seven years. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English - with a Creative Writing focus - from The Ohio State University. Originally from Cleveland OH, Irene moved to Austin in 2013 from Boulder CO.

Alex Martin

Executive Assistant

Alex supports the day-to-day operations for our executive team managing meetings, calendars, and correspondence.

Alex joined the Army National Guard after high school. She worked in Intelligence for 3 years before finishing her commitment and attending college at Arizona State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Technical Communications. She moved to Austin in 2014.

Gabriel Schumacher

Research Analyst

Gabriel supports the Downtown Alliance’s economic development, planning, and advocacy efforts by managing systems and reporting on data from affordable parking to retail vacancy.

Gabriel has a background in research and citizen engagement from his previous position with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., where he was the Development Assistant. He has his masters in public administration with a focus in economic development.

Jenell Moffett, MBA

Director of Research & Analysis

Jenell leads economic, demographic, geographic, and market research and analysis efforts to support the Downtown Alliance's strategic priorities.

She sets the annual research agenda and directs multiple research projects that support economic development, planning, and advocacy efforts. She serves as the staff lead for the Research Task Force and is the secondary staff lead for the Strategic Communication Committee. Prior to her work with the Downtown Alliance, Jenell worked for the City of Austin for more than 10 years.

Mandi Thomas

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Mandi establishes and nurtures strong relationships with strategic partners to support the purpose, vision and annual financial goals of the Downtown Austin Alliance and the Downtown Alliance Foundation.

She also oversees the programming of Republic Square, our annual Holiday Stroll, and other activations projects throughout downtown. Before joining the Downtown Alliance in 2016, Mandi spent 16 years working in the events and entertainment industry across various marketing and sponsorship sales roles. She spent 13 years with AEG Live as the Director of Partnerships for the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie and The Palladium Ballroom. Mandi also spent a year at The Dallas Morning News as their Product Strategist & Client Engagement Manager.

Matt Macioge

Director of Operations

Matt manages the delivery of direct services and service contracts to ensure downtown is welcoming for residents, employees, and visitors alike.

Matt manages the Downtown Ambassadors team and is responsible for all operations and maintenance of Republic Square. He serves as the primary staff lead for the organization’s Safety & Hospitality Committee.

Matt brings a diverse background ranging from sustainable design and construction to non-profit programming and events. Matt originally moved to Austin from the northeast to complete his Master in Architecture with a focus in sustainable design.

Vanessa Olson

Strategic Communication Manager

Vanessa leads the implementation of the organization’s communication strategy and is the primary staff lead for the Strategic Communications Committee. She plays a critical role in development of public-facing assets including the website and downtown vision.

Prior to joining the Downtown Austin Alliance in March 2017, Vanessa spent two years with the Seton Healthcare Family as a project manager. Before moving to Austin, Vanessa spent five years in management and political consulting, focusing on organizational development and team building.

Alix Scarborough

Membership & Professional Services Director, Movability

Alix serves as the primary liaison between Movability, the business community, member companies, and consultant teams.

Alix consults with downtown employers to turn mobility challenges into tools to meet their business goals, and helps commuters use options that are cheaper, less stressful, and better for Austin. Before joining Movability in 2014, Alix was a planner at Black + Vernooy Architects.

Aneka Patel

Mobility Challenge Program Manager, Movability

Aneka Patel collaborates with the City of Austin’s Transportation Department, Central Texas companies, and other stakeholders to manage and execute the goals of the Mayor’s Mobility Challenge.

Aneka previously served as the Transportation Outreach Specialist at the Downtown Denver Partnership and worked for the Regional Air Quality Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Bike Share of Austin.

Vanessa Zhou

Accounting Coordinator

Vanessa assists in managing financial activities and ensuring contract compliance for the Downtown Austin Alliance.
 
Vanessa manages operation's contracts and services, including day to day oversight and invoicing, ensuring established standards are met to consistently deliver a clean and safe downtown experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in business from Drexel University with a background in accounting and finance and a master’s degree in finance from Babson College.

Board of Directors

Officers

Michael Kennedy

Chair
MKInterests

Jennifer Wiebrand

Vice Chair
Gables Residential

Drew Bridges

Secretary
JMI Realty

S. Whitney May Knight

Treasurer
Allensworth & Porter

Large Property Owners

Bob Barnes, IBC Bank
David Bodenman, Highland Resources
Tim Burris, Silicon Labs
Jerry Frey, Savills
Tim Hendricks, Cousins Properties Inc.
Adam Nims, Trammell Crow Company
Richard Paddock, HPI
Andy Smith, Lincoln Property Company
Fernando Urrutia, Lionstone Investments
*Megan Wanek-Frey, Endeavor Real Estate Group

Medium Property Owners

Bobby Dillard, Cielo Realty Partners
*Ryan Garrett, Stubb's BBQ & Waller Creek Amphitheater
David Kahn, Colina West
Douglas Manchester, Manchester Financial
Chinna Natesan, White Swan Investments
Mac Pike, Sutton Company
Jim Ritts, Austin Theatre Alliance
Tara Shaikh, Tantallon

Small Property Owners

Donna Carter, Carter Design Associates
David DeSilva, East Sixth Street Property Improvement District
Charles Heimsath, Capitol Market Research
Perry Horton, Lead Commercial
Caitlin Ryan, Stream Realty Partners
Leon Shadowen, Brandywine Realty Trust
Joel Sher, Congress Holdings Group
Julie Taylor, Moore & Associates
Mark Terry, TEPSA

Associate Members

*Kevin Brown, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP
Larry Graham, Texas Gas Service
*Jeff Howard, McLean & Howard
Nikelle Meade, Husch Blackwell
Stephen Roberts, Clark Hill | Strasburger
*Steve Scheibal, New West Communications
Sania Shifferd, BOKA Powell, LLC
Aaron Vollmer, RUNA Workshop
DeLaine Ward, Austin Bar Association
Daniel Woodroffe, dwg.

Public Members

Mayor Steve Adler, City of Austin
Randy Clarke, Capital Metro
Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, Travis County
Sandy Guzman, State of Texas
Molly Beth Malcolm, Austin Community College
Amy Shaw Thomas, The University of Texas System
Larry Wallace, Central Health

* Denotes committee chair

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