Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Staff Selected for New York Fellowship Program: June 19-24


June 9, 2016


Downtown Winnipeg – The International Downtown Association (IDA) has selected 26 of the industry’s brightest professionals for the inaugural year of the Emerging Leader Fellowship Program. These senior staff members hail from three countries and 18 provinces or states, including Atlanta, Auckland (New Zealand), Denver, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Salt Lake City. After being nominated by the Downtown BIZ, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Managing Director, Jason Syvixay, was selected as a fellow, representing 1 of only 4 Canadians chosen.

“The International Downtown Association has set some very high professional and intellectual standards for its inaugural Fellowship program for candidates to meet,” says Stefano Grande, Executive Director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “The BIZ felt confident that Jason would rise to the top of the candidates being considered for this prestigious honour and opportunity.  Jason has risen to a senior management position at the BIZ, in a short 5 years, based on his passion, emotional intelligence, creativity and incredibly smart work ethic.  We are pleased to support Jason continue his path in becoming a community building leader, both locally and abroad.”

“The International Downtown Association is looking to build the future of our industry, and these accomplished executives are the shining stars of our profession,” said David Downey, President and CEO of IDA. “Until now, there was no education program of this kind available specifically for urban place management professionals. With this program, we’re educating and inspiring the next generation of leaders.”

“I imagine Winnipeg as a truly cosmopolitan city, just like New York, where everyone wants to come to and a downtown that Winnipeggers can be proud of, gather, and belong,” says Syvixay. “I’m eager to learn from my colleagues around the world about placemaking best practices to best engage businesses, residents, and community to imagine what is possible, and to learn more about the various public-private partnerships that can be built to stimulate development plans and mixed-income housing and neighbourhoods. I’m also excited to share with the other fellows all of the exciting initiatives and programs that are making Winnipeg a world-class destination and urban lab.”

The Emerging Leader Fellowship is a week-long experiential program in June that will bring together a cohort of IDA professionals from within the urban district management industry. The fellows will learn essential leadership and place management skills, and gain practical tools in the areas of place-based economic development, the live-work-play experience, and public-private partnerships. The following is full list of this year’s fellows and their organizations:

First Name Last Name Title Organization City/Town State/Province
Jeff Burton Deputy Executive Director Bethesda Urban Partnership Bethesda Maryland
Jason Mathis Executive Director Downtown Alliance Salt Lake City Utah
Jessica Hoang Community Liaison Downtown Yonge BIA Toronto Ontario
Winfield Davis Executive Director Town Green Special Services District New Haven Connecticut
Jennifer Lindley Economic Development Coordinator Town of Queen Creek Queen Creek Arizona
Dominic Tartaglia Executive Director San Luis Obispo Downtown Association San Luis Obispo California
Beth Macdonald Executive Director Downtown Somerville Alliance Somerville New Jersey
Gary Holmes Manager Uptown Business Association Auckland New Zealand
Bianca Shoneman President & CEO Uptown Greenville Greenville North Carolina
Miranda Edwards Director of Messaging Downtown Tempe Authority Tempe Arizona
Jennifer Ball VP, Planning & Economic Development Central Atlanta Progress, Inc. Atlanta Georgia
Tim Kelly Planning Manager Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Grand Rapids Michigan
Pegg Gustafson President & CEO St. Cloud Downtown Council St. Cloud Minnesota
Judith Veresuk Executive Director Regina Downtown Business Improvement District Regina Saskatchewan
Teneka James Associate Director West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority West Palm Beach Florida
William Matthews Business Development Officer Central Houston, Inc. Houston Texas
Frederick Rendfrey Director of Downtown Economic Development Downtown Mobile Alliance Mobile Alabama
Sara Berns Executive Director Discover Pacific Beach San Diego California
Kate Barton Senior Manager, Executive Office and Special Projects Downtown Denver Partnership Denver Colorado
Jenny Starkey Director of Marketing and Community Relations Cherry Creek North BID Denver Colorado
Todd Dangerfield Projects Manager Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority Fort Collins Colorado
Samantha Jackson Vice President – Operations Downtown Phoenix, Inc. Phoenix Arizona
Brian Kurtz Director of Economic Development Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Jordan Polon Executive Director Hartford Business Improvement District Windsor Connecticut
Randy Pshebylo Executive Director Riversdale Business Improvement District Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Jason Syvixay Managing Director Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Winnipeg Manitoba


The program features intensive instruction delivered by professors from Baruch College –The City University of New York (CUNY), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Coro New York Leadership Center and technical in-the-field training from IDA professionals within several BID organizations across the city. The event takes place at the ICSC Leadership Center in New York City, with field visits provided by several local business improvement district leaders throughout the city. This program has been made possible with the support of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Stantec, and Larisa Ortiz and Associates.

For more information, visit:

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Emily Ormonde, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Phone: (204) 958-4626; Email: