About the DBA
The DBA is the official non-profit Designated Downtown Organization for the Town of Brattleboro, providing access to grants, technical assistance and networking opportunities. The DBA is led by a volunteer Board of Directors which includes local business owners, property owners, educators, and town representatives.
Our Current Staff
The team that makes the magic happen!
The creative force behind DBA’s promotions, Erin is the founding director (2021) of the current incarnation of Gallery Walk. As the creative director, she does all things social media and teams up with the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce to bring social influencers, bloggers and writers to our town through the fabulous Community Marketing Initiative. Other phenomenal DBA promotions have been Brattleship, Play.Date and Elliot St. Block Party. We share Erin with The Stone Church where she has been the Program Director since 2021. Erin comes to us by way of being an entrepreneur herself, co-owning Elliot St Fish & Chips from 2016-2020 and has a background in medicine, an RN at Chesterfield Medical Center. Caring, cultivating and juggling multiple projects at once is her specialty.
Kate is a creative, collaborative, and innovative leader with international experience and training in promoting positive social change through arts and education. She began her career as a museum educator in Philadelphia and later worked in a botanical garden developing programs for youth. After attending the School of International Training in Brattleboro, Kate became an instructor and staff at The Greenwood School, World Learning, Marlboro College, and Smith College. Her time in higher education led to a role in employer relations and career development where she focused on strength-based coaching. Kate believes life is bigger than a series of jobs, and said “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve as the executive director of the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance. Seeing Brattleboro grow and thrive, and contributing what I can in a meaningful way feels like the perfect combination of passion and purpose.”
Our Volunteer Board
Many thanks to our current volunteer board who serve 3-year terms. Please let us know if you are interested in joining our commitment and fun-loving board!
Eleanor is a retired educator and healthcare professional. She was born and raised in Brattleboro and is dedicated to building a better downtown Brattleboro. Her experience is in organizational leadership, financial management, team building, event planning, and developing new talent. She has a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Keene State College and an MBA from Plymouth State College. Her past career experience includes Woodlands Operation Manager at Cersosimo Lumber Company, Director of Operations at SIT Study Abroad, Director of Specialty Practices at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and Healthcare Career Counseling for Southern Vermont Area Health Education Center. She currently is a member of the Health Services Advisory Board at the Windham Regional Career Center, Board Member at Garden Path Elder Living, as well as the DBA board
Sue is the Planning Director for the Town of Brattleboro. Sue was the lead staff person both for Brattleboro’s award winning Town Plan in 2013 and the update of Brattleboro’s land use regulations in 2015. She has 17 years experience in community planning including grant writing and management, community outreach, and managing consultants.
Greg is the owner of Vermont Artisan Designs and Kitchen Sync. Vermont Artisan Designs, a cornerstone business in Brattleboro, has been representing Vermont artisans for over 40 years on Main Street. Greg is president of CRAFT (Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow), a national organization focusing on promoting American-made art and craft; a trustee of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children; secretary of Strolling of the Heifers; past chair of the Brattleboro Selectboard; a past president of the Brattleboro Rotary Club; and a founding member of the Brattleboro Foreign Trade Zone.
A “Kate of All Trades,” Kate Traeger has been (among other things) an outdoor educator, summer camp director, a graphic designer, a Mad Scientist, and most recently the Operations & Communications Manager for the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus. She has a huge love of Brattleboro and all the non-profits, artists and small businesses that are trying to thrive here. Kate loves to read, laugh, be on or near water of all kinds, hike, enjoy great heart-felt discussions, and ALL the arts.
Local Brattleboro business owner Mary Freihofner has been an innovator in her field forover twenty years currently owning and operating her brick-and-mortar Advanced SkinCare Solutions, her online project Acne Stop Kits, and her handcrafted product lineAdvanced Skin Care VT. Returning to school at age 36, she is a summa cum laudeundergraduate of Archaeology/Anthropology from Temple University. She has served assecretary of Fishtown Area Business Association, past member of Friends Of ThePhiladelphia Free Library Assoc and past board member of Kensington CommunityFood Co-op.
Joslin is a transformative designer, coach, and strategist with a passion for problem-solving. She has designed and launched two start-up social businesses, written a coaching program on conflict resolution and personal change, and has acted as a partner on the Planning and Action Team on Homelessness and other community initiatives in Southwest Colorado. Joslin has an MA in Management and Social Entrepreneurship from SIT Graduate Institute, an MPS in Branding from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and has completed coursework towards a PhD in Transformative Social Change at Saybrook University. She currently works for Saxtons Distillery as a manager of business development. She has a passion for designing and building businesses and initiatives that support and sustain the communities in which they live.
“I seek to challenge perceptions by building bold brands. My superpower is distilling complexity to discover clarity. I am driven, live for transformation, and some people call me sage.”
Sue Westa is the Community Development Lead at the Windham Regional Commission. Since joining the organization in 2019 she has managed the Brownfields Program and led the region’s effort to bring broadband fiber to underserved areas. Sue also serves on the SEVEDS Board at BDCC and the Vermont Planners Association Executive Committee. In 2021, she served on the Conference Committee for the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Previously, Sue was the Community Engagement Director for the Connecticut Main Street Center where she led the Center’s Come Home to Downtown Program. She also developed educational programs and supported local Main Street organizations throughout CT. Sue has over 30 years of experience working with communities to plan for the future. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Stephanie is a vice president and commercial banking officer at Brattleboro Savings & Loan. She is also treasurer of Groundworks Collaborative, as well as an Incorporator of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children and past President of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce.
Natty’s grandfather started businesses in landscaping, and auto repair & maintenance. His mother has a gardening business and his father founded a private middle school. Natty has lived through the ups and downs that are part of the entrepreneurial family’s life. He is acutely aware of the stress and pain points, but also relishes in the positive energy and potential found in the entrepreneurial spirit. He has found his professional fit as the Director of Business Accelarion at BDCC.
Prior to joining BDCC, Natty worked with distressed businesses across the country, assisting them in strategic turn around and distressed sale scenarios. Prior to that he worked in public education where he found the entrepreneurial type creativity exuded by his students. During his 3 year stint in Macedonia, as a Peace Corps volunteer, Natty worked in the Community Development sector as well as taught English as a foreign language.
Natty completed a PSM at Antioch University NE in Environmental Studies; Resource Management and Conservation, with a certificate in GIS. He received a BA in History and Minor in Political Science at MCLA, North Adams Mass.
Annie is a family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner. Annie brings the perspective of our community’s children to the work DBA accomplishes. She is a panel member for the Diversion Committee at Youth Services and a member of the Multidisciplinary Team for Windham County Safe Place which is our region’s child advocacy center for victims of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse. Annie is active on the Promotions Team on events like BrattleBOO!
Alyssa has been a resident of Brattleboro for about 6 years and is the owner of Trend Business Solutions located at 28 Vernon Street. Her company supplies custom-printed forms and branded promotional products to businesses in a variety of industries throughout New England. The business has been around for over 40 years and Alyssa became the owner in a succession plan where she was mentored and trained by the previous owners. She is very involved in the community, hosting charitable events and volunteering for local organizations. She’s involved in the Southern Vermont Young Professionals organization and has received an Emerging Leader Award and Grant Award from that organization. As a recipient of the grant, she participated in the Business Lab program at the Hannah Grimes Center, designed for those who are in early stages of owning their own business. Alyssa lives with her cat Misster and enjoys all the live music, rail trails, snacks, and coffee that our region has to offer.
Currently, the Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Club Michelle brings 20 years of experience in education and organizational leadership to this DBA role. She has a masters of science in environmental studies which continues to drive her passion for smart and sustainable development. A believer in our community’s power to both attract and retain new business and new residents while preserving our tradition of ‘human scale’ and ecological integrity.
She has vast experience in leadership, event planning, friend and fundraising, marketing, and grant writing. She is committed to making downtown a vibrant, safe place for youth, children, and families and has a deep understanding of the challenges facing our town.
“As a global traveler, I see the burgeoning potential of our community to be excellent, hospitable hosts whether that is welcoming tourists or refugees. From my view, there is enough of everything to go around in Brattleboro, especially with intentional action towards innovative models for work and play.”
Greg is the Executive Director of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce. He works in coalition with DBA on the Community Marketing Initiative
Gratitude and respect to our past presidents
throughout DBA’s history.
- Peter May 2018-2021
- Mike Ekblom 2017-2018
- Michelle Simpson 2014-2017
- Matthew Livingston 2014-2016
- Donna Simons 2012 – 2013
- Roger Miller ?
- Donna Simons 2001-
- Ted Kramer 1999-2001
Founding Members: Steve Baker, Pal Borofsky, Donna Simons, Dave Spencer and Greg Worden.
BRATT ON THE ‘GRAM
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