SOCIABLE CITY AMBASSADORS

Ambassadors

 

Frank La TorreFrank LaTorre

 Executive Director | Providence Downtown Improvement District

Since the DID’s launch in 2005, Frank has served in the roles of Director of Public Space, and subsequently as Senior Director. His career highlights include collaborations with key stakeholder groups as the Chairman of the Providence Hospitality Resource Partnership (HRP), which addresses nightlife issues in Downtown Providence, and serves as Co-Chair of the Downtown Security Network. He is a 2015 graduate of the inaugural Citizens Police Academy.

 

 

 

 

Ben Van HoutenBen Van Houten  

Business Development Manager, Nightlife & Entertainment Sector | San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development

In 2013, Ben Van Houten became San Francisco’s first Business Development Manager for the Nightlife & Entertainment Sector, a position created after an economic impact study identified the $6 billion generated annually by San Francisco’s nightlife and entertainment industry. Ben is involved in a wide range of business assistance and policy efforts to support the industry and its 62,000 employees, with accomplishments including: developing legislation to create San Francisco’s first new full liquor licenses in over 70 years; working to foster compatibility between entertainment venues and residential developments; managing a groundbreaking regional initiative to improve all-night transportation; and leading capacity-building efforts to support the local music industry. 

 

 

Brian Block

Brian Block 

Entertainment Services Manager | Austin, Texas Economic Development Department's Music and Entertainment Division

Brian serves as the Entertainment Services Manager in the Music and Entertainment Division. His team supports, manages and enhances live music and nightlife in Austin. Brian works on policy development and planning to support both the long-term viability of live music and entertainment venues, the nightlife economy and residential quality of life.

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Marjorie Ferrer

Marjorie Ferrer 

President | Downtown Management Consulting LLC

Ms. Ferrer is the President of Downtown Management Consulting LLC, and has extensive experience working with all aspects of redeveloping downtowns and small towns, outlining strategies and tactics that have proven successful in redevelopment of Downtown Delray Beach for the past two decades. Her working career has armed her with retail experience as a Buyer at Jordan Marsh for 20 years, and tourism experience as Assistant Manager for Miami Seaquarium for 5 years, prior to joining the Delray Beach team.

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Dominique Greco

Dominique Greco 

Nighttime Economy Manager | Downtown Development Board / Community Redevelopment AgencyCity of Orlando

Dominique Greco was hired as one of the country’s first ever “nighttime mayors.” As such, she has been tasked with not only representing downtown Orlando’s local hospitality and nightlife industry with a fair and progressive voice but also to help pioneer the nighttime management trend as it gains momentum and recognition within local governments all over the world.

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Mike Gross

Michael Gross

Captain | Glendale Police Department

Information pending.

 

 

Sarah Hannah- Spurlock

Sarah Hannah-Spurlock 

Nighttime Economy Manager | City of Fort Lauderdale, FL

Sarah Hannah-Spurlock is an ICMA (International City/County Management Association) credentialed manager with almost 20 years of local government experience in full-service, council-manager forms of government and over 25 years of professional management experience. In addition to experience in the manager's office, she also has line experience in water utilities, public safety, and airport administration.

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Jean HomzaJean Homza

Bar Manager & Community Liaison | 9:30 Club

Information pending.

 

 

Rob Bookman Rob Bookman  

Partner | Pesetsky & Bookman

Robert S. Bookman is a recognized leader of the New York Hospitality Industry. Robert began his legal career as counsel to the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. He has since specialized in representing small businesses before numerous city and state agencies, the New York City Council, and the courts. In addition to representing individual clients, Robert also specializes in representing the industry, first as co-founder and counsel to the New York Nightlife Association, and now as counsel to its successor organization, the New York City Hospitality Alliance, Robert is a nationally recognized expert on nightlife business and organizational issues and is a frequent speaker at regional and national conferences. He is quoted widely in the media and is the author of numerous op-ed articles on regulatory issues which have appeared in such publications as the New York Times and the Daily News.

 

 

Jocelyn Kane Jocelyn Kane  

Former Executive Director | San Francisco Entertainment Commission

Jocelyn Kane is the former Executive Director of San Francisco's Entertainment Commission, and was charged with ensuring the health and vitality of indoor and outdoor entertainment venues and outdoor events in San Francisco.
She also served on San Francisco’s Cannabis Legalization Task Force to bring fair and sensible policy to cannabis regulations. 
Jocelyn is now working as a Senior Consultant for the Responsible Hospitality Institute, helping cities in North America improve their nightlife policies and practices.

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Tina Lee-Vogt

Tina Lee-Vogt 

Program Manager, Code Compliance Division | City of Sacramento

Tina Lee-Vogt is Program Manager of the City of Sacramento Entertainment Permit Program which includes issuing, managing and regulating entertainment permits and facilitating coordination within the program.  Tina collaborates with other city departments, business districts, permit holders and citizens to ensure a safe, festive and successful nightlife in Sacramento.  Assigned to the Code Compliance Division of the Community Development Department in the City of Sacramento, she also supervises the Code Operations Support Unit and manages several citywide programs. She is a certified trainer in leadership and customer service with over 25 years of public service experience.

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Ariel PalitzAriel Palitz

Senior Executive Director | NYC Office of Nightlife

Ariel Palitz was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as New York’s first-ever Senior Executive Director of the Office of Nightlife within the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in 2018. The Office of Nightlife acts as a liaison between City agencies, the nightlife industry, and residential communities, to ensure a safe, efficient and vibrant nightlife that works for all New Yorkers. As a lifelong New Yorker and nightlife professional, Ariel brings more than two decades of industry- and community-building experience to this new role in public service.

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Scott PlusquellecScott Plusquellec 

Nightlife Business Advocate | Seattle Office of Film and Music 

Scott Plusquellec has served as Seattle’s first Nightlife Business Advocate since late 2016. His role is to serve as an advocate for nightlife stakeholders navigating the city bureaucracy, as well as to develop policy to support, protect and grow the nightlife economy.

Policy issues Scott is working on include Agent of Change, extended hours for alcohol service, late night transportation solutions, safety measures at DIY venues, and Narcan training and provision for club staff. Scott is also in the process of surveying the city’s refugee and immigrant communities and their intersectionality with nightlife in Seattle.

 

 

Paul SeresPaul Seres 

Founding Trustee | NYC Hospitality Alliance 

Paul owns and operates several NYC nightlife venues and restaurants in Manhattan.
He co-chairs the licensing committee for the Manhattan Community Board 4. As President of the New York Nightlife Association, Paul helped create the Nightlife Best Practices Guidelines in conjunction with the NYPD.

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Carolyn Hemming

Carolyn Hemming   

President  | Downtown Pomona Owners Association

Carolyn is the current president of the Downtown Pomona Owners Association. She is a "working" president although not salaried she spends countless hours on behalf of the PBID as a liaison for business owners as well as the property owners her district represents along with PD and city services. Carolyn is a small business owner and has served her downtown as president for 12 years and a board member of both the CBD and PBID for 25 years.

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David Feehan  

President & CEO | Civitas Consultants LLC  

David Feehan is a world-recognized expert in downtown revitalization. For forty years, Feehan has provided leadership and management to downtown and business district organizations, authored books and articles, and taught at two universities. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, and has consulted with many government agencies and associations. As president of three downtown organizations, Feehan managed business attraction and retention programs, and an award-winning parking system. He served as president of the International Downtown Association for eight years. Feehan has helped business district organizations as well as units of government develop strategic plans, innovative programs, and transformational processes. He co-edited the most recognized textbook on downtown management, Making Business Districts Work. 

 

 

Natalie Avery   

Executive Director | DC BID Council

A DC native, I am passionate about cities and how to build the partnerships and relationships needed to make them work well for everyone. I am also the founder of the Javera Group, a small DC consulting firm that specializes in government relations and community economic development. As a consultant, my clients have included the DC BID Council, the DowntownDC BID, The Golden Triangle BID, the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Urban Institute and Community Foundation of the National Capital Region. 

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Andrew rigie

Andrew Rigie    

Executive Director | New York City Hospitality Alliance

Andrew Rigie is the Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, an association representing restaurants and nightlife venues throughout the five boroughs.

Andrew was born into the hospitality business, working at his family’s third generation bakery in Queens, NY. He later “got his apron dirty” by working multiple positions within the industry before joining the New York State Restaurant Association in 2004. There he recruited members, was a grassroots organizer, and provided resources and consulting services to restaurant operators, including its Nightlife Association chapter that represented bars and nightclubs.

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Allison Harnden

Allison Harnden 

Nighttime Economy Manager | City of Pittsburgh

While the concept of night mayor and office of nightlife has only recently caught on globally, Allison Harnden has her roots in nighttime management. In 1995, she assumed the role of coordinator of the RHI’s San Diego Hospitality Resource Panel, which united representatives from hospitality, safety, development and community organizations.

This early work was a template for RHI’s Hospitality Zone Assessment, and during her tenure with RHI, Allison worked with more than half of the 70 RHI city clients before assuming the role of Pittsburgh’s Nighttime Economy Manager.

 

 

Heath kingHeath King   

Lieutenant | Charleston Police Department

Lieutenant Heath King has 21 years with the Charleston Police Department and is currently assigned as the Commander of the Central Business District, the portion of the city that includes the Market along with Upper and Lower King Street. He works daily with the city’s business services, zoning, planning and transportation departments to maintain a successful management plan for the city’s growing hospitality areas.

 

 

Christopher BrownleeChristopher Brownlee 

Detective | Seattle Police Department

Information pending.

 

 

Brian KellyBrian Kelly

Detective Sergeant | Toronto Police Service

Information pending.

 

 

Philip kolvinPhilip Kolvin  

Head of Chambers | Cornerstone Barristers

Philip Kolvin QC is the Head of Cornerstone Barristers, a London Chambers with national coverage, specialising in town and country planning, licensing, property and regulatory law.

Philip is a leading specialist in the field of licensing, working across the spectrum of regulatory control including alcohol, entertainment, sports, gambling, transportation and adult entertainment. His clients include national and local regulators, police, the industry from national chains to independent operators, and also community and campaign groups.

 

 

 

Linda Roberts  

Assistant Manager, Business Licensing | City of Minneapolis

Information pending.

 

 

Andreina SeijasAndreina Seijas 

Doctoral StudentHarvard University Graduate School of Design

Andreina Seijas J. is a Venezuelan communications professional and policy consultant currently specializing in night-time planning and policy as part of her doctoral degree at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Previously, Andreina was the Information Manager for the Mayor’s Office of the Chacao municipality in Caracas, worked as Policy Associate at Americas Society/ Council of the Americas and Editorial Associate for policy journal Americas Quarterly in New York City, and worked for the Housing and Urban Development Division at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington D.C. 

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Shain ShapiroShain Shapiro  

CEO & President | Sound Diplomacy

Shain Shapiro, PhD is the Founder and President of Sound Diplomacy.  Sound Diplomacy is the leading global advisor on growing music economies in cities and places.  He is also the co-founder of Music Cities Convention, the world’s largest event bringing together the music industry with city planners, developers, policy makers and executives.  Through Sound Diplomacy, he has consulted in over 60 cities and countries, including developing the Cuban official music strategy for the United Nations and developing music strategies across the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal Framework. 

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Robert SmithRobert Smith

 President & CEO | Nightclub Security Consultants

Robert C. Smith was born and raised in San Diego. He served over 10 years in the United States Navy, the last 6 years as a Navy Diving Medical Technician. In 1990, he joined the San Diego Police Department and held a variety of positions during his 20-year career, the final 5 years as a Juvenile Crimes Investigator. Throughout his time on the San Diego police force, Robert commonly interacted with people in the service industry and responded to many incidents at bars, restaurants, and nightclubs throughout San Diego. During this time, he developed a keen awareness of not only what the true challenges are facing this industry, but also what it takes to ensure that everyone is safe.

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Jason Swanson 

Director of Sales | Patron Scan

Information pending.

 

 

Paul Davies

Paul Davies   

Nighttime Economy Consultant 

Paul Davies is an architect and town planner with experience in urban regeneration and town centre management. His focus is on innovation in urban development.  He developed and led the Civic Trust Regeneration Unit for more than a decade. He is co-creator of the Purple Flag Accreditation Scheme for better town centres at night. He researched and developed the Nightworks concept for a more diverse nightlife for the UK Government. He is currently a commissioner for the London Night Time Commission and a consultant to the RHI Global Project. 

 

 

Joy Citta

Joy Citta 

Former Captain | Lincoln Police Department

Information pending.

 

 

Kate BeckerKate Becker   

Creative Economy Strategist | Office of King County Executive Dow Constantine

Building sustainable creative communities has been at the core of Kate Becker’s career. Becker currently spends her days (and nights!) working to build Seattle’s creative economy, including the nightlife industry. Her work with nightlife ranges from working with musicians who perform on the many stages in Seattle, to working with club owners and public safety officials to support a safe and vibrant nightlife scene. Prior to working with the city, Becker served in leadership roles at Seattle Theatre Group, Art Share LA in Los Angeles, and The New Art Center in Boston, MA. She co-founded legendary Northwest all ages venues and The Vera Project.

 

 

Stephanie Jones

Stefanie Jones  

Interim Managing Director, Communications and Director, Audience Development | Drug Policy Alliance

Stefanie Jones is the Nightlife Community Engagement Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance in New York, where she introduces harm-reduction principles and drug policy alternatives to partygoers, public health officers, and city nightlife regulators across the country. Prior to this, Jones was the Events Manager for the organization and managed to progressively improve and expand their International Drug Policy Reform Conference