As March came to a close, Artineh Havan passed the torch of the Grand St. BID’s executive directorship to Homer Hill. This was due to Havan’s move to the west coast. She had led the BID since August 1, 2011 and made an indelible mark on Grand Street in so many beneficial ways. She accomplished many of her goals to improve the aesthetic and look of Grand Street as under her guidance the BID: advocated, fundraised, and implemented a streetscape improvement project; increased their visibility through events and promotional activities; doubled the capacity of the organization through grants by hiring a second employee; and developed a business attraction initiative, among other things.
Homer Hill would be the second employee mentioned, and now is Havan’s successor. “He started as part-time business attraction program manager in September 2014, but we really liked and hired him as Director of Communications and Special Programs in November 2014,” stated Havan.
Hill’s vision for the BID springboard’s from Havan’s work, but has its own distinction. He looks to “beautify the street through public art, maintenance, and by enhancing our new street trees through a new native plant program.” In addition, he will continue to advocate for pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements, promote and assist the small business community through workshops and a new multimedia advertising campaign, and lastly increase the organization’s overall capacity through a long term strategic planning process. Grand Street Discount Card program, business assistance workshops, and new fund raising initiatives are some more things to look forward to.
“It’s been pleasure working for the BID these past two and a half years. I’m very honored to be able to serve the Grand Street community in this new position,” said Hill.
At the March 21st Community Board #1 meeting, Council Member Antonio Reynoso presented Havan with a Proclamation of the City of New York for her all her work revitalizing the area “and really making life Grand, which is a slogan she came up with: Life is Grand!”
“It has been an incredible opportunity to serve as the executive director of the Grand Street BID for over five and a half years. I will greatly miss the small businesses that are a vital part of this community. I am comforted by the knowledge that the BID is in great hands. I also want to thank the Board of Directors for their continued support and give a special thanks to our current and inspiring Board Chair Lori Raymer as well as late Board Chair Fred Moehring for trusting me with the position,” said Havan.
Grand St. BID Board Chair, Lori Raymer in turn stated, “In her role as Executive Director, Artineh Havan served the Grand Street BID with an extraordinary amount of dedication and professionalism. She will be greatly missed and we wish her the best in her future endeavors. We are confident that Homer Hill, our new Executive Director, will build upon the foundation that Artineh helped to put in place and continue to move the BID forward.”