As the new boss of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Tim Rissesco knows he has some pretty big shoes to fill.
Tim Olive,the former director, retired in June and left the downtown in great shape, he said.
"He left us with a gift, a big gift of the rebranding of the downtown," said Rissesco of Olive who had worked as executive director since 2004. "Now it is my turn to continue his legacy."
Unlike Olive's pedigree — which includes serving four years as the MLA for Dartmouth South, and as a member of Premier John Hamm's cabinet, serving as the chairman of the government Caucus, owning and operating James F Lahey Glass Paint and Hardware, working for 15 years in the provincial government, and serving in the RCAF for 12 years — Rissesco's work history is not so well known.
He was the lead officer at the Competition Bureau for the Atlantic for the past 12 years, was involved planning the Natal Day festivities, organized the Dartmouth Tree Lighting for the past five years, and is a member of the Dartmouth Kiwanis.
And now, he says, he is excited to let people know who he is and what his plans are for the downtown .
"My first order of business as executive director is to sell Dartmouth to the rest of the world. The rebranding paved the way for the kind of downtown that we need."
Rissesco has lived in Dartmouth since 1997 and says the downtown is a diversified and close-knit community. The new brand consists of a swirl of bright colors that fit together like the pieces of a puzzle.
Being recognized as a unique community through the new brand, and promoting it as a great place to live and work is the biggest piece of the puzzle, said Rissesco.
He said a foot-traffic survey has just been completed.
"This will give us feedback on what people want and need."
Also in the works is a proactive program whereby the downtown Dartmouth Business Commission will go out into the community and target retailers to entice them to move downtown.
They will continue to offer services for businesses like the every third Wednesday morning coffee and networking sessions. The anti-graffiti and clean-up programs are still successful and sessions like social media networking will be offered to businesses.
"We can help the businesses market themselves," said Rissesco.
With Founder's Square, Greenvale and King's Wharf adding a new dimension to what Olive described as the perfect urban village, Rissesco says downtown Dartmouth is on a roll.
"I am keeping an open-door policy and hope to listen to and incorporate people's opinions of what they want to see here. Just give me a call. This is both a challenge and an accomplishment. I want to see ideas put into action for the downtown."
To contact Tim : email@example.com