Staff

Senior Leadership 

David Barilla, Executive Director

In his role, David oversees downtown Orlando’s real estate developments, economic development, project management, and implementation of downtown’s Project DTO vision plan.
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Mercedes Blanca, Assistant Director

As Assistant Director, Mercedes manages a cross-functional team focused on the economic development of downtown Orlando through the implementation of various initiatives, projects, and programs.  

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Project Management

 

Mary-Stewart Droege, Project Manager

As project manager, Mary-Stewart is involved in downtown planning activities as well and research from public art to community connectivity. She works closely with the Director of Urban Development and her work has a primary focus on the Parramore neighborhood.
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Christina Hyson, AICP, Project Manager

In her role, Christina is responsible for developing, coordinating, and managing projects within downtown Orlando to ensure timely and successful completion. Christina works closely with the Assistant Director on public projects aimed at beautification, safety, and wayfinding to enhance the downtown area for residents and visitors.  

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Samantha Levine, Housing and Homelessness Initiatives Manager

In her role, Samantha supports the city's commitment to connecting individuals experiencing homelessness with services and resources that will aid them with finding housing. At the same time, she is working to ensure that visitors, residents, and the business community are able to enjoy a vibrant and beautiful downtown.

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Marketing & Communications

Kelly Allen, Marketing & Communications Manager

In her role, Kelly performs marketing and communications for downtown Orlando in an effort to increase brand awareness and promote destination offerings to residents, visitors, and the business community. This includes the development and implementation of strategic marketing and communication plans as well as working with event organizers on sponsored events.
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Kelley Castellanos, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

This position provides brand management support and assistance to the Marketing & Communications Manager with the implementation of marketing and promotional strategies as well as communication plans. 
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Chelsey Parrish, Event Coordinator

In her role, Chelsey is responsible for the planning and execution of events produced by the Downtown Development Board. Additionally, she helps promote and advocate for downtown events by managing the Downtown Development Board event's webpage and weekly events newsletter.

Economic Development

Justin Eason, Nighttime Economy Manager

Justin aims to foster and enhance the safety, vibrancy, and growth of downtown's hospitality scene and the overall visitor experience. Serving as liaison between downtown stakeholders and the city, Justin brings a fresh perspective to local governance.  

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Michael Whiteman, Economic Development Coordinator 

Michael oversees incentive programs for downtown Orlando businesses. He also tracks, analyzes, and reports on market trends and major downtown developments. Michael works closely with the Assistant Director and takes on various special projects.
EMAIL MICHAEL > 

Fiscal

Tiffany Stephens, Fiscal Manager

As fiscal manager, Tiffany coordinates the preparation of the annual budget and monitors various fiscal activities, including but not limited to, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and performs analysis of financial performance. In addition to her fiscal responsibilities, she also oversees various programs including the Special Events Program, Community Concerts Program, Banners/Flags Program, and Downtown Events and Meetings Program for local hotels. 

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Christel Brooks, Fiscal Coordinator 

In her role, Chris is responsible for performing a variety of routine accounting duties and financial support such as bookkeeping, banking, reviewing and approving payroll, and financial data management related to the organizational effectiveness and efficiency for the city's CRA. Chris also handles the the preparation and maintenance of financial records and analyzes billing documentation to ensure discrepancies are caught and resolve.

Administration

Liz Nigro, Senior Administrative Assistant 

In her role, Liz assists DDB management and staff, by providing administrative support on various projects and daily office maintenance.  

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Felix Roman, Board Secretary 

Responsible for managing Board logistics, posting meeting notices, and minutes in accordance to Florida Law, submitting and executing contracts and agreements passed by City Council and the Downtown Development Board. 

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Discover Downtown Visitor Center

Rose Garlick, Discover Downtown Manager

As the manager of Discover Downtown, the downtown Orlando information center, Rose is a resource for all things downtown. From welcoming new businesses, overseeing information center staff, retail operations, and managing the bi-monthly What’s Up Downtown event, Rose helps to support business growth in downtown.
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Joshua Glener, Downtown Orlando Services Coordinator

In his role, Joshua serves as a local expert for all things downtown. When he’s not assisting the Discover Downtown Manager in the retail store, he is helping guests discover the many events taking place in the area or a good location to grab tacos for Taco Tuesday.
EMAIL JOSHUA >

Clean Team

Gerhard van der Snel, Downtown Facility Supervisor 

As the Downtown Facility Supervisor, Gerhard oversees the Clean Team, which is responsible for the cleanup of the downtown corridor, landscaping and hardscape beautification, graffiti removal, and more.  

EMAIL GERHARD >