Senior Leadership 

Thomas C. Chatmon Jr., Executive Director


Since joining the City of Orlando in 2007 as Executive Director of the Downtown Development Board (DDB) and Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Thomas Chatmon oversees economic development, retail and business recruitment, marketing and special events programming, and housing development within the downtown CRA area. He has played an integral role in achieving some of downtown Orlando’s premier developments, including Church Street Plaza, Citi Tower, Creative Village, Amway Center, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Chase Plaza, 55 West, SunRail, and more.

Currently, Thomas serves as the Chair of the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida (HSN) Board and on the Starter Studio Board. He has served as past chair of the International Downtown Association (IDA) and has served on various community boards including past chair of Nap Ford Community School,, WMFE Community Advisory Board, and the Central Florida Urban League Board.

A native of Albany, Georgia, Thomas has been named in Georgia Trend magazine’s annual list of 100 Most Influential Georgians and has received numerous other distinguished awards, such as the Martin Luther King Celebration Leadership Award and the Leadership Albany Outstanding Alumni Award. Thomas has been honored as one of Orlando Business Journal’s 10 Businessmen to Watch, and Orlando Magazine named him as one of Orlando’s 50 Most Powerful People. A proud graduate of Morehouse College, Thomas and his wife, Brenetta, live in downtown Orlando. 

David Barilla, Assistant 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.

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.  



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.

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.

Kate Harris, Interactive Media Coordinator

Responsible for maintaining, monitoring, and creating content for all DDB social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Develops and executes new social media opportunities that raise awareness for downtown Orlando.  Supports digital projects including website updates and email campaigns.

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.  


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.


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. 


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.


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.  


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. 


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.

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.

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.