Downtown Association of Santa Cruz

The Downtown Association of Santa Cruz manages a ‘Business Improvement District‘ established to promote commerce and provide an environment compatible with doing business. Business operators in the Downtown district contribute an assessment which is allocated by the Downtown Association Board of Directors to further the mission of the Downtown Association. The Board of Directors is comprised of, and elected by, assessed business owners in Downtown Santa Cruz.

The mission of the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz is to provide effective leadership in order to create, promote and sustain downtown as a unique and economically viable business, entertainment, social and cultural center. The primary function of the Downtown Association is to market Downtown Santa Cruz and provide clean, safe and welcoming services to visitors and businesses 365 days a year through our Ambassador and Information Kiosk programs. The Downtown Association also advocates for businesses and serves as a representative with government agencies and other organizations when addressing issues specific or pertinent to the Mission of the Downtown Association. And the Association connects downtown business owners and managers to business resources and to each other.

For Downtown Businesses: Downtown Business Portal

Downtown Association Board of Directors

Board Chair
Kamala Allison, Fybr Bamboo

Vice Chair
Zach Davis, The Penny Ice Creamery and Snap Taco

Bill Kempf, William C. Kempf, Architect 

Shiri Gradek, Sereno Group Realtors

Marketing Committee Chair
Jennalee Dahlen, Yoso Wellness Spa

Downtown Recovery Committee Co-Chairs
Charles Jack, Cat & Cloud Coffee
Damani Thomas, Oswald

Nominations Committee Chair
Suna Lock, Stripe 

At-Large Directors
Germaine Akin, 515 Kitchen & Cocktails
David Apgar, Goal Screen
Patrice Boyle, Soif Wine Bar and Merchant
Katie Fairbairn, Santa Cruz Community Credit Union
Uriah Wilkins, PipeLine

Board Observers
Stuyvie Bearns Esteva, Lúpulo Craft Beer House
Emily Coonerty, Dell Williams Jewelers
Janis Coulter, Cognito Clothing
Joe Ferrara, Atlantis Fantasy World
Linnaea Holgers James, Artisans & Agency
Jose Moya, Get Faded Barbershop
Cara Pearson, Pacific Cookie Company

Downtown Association Staff
Jorian Wilkins, Executive Director
Sonja Brunner, Director of Operations
Melissa Begin, Marketing Lead
Melisa Schwarm, Membership Project Coordinator
Contact Us! 

Downtown Association Meetings

The Downtown Association Board of Directors meets every month on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 8:30 a.m. Board Subcommittees meet between Board sessions, also on Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. Members are always welcome.

Upcoming Meetings
October 12 | 8:30 am
Finance Committee
Link to join

October 19 | 8:30 am
Board of Directors
Link to join

October 26 | 8:30 am
Marketing Committee
Link to join

November 2 | 8:30 am
Downtown Recovery Committee
Link to join

Downtown Recovery Panel Recordings

Downtown Recovery | June 1 | City Initiatives 
Downtown Pops! Outdoor Dining. Revolving Loans. Shop Santa Cruz. City Arts Recovery Design Grants. Hear from the City of Santa Cruz Department of Economic Development about new programs supporting Downtown’s recovery!
Link to watch  |  Link to presentation

Downtown Recovery | April 6 | Big Plans for the Future
Hear from the developers of these major projects underway Downtown:
Garrett Borges, Anton DevCo | Pacific/Front/Laurel
Jessica de Wit, City of Santa Cruz | Pacific Station
Jessie Bristow, Swenson Builders | 530 Front
Owen Lawlor, Lawlor LandUse | River/Front
Chris Murphy, General Manger | Santa Cruz Warriors
Amanda Rotella, City of Santa Cruz | Library Mixed Use
Laura Bishop, Executive Director | 418 Project
Link to watch

Downtown Recovery | March 2 | Creative Economy 
with MAH Director Robb Woulfe, Arts Council Santa Cruz County Director Jim Brown, and Santa Cruz Economic Development Arts Manager Kathryn Mintz 
Link to watch

Downtown Recovery | February 2 | Lessons Learned from the Post-Earthquake Recovery 
with Joe Ferrara, Atlantis Fantasy World, Ellen Gil, Sockshop & Shoe Co., Joe Hall, former Asst. Redevelopment Director, Cynthia Matthews, former Mayor, Larry Pearson, Pacific Cookie Company, and Patty Zoccoli, Zoccoli’s Deli
Link to watch

Recent Board Meeting Minutes
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021

Note: Downtown Association Board Meetings or Subcommittee Meetings do not take place in December.

FY2022 Workplan
FY2022 Budget


Programs of the Downtown Association

Downtown Dollars
Information Kiosk
Downtown Ambassador Program
Downtown Marketing
Holiday Events + Promotion

Anti-Harassment Policy

Downtown Association's Anti-Harassment Policy

Equity Work

Downtown Association's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commitment