Meet the Team
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Marijo was the Executive Director of the Downtown District BIA in Belleville, Ontario where she spearheaded the development of an online Marketplace as well as a pilot program called Welcoming Streets that helped to build bridges between street-involved individuals and the business community. She was also an integral part of a total overhaul of the brand, reputation, and direction of the organization. Marijo brings with her 20 years of destination marketing experience and for the past number of years has focused on digital communication. She is passionate about micro-urban living, particularly in historic downtowns.
Chief Operations Officer
A proud Kingstonian, Michèle has worked for Downtown Kingston BIA for over 26 years. The past years have seen many changes in the downtown and Michèle has been pleased and proud to have been involved in so many events and projects – from starting a signature Blues Festival to being a part of the renovations to Market Square and the building of the Leon’s Centre. Michèle’s passion is downtown and the downtown business community. Michèle lives in Kingston with her husband and 3 sons. The grocery bills are extremely high – but it is nice to have them home during these times! Her parents and her 3 siblings all live in Kingston as well – so, definitely is spoiled in that regard!
Director of Events
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Jan began work at Downtown Kingston! in the fall of 2004 as the organizer of the first Nighttime Santa Parade. A six-week contract turned into a few months as work began on the first Feb Fest and she has never left. Her responsibilities at DK! include Artistic Director of both Kingston Buskers Rendezvous and Limestone City Blues Festival as well as leading many other events and programs including the annual holiday pewter collection and local food Chef Demos. Her work with the blues community has led to exciting opportunities as both a judge for the blues category of the Juno Awards and as a member of the selection panel for the Maple Blues Awards.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Pete Gillespie is our Marketing & Communications Manager. Pete is focused on marketing and communications across all channels and mediums. Pete has 14 years of experience working in marketing, communications, corporate relations, and business development, both in private media and the public sector. He is a passionate supporter of small businesses and is always eager to discuss Marcom strategy.
Member Services Coordinator
Nicole Solomatenko, Member Services Coordinator, works exclusively on the improvement of member communications. Nicole has recently moved back to Canada after living overseas for 17 years. Working in an international setting has strengthened her ability to adapt and work with diverse teams which will be a huge benefit in her new role with us.
Having spent the last 15 years working in marketing and communications, Sandi is excited to lend her experience in creative writing, customer relations, and project management to the busy events department.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Sierra Saikeley began in 2021 as a summer Marketing Intern and has since been hired full-time as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator upon her recent graduation from St. Lawrence College. Sierra is working to bring new strategies & creative ideas to the BIA's marketing & communications department to support our small & medium businesses.
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Angela, our Office Administrator has previous experience working directly with the public and B2B as the first point of contact. A Scarberian at heart, bringing big town ideas, energy, and enthusiasm to Downtown Kingston and the businesses surrounding the downtown core is what makes her happy.