About | Downtown Albany


The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) has worked to restore, promote and maintain the character and vitality of downtown Albany since 1996

Core Services

Often behind the scenes, the BID constantly works on behalf of property owners and merchants (and potential new ones) to create an environment favorable in terms of cleanliness, planning issues, police safety, and much more. We hold relationships with City, County and State departments advocating through red tape to ensure the progress of a holistic Downtown.


From hanging flower baskets to decorative sidewalk planters to the annual holiday light display, the BID purchases, installs and maintains downtown Albany streets and public spaces ensuring a safe and creative atmosphere.  

Place Making

Formerly titled, Sculpture in the Streets, the program is designed to bring a fresh place making concept for the public to engage with each year.


In addition to the BID’s collaborative partnership with the Albany Police Department’s Community Outreach Program to enhance downtown, beat cops are assigned to the Downtown business centre Monday through Saturday throughout the day and evening.

Marketing and Communications

Working hand-in-hand over 300 businesses, large and small, the BID develops and manage a multitude marketing and communications channels promoting the good and services of our Stakeholders, including the Downtown Digest Newsletter, E-newsletters, Ribbon Cutting Celebrations, Public Relations efforts, Social Media, Special Events, Welcome Kits and of course the BID’s website. We also provide one-on-one consulting for your specific businesses.

Clean Team

On the street day in and day out, the Clean Team Ambassadors average over 5,000 hours a year addressing clean and safe issues throughout the district. Their daily tasks include keeping sidewalks clean and free from litter with broom and pan as well as clearing the sidewalks and crosswalks from snow and ice. Working above and beyond, the Clean Team also works closely with the Department of General Services (DGS) on trash and recycling removal, lighting issues, sidewalk and street infrastructure, greenery, traffic, large event clean-up and safety concerns. Additionally, the Clean Team is more than happy to provide visitors with directions or recommend venues, attractions or events.

Special Events

Strategic in nature, the Downtown Albany BID offers special events as a platform for the public to engage with Downtown and its business in creative ways. Special events include Restaurant Week, the Bites Camera Action movie series, Residential Open House, pet-friendly events at the Olde English Downtown Dog Park, and more. The BID also partners on events to support the growth of participation by the public and merchants: SUNY Farmer’s Market, PearlPalooza, The St. Patrick’s Day Parade to name a few.

Business Attraction

The Downtown Albany BID provides comprehensive information for those looking to invest in Downtown. Learn more about the benefits of commercial, retail and residential investment in downtown Albany and connect the dots to information on Downtown’s unique attributes, accessibility, quality of life, financing options, market data and more. Even better, contact usto discuss your next project. We’ll even set up a tour of Downtown and introduce you to other successful businesses in the area.

BID Staff
Georgette Steffens
Executive Director
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Georgette Steffens was appointed Executive Director in September 2009. Prior to joining the BID, Georgette was the Director of Operations of Triad Consulting Group, Inc. of Cambridge Massachusetts, a consulting group which specializes in communications and negotiation to assist organizations in building capacity to manage difficult conversations and critical relationships within their work environment.   Ms. Steffens worked for the City of Albany, serving as Director of the Albany HomeStore.  Additionally, she held positions as Economic Developer for the City of Albany in the Department of Planning and Development, where her main focus was downtown development and the City's riverfront, and Program Coordinator for the Center for Economic Growth. 

Ms. Steffens serves as the Chairperson of the Albany Port District Commission and is a Board Member of the New York State Urban Council.  She holds a BA from Johnson State College in Vermont.

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Don Wilson
Operations Manager
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Don joined the BID in January 2010. As operations manager, Don is responsible for the development, administration, and implementation of programs that enhance the quality of life in downtown Albany. One of Don’s largest, permanent projects to date has been the completion of the new Olde English Downtown Dog Park. Don acts as a liaison for the Albany Police and other City Departments to ensure code compliance and safety within the District. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of the contracted Clean Team Ambassadors, the group who helps keep sidewalks clear of litter, snow and ice, he also works closely with the Department of General Services in order to continually improve visual appeal and infrastructure throughout the District while responding to the needs of stakeholders.  

In his previous position, Don was the General Manager at The Mailworks, a direct mail solutions company based in Albany, NY. During his tenure at The Mailworks, Don honed his skills in managing profitable operations, which was highlighted by an effective combination of customer service and sales training with new market development, operations, and business analysis. Prior to The Mailworks, Don served as General Manager for Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse, NY before relocating to the Capital Region. His demonstrable skill of working and negotiating with businesses and consumers alike allows Don to have an immediate impact at the BID. Don holds a BS in Criminal Justice from the State University College at Brockport.

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Jason Bonafide
Special Events Manager
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Jason joined the BID in March 2017. As special events manager, Jason is responsible for the fundraising, implementation, and management of the BID’s signature events. He is also tasked with designing new event concepts and projects that improve the quality of life in Downtown while showcasing the District’s attributes. Jason’s foremost objective is to highlight downtown Albany as a destination for people to live, work, and play while enhancing daytime, weeknight and weekend activities for all to enjoy. Jason works collaboratively with many local government offices, arts and tourism organizations, cultural venues, and businesses to achieve the most successful outcome for all events in Downtown.

Through his previous positions with the City of Albany Office of Special Events & Cultural Affairs, Jason brings nearly a decade of event planning and promotion experience to the BID. In his most recent role as public relations coordinator for the Cultural Affairs office, Jason was responsible for marketing, programming and media relations for signature City of Albany events like the Tulip Festival, the Alive at Five concert series, and the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival. Jason holds a BA in Public Communications from the College of Saint Rose.

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Rebecca Hughes
Marketing & Communications Manager
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Rebecca re-joined the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District team in September 2018. As marketing & communications manager, she handles social media, print and digital newsletters, ribbon cuttings, and ongoing marketing and communications projects for the BID, all with the objective of featuring Downtown as a great place to work, live, and play. Rebecca works with each team member to develop and implement campaigns highlighting the BID's wide variety of Stakeholders, events, hidden gems and ongoing attractions. Her passion lies in anything animal related - so don't be surprised if she approaches you to take a picture of your dog (all in the name of promoting Downtown, of course).
Rebecca's previous roles have included working as a journalist, editor, community engagement editor, and marketing campaign strategist. When she's not at the BID, Rebecca works on freelance marketing projects and spends time with her puppy, Groot. 

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Kate Medhus
Program Coordinator
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Kate joined the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District team in March 2019. As Program Coordinator she supports the Executive Director and other BID staff members on the development and planning of strategic initiatives that align with the Organization’s mission. She is responsible for BID Board and committee coordination and communication. Kate maintains the organization wide database system, administers grants awards, assists in fiscal management, as well as overall oversight of the office. She is a licensed Notary Public and is able to provide notary services to our Stakeholders during regular business hours.
Previously, Kate has worked as a receptionist and legal secretary at a local law firm and has held a variety of administrative roles at Aker Solutions, a large, international oil and gas company based in Oslo, Norway.  Kate holds a BFA in Dance from Adelphi University, is a dancer with the Albany Berkshire Ballet and currently teaches ballet at several different dance studios in the Capital Region. 

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