About

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
Advocacy

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.

Beautification

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.

Safety

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, Fork in the Road, Residential Open House and others. 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.

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.

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. In doing so, Jason assists with developing marketing and promotional plans for each event, including securing radio advertising spots and developing printed and electronic promotional materials. Jason works collaboratively with the City’s Special Events Office, the Albany County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the City’s Department of General Services, Albany Police Department, local arts and cultural venues as well as 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. His years of collaborating with local government, businesses and cultural organizations to produce events highlighting Downtown Albany makes him uniquely well-suited for his role as the BID’s special events manager. Jason holds a BA in Public Communications from the College of Saint Rose.

Jenny Coye
Communications Specialist
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Jenny joined the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District in August of 2017. As Communications Specialist for the BID, Jenny works with over 300 businesses to develop and execute numerous initiatives to promote the goods and services of our Stakeholders. In addition to assisting the Executive Director with implementing a comprehensive communications plan to heighten awareness of Downtown development and investment, Jenny also manages all forms of social media for the BID, updates and maintains the organization's website, oversees the production of printed and electronic promotional materials, and handles all outreach to and from local and national media outlets.

Prior to joining the team, Jenny gained valuable experience fulfilling marketing and public relations roles within both the technology and legal services industries. She has experience coordinating efforts for events of all kinds; from small workshops to full-scale, multiple-day conferences. Jenny has organized several, highly-successful ribbon cutting events while simultaneously garnering national media exposure of the business’ expansion. Utilizing her knowledge of effective communication and interpersonal skills, Jenny would regularly conduct training sessions for her colleagues to increase their comfort with areas such as public speaking, marketing and persuasive writing.

Having spent years living within a block of the BID's office, and already a big fan of the District in general, Jenny makes for the perfect “Downtown Publicist" to continue attracting vibrancy and innovation to Downtown Albany. A self-described technology-enthusiast, Jenny enjoys staying current on the latest social media trends and channels while learning about how new technologies can impact and improve our lives. Jenny graduated magna cum laude from the University at Albany, where she received her BA in communications with minors in both fine art and film studies.

Rebecca Haizmann
Executive Assistant
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Rebecca re-joined the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District team in September 2018. As executive assistant, she assists the Executive Director administratively while supporting other BID staff members on the development, planning and coordination of various initiatives throughout the District. She is also the primary person responsible for preparing meeting materials and general correspondence with the BID Board in addition to producing minutes from Board, Executive Committee, and other committee meetings. Rebecca maintains the organization’s internal database, which includes managing individual records, system efficiencies, information on tenants and organizations, and segmented mailing lists. She also administers the grants awarded to the BID, including the National Grid Grant, and is the designated contact person to fulfill the BID’s role as Local Project Administrator for the NYS Main Street Grant, which provides funding for the renovation of four historical building in Downtown. 
 
Rebecca's previous roles have included working as a journalist, editor, community engagement editor, and marketing campaign strategist for a local arts organization. When she's not at the BID, Rebecca is a caretaker for her father, works on freelance marketing projects, and attempts to train her puppy, Groot.