Christine Salidivar, executive director of the Pleasanton Downtown Association since April 2004, has resigned her position effective Feb. 15 to move to Florida and marry her longtime friend John Roberts.
Salidivar, the longest serving director of the downtown business group, told the PDA's executive board about her plans. The board will meet tomorrow to decide on how it will replace her.
Roberts, a scientist at the Livermore Lab and, before that, at Los Alamos Laboratory, is retiring. The couple decided over the holidays to marry this spring and to relocate to a home they have purchased in Cape Coral, Fla., a popular retirement destination that boasts having the most inland canals anywhere with docks located at homeowners' backyards.
"I know that it's a bit cold down there right now, but that's unusual," Salidivar said. "It's a beautiful area with usually very good weather, and it's close to my mother who lives in Missouri and even to my sister, who lives in Switzerland. We'll be traveling quite a bit."
Salidivar, 46, has more than 16 years of business organizational management experience. A Navy veteran who served in director positions at Chambers of Commerce in Lakeport, Oroville and Union City before establishing a consulting business in Fresno, Salidivar headed numerous marketing and planning efforts and events, bringing that experience to Pleasanton.
Since taking the downtown business organization position here, she has added new members, including many from outside the downtown district "that have found that it's to their advantage to be part of our organization and the many special events that we have to help small businesses."
The PDA, which h is a quasi-public organization, receives subsidies from the city of Pleasanton and membership fees from businesses in the downtown area that are required to be part of the organization. Its budget is just under $500,000 for fiscal 2010.
During her tenure, Salidivar also increased business participation and public attendance at PDA events, including First Wednesday street parties in the summer months and Concerts in the Park, where concert-goers now fill both Lions Wayside Park and nearby Delucchi Park for the weekly summertime Friday night concerts.
Salidivar said the PDA will be actively involved in developing businesses and pedestrian attractions for the thousands expected to visit plays, galleries and classes at the new Firehouse Arts Center, which will open later this year. She looks for Railroad Avenue, where the new center is located, to become be filled with coffeehouses, restaurants and boutiques, enhancing the historic downtown on nearby Main Street and side streets.
"Downtown Pleasanton is truly amazing," she said. "We have people from other Main Street organizations throughout the country who ask how they can emulate what Pleasanton has done in their own downtowns. "We have a truly authentic and historic downtown that makes people feel very welcome here."
Salidivar is expected to say her formal farewell at the PDA's annual membership and dinner meeting Jan. 21 at The Farmer Restaurant in downtown Pleasanton.
As for Florida, she said she probably will get involved public activities in both Cape Coral and nearby Naples, which, like Pleasanton, is known for its arts community and concerts in the park.
"Actually, I lived in Florida for a brief time years ago when I was in Naval boot camp," Salidivar said. "But I won't hold that against the state."