PDA board names Laura Olson as its new executive director

UNCLE Credit Union marketing executive moves to key downtown business organization post

Laura Olson, last year's chairman of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce and an executive with UNCLE Credit Union, has been named the new executive director of the Pleasanton Downtown Association.

She succeeds Christine Salidivar, who left the PDA last year to move to Florida with her husband John, who had just retired from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Olson, whose salary will be $75,400 a year, was executive director of the Tri-Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau for five years before joining UNCLE in 2005, where she is now its marketing and business development manager. At UNCLE, she developed and implemented marketing, advertising, business outreach and community relations for the financial institution, reporting to Jim Ott, the credit union's president and chief executive officer.

The PDA is a quasi-public organization with 575 members. It operates as an assessment district with the goal of developing and promoting Pleasanton's downtown, functioning as a non-profit with funding provided by member assessments, matching city funds, sponsorships and revenue producing events.

"The PDA is fortunate to have Laura Olson taking on this leadership role for the organization as she brings a solid background in business development and promotions along with unequaled enthusiasm for the downtown and our community," said PDA board president Janet Yarbrough, "Laura brings a blend of professionalism, personality and productivity that will support her activities to enhance the downtown district."

As executive director, Olson will be responsible for management of the activities of the Pleasanton Downtown Association in accordance with the directives and policies established by the board. As such, her duties will include coordinating and overseeing the PDA's Design, Promotions and Marketing and Downtown Vitality committees and various subcommittees and activities. She will also coordinate publications, promotional materials and the PDA's website.

Olson currently serves on the board of directors of the Pleasanton Chamber as well as the Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center and the Valley Humane Society. She and her husband, Erik, reside in Pleasanton with their one year old son, Luke.

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Like this comment
Posted by Pat Walden
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Congratulations to the PDA and Laura...good match.

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 16, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Pleasanton residents are fortunate to have such local talent! Congratulations to Laura and the Pleasanton Downtown Association on the well-suited match ... let the Street Parties, business development, and Heart of the City, continue to thrive.

Like this comment
Posted by Jim Ott
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 17, 2010 at 7:15 am

Congrats to Laura! As the CEO of UNCLE Credit Union, I'm sad to see Laura leave us, but I'm thrilled for Pleasanton and the Downtown Association! Laura has done a great job for UNCLE over the years in marketing and business development, and I know she'll be great for the PDA.

UNCLE Credit Union is so proud of you, Laura!!

Like this comment
Posted by What
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 17, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I'm sure Laura is a very nice lady...., but I must say as a downtown Main St. business owner for over 10 years that I am appalled that our city and businesses are paying someone in excess of 75K to be in this position. Businesses in the downtown district are required to belong to the P.D.A. and have no say or choice about whom gets chosen as its PDA Director. Additionally we have over the years been universally ignored regarding our input regarding the direction of downtown.

Please let me be clear. I love Pleasanton. I love the downtown street parties as well, but neither contribute to the business vitality of our downtown plain and simple.

Our Main Street provides a wonderful "back drop" for many downtown street closure events. Unfortunately most street closures do not benefit our businesses in any way, shape or form. If the PDA is about Downtown vitality, such a wonderful space as the ex Domus store would not be empty for close to 3 years now. Most Pleasanton residents rarely go downtown specifically to shop. Most go to enjoy events which have little or nothing to do with helping make shopping a vital part of the downtown experience.

Like this comment
Posted by Sonu
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 9, 2010 at 7:36 am

Most residents dont go downtown to shop because there are no places to shop for a daily life. Ricks Pick is a great addition. The Ace hardware store used to be good. Laura instead of being harsh on the Tully's which bring vibrancy and life and people to the city bring similar stores where people can shop and not spas and galleries which are nice in concept but do nothing to a citys vibrancy. A drug store, hardware store, crate and barrel, container store... express. Try and take a leaf out of Walnut creek open plaza, Palo Alto downtown. If we want no shopping then we need to be like a Castro Street Downtown with many more choices of restaurants, cafes and open late at night to draw a different crowd.

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