The Pleasanton Downtown Association has announced a leadership change, with the Board of Directors appointing Tiffany Cadrette as the organization's new executive director, effective Aug. 5.
The PDA's events and communications manager for the past three years, Cadrette is an in-house selection to succeed longtime executive director Laura Olson, who is departing later this summer after more than nine years at the helm.
Cadrette said she is honored to earn the opportunity to lead the organization tasked with promoting downtown Pleasanton while working with the business owners, key stakeholders and community leaders.
"This is an exciting role, and I look forward to promoting and enhancing our historic downtown as the economic, social and cultural heart of the community," she said in a statement last week. "Pleasanton is a unique and special community and deserves to have a vibrant and thriving downtown."
"I look forward to helping Pleasanton define its priorities for downtown, to fulfill those desires, and to make downtown Pleasanton a place everyone can enjoy," she added. "I recognize the importance of enhancing the vitality of our downtown while maintaining the hometown character we all know and love."
A current Pleasanton resident, Cadrette has had professional ties within the community throughout much of her marketing career, including prior roles with the Alameda County Fairgrounds and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.
Olson spoke highly of Cadrette as her successor in the PDA statement announcing her upcoming departure.
"While very bittersweet to say goodbye, I couldn't be happier to have Tiffany assume this role. She is smart, energetic and passionate about downtown. The future is bright for all of us," Olson said.
A Pleasanton native and former executive with Visit Tri-Valley and UNCLE Credit Union, Olson has led the PDA since April 2010, spearheading new and recurring special events to bring residents and visitors downtown along with advocacy efforts on the behalf of the organization.
She will be relocating with her children to Gadsden, Ala., with her final day with the PDA set as Aug. 2 -- the day of Pleasanton's 125th Anniversary Celebration, the PDA's marquee event in 2019.
Bryan Bowers, PDA board president, said Olson has left "an indelible mark" on the community and her leadership and passion "will truly be missed."
"She has grown and developed our organization into a truly dynamic and highly effective nonprofit. She has been a strong and effective leader, serving as the public face and voice of downtown Pleasanton," Bowers said.
Olson is credited with creating popular PDA events such as the Brew Crawls, Holiday Spirit Stroll and Forkful. She also represented the organization on the city's Downtown Specific Plan Update Task Force and on the California Main Street Alliance Board of Directors, including three years as its board president.
"Pleasanton is my hometown and my desire has always been to see our downtown thrive in every way so that it will remain the authentic heart of our beautiful town," Olson said. "I am proud of the work we have accomplished, and I am excited to see all that is to come for downtown Pleasanton."
Cadrette will be taking the reins during a crucial time for the PDA.
An organization tasked with promoting downtown Pleasanton and enhancing its viability, the PDA is funded through annual assessments paid by for-profit businesses within the Downtown Pleasanton Business Improvement District (BID), as well as through financial support -- direct and indirect -- from the city government and via sponsorships and fundraising events such as Concerts in the Park.
PDA leaders have been advocating city officials this year to begin working on updating downtown's BID structure -- which Olson said hasn't been amended in three decades -- to create a more stable and predictable funding source for the PDA.
"It is unfortunately just out-of-date and no longer able to provide its intended purpose for our businesses and for our association," Olson told the City Council in March. "We'd like to be proactive and work the city closely to find a structure that's better suited for modern-day downtown Pleasanton."
The council agreed to include those BID structure discussions in the city's priority work plan for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years, but in the lowest priority category, for city staff to work on only as time allows.
Cadrette will also be starting her tenure as the city works to finalize adoption of the updated Downtown Specific Plan and as the PDA wraps up its summer Concerts in the Park series and prepares for key special events in the fall leading into winter. Pleasanton resident Jayda Ramirez has been hired to succeed Cadrette as the PDA's events and marketing manager.