Our Team

The DHBC team is a small and mighty group that works on behalf of its members and the Board of Directors.

DHBC Staff

Paul MacKinnon
Chief Executive Officer

Paul (or @Downtownpaul as he’s known on Twitter) is the voice for all things Downtown Halifax. He is a passionate advocate for the need to make the right decisions and investments in Downtown, so that it can continue in its role as the economic, cultural, artistic, historic, and entertainment hub of the city and province. He leads the talented and dynamic team at DHBC.

Paul’s favourite thing about Downtown:
The historic British colonial street pattern, established in 1749, means that I am never more than a short block or two from the nearest donair.

Phone:
(902) 423-3841
Kimberly Dossett
Director of Finance & Operations

As the financial controller and Director of Operations, Kimberly is the glue that holds all the pieces together. Kimberly's extensive experience with project management, accounting, and not-for-profit management helps keep everything DHBC does on time and on budget. Kimberly manages DHBC's yearly budgets and the office, organizes Downtown beautification and logistics projects, and oversees the DHBC Downtown Halifax Crew.

Kimberly’s favourite thing about Downtown:
Sipping iced tea on the various patios around Downtown.

Phone:
(902) 423-3848
Allana MacDonald Mills
Director of Marketing

It’s Allana’s job to develop and deliver all the marketing and promotional materials for DHBC. A native Haligonian, she has over 10 years of marketing experience on the agency side having worked in Toronto and Halifax on a variety of clients. Her goal is to develop and execute marketing campaigns and programs that get more "feet on the street" in Downtown Halifax.

Allana’s favourite thing about Downtown:
How family-friendly it is. Halifax Dance, the Discovery Centre, the Submarine playground, the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market – you can keep kids busy all year round!

Phone:
(902) 407-5411
Eric Jonsson
Program Coordinator, Navigator Street Outreach

Specializing in connecting the street-involved population with community support and services, Eric can be found walking and driving all over the city. Previous to the Navigator program, he had the privilege to work with street-involved populations in shelters and as a housing support worker. Eric has a background in social work and geography while focusing on advocacy and community development. Eric is passionate about ending poverty and working to help different communities be heard. The Navigator Street Outreach program is a partnership between DHBC and Spring Garden Area Business Association. Visit the Navigator webpage for more details on the program.

Eric’s favourite thing about Downtown:
The variety and quality of amazing food that can be found within a five-minute walk from our offices.

Phone:
(902) 209-6517
Jonathan Goldson
Placemaking Manager

Jonathan is responsible for the management and execution of DHBC’s placemaking programs, events, and initiatives. In addition to his Bachelor of Community Design with a double major in Urban Design & Planning and Sustainability, Jonathan also has experience working with HRM’s Planning & Development business unit. He has a passion for creating vibrant and inclusive public spaces with a strong understanding of how such spaces impact the community.

Jonathan’s favourite thing about Downtown:
Whether you’re walking or rolling along the waterfront or cycling along the protected bike lanes on Hollis or Lower Water Streets, there is always an active way to travel within the Downtown area.

Phone:
(902) 423-5668
Jessica Pettigrew
Membership Engagement Manager

With a background in marketing and communications, Jessica enjoys connecting with people to reach creative and strategic solutions. She has a passion for all things local and works to engage, promote, and act as an advocate for DHBC and its members. You may be greeted by her at our Welcome Centre when she is not visiting Downtown businesses or attending events. During the evenings and weekends, she can be found teaching or attending fitness classes, working at Noggin’s Corner Farm, or exploring our beautiful province.

Jessica’s favourite thing about Downtown:

There is something for everyone to enjoy. The diverse range of local shops, restaurants, entertainment, services and attractions are enjoyed by those who spend time working, living, or visiting Downtown Halifax.

Phone:
(902) 444-1510
Raf Peligro
Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Raf’s role is to assist in marketing and communications activities, such as social media and website updates. He works to help promote Downtown as the ideal place to live, work, and have fun! Raf is passionate about sharing the dynamic, diverse, and vibrant stories of the people and businesses that make up the district.

Raf’s favorite thing about Downtown: 

The eclectic mix of picturesque scenery, local art, world class restaurants, entertainment for all ages, historical buildings, and so much more —  all in a few city blocks!  

Phone:
902-423-2179
Harley Pye
Administrative Assistant

Harley’s role is supporting the DHBC team and their administrative needs. Growing up just outside the city, Downtown was always a destination for her. Passionate about the unique businesses and people Downtown, Harley looks forward to returning to the heart of the city and helping wherever she can.  When not behind the desk at the Welcome Centre, she can be found walking her dog, or volunteering at The Floatation Centre.

Harley’s favourite thing about Downtown:

The walkability of all the best things Halifax has to offer! From historical sites to the water, to dog-friendly patios, it’s always a new adventure!

Phone:
902-444-0294
Jayme Lynn Butt
Communications Manager

It’s Jayme’s job to tell DHBC’s story. Joining us with 20 combined years of radio, PR & fundraising work, Jayme is excited to develop DHBC’s media relations and advocacy work. Outside of the office, Jayme can usually be found with her son exploring beaches, snuggling kitties, and seeing as much live music and theatre as humanly possible. 

Jayme's favourite thing about Downtown Halifax  

Neptune Theatre! We are so lucky to have this magical place. Go to all of the shows. #supportneptune

Phone:
902-428-5433

Board Members

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Melissa Carey
RCR Hospitality Group
Kristan Hines
NATIONAL Public Relations
Marilisa Benigno, Vice Chair
Benigno Group of Companies
Joyce Liu
Lumi Studios
Nathalie Morin
Rousseau Chocolatier
Issmat Al‐Akhali, Secretary Treasurer
Granville Hall
Matthew Martel
Black Business Initiative
Jeff Ransome
Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel
Jake Whalen
Halifax Regional Municipality
Christian Rankin, Chair
Obladee Wine Bar & Wonderlust Media
Erin Esiyok-Prime, Member at Large
Events East Group
Blaise Morrison
The Armour Group Limited
Sanjeev Pushkarna, Member at Large
Nova Scotia Power
Ashwin Kutty, Member at Large
WeUsThem Inc.
Advocacy Action Team

Advocacy Action Team

Sanjeev Pushkarna
Nova Scotia Power
Christian Rankin
Obladee Wine Bar
Jeff Ransome
Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel
Kristin O'Toole
Develop Nova Scotia
Ismaat Al-Akhali
Blacksheep Projects
Marketing Action Team

Marketing Action Team

Emily Richards
Neptune Theatre
Ankur Gupta
Scanway Catering
Emily MacNeill-Liot
Events East Group
Andrea Saint-Pierre
Craft Nova Scotia
Krista Lingley
Parks Canada
Melissa Carey
RCR Hospitality Group
Laura Oakley
Legendary Hospitality
Katie Conklin
Discover Halifax
Jenna Rideout
Develop Nova Scotia
Jessica Muzzerall
Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel
Leah Veinot
Discovery Centre
Membership Engagement Action Team

Membership Engagement Action Team

Jamie Franzmann
Discovery Centre
Griffin Hewitt
REEF Technology
Erin Esiyok-Prime
Events East Group
Marilisa Benigno
Benigno Group of Companies
Placemaking Action team

Placemaking Action team

Lindsay Ann Cory
Halifax Regional Municipality
Annie Cameron
Discover Halifax
Rose Zack
Jury member
Elora Wilkinson
Jury Member
Amber Solberg
Jury Member
James Janssen
Jury Member
Mike Burt
Jury Member
Adriana Afford
Argyle Fine Art
Grant Ruffinengo
ONSIDE
Matthew Martel
Black Business Inititiative
Nathalie Morin
Rousseau Chocolatier
T. J. Maguire
Develop Nova Scotia