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 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
Ivy Ho
Director of Communications

Ivy is in charge of communications – internal and external, across all DHBC departments, including: members, stakeholders, the public, and media. Her focus is on advocacy, getting the members’ voices heard, as well as research, from pedestrian counts to industry stats. Her goal is to use her experience and expertise to meet the communication needs of the businesses Downtown and to advocate on their behalf.

Ivy’s favourite thing about Downtown:
City Hall, an education-oriented sex shop, a fine art retailer, an oyster bar, and a circus school all on the same street. You can’t find that in any other part of the city!

Phone:
(902) 428-5433
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 website 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
Gabrielle Malone
Communications & Marketing Coordinator

Gabrielle is a Public Relations co-operative education student from Mount Saint Vincent University, currently completing her final year of the program. In 2017, she moved to Halifax from Ontario and instantly fell in love with the vibrant city and all it has to offer. She is excited to use and expand her skills in marketing and communications to benefit the community she now calls home. During her time with DHBC, she is eager to gain new learning opportunities and expand on the knowledge learned in the classroom. 

Gabrielle's favorite thing about Downtown:

The variety of incredible restaurants! No matter what mood you’re in, you can find something delicious Downtown – that includes dessert of course.

Phone:
(902) 423-2179
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 and beyond.

Jessica’s favourite thing about Downtown:

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

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

Raf Peligro is a senior at Mount Saint Vincent University studying public relations. He moved from the Philippines in 2018 and has called Halifax home since. In his part-time work with DHBC this fall, Raf is excited to help share and highlight the dynamic, diverse, and vibrant stories of the people and businesses that make up Downtown Halifax. 

Raf’s favorite thing about Downtown: 

You can experience the flavours and cuisines from around the world all within a few city blocks!

Board Members

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Christian Rankin, Chair
Obladee Wine Bar & Wonderlust Media
Marilisa Benigno, Vice Chair
Benigno Group of Companies
Issmat Al‐Akhali, Secretary/Treasurer
Granville Hall
Erin Esiyok-Prime, Member at Large
Events East Group
Jeff Ransome, Member at Large
Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel
Gordon Whittaker, Past Chair
Side Door
Melissa Carey
RCR Hospitality Group
Ashwin Kutty
WeUsThem Inc.
Kristin O'Toole
Develop Nova Scotia
Matthew Martel
Black Business Initiative
Nathalie Morin
Rousseau Chocolatier
Blaise Morrison
The Armour Group Limited
Sanjeev Pushkarna
Nova Scotia Power
Jake Whalen
Halifax Regional Municipality
Advocacy Action Team

Advocacy Action Team

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

Marketing Action Team

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

Membership Engagement Action Team

Tyler Beers
Marsh Canada Limited
Kevin Burgess
Ambassatours Gray Line/Murphy's on the Water
Erin Esiyok-Prime
Events East Group
Marilisa Benigno
Benigno Group of Companies
Beautification Action team

Beautification Action team

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