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Olympia Downtown Alliance Welcomes New Board Members

The Olympia Downtown Alliance Board is comprised of locally owned small businesses, property owners, non-profits and downtown champions.

Recently, the Olympia Downtown Alliance welcomed four new board members to its Board of Directors and installed new officers. The Olympia Downtown Alliance Board is comprised of locally owned small businesses, property owners, non-profits and downtown champions. The Board oversees the Alliance’s strategic priorities of image-making, advocacy, economic development, and most importantly the support of a clean, safe, and healthy downtown. These strategic priorities support the organization’s vision of downtown: “Downtown Olympia is the welcoming heart of our region, embracing our diverse local flavor with our inclusive nature, looking to the future while honoring the past.”  

“I’m proud to work alongside this talented group,” said Alliance President Todd Monohon. “Every individual on the Board seems to be excited about some aspect of the future of downtown, and with all of the new investment and focus by so many on the challenges we need to address, it looks like a bright future is here!  

This year the Alliance added to its board:

  • Jill Barnes, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts
  • Aslan Meade, Thurston Economic Development Council
  • Aaron Shively, Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters
  • Kae Stair, Compass Rose

Since 2013, Jill Barnes has had the pleasure of serving as the Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. She previously worked for the Idaho Falls Arts Council, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. Jill has a Master's in Arts Administration and a Bachelor's in vocal performance. She has also served as board chair of  Arts Northwest and Experience Olympia & Beyond. Jill loves putting together an artistically entertaining and engaging season, serving the community and being fiscally responsible. She shares her life with her artist husband, Nathan, and their three curly-haired kids and two Great Danes. She will be the first to tell you, “It is my circus, they are my monkeys.”  Once we are out of the “pandemic” phase of the pandemic, she believes that communal singing can save the world.

Aslan Meade oversees the Thurston EDC’s organizational development efforts, as well as marketing and events.  He also oversees the organization’s rural development and regional agriculture development initiatives.  He administers the Thurston Investment Network (ThINK).  And overall, thrives in engagement, partnership building and bringing people together.  Aslan sits on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Experience Olympia & Beyond.  And is super stoked to be joining the board of the ODA, where he has a special passion for supporting Olympia’s Creative Economy renewal.

Aaron attended The Evergreen State College where he focused his BA in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnomusicology. Upon graduating from Evergreen in 2000, he started supplementing work at the Olympia YMCA with a part-time barista gig at Batdorf & Bronson’s (now Dancing Goats) downtown coffee house.  It was love at first sip. He’s been with B&B for over 20 years.  In that time, he’s moved around with the company to Atlanta and back to Olympia. He is currently the Director of Operations.  In addition to joining the board of the ODA, he is also a member of the board of directors at Sound Studios Olympia (SSO), a local, non-profit music school, and he plays in a couple of bands that are a part of the south sound music scene. 

Kae Stair has lived in Washington for ten years now and has loved putting down roots and calling Olympia her home. She has worked at Compass Rose since 2015 and is now the manager, assistant buyer, and social media director. She also enjoys working closely with Compass Rose’s other shops: Captain Little in Olympia, and Lapis and Compass Rose Tacoma, their two Proctor District, Tacoma shops. Kae is passionate about community building, supporting small business and local artists/makers, and her cats (in no particular order). She is excited to be a new voice working with the Olympia Downtown Alliance and looks forward to the work we can do to support, rise up, and grow our local community.

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