HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Barbara Prisament, a 19-year village resident, was selected for the newly created role as the village’s downtown advocate.
"The first order of business has been to reach out to all the business owners in the village to introduce myself, share insights and discuss how we can best work together to increase the vitality of our downtown,” Prisament told Daily Voice.
The part-time position, which comes with a $30,000 salary, will ensure that the village’s downtown serves both residents and visitors alike as an attractive marketplace and space for community gathering.
The downtown advocate will work with businesses, residents and various government departments and boards.
The downtown advocate reports directly to the village manager and will work with the village Board of Trustees to review strategies and policies that affect the business district.
A committee composed of the village manager, deputy village manager and Board of Trustees selected Prisament.
The village received 39 applications, and out of the five interviews given, Prisament shined above the rest.
"Ms. Prisament's approach to the board during the selection process displayed a combination of enthusiasm, professionalism and a rich array of creative ideas that were thoughtfully designed based on her deep understanding of our community,” said Mayor Peter Swiderski.
Prisament is a co-organizer of 12milesnorth’s annual Take Me to the River music and arts festival and is currently working with RivertArts to co-produce a new music studio tour for the quad-rivertown villages this spring.
Prisament was a marketing and sales executive for about 15 years at notable labels such as Elektra Entertainment, Chrysalis and Capitol Records. She recently served as a social media consultant for the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts in Katonah.
One of Prisament’s first projects on the job is a series of events titled Destination Hastings. The first event is scheduled for Dec. 5 and will offer a twist on the annual holiday Friday Night Live and tree-lighting event.
“It's been a great way to ‘hit the ground running’ and begin working with the various stakeholders, including the residents, that make our village special,” said Prisament.
Also in the works is a “village crawl” event, which will focus on Hastings-on-Hudson’s restaurants, bars and shops.
“We were impressed with her vision and believe she will address the role with great verve,” said Swiderski.
Prisament says that this will be no sweat in a place like Hastings-on-Hudson that is rich with heritage, natural and various other resources.
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