Sonia Huntzinger, Executive Director
Huntzinger served as an event coordinator for the Downtown Bethlehem Merchants Association before being promoted to vice president of the regional Chamber of Commerce, where she oversaw the efforts of six Main Street managers in seventeen downtown commercial districts throughout the Lehigh Valley. Her enthusiasm for her job came from cultivating sustainable relationships with merchants, other local organizations, and municipal officials--all in the interest of bettering the communities.
Through her downtown revitalization efforts, Huntzinger had opportunities to establish and direct city-wide marketing, brand development, and tourism marketing initiatives, partnering with local historic museums, colleges, festival organizers, and arts organizations. She wrote, received, and reported on grants from local and state governmental agencies for tourism and downtown revitalization efforts. She advocated for small businesses and implemented strategies to educate property owners and minimize storefront vacancies.
While serving as director of a visitors and conference bureau, Huntzinger coordinated efforts to create long-range tourism marketing strategies and managed all publicity and advertising programs, created comprehensive and profitable destination guides, and managed large city-funded tourism budgets.
Most recently, Huntzinger served as marketing and communications manager for a housing development corporation to gain experience with another component of city revitalization.
Now, here in York, she has returned to her primary passion working in a downtown district, strengthening the local economy through revitalization, small business development, and destination marketing.
Natalie E. Williams, Small Business Liaison
As the small business liaison, Williams collaborates with the Economic Development Department of the City of York and the York County Economic Alliance to identify and recruit local, regional and national retailers to downtown York. She focuses on researching and compiling trade area demographic information to market downtown York to prospective businesses, and to assist businesses in understanding the City permitting and inspections processes. Williams also works to develop retention strategies and programming for the small business community in the City of York.
Williams previously worked for the REALTORS Association of York and Adams Counties in Community Development, where she forged relationships with the real estate community and many non-profit organizations in the York area. She is passionate about the “downtown scene” and very excited to be a part of the energy.
Douglas Knight, Marketing Director
As Marketing Director, Douglas Knight is responsible for managing Downtown Inc events including First Fridays, Go Green in the City, Sweetest Pint, and the Downtown First Awards. In addition, Knight oversees marketing and communications for the organization including monthly e-newsletters, social media pages, DowntownYorkPa.com, and public relations outreach.
Knight (“DK”) is a social entrepreneur, activator, speaker, coach, and cheerleader for the non-profit FOR-IMPACT sector. In roles as staff member, board member, coach, and consultant, Knight has worked with organizations of various sizes and scopes, to best maximize their abilities to provide impact in their respective communities. Knight’s focus areas include: Marketing & Public Relations, Board Development, Strategic Fund Development, Strategic Planning, Special Event Management, Social Media Strategy and Communications.
Knight is a recent transplant back to Pennsylvania from 15 years in Washington, D.C. where he worked in community development and social innovation in community revitalization. Believing in social enterprise and with a passion and love of urban renewal of our cities large and small, Knight is thrilled to bring his passion, energy, and experience to the work of Downtown Inc.
Jody Chesla, Office Manager
As office manager, Chesla provides staff support, maintains the database listings for Main Street York and the York Business Improvement District Authority, and oversees day to day operations of the office. She holds an Associates in Specialized Business in Accounting and Business Administration from Cambria-Rowe Business College, and a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management from DeVry University.
Prior to her 2011 start with Downtown Inc, Chesla worked as an Office Manager and Tax Preparer for H&R Block.
As Project Administrator, Miller oversees the projects and programs relating to the Moving Plans into Action initiative: efforts to improve the overall economic health of the downtown by improving its walkable and bike-able landscape, increasing the number of its residents and enhancing its chief placemaking assets, such as Continental Square and the Codorus Creek. Moving Plans into Action is a collaborative approach to achieving long-held community goals in the heart of York’s downtown.
Prior to the arrival of Moving Plans into Action at Downtown Inc, Miller provided support to the initiative for three years as a specialist in community information and coordination at the York College Center for Community Engagement and later as an independent contractor. He has also provided support to the YorkCounts initiative of the York County Community Foundation, acting as a consultant to the YorkCounts Indicators Committee and producing all data and research used in the YorkCounts 2012 Indicators Report, a collection of York County quality-of-life measurements which are used to inform community decision-making. Miller’s previous work experience includes three years in operations management in and around the Baltimore metro area.
A strong believer in downtown York’s ongoing transformation and its regional impact, Miller is proud to be a part of Downtown Inc’s efforts to keep the momentum going.