The new Downtown Business Association (DBA) Board of Directors is putting a priority on bringing downtown to its full potential. Not only does this new DBA board represent what the downtown area is, but most importantly, what it could be. The DBA is led by Senior VP of Administration for Visit Baton Rouge, Lauralyn Maranto and Lauren Lambert-Tompkins, who serve as the DBA board president and managing director, respectively.
“I’ve been involved with the DBA for a long time, and I’m honored the board elected me as president.” Maranto stated. “I hope to bring some institutional knowledge to the arena, but also hear and react to what some of the newcomers are saying.”
The DBA is a non-profit membership organization that produces the popular free concert series Live After Five. The association’s leadership launched the series in a defunct parking lot over 20 years ago with the intention to attract potential patrons and keep downtown workers downtown on Friday evenings, breathing life and commerce into the area. Today, Live After Five regularly attracts thousands of people to enjoy free live music, local food vendors, kids activities, and art vendors.
But the DBA wants to see more.
“You can drive 50 miles in any direction in Louisiana and have a new experience with unique culture, food, and music.” said Lambert-Tompkins, DBA managing director. “Where does downtown Baton Rouge fit into that? When people visit us, they expect to hear unique music, eat great food, and get a full and vibrant Louisiana experience. Let’s give it to them.”
The association is partnering with local business owners, BRASS by Circa 1857 and the Downtown Development District to launch a new initiative incentivizing downtown workers to enjoy perks at area bars and restaurants. The association will also continue to invest in digital marketing strategies to encourage downtown patronage (check out the association’s social media), but DBA is looking at the long-term effects that events and programming can have in a downtown space as evidenced by this study.
“It’s all about the experience,” Maranto said. “From arrival to departure, we want a downtown guest, whether a local community member or an out-of-town visitor, to feel like they experienced something special; something unique.”
It’s a tall order for a small organization with limited means operated solely by volunteers and contractors, but this board is up for the challenge.
“With very few resources, we’ve created a free event series that rivals major paid festivals,” said Lambert-Tompkins. “This diverse and committed board of directors along with partner organizations is set to make a meaningful impact in our capital city’s downtown, but we need more buy-in and support from large corporations, local agencies, and community members.”
To submit your suggestions on downtown initiatives, click here.
To join the DBA, click here.
To donate to Live After Five, click here.
The full list of the DBA team is here and as follows:
DBA President, Senior VP of Administration for Visit Baton Rouge
DBA Vice President, Owner of Gaudet Realty
DBA Secretary, Owner and Partner of Fini Firm
DBA Treasurer, VP Director of Human Resources for b1BANK
DBA Legal Chair, Partner at Jones Walker
DBA Immediate Past President, Vice President and Marketing Manager of Guaranty Media
DBA Board Member, Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co.
DBA Board Member, CEO and Executive Producer of Launch Media and Managing Partner of Creative Bloc
DBA Board Member, Owner of BRASS by Circa 1857
DBA Board Member, Co-Owner and Creative Director of Red Six Media and Owner of Brickyard South
DBA Board Member, Director of the BR African American Museum and Night Manager at Hotel Indigo
DBA Board Member, Owner of 13th Gate Haunted House and 13th Gate Escape
DBA Board Member, Partner of Emergent Method
DBA Board Member, Assistant Executive Director of the Downtown Development District
DBA Managing Director, Business Development Director for STUN Design
Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge is a membership organization that represents businesses in the downtown area. We foster a thriving downtown economy based on cooperation between local businesses, governmental agencies, and the residential community. We are committed to achieving pragmatic growth and lasting opportunity.