New Jersey's Capital City's Business District Gets New Leader

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The Trenton Downtown Association (TDA) has appointed Taneshia Nash Laird, of Trenton, N.J., as its new executive director. Laird will direct the TDA and lead its efforts to revitalize Trenton's downtown area. She is responsible for all of the TDA's programs and services to strengthen and promote businesses within the downtown and to improve its quality of life.

The Trenton Downtown Association (TDA) has appointed Taneshia Nash Laird, of Trenton, N.J., as its new executive director.

Laird will direct the TDA and lead its efforts to revitalize Trenton's downtown area. She is responsible for all of the TDA's programs and services to strengthen and promote businesses within the downtown and to improve its quality of life.

"We are delighted that the next phase of the TDA's growing role in serving Trenton's downtown will be under Taneshia's direction," said John P. Thurber, president of the TDA board of directors. "Her extensive background in business development and marketing combined with her entrepreneurial spirit and creativity makes her uniquely qualified for this leadership role."

Laird, who has run her own marketing and consulting firm and worked in real estate development, most recently served as director of the Division of Economic Development for the City of Trenton. In that capacity, she was responsible for Trenton's economic development activities, including business attraction, retention and expansion as well as job creation.

"Taneshia has served our citizens well, bringing private sector economic development here," Mayor Douglas H. Palmer said. "I look forward to working with her and all of our other dedicated partners at this exciting time of redevelopment for our capital city."

Thurber noted that the TDA board was highly impressed with Laird's ability to work in close partnership with Mayor Palmer and other key governmental and private sector partners in creating new programs.

"The TDA is committed to working collaboratively to implement a shared strategy for downtown revitalization," he said. "We are excited about Taneshia's ability to build on the TDA's success in creating successful programs such as Patriot's Week, Trenton2Nite and the Capital City Market to expand economic opportunities for local businesses. We are confident that under her leadership, the downtown will become an even more attractive destination for visitors and location for new residents."

Laird views her transition to the TDA as an opportunity to bring together the City's best resources and work strategically to further Trenton's burgeoning economic growth.

"When a city's government, economic development organizations, and business and property owners collaborate, the local business environment thrives," she said. "When all involved believe in and are committed to developing that city's economic potential, the community as a whole is transformed. I am pleased to continue to be a part of Trenton's on-going transformation."

Laird earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Management from Bernard Baruch College in New York, N.Y., and has a certificate in Real Estate Development & Finance from the Real Estate Institute of New York University. She is a member of the board of the National Education Network, Inc. and a trustee of the Mill Hill Performing Arts Trust. The Network Journal magazine recently honored Laird as one of "Forty Under 40" for her achievements in business and outstanding community service.

ABOUT THE TRENTON DOWNTOWN ASSOCIATION
The TDA serves the downtown business improvement district by delivering services such as sanitation and maintenance, visitor services, marketing and promotional programs, capital improvements and beautification in a designated area. The TDA is funded by a special assessment paid by property owners within the district, as well as grants from public and private sources. For more information on TDA, its arts and culture programs or its business services, call 609-393-8998.

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