Representing ‘engaged and committed’ Hillcrest businesses, 4 new leaders join board as 2 exit
By Anthony King | SDUN Editor
The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) held their 2012 annual meeting and quarterly open house on Tuesday, Oct. 9, where four new business representatives were voted onto the 2012-2013 board along with four returning members.
There were eight seats available on the board, with 11 people running. The current HBA board of directors now stands at 15 members.
Robert Lane of The Range Kitchen & Cocktails, Cecelia Moreno of Crest Café, Nicholas Papantonakis of Snooze an AM Eatery and Eddie Reynoso of MOs Universe were elected as new members to the board. Reelected were Ronald Baranov of Baranov Properties, Johnathan Hale of Hale Media, Pete Katz of Katz Real Estate and Glenn Younger of Grah Security.
“The [HBA] represents all the businesses in Hillcrest,” Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls said at the meeting, which was held at the Hillcrest Pita Jungle. “We are the voice of the business community in Hillcrest, and the board members make up that voice.”
There were 66 votes cast in total, with potential board members needing at least 50 percent, per HBA bylaws. Lisa Weir, HBA marketing and communications director, later said the organization was happy to welcome the new members, as they represent “engaged and committed” businesses in Hillcrest.
“They bring experienced voices and input as creative and motivated business leaders in our neighborhood,” Weir said. “We’re working on some major projects for 2013 and we know that these leaders will make a huge impact on Hillcrest.”
Additionally, HBA members approved changes in the bylaws and the appointment of Baranov and Delour Younan to the Uptown Community Parking board.
Younan, of Hillcrest Shell, is a current HBA board member and was not up for reelection. He joins Reem Ali of Bayu’s restaurant, Michael Brennan of Urban Green, Amy Capano of Cathedral, Sean Cute of The Ruby Room, Jillian Dicola of Hollywood Tans and Alonzo Ortiz of Comerica Bank as returning board members.
As one of the first orders of business, the new board elected new executive committee officers. Younger will serve as board president, Hale as vice president, Dicola as treasurer and Cute as secretary. The board meets monthly.
Leaving the board were Michael Wright of City Delicatessen and Nick Moede of Rich’s Nightclub and Numbers Bar and Grill. Moede, the past board president, wrote a president’s message for the business district’s annual report, highlighting the HBA’s collaborative efforts over his board term.
“There are as many visions for the future of Hillcrest as there are people that live and work in our wonderful neighborhood,” he wrote. “Over the last two years the [HBA] has worked to bring those (often competing) visions of the neighborhood together. The HBA board of directors, staff and volunteers have forged a common effort to improve our neighborhood through consensus building and compromise.”
Moede also said the neighborhood’s “nightlife business community” was equal to the daytime businesses, and highlighted the HBA’s various special events and projects as bringing “excitement” and “profitability” to Hillcrest, including the completion of this year’s Pride Flag monument at the intersection of Normal Street and University Avenue.
“Our neighborhood’s roots are rainbow colored. The LGBT community has invested in Hillcrest for decades,” he wrote. “This flag and pole will be a gathering space and tourist attraction for generations to come.”
Through the HBA-sponsored special events – CityFest, Hillcrest Hoedown, Hillcrest Mardi Gras and the new Pride of Hillcrest Block Party – approximately $512,000 was raised in the 2012 fiscal year for projects implemented by the HBA. The financial report released at the Oct. 9 meeting show approximately $789,000 in total income for the HBA, with approximately $785,000 in expenses.
Expenses include $216,300 in physical improvements to the neighborhood, such as maintenance of the Hillcrest sign, security, and cleaning and gardening, as well as $279,200 in leadership costs and $289,500 in promotions. Complete and audited financials can be obtained by contacting the HBA at 619-299-3330.