Downtown Springfield, Inc. is the capital city’s non-profit and Main Street organization dedicated to increasing economic and cultural vitality in Springfield’s historic downtown district. The organization was formed in 1993.
DSI has a robust volunteer corps working for downtown revitalization in these areas:
- Supporting Our Retail Community: Providing a network for our merchants to share best practices and collectively identify and reduce or eliminate barriers to retail success; and hosting merchant-focused events such as First Fridays, Shop Hop, Bloktoberfest and Holiday Walks;
- Filling the Vacancies: Working with the City to eliminate code confusion and make it easier to repurpose historic, empty spaces; with our partners to launch a mix of incentives to speed upper-story rehab & use of empty commercial spaces; and serving as an active liaison between property owners, developers & current and potential tenants;
- Wayfinding, Placemaking & Beautification: Creating and highlighting places where people want to gather in our beautiful downtown and adding the “wow” and the “weird,” including managing the ARTificiation mural and the Old Capitol Farmers Market;
- Consumer Transportation: Increasing consumers’ ability to navigate downtown by removing barriers such as parking confusion and working with our police force, medical community and social service providers to ensure a healthy environment for all;
- Marketing the District: Spreading the good news about what is happening downtown to locals and tourists, through social media, our website and a mobile app (coming in 2017); and
- Planning the District: Developing and implementing plans to grow downtown as a cultural district and 24/7 residential and walkable neighborhood with all of the associated amenities.
Looking for a unique way to market your company or event? DSI and Ace Sign Company manage the downtown banners program. Read more>
Meet your friends at the Old Capitol Farmers Market for fresh, local food and products every Wednesday and Saturday morning from 8am – 12:30 pm through October 29, thanks to our premier Market Sponsor HSHS St. John’s Hospital, and our partners Illinois Stewardship Alliance and genHkids. Read more>
HOW WE ARE FUNDED
DSI is a 501(c)6 membership organization funded primarily through private sector and corporate support. Some of our popular fundraising events are the summertime Downtown Throwdown, and our Annual Dinner in January. Believe in the District? Become an Advocate or Business/Corporate Member today>
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President – Anthony “Tony” Comerio, Hanson Professional Services
Vice President – Shawn Mayernick, Illinois State Fair
Secretary – Jean Bruner-Jachino, Carpenter Street Hotel
Treasurer – Josh Clark, Kerber Eck Braeckel
Immediate Past President – Karen Conn, Conn’s Hospitality Group
Lisa Clemmons Stott, Executive Director
Lisa moved to Springfield in 1994 for the Sangamon State graduate legislative internship program, after earning her journalism degree from UIUC. She worked 18 years in public sector and non-profit communications and fundraising positions for institutions including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, WUIS Public Radio and the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, before launching her consulting firm. In 2015, her firm received both the Illinois Outreach Award from the state chapter of the American Planning Association for the Cairo (Illinois) Comprehensive Plan; and Edgewise Consulting was also a nominee for The Chamber’s New & Emerging Business Owner of the Year. Lisa was appointed by Mayor Houston to co-chair the Sustainable Design Assessment Team Action Committee, working to implement the recommendations in the 96-page SDAT report for downtown sustainability and was also tapped by Mayor Langfelder to coordinate city planning activities. Lisa was named Executive Director of DSI in December 2015.
FUN FACT: While at UIUC, Lisa co-wrote the documentary, “Whatever Happened to Saturday Night,” about the rise of the mall at the expense of the downtown. You can still find it in the Champaign Public Library, probably on VHS.
Nathan Bishop, Program Director
Nathan joined DSI as a Program Director in February of 2016. He brings a variety of experience and expertise in the fields of urban revitalization, economic development, transportation and urban planning. He has held positions in the field of planning at Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Colorado Center for Community Development, and Metro Transit (Bi-State Development Agency). Nathan’s experience includes a broad range of projects ranging in size from playgrounds to business districts to transit-oriented development. Nathan is accredited by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and has a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor’s Degree from Murray State University.
FUN FACT: Nathan has lived in six states and attended 11 schools. He has seen a lot of what works, and what doesn’t, in downtowns around the nation.
Lyn Young, Office Manager
Lyn has been working part-time for DSI for nearly a decade, contributing to nearly every facet of the organization, including membership fulfillment, event management, and grant solicitation & management.
Shanna MacLagan, Retail & PR Coordinator
Shanna is completing her final year at UIS with plans to pursue a public relations career in the fashion industry. Originally from South Africa, Shanna brings a fresh, millennial perspective to marketing the district. She’s started our Instagram account, FOMO Springfield and wrote our first feature-length post, about The Card*ologist, on our new website.