Broken Arrow development group hires new marketing expert
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
10/24/12 at 3:27 AM
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BROKEN ARROW - An economic development organization has hired a marketing expert as its downtown development director.
Lisa Frein, a public relations instructor at Tulsa Community College and former marketing consultant, will assume some of the duties of downtown development specialist Tom Barnett, who left the Broken Arrow Economic Development Corp. in September.
Warren Unsicker, the organization's vice president of economic development, said he and Frein will work "hand-in-hand" to continue promoting downtown and encouraging development there.
"The plan remains the same," he said. "It's just new faces."
The two will work aggressively to attract retailers, housing and events downtown, he said.
Their immediate goal is to develop a marketing campaign centered around downtown's nickname, "the Rose District," which was adopted by the City Council on Oct. 16, Frein said.
She said they will look to solidify an image for the area by helping design a downtown logo, advertising the nickname and establishing a social media presence.
Downtown is envisioned as an arts and entertainment district.
The city's latest project, a $4 million streetscape makeover approved in principle this month, aims to give five blocks of Main Street a historical, pedestrian-friendly feel with fewer traffic lanes, more landscaping and wider sidewalks.
The city hopes to begin the project by June 1.
"We're at a really awesome and exciting time for Broken Arrow right now," Frein said. "To get to be at the forefront of creating an arts and entertainment district is really an honor for me and also for our (downtown) merchants."
Frein co-founded a marketing consulting firm in 2010 and has managed communications for the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
She said that experience will be valuable for downtown Broken Arrow.
"It really helps if you can communicate to the public who and what you are," she said. "We're not going to leave people guessing."
She said one of her priorities will be fostering cooperation among business owners, the city's Downtown Advisory Board and the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Corp.'s sister organization.
Downtown merchants told the advisory board this month that they feared that Barnett's departure would set back efforts to improve the groups' relationships.
"It is important to me to understand that there have been some sensitivities there, but it's also important to me to let them (the merchants) know that's why I'm here," Frein said.
The city contracts with the Economic Development Corp. to guide its development efforts citywide.
The organization hired Barnett in March amid calls to find an experienced downtown specialist. Barnett had worked for Evansville, Ind., and Paducah, Ky.
Original Print Headline: BA development group hires new marketing expert
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
Lisa Frein: Broken Arrow's new downtown development specialist plans to develop a marketing campaign based on downtown's recently unveiled Rose District theme. "To get to be at the forefront of creating an arts and entertainment district is really an honor for me and also for our (downtown) merchants," she said