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Picton BIA bids farewell to long-time manager Lyndsay Richmond

BIA board chair Robyn Molyneaux and entrepreneur Chris Crawford with BIA’s Lyndsay Richmond, right, in this 2012 file photo from a BIA special “Red Carpet” event honouring achievements of member businesses.

Picton’s Business Improvement Association will bid farewell to its long-time manager during Wednesday’s annual general meeting, and welcome a new face to the helm.

After 13 years with the BIA, Lyndsay Richmond will be focusing on her young family and balance that with operating two business from home.

“I have literally grown with the association and am extremely passionate about Prince Edward County and the businesses within each community,” said Richmond. “Before my third daugher was born, it became apparent to me that my priorities needed to shift. Although a very difficult decision, I felt the need to be at home and more available to my children.”

Richmond was the first staff person to join the Picton BIA in 2005, as a youth intern. Proving staff support was key to growing the association, she was hired.

“The association quickly grew and soon the BIA moved to new office space, saw increased communictions to its members, marketing initiatives, streetscape enhancement projects and the creation of partnerships within the business community.”

Successful in 2008 with funding for an executive director, the BIA welcomed Roni Summers Wickens and Richmond took on the job of director of member services.

“The BIA needed to create long-term sustainable strategies to move forward. During Roni’s time, it was able to maintain existing projects and create new projects – including installation of bike posts, benches, flower planters, Christmas decorations, garbage receptacles, as well as the re-design of the Picton Guide to Shps and Services, information kiosks within the core, and more.”

The association was on a high note through 2012, then Summers-Wickens was faced with fighting a second bout of cancer. Richmond had become manager, but due to budget constraints and lack of external funding resources, the BIA was unable to hire additional staff.

Richmond rose to the challenge providing the administrative role, managing finances, leading committee and board meetings, as well as an advocacy role for the business community. As well, there were new challenges as talks began on the downtown revitalization, harbour and heritage district; the revitalization of main street, as well as the tourism development alliance, accessibility committee and other community groups.

All the while, work on the signature events – Maple Madness, sidewalk sales, Canada Day celebrations and Santa Claus parade continued along with specialized ‘Spend it in Picton’ and ‘Keep it in the County’ campaigns.

“I have spent a lot of years with the BIA and formed close relationships with business owners, property owners, staff, political leaders and community groups,” she said. “The experience and knowledge gained in this position will only empower me to have more of a voice when it comes to decisions that affect our communities long-term.”

Sonya, Dawn and Lyndsay – the Eph*ra Events team.

Moving forward, Richmond’s focus will shift as a partner with the award-winning Eph*ra Events wedding planning and special events management business, started in 2015 by Sonya Szabo and Dawn Strafrace. She will also be managing County Cleaners Inc – a business she started last summer with her sister.

“I will miss the BIA and involvement in seeing some of the big projects for Picton come to life, but I am excited and grateful for spending more days with my girls while managing the growth of my own businesses,” she said.

During the staffing transition, Richmond will be at the BIA office two days a week, until March. The office is currently open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and is also staffed, until March, by Judith Burfoot, who looked after the Richmond’s workload as contract office administrator during both of her last two maternity leaves.

“Judith was able to take the reigns and lead the charge and did a damn good job managing a heavy workload in my absence,” said Richmond. “I also appreciate working with the BIA Board which has done a tremendous job as volunteers and its members have incredible passion for the business community.”

Sarah Doiron, the Picton BIA’s new manager.

The two will join BIA members and guests at Wednesday night’s annual general meeting to welcome Sarah Doiron as the new manager.

Doiron is a Picton resident who has returned to the Quinte region after spending several years in Ottawa where she worked in partnership with the Wellington West BIA. Most recently, she worked for Community Care for South Hastings on volunteers, special events and fundraising.

She has a certificate in Event Management, a BA (Mass Communications and English Literature) from Carleton and a Geriatric certificate from McMaster.

“I couldn’t be happier to be a new resident of Picton,” said Doiron. “I am thrilled to be starting this new journey as the manager of the Picton BIA, and am so looking forward to forging connections with all of the people who have made the town of Picton such a wonderful community to live in, and to visit.”

She begins work on Feb. 1st, following her appearance at the AGM and will work in transition with Richmond and Burfoot until March.

The AGM is set for 6-9pm Wed., Jan. 31 at Coach’s Pub and Grill House, 251 Main St., Picton.
6:00 – 6:30 Networking Opportunity, Cash Bar
6:30 – 7:30 Dinner hosted by Coach’s Pub and Grill House
7:30 – 9:00 Business Meeting (all welcome)

Board Chair Robyn Molyneux will provide a review of work throughout 2017 and extend encouragement to shop local, maintain and expand services while offering unique experiences in 2018.

Click here for a look at the 2018 business plan

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  1. Norman Markland says:

    Congratulations Lyndsay!!! 13 amazing years with such an amazing organization! So happy I was able to work with you and Roni for 13 of those 13 years. Wishing you all the best as you move to the next chapter in your life!

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