Board selects new executive director for the BSD
By David Hohendorf
A new Birmingham Shopping District (BSD) Executive Director, Christina Sheppard-Decius, was approved by the group's governing board at its meeting on Thursday, September 1, to fill the management spot left vacant since early May with the resignation of Sean Kammer, who had the position for about one year.
Over 30 applications had been received for the position and a special committee has been working to arrive at finalists for the position. The top two candidates met with the selection committee on August 31, at which time the panel arrived at a recommendation for the BSD board consideration.
The top two candidates were discussed by the BSD board which eventually gave a unanimous vote for the Sheppard-Decius hire.
BSD Board Chairperson Amy Pohlod said that as part of each finalist's background check, the selection committee talked to officials and businesses in communities where Sheppard-Decius had or is currently working and “businesses were very impressed by her performance.”
Sheppard-Decius is the founder and president of Pow!Strategies, a downtown business management consulting firm, the clients of which have included Downtown Dearborn Development Authorities (seven years), Pontiac Main Street, National Main Street Center, Main Street Oakland County (15 years), Ferndale (15 years), the Brighton PSD, Auburn Hills and Downtown Clawson.
She is currently under contract with Dearborn until the end of December but the BSD board will be requesting that, as part of the hire, Sheppard-Decius work to see if the contract can be ended earlier or request that she at least attend Birmingham BSD-related meetings and possibly be able to spend one-two days each week in the office here until she assumes a full time position with the city.
BSD officials noted that they still need to “work out details of the contract.”
According to Birmingham Assistant City Manager Jana Ecker, who is serving as interim director of the BSD, contact negotiations will be taking place. The salary range of the director position is $93,172 – $119,012, along with benefits that include paid time off, medical, dental, vision, 401K, retirement health savings, 457, life insurance, FSA, short/long-term disability, and tuition reimbursement.