Royal Oak DDA manager hired as BSD director
By Lisa Brody
Sean Kammer, manager of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for the city of Royal Oak, has been appointed the new executive director of the Birmingham Shopping District (BSD), after a search prompted by the resignation in early December of former director Ingrid Tighe, who accepted a job as economic development director for Oakland County.
Forty-three candidates submitted applications for the position, with the BSD board determining finalists.
“It's such a tremendous compliment to be offered this position,” Kammer said. “They (BSD board) were really careful and thorough throughout the interview process.”
He begins working with the city of Birmingham on Monday, May 17.
Kammer has been the downtown manager for the Royal Oak DDA for the last four years. Prior to that, he was assistant city administrator for Lathrup Village, as well as executive director for their DDA.
The Royal Oak DDA recently was one of just six cities nationally to be awarded the “Main Street Forward” award and received $1,000 for their “Rebound Royal Oak” Small Business Assistance Program. The two-part program helped both sellers and buyers.
“Royal Oak was the only city in Michigan to win this award. It was the efforts done by the DDA to help small businesses during the pandemic,” Kammer said.
The small business assistance grants ranged from $4,000 to $32,000. Award amounts were based on square footage, rent, average monthly payroll hours and a longevity bonus for length of time the business was in the DDA. Every business that applied received a grant – a total of 92 businesses receiving $1.1 million.
The Birmingham BSD is funded through a special assessment on all commercial, non-residential property in areas of downtown and other business districts of Birmingham. The executive director works with merchants, business owners, retailers, landlords, and commercial real estate brokers.