Business memberships in the Downtown Foundation are based on proximity to the historic downtown and number of full-time employees. If you would like to receive more information about becoming a member please call us at 509-529-8755 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Business memberships in the Downtown Foundation are based on proximity to the historic downtown and number of full-time employees. If you would like to receive more information about becoming a member please call us at 509-529-8755 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mail: 109 East Main, Suite 302T
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Our mission is to promote the history, culture and commerce in the downtown. Our purpose is to maintain a comprehensive downtown revitalization strategy following the Main Street Four-Point Approach structure, which includes implementing a balance of activities in the areas of organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring, In the course of our duties we produce events; coordinate with all the other economic development organizations and governments; act as fiscal agent for the Small Business Development Center; strengthen the downtown by soliciting retailers and businesses; make every effort to improve the infrastructure of the downtown and work to increase friends and membership to our foundation.
Board of Directors
Main Street Approach
Elio has been Executive Director of the DWWF since July of 2007. He was previously a senior executive for 35 years in the media field in both Canada and the United States. His specialty was revitalizing newspapers – turning failing businesses into profitable, wide-read publications. Prior to arriving in Walla Walla he co-authored a self-help book, "Finding Your Soul At Work, At Home, and When You’re Alone." He also conducted courses and seminars on business. Elio has managed up to 2,000 employees in his professional life.
Events & Public Relations Manager
Cindy is a 12-year resident of the area and previously managed human resources and accounting for Walla Walla’s Courtyard by Marriott. Her resume also includes a period as events coordinator for Friends of Children of Walla Walla and human resources manager and events manager for Gilbert Auto Group. She is a Washington State University graduate and studied hotel business management there.
Manager of DWWF Membership &
Downtown Farmers Market
Doug was born and raised in Walla Walla and is a fourth generation Walla Wallan. Doug is a retailer, farmer, businessman, property owner and historian. He is married to Malinda and has three boys. He served on the Historic Preservation Commission for 12 years. He was also president of the Kirkman House Museum for 12 years. He is past president of the Walla Walla Historical Auto Club and was a member of the Sesquicentennial Committee. He is presently on the Design Committee for the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation and is currently Chairman of the World War II Memorial Committee.
Owner, Williams Team Homes
Brenda Williams: Brenda is the principal broker and owner of Williams Team Homes real estate office in downtown Walla Walla, and has a long history of service to the community, serving as a Chamber Ambassador as well as on the YWCA Board of Directors. Brenda also runs a blog, 365 Things To Do In Walla Walla Washington, which features downtown quite frequently!
CFO, Banner Bank
Lloyd has been with Banner Bank – in Walla Walla – since the mid-90s and now serves as Chief Financial Officer. Banner Bank was the first local company to take advantage of the Main Street Bill, allowing businesses to make a contribution to a community-based revitalization organization and receive 75% of that amount as a credit toward their state B&O taxes. In 2006 Banner contributed $133,333.33 to the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, allowing them to receive a $100,000 credit on their 2007 B&O tax bill. Banner Bank has consistently contributed $65,000 toward the Foundation’s revitalization efforts since 2007.
Retired Electric Utility Manager
Mike was born and raised in the Walla Walla valley. He graduated from Washington State University and worked for the City of Milton-Freewater for 33 years, serving the last 16 years as the electric utility manager. During his career, Mike served as an officer and board and committee member on various electric utility industry organizations, Milton-Freewater Chamber of Commerce President and Board of Directors member, past president of the Walla Walla Cruisers car club, and co-chairman of the Wheelin' Walla Walla Weekend car show. Mike looks forward to working with the other Board members, Downtown Foundation staff and the community volunteers on our many projects.
From the beginning, the DWWF has enjoyed a good working relationship with the City. Jim brings both his perspective on the Council and a wealth of professional experience in public planning. We welcome Jim as the Council Liaison.
City Council Representative
Owner, Book and Game
Jannelle was born and raised in Walla Walla. She moved away for 7 years, long enough to meet her husband and bring him back home to Walla Walla to raise their 3 kids. She started working part-time at Book & Game, Co in 1999 and loved it so much that she, along with her brother, Mike Bruns, and father, Gene Bruns, bought the business in 2003. Jannelle spends her free time reading, running, backpacking and homeschooling her 3 children.
David is an attorney with the law firm Minnick-Hayner, where he focuses his practice on business and commercial litigation, tax controversy and guardianship matters. He has practiced law for 32 years in Washington, D.C., Seattle and now Walla Walla. David moved to Walla Walla in 2002 from the Seattle area. In the time he has lived here, David has witnessed the resurgence of the downtown area and the emergence of Walla Walla a noted tourist destination. The things that brought David to Walla Walla in the first place – a smaller city with a strong sense of community, and a great place to raise kids – remain one of the most attractive aspects of this community.
Publisher of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Brian Hunt was named publisher of Walla Walla Union-Bulletin in May 2015 and, with his wife Carole, moved to Walla Walla from Portland, Oregon. Brian previously published the construction-focused Daily Journal of Commerce in Portland, the legal-focused Recorder in San Francisco, and the Idaho Business Review in Boise, Idaho, as well as community and tourism-focused publications in coastal Delaware and Maryland. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania and has worked in publishing for 25 years. Brian is also an active member of the board of directors for the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce and the Walla Walla United Way. He is in 2016 class of Walla Walla Leadership. Brian works with numerous Valley organizations to improve our communities, our economy and to build equity and opportunity for our Valley’s people.
President, Baker Boyer Bank
Mark is a CPA, financial advisor, and investment manager. In addition, Mark holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Washington. His background includes tax, trust, and estate planning, consulting Fortune 500 companies at Ernst and Young, as well as financial and charitable advising for Whitman College. Mark is a frequent commentator on Bloomberg and CNBC financial television programs.
Vice President, Baker Boyer Bank
Pat was born and raised in Walla Walla and is proud to call it his home. Pat is employed at Baker Boyer Bank as a Vice President and Business Banking Team Leader in the downtown Walla Walla branch. Pat holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Linfield College as well as a degree from the Graduate School of Banking in Colorado. Pat believes in the power of community involvement and is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation in order to give back to the community that helped raise him.
Owner, Integrity Design and Copyworks, LLC
John was born and raised in Walla Walla and grew up in a family owned business. He worked for 3 years at a local design and print firm before heading to Whitman College for 14 years as the College’s Production Services Manager, and outsource print buyer. Along with his wife Cher, founded Integrity Design and Copyworks in late 2002. They saw a need in the community for a place where businesses could go to get great design, and printing at a fair price. A few years into business Integrity Design expanded into the sign business to better serve thier client needs. Today they have 4 full-time employees at their downtown Walla Walla shop. John has been married for 34 years, has 2 grown children and 5 granddaughters.
Owner, Sapolil Cellars
3rd Generation Walla Walla Farm Girl, born and raised in the Walla Walla Valley, Abigail is a Graduate of Political Science at UW. From there, Abigail worked in State and Federal Politics, then moved into a career of Advertising and Brand Building until her return to our Valley in 2007. Currently she is an owner of Sapolil Cellars, a Winery, Nightclub and Eatery In Downtown Walla Walla.
Owner, World Wide Travel Service
Paul owns and operates World Wide Travel Service in Downtown Walla Walla. He was born and raised in Walla Walla and is a graduate of the University of Washington. Paul has been actively involved in many community activities and recently completed 13 years of service as a Port Commissioner for the Port of Walla Walla. During that time, he also served as a board member and President of the Washington Public Ports Association. Currently, Paul isco-chairing the Walla Walla Public Schools Community Facilities Task Force. Paul's wife Jody, works along with him at the travel agency and is an RN, who also teaches CPR and First Aid. They have four grown daughters (Heidi, Holly, Hilary, and Haley) and three grand dogs (still waiting for a grandchild).
Vice President, CFO Key Technology
Jeff has approximately 30 years of experience in the accounting and finance area. He has held several high level executive roles including CFO, Corporate Controller and Treasurer for several different companies in the Portland metropolitan area. His expertise is with public, high tech manufacturing companies. Jeff moved to the Walla Walla valley in the spring of 2012 and thoroughly enjoys the community. When he is not working he enjoys spending time with his family and can often be found on the local golf courses on the weekends.
Downtown Walla Walla Foundation follows The Main Street Four-Point Approach® set forth by the National Main Street Center, part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America's historic places. The Main Street Four-Point Approach is as follows:
Organization establishes consensus and cooperation by building partnerships among the various groups that have a stake in the commercial district. The most effective Main Street programs get everyone working toward the same goal. With this level of collaboration, your Main Street program can provide effective, ongoing management and advocacy for your downtown or neighborhood business district. Through volunteer recruitment and collaboration with partners representing a broad cross section of the community, your program can incorporate a wide range of perspectives into its efforts. A governing board of directors and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of volunteer-driven revitalization programs. Volunteers are coordinated and supported by a paid program director. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders.
Promotion takes many forms, but the goal is to create a positive image that will renew community pride and tell your Main Street story to the surrounding region. The techniques we teach, and the variety of tools at your disposal, will help to rekindle the vitality of your community. Promotions communicate your commercial district's unique characteristics, its cultural traditions, architecture, and history and activities to shoppers, investors, potential business and property owners, and visitors.
Design means getting Main Street into top physical shape and creating a safe, preserving a place's historic character, inviting environment for shoppers, workers, and visitors. Successful Main Streets take advantage of the visual opportunities inherent in a commercial district by directing attention to all of its physical elements: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking areas, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials. An appealing atmosphere, created through attention to all of these visual elements, conveys a positive message about the commercial district and what it has to offer. Popular design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the district's physical appearance through the rehabilitation of historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, educating business and property owners about design quality, and long-term planning.
Through economic restructuring, we can show you how to strengthen your community's existing economic assets while diversifying its economic base. Successful communities accomplish this by evaluating how to retain and expand successful businesses to provide a balanced commercial mix, sharpening the competitiveness and merchandising skills of business owners, and attracting new businesses that the market can support. Many Main Street programs also achieve success through creative reuse of historic properties. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district. The goal is to build a commercial district that responds to the needs of today's consumers while maintaining the community’s historic character.
In 1984 the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation was formed as the Walla Walla Main Street Foundation
The Foundation hired its first executive director, Dwight Van Fleet and he stayed until December of 1988. The Foundation and the Italian Heritage Association sponsored their first Italian Heritage Fiesta.
The Foundation worked with ten local banks to establish a $350,000 low interest façade loan program. It was also the first year of the Summer Concert series on Friday afternoons.
The first Main Street May Fair was held in conjunction with the Balloon Stampede. Main Street Banners were installed and the Foundation completed the “Walla Walla Redevelopment Plan”. Jacobi’s restaurant (the Northern Pacific Train Depot) was renovated as was the Snyder Crecilius building.
Karen Waltz was hired as executive director from July to November. The Foundation hosted the first Multicultural Heritage Festival. The initial work began on the Local Improvement District (LID). Bruce Buchanan was hired as director in December of 1989 and remained in that position until December of 1993. Pioneer Title was renovated in that year as well.
The general Obligation Bond failed and the worked continued on developing the LID. The Center for Sharing was renovated, Crawford Park was completed and the Downtown Trick or Treat was restarted.
The Liberty Theater was restored and the Bon Marche expanded. City Council approved the LID, contracts were awarded and construction began. The Fireman Statue was erected at Crawford Park and the initial effort began to recruit the Corps of Engineers into the downtown.
The name was change to the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation. The streetscape improvements were completed. A new addition was added to the First Congregational Church, the Harold building was renovated and the Foundation cosponsored the first annual Jingle Bell Run with the United Way. The DWWF was accepted as a partner Level Program with the State Main Street Program.
The Heritage Square Park was completed and the first of many street dances occurred. The “Out to Lunch” afternoon concert series began. The Walla Walla Hotel was renovated and converted to second floor apartments. The Foundation started Walla Walla Village and Ornament series.
The Foundation sponsors the first Walla Walla wide screen and the Whitehouse Crawford building was restored. Walla Walla was named a GAMSA semifinalist for the second year. The Foundation worked with the County to improve the design of the new justice building.
The first “Taste of Walla Walla happened and the Living Tree was planted. The newly restored Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center opened and the Foundation hosted the State Downtown Revitalization Conference at the hotel. Walla Walla Foundation won the Great American Main Street Award and three new bronze statues were installed downtown.
Wheelin’ Walla Walla spun off to own group and the Foundation cosponsors ArtWalla. Two more pieces of public art were added to the downtown. Walla Walla was named Sunset magazine’s “Best Main Street in the West”. The CLG ordinance and the zero setback ordinances were passed. The initial work with the Planning Commission on downtown development guidelines was begun. Diagonal parking was extended on Main Street from Palouse to Issacs. The Denny building, the Naimy building and the Drumheller building were restored. The DWWF introduced the new Downtown Walla Walla Visa.
The initial funding and organizational effort for a new 20-year downtown Master Plan was started. Three additional pieces of public art were installed as part of the Blue Mountain Arts Alliance ArtWalla project. Taste Walla Walla moved to the Court House lawn. A new cover was installed over the Crawford Park stage. Walla Walla successfully retained the Bon Marche remaining in the downtown. The first phase of the Main Street sewer and water replacement initiative was completed.
The new 20-year Downtown Master Plan was adopted and the second phase of the Main Street sewer and water replacement work was completed. The Downtown Endowment fund was started with an initial gift of $100.
Our mission is to promote the history, culture and commerce in the downtown. Our purpose is to maintain a comprehensive downtown revitalization strategy following the Main Street Four-Point Approach structure, which includes implementing a balance of activities in the areas of organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring.
In the course of our duties we produce events; coordinate with all the other economic development organizations and governments; act as fiscal agent for the SBDC; strengthen the downtown by soliciting retailers and business; make every effort to improve the infra structure of the downtown and work to increase friends and membership to our foundation.
Parking has been an issue in the downtown for over a decade. In the last two years we convinced the city to do angle parking on Alder (similar to the parking style on Main St.). We helped them find the money for the research and the implementation.
When Alder’s work is completed (paving, traffic lights, light posts) there will be an additional 55 to 60 new parking spots.
For a few years we have been working with the Port of Walla Walla to help us plan a parking structure. Drawings were done and the structure will cost anywhere from $3 million to $6 million. The Port Commissioners continue to believe that it is critical for downtown prosperity and they are working with the DWWF to find a solution.
Our mandate is small business. Most of our retailers and businesses in the downtown are small business. The Farmers market is basically only small business. We are the fiscal agent of the Small Business Development Center that is focused on helping small business. We contribute financially to the SBDC and we are responsible for getting other businesses to contribute in cash or in kind to the SBDC. The SBDC is located in the Walla Walla airport.
We believe that ALL of the money we spend is for promoting the downtown. All of our events occur in the downtown and the object is to bring people to our downtown to enjoy the art, architecture and shopping. We believe the combination of all of our events (Feast, Chefs Table, Macys Parade, Summer Concerts, Halloween, Wheelin’) attract nearly 20,000 people every year. We also advertise outside of our Valley to promote the events in our downtown.
To be effective, we always have to be thinking of the future. For a couple of years we have been working with the city to work on the infrastructure of the downtown. In 2015 nearly $3 million will be spent on traffic lights, pavement, lining the streets for angle parking and erecting old style lampposts. The DWWF has also formed an LID (Local Improvement District) to determine what else we can do to improve the infra structure and beauty of the downtown. The plan of that LID is to enhance the infra structure from Palouse to fifth down Main and down Alder and including all the side streets joining the main two streets.
In an effort to increase upper story living quarters in the downtown, the Design Committee of the DWWF developed a manual for property owners and developers to help promote the growth of people living in the downtown. The Design Committee won two awards for their work on this subject.
In addition, a few DWWF board members are on the Mill Creek Task Force to determine how we can make Mill Creek more safe and useful.
Great American Main Street Award –semi-finalist -- National Trust for Historic Preservation
The Great American Main Street Award - National Trust for Historic Preservation
Arbor Day Award- Washington Arbor Day Council
Best Main Street in the West - Sunset magazine
Distinctive Destination - National Trust for Historic Preservation
Best Economic Restructuring Story – Department of Community Trade and Economic development
Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award – National Trust for Historic Preservation
Friendliest Small Town in the U.S.- Rand McNally/ USA Today
Top Ten Great Neighborhood – American Planning Association
Excellence on Main Award for Downtown Walla Walla Residential Guidelines – Washington State Main Street
The Governor’s Smart Communities Award – Washington State
Your tax-deductible donation to Downtown Walla Walla Foundation helps fulfill our vital mission to promote the history, culture and commerce of downtown Walla Walla. Simply fill out the form below. You'll receive an email receipt for tax purposes. If you'd like to set up a monthly donation to Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, please call (509) 529-8755.
As of June 3, 2015
Please check back frequently as information will be updated and added as details become firm. This is a fluid event and changes will likely occur in the coming weeks.
Be a volunteer worker at Gentlemen of the Road Walla Walla and in exchange, receive pay of $9.47 per hour! Only one 6-hour shift is required over the course of the event. For workers that would like to enjoy the event when not on shift, a discounted worker ticket that includes a spot to camp is available for purchase for only $40. Visit www.workexchangeteam.com and sign up under the Walla Walla Stopover.
The downtown will require an admission fee during street festival hours. Festival hours and the fee have not been finalized. It is anticipated that hours will be between 5:00 PM -2:00 AM (Thursday), 10:00 AM -2:00 AM (Friday), 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM (Saturday). The admission fee will be a daily fee of $5.00. GOTR ticket purchasers, downtown workers, and festival workers will not be required to pay the downtown admission fee.
Absolutely not! Any business located within the closed street venue will be accessible for free by pedestrian traffic during normal working hours on Thursday up until 5:00 PM and up until 10:00 AM on Friday. After that, employees may enter with wristbands (to be issued by DWWF in advance) during festival hours (beginning Thursday at 5:00 PM, Friday at 10:00 AM, and Saturday at 10:00 AM). Clients will need to pay the admission fee during festival hours. You may wish to reimburse clients or schedule appointments at non-festival times. Business can be conducted as normal during non-festival times on Thursday and Friday. Please note that these times are not finalized and are subject to change.
No, employees will be given wristbands in advance by their employers. Employers will pick up wristbands at the DWWF in the week preceding the concert.
The downtown festival borders are still being finalized and currently include Main St. from 2nd Ave. to Palouse; and 1st, Colville, and Spokane from Rose St. to Adler St. Rose, Alder, Palouse, and 2nd Ave. will be open. This information is subject to change.
Yes, the downtown venue will be open for an admission fee during programmed times. No advance ticket sales. The admission fee will be payable at the gates and good for one day.
The streets where the stages will be located will close at 6:00 AM on Wednesday to erect the stages. Tentatively those stages are planned for 1st Street at Alder and Spokane Street at Alder. The other streets will close on Thursday morning, prior to the start of the workday. They will reopen Sunday afternoon.
Residents within the concert venue will be given passes in advance and will have access to their homes. Residents will be notified with instructions for pass pick-up later in the summer. Proof of address will be required to receive a pass.
There will be dedicated, designating parking for downtown business operators and employees. Designated locations TBA.
The main stage will be at Whitman Athletic Fields.
The concert producers will select food and merchandise vendors. To be considered, please complete an application here:
Yes, you will have access to all shows at Whitman Athletic Fields, the parking lot, the campground, and the downtown street festival.
A $199 GOTR ticket purchase will provide you with a RFID wristband that allows access to Whitman Athletic Fields, campgrounds, downtown, and the surrounding concert venue area. Headliner acts will perform at the fields. You will be permitted in the designated campsites at the Veterans Memorial Golf Course. The downtown portion of the concert venue will feature programmed entertainment on multiple stages and in the streets during times when programming is not in progress at Whitman Athletic Fields. A daily admission fee will grant access to the downtown venue for those who have not purchased GOTR tickets. The RFID bracelets will allow access to the downtown venue at no additional fee.
Mumford & Sons will be performing on Saturday evening around sunset.
No. Expenses for the concert are being funded by the concert producers through ticket, merchandise, and refreshment sale revenue. Costs to local governments, schools, and other organizations will be fully reimbursed by the concert producers.
The festival is being run by Madison House Presents. (www.madisonhouseinc.com/presents). The City of Walla Walla, the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, Whitman College, and DeSales Catholic High School are working as a team to provide land, services, connections to local resources, and communications to the concert producers.
If you work at least a six-hour shift, you will be eligible to purchase a significantly discounted ticket that will allow you to enjoy the entire Stopover. Details can be found at www.gentlemenoftheroad.com.
Local leaders contacted jurisdictions where the 2012 and 2013 Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers were held before committing to the festival. The host towns were left in better shape after the festival than before, and did not experience these types of problems. Concert attendees were described as “respectful” and each town would welcome a return of the festival.
Pets are not permitted in the concert venue or campgrounds.
If you live in the downtown closed street area, you will be given free wristbands for access to your home. It is not necessary to leave town. Residents will receive notification with instructions for wristband pick-up later this summer. Proof of address will be required to receive a wristband.
If your friend’s house is within the downtown concert venue and you are visiting during the festival hours, you will have to pay $5 to enter the venue.
Concert ticket holders will be directed to park at a large designated parking area adjacent to Veterans Memorial Golf Course.
Outdoor Music at the Whitman Athletic Fields ends at approximately 11:30 pm on Friday & Saturday. Downtown outdoor music will end by 2:00 AM.
The city will be returned at least to its condition prior to the festival. The concert production company will pay for any needed repairs or cleanup.
The security company will allow for deliveries to occur. It should be noted that businesses should not schedule deliveries during high pedestrian traffic time to avoid mixing vehicles with potentially busy street, alleys, and intersections.
No. Concert organizers will be selecting a limited number of food and merchandise vendors for both the Whitman Athletic Fields area and downtown. Individual downtown businesses in the concert venue will have the use of the sidewalks in front of their stores for sales of their merchandise.
RFID wristbands and a commemorative piece will be mailed out in late July/early August.
Private property will not be used without prior consent by the owner.