After perusing more than 40 applications over the course of several months, the Gilroy Downtown Business Association has tabbed its first part-time coordinator to plan downtown events and promote local businesses.
A hiring panel comprised of DBA President Eric Howard, Chamber of Commerce President Susan Valenta, Welcome Center Executive Director Jane Howard and business owners John Tomasello and Amber Madrone have selected Gilroy resident Melanie Corona for the position.
For her first task, she’ll have to start piecing together the DBA’s new office, located in the old Gilroy Visitors Bureau building on Monterey Road.
“We’ve got to round up some furniture,” laughed Eric Howard, adding the DBA would be renting the building for $1 a month.
Once the office is good to go, Corona will serve as a liaison to downtown merchants, city officials, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, the Gilroy Welcome Center and the Gilroy Economic Development Corporation. She will also be expected to supervise volunteers, vendors and paid staff during downtown events.
“Well first of all, she did an excellent job interviewing. I think she’s going to have a lot of fresh ideas,” Jane Howard said. “I just think she’s going to be a nice fit. I think she’s going to be a really big, big plus for downtown.”
The job pays between $20-23 an hour and is funded by the City of Gilroy.
Eric Howard first told the Gilroy City Council in January downtown needed a part-time coordinator to help plan events to ease pressure off business owners, whose exhaustive volunteer hours have made events possible up to now. The Council approved two years worth of funding for the position this past May.
Corona’s husband is a lifelong Gilroyan, and her father was once the city manager of Sonoma, according to Eric Howard. Corona did not return phone calls before press time.