WINDSOR STAR: Horwitz out as Downtown Windsor BIA members elect almost completely new board

DWBIA vice chair Pat Papadeas in Windsor, Ont, on Friday Joly 30, 20201. DWBIA vice chair Pat Papadeas in Windsor, Ont, on Friday Joly 30, 20201.

Taylor Campbell
Dec 07, 2018  •  December 7, 2018 

Larry Horwitz, the long-time and high-profile chairman of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, is out after members voted for a near-complete turnover of the organization’s board of directors.

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Seven of the eight people elected Friday evening after three days of voting are new to the board, with only Marry Anne Ducharme of Pearce, Ducharme and Associates Family Law retaining her position. Horwitz was not re-elected.

“There was a desire for change, a desire for renewal in the DWBIA,” said Pat Papadeas, one of the new board members. “I think there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve, but I’m going to be part of a team with a lot of energy.”

Papadeas, a legal studies professor at St. Clair College, host of Rose City Politics, and member of the Windsor International Film Festival board of directors, said she heard about a group of young business owners looking to make some changes downtown and became excited to be a part of it.

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“I see the hard work they put in their businesses,” Papadeas said about the other newly elected board members. “Based on the energy and what we’ve seen them accomplish in their own rights, I think we’re going to see some great things.”

Papadeas said it was too soon to name specific changes the new board intends to make, but added, “we need to take a look at a strategic direction downtown.”

Geoff Zanetti, owner of Villains Beastro, is another newcomer to the board. He and Papadeas both said they heard over 100 members took part in the vote, up from around 30 people in past elections.

“Change is always good,” Zanetti said. “It’s hard to resist change.”

After the list of board-elect members is presented to city council for approval, the board will be joined by Ward 3 Coun. Rino Bortolin, who represents the downtown on council and is appointed by the city. The first meeting of the new board will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 24, after which board members will vote on a new chair and appoint members to the executive board.

An email sent out Friday night to the candidates by DWBIA executive director Debbie Croucher lists the winners:

Bar & Nightclub — Bryan Datoc

Commercial Property Owner/Developer — Geoff Zanetti

Hotel/Tourism/Retail — Brian Yeomans

Member at Large (non-licensed) — Pat Papadeas

Professional Services (legal & Financial) — Mary Anne Ducharme

Restaurant (licensed) — David Prantera

Restaurant (unlicensed) — Stephanie Clark

Retail — Liam O’Donnell

Read the original article on The Windsor Star HERE