76.3 F
West Palm Beach
Friday, June 14, 2024

A New Era Begins at the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority

Teneka James-Feaman's extensive experience and deep understanding of the DDA’s mission make her an excellent choice to lead the organization into the future.

The West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is embarking on a new chapter with the appointment of Teneka James-Feaman as its new Executive Director. This exciting transition follows the departure of Raphael Clemente, who has led the organization with distinction and is now stepping down to pursue new opportunities.

James-Feaman is no stranger to the DDA, having been a dedicated member of the team since 2007 and serving as Associate Executive Director since 2012. Her extensive experience and deep understanding of the DDA’s mission make her an excellent choice to lead the organization into the future.

“The DDA Board is very thankful for all of Raphael’s remarkable contributions and achievements throughout his tenure,” said Rick Reikenis, Chair of the DDA Board of Directors. “Raphael has been a visionary leader in placemaking and community development, guiding the DDA team to significant milestones. Under his leadership, we successfully recruited dozens of new businesses to the downtown area, established the West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District, launched the city’s first bike share program, and championed public art initiatives that resulted in nearly 30 large-scale murals. He also led crucial efforts to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Reflecting on his 16 years at the DDA, including nearly a decade as director, Clemente shared a valuable lesson from his mentor, former DDA Executive Director Melissa Wohlust. “If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that you should give everybody at least five minutes to present their new idea. So often, we get super busy, and somebody is trying to share something with us, and we just think we don’t have the time. But if you take at least five minutes with them, they may have the best idea you’ve heard all year!” he said of how utilizing community input was crucial in the execution of his duties.

As James-Feaman steps into her new role, she brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of enhancing the downtown community. During her time with the DDA, she has spearheaded various initiatives, such as the establishment of ambassador teams responsible for beautification and stakeholder engagement, transportation programs aimed at reducing congestion and promoting transit and walkable streets, and the development of placemaking opportunities like the popular Fern Street Chess Park. Additionally, she played a pivotal role in bringing Short Édition, a nonprofit community publisher based in France, to downtown West Palm Beach. The short story dispenser offers 1-minute, 3-minute, and 5-minute stories, providing a unique reading experience for those waiting or enjoying their food or drink.

“Downtown West Palm Beach is thriving as we attract investments from national businesses, whether expanding or relocating here while ensuring responsible growth that maintains the safety and walkability of our city for residents and visitors,” said James-Feaman. “I am excited about this new opportunity and look forward to working closely with our dedicated team as we continue to build and explore new opportunities for growth and impact in the ‘Center of Paradise.’”

James-Feaman’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. Her professional journey has seen her work with organizations such as the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and the American Cancer Society. In 2016, she was selected for the International Downtown Association’s Emerging Leader Fellowship Program, which focuses on urban placemaking and management. Through her role with the DDA, she has cultivated business relations, overseen marketing, and driven business development initiatives.

The community looks forward to seeing how James-Feaman will build upon the strong foundation laid by Clemente and continue to foster growth and vitality in downtown West Palm Beach. Her leadership promises to bring new energy and ideas to the area, ensuring that downtown remains a thriving, dynamic place for everyone.

For more information about the DDA or Downtown West Palm Beach, please visit DowntownWPB.com. To view the latest initiatives and developments, be sure to check out the DDA’s online resources and social media channels.

Latest

Craig and Renata: WPB Power Art Couple

Their work is all around, with individual art shows at the Cultural Council, The Peach, and Subculture Coffee Shops.

“Trying” Meets High Praise at Palm Beach Dramaworks

"Trying" is a richly scripted, comic, and touching drama. It is playing at Palm Beach Dramaworks until June 9.

Carmela Coffee: A Hidden Gem in West Palm Beach

Discover Carmela Coffee, a cozy and pet-friendly café in West Palm Beach that offers delicious coffee and food.

From CityPlace to Rosemary Square to The Square to CityPlace again

While change is inevitable, we hope that CityPlace will always remain committed to being a symbol of community connection and cultural celebration.

Newsletter

Subscribe to "The Weekly" and stay informed on the best of West Palm Beach with occasional story alerts delivered to your inbox, plus occasional alerts when we publish our latest stories.

Craig and Renata: WPB Power Art Couple

Their work is all around, with individual art shows at the Cultural Council, The Peach, and Subculture Coffee Shops.

“Trying” Meets High Praise at Palm Beach Dramaworks

"Trying" is a richly scripted, comic, and touching drama. It is playing at Palm Beach Dramaworks until June 9.

Carmela Coffee: A Hidden Gem in West Palm Beach

Discover Carmela Coffee, a cozy and pet-friendly café in West Palm Beach that offers delicious coffee and food.