Happy Retirement to Economic Development Colleagues Jim Wilson & Steve Phillips

Bob Dressler (left), immediate past chair of the DBA, offered thanks and well wishes to retiring Executive Director Jim Wilson (center) at the organization’s recent quarterly gathering. In addition to other board members and Danville businesspeople, Wilson was joined by his wife, Dr. Gerda Breitwieser (right).

Two individuals involved in efforts to strengthen our area’s economy and communities are retiring this week. After 10 years as Executive Director and Main Street Manager with the Danville Business Alliance (DBA), Jim Wilson is retiring. Steve Phillips, Executive Director of the Berwick Industrial Development Association (BIDA), is also retiring after 29 years with the organization. Board members, area businesspeople, and colleagues recently gathered at separate events to congratulate the two and thank them for their efforts.

In partnership with Danville Borough, DBA has spearheaded many efforts to enhance Danville’s central business district during Wilson’s tenure. The organization coordinated a feasibility study for high-end apartments on second and third floors of downtown buildings. Parks, greenspaces, and murals beautify the downtown, and the redevelopment of Canal Park will soon be getting underway. Events including Spring Fling, holiday festivities, and the first Taste of the Nations Food Festival coming up this Saturday, June 30 draw people to the downtown throughout the year. All of these efforts make downtown Danville an attractive place to operate a business.

Wilson has been a member of the Chamber’s Montour County Task Force and the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Chamber and Visitors Bureau, as well as a former member of the Visitors Bureau and Partnership boards.  “Jim understands the importance of regional collaboration and has been a valued partner in our collective efforts to enhance our communities,” said Fred Gaffney, Chamber President. “As a colleague, he is trustworthy, reliable, and adept at consensus building.”

Steve Phillips

It is expected that Wilson’s successor at the DBA will be selected in July.

The BIDA complex in Berwick houses a number of companies providing a combined 1,000+ jobs. Supported by Steve’s network of relationships, the organization has helped to market and reuse other available industrial and commercial properties in the area and provide assistance to existing employers to retain jobs. BIDA also supports efforts to strengthen the community including the downtown Berwick enhancement plan and community festivals and events.

“Steve’s success is a testament to the importance of relationship building,“ said Gaffney. “In his desire to retain good job creators and bring new jobs to the area, he always knows who to reach out to.” “I add my thanks to Steve and Jim for their efforts over the years and wish them both many enjoyable years of retirement.”