Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the East and West Dearborn DDAs (via Executive Management Services contract with POW! Strategies, Inc.), has worked with the City of Dearborn, East and West Dearborn DDAs and Dearborn community stakeholders to build a cohesive Downtown Dearborn along Michigan Avenue since 2015. With more than 19 years of downtown management experience and more than 20 years of experience in public relations, marketing, volunteer organizational management and economic development, Sheppard-Decius is most notably known nationally and locally for her proven track record of revitalizing Downtown Ferndale, Michigan, during her tenure as the Executive Director of the Ferndale DDA from 2000-2015. Recognized as one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 Under 40 in 2009, Sheppard-Decius holds a B.A. in Public Relations from Western Michigan University and is a Certified Main Street Manager (CMSM) (2005) of the National Main Street Center.
Jean Smith, event manager of the East and West Dearborn DDAs and market manager of the Dearborn Farmers and Artisan Market, supports coordination of more than 60 annual events and oversees market management, training and supervision. Recruiting and managing more than 100 seasonal vendors, Smith also serves as market master for the Dodge Park Farmers Market in Sterling Heights.
Smith has more than 12 years of experience as a vendor in various farmers markets and earned her Market Manager Certification from the 2016 Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) Market Manager Certification Program. In 2018, Smith was named Mentor of the Year on two separate occasions from University of Michigan-Dearborn. That same year, Smith earned her Associate in Applied Science degree in MGT Development, Business Management from Oakland Community College. Currently studying at Siena Heights University, Smith will graduate with a Bachelors in Professional Communication in December 2019, and plans to continue her studies thereafter, working towards a Masters in Professional Leadership.
Janet Bloom, operations manager of the East and West Dearborn DDAs (via Executive Management Services contract with POW! Strategies, Inc.), has more than fifteen years of non-profit and city government experience. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and has spent many of her years in program management and event director roles at area Chambers of Commerce and local governments. Bloom has acted as a liaison with local businesses, community and civic organizations, incubators, economic and development organizations and local and state governments.
Bloom’s experience also includes time spent in inventory management systems at Walt Disney World, operations in the automotive advertising agency arena and sales and marketing at a multi-national management consulting firm. Bloom attended Michigan State University and holds a B.A. in Advertising from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and a B.A. in Marketing from the Eli Broad College of Business.