This week our Speaker is Janice Penner, Executive Director of the Riverside Downtown Partnership.

Ms. Penner joined RDP in 2001. She has focused on building the organizational and operational structure of RDP, improving RDP’s financial stability, and developing and enhancing relationships with downtown stakeholders.

During her tenure, RDP has implemented a strategic plan and two updates; launched a destination marketing campaign with a number of signature events, and modernized marketing approaches including a revitalized RDP website and Facebook pages.

She has also positioned RDP as a champion and supporter of downtown events including Rhythm in Riverside, Ghost Walk, Riverside Lunar Fest, and the Mission Inn Run through sponsorships, marketing assistance, and other resources.

Before moving to Riverside’s warmer climate, Janice Penner hailed from Winnipeg, Canada.

She worked in the financial services industry for 23 years, including 17 years with Investors Group.

Her interest in downtown development started when she was recruited by Mayor Susan Thompson to co-chair the strategic planning process for downtown Winnipeg.

The resulting Centreplan Vision Document won a Canadian Institute of Planners National Award in 1995 and an Honor award from the International Downtown Association.

Her last position before coming to Riverside was as Interim General Manager of the Forks North Portage Partnership, a public organization responsible for mixed-use projects in the Winnipeg area.

During her tenure, she was responsible for The Forks hosting the evening festivities for the 1999 Pan American games with crowds of up to 100,000 people each day.