For more than a decade, Joe Spencer has engineered growth and vitality in downtown Saint Paul. As president of the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance, Joe works across public and private sectors to build a strong, vibrant downtown and create a positive experience for visitors, residents, and workers alike. Joe has been instrumental in strengthening public/private partnerships and leveraging diverse economic opportunities for the benefit of the entire city. Since 2018, Joe has advocated for loosening regulations on signage, sidewalk retail, and liquor licensing to improve the downtown business environment; engaged residents, businesses, and law enforcement agencies in critical public safety conversations; and piloted the Streets of Summer program, which tested the potential of a downtown improvement district, bringing engaging activities and friendly street ambassador staff to the public realm. Following the successful pilot program, Joe assisted a group of property owners who voluntarily formed a Downtown Improvement District in 2020 to increase safety, cleanliness, and vibrancy in downtown. Joe is also leading an effort to ensure that downtown Saint Paul is positioned to successfully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and safely welcome back the tens of thousands of workers and visitors who frequent downtown. Prior to serving as president of the Downtown Alliance , Joe served as director of arts and culture under former Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. He played an instrumental role in 10 major capital projects downtown that were financed through grants and other innovative fundraising, including the Ordway Concert Hall, Palace Theatre, and the Minnesota Children’s Museum. He also helped launch a diverse array of new music festivals that attract more than 100,000 visitors to downtown each year. Additionally, he recruited dozens of new bars, restaurants, venues, and creative businesses to downtown Saint Paul. An active member of the community, Joe serves on the Saint Paul Area Chamber Board of Directors, Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation Board of Directors as well as many community and regional committees and task forces.