FAIRBORN — The City of Fairborn has hired Tonia Fish as its new downtown revitalization strategist. She is tasked with revitalizing the Main Street and Broad Street corridor.
“I’m devoting my time to revitalization the Main Street, Broad Street corridor — specifically working in any way that I can with existing businesses to help them grow and thrive,” Fish said. “We are going to bring foot traffic and fill vacant space, but our focus is definitely on appreciating those who are here.”
Her background belongs to start-up and back office infrastructure. She grew up in the Dayton area, but made her home out of San Francisco, Dallas and New York City before returning to the Miami Valley. Her husband is a chef who has cooked up meals New York City, London and Wine Country, California. He now serves as the executive chef of the Dayton Racquet Club. The pair additionally own a business within the Second Street Market in Dayton.
“I want them (downtown business owners) to know that I am an entrepreneur and I understand what it is like,” she said.
While Fish’s first five days on the job were spent focusing on the upcoming kitchen incubator and co-working space in the former Roush’s Restaurant, 305 W. Main Street, she is not the “kitchen incubator girl” and will not be responsible for running the upcoming business upon its opening. However, she said she planted the initial seeds for the Fairborn kitchen incubator project in previous conversations with Synergy Kitchens of Dayton.
Fairborn City Manager Rob Anderson had been working with Richard Kaiser of the Wilderness Agency on other projects. When plans for the kitchen incubator starting coming to the surface, Kaiser, who knew both Fish and Anderson, encouraged them to meet. Fish was introduced as the downtown revitalization strategist during Dayton Start-up Week in June and officially started the job in July.
“As soon as I met Rob and heard about what an amazing shift he is doing here, I was absolutely amazed by the fact that he is moving at the speed that he is and has a vision that is so modern, yet so relevant to Fairborn. He became one of my favorite people right away,” Fish said. “When this opportunity was discussed, I absolutely was excited to throw my hat into the ring. I think we are great partners and it’s the most refreshing vision that I’ve seen since I moved back to Dayton.”
To meet Fish, visit the upcoming kitchen incubator and co-working space from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each Wednesday throughout July.
“I like to meet people face-to-face and it’s important for me to hear about what they feel like is working, what they’ve seen in other places that they’d like to see happen here and for us to share and grown the vision together,” Fish said.
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532. To follow her on Twitter, search for @FDHWhitney.