The Roxborough Development Corporation has selected Michael Devigne as their new executive director. Devigne began work on June 21 and replaces James Harry Calamia, who served as executive director of the organization for more than ten years.
“We are delighted to welcome Michael Devigne to Philadelphia and to Roxborough,” said Jo Ann Desper, the board president of the Roxborough Development Corporation. “He has excellent skills that we can use right away as the corridor continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are especially interested in Michael’s work on events and ‘tactical urbanism’ as we rethink our special events and work to bring more activity to the corridor,” said Desper.
Devigne noted, “I am thrilled to be taking on the executive director role with the Roxborough Development Corporation, a long-standing and well-regarded business improvement district in Northwest Philadelphia. The board members I have met have been warm and welcoming. I am looking forward to starting a new life with my family in Roxborough and continuing my work in economic development in a new setting.”
Devigne was the Commercial Revitalization Program Manager with the Bay Ridge 5th Avenue Business Improvement District in Brooklyn, N.Y. For the last two years, Devigne has led a commercial district needs assessment process that included stakeholder engagement, hosted workshops, and consumer surveying; created a business inventory; and provided analysis of survey data. He has also worked on placemaking projects, including public art installations and “tactical takeovers” of sidewalk spaces during the pandemic to bring additional foot traffic to the 5th Avenue commercial corridor. He boosted the corridor’s communications and developed promotions to heighten interest in the district while also expanding merchants’ use of social media to gain them more online exposure.
Prior to his work in the 5th Avenue Bay Ridge commercial district, Devigne worked for the Business Outreach Center Network in Maspeth Queens N.Y., where he was an Industrial Business Account Manager. At the Business Outreach Center Network, he connected Maspeth business and property owners to NYC services, economic development incentives, workforce training programs, access to capital and aided with regulatory compliance assistance. He also advocated for industrial retention policies, promoting business friendly ideas to city officials, local community boards, city agencies and the local media. He helped build awareness of neighborhood needs among businesses, property owners, financial institutions and community members.
Before completing his master’s in urban planning at Hunter College NYC in 2017, he worked as a Planning and Development intern for Long Island City Partnership, a Community Planning intern for Community Board 10, and as a Business Services intern for Evergreen Business Exchange in Brooklyn. Devigne also holds a BA in Public Administration from City College in NYC and is a graduate of the well-regarded emerging leaders program offered by CORO Neighborhood Leadership Program in NYC.
The RDC will be hosting a welcome reception for Devigne later this summer.