The East Side Business Improvement Districthas hired David Smulyan as its new executive director.
Smulyan has nearly 30 years of strategic planning, marketing, business development, and operational experience. He succeeds Liz Brodek, who departed in July. She had led the East Side BID since October 2018 and the Downer Avenue BID since March 2020.
Previously, Smulyan served as a business consultant for a nonprofit community development financial institution, advising small business owners on growth strategies and business fundamentals. Prior to that, Smulyan spent 16 years as owner and president of Mequon-based Optimal Solutions Squared LLC, which provides consulting services to Fortune 1000 companies, including GE Healthcare, Sears, Bosch, Lands' End, and Shopko.
"I gained a great appreciation of the East Side working with a number of business owners, such as Katie McHugh of the Sip & Purr Cat Cafe," said Smulyan. "The East Side has an incredible vibrancy and rich history. I am so excited to step into my new role."
Smulyan's appointment was the outcome of recent strategic planning by the East Side BID to identify its top strategic priorities, said board president Jonathan Jackson. "The process led directly to the hiring of a candidate of David’s caliber and experience," said Jackson. "David has extensive strategic and operational experience as an executive and business consultant with profit and non-profit organizations that make him uniquely qualified to achieve the board’s goal of building a strong coalition of business owners, property owners, and community organizations to enhance one of Milwaukee’s most vibrant neighborhoods."
Smulyan received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He has held additional nonprofit board leadership roles, including president of the Fox Point-Bayside School Board and treasurer of the Sarah Chudnow Senior Living Community in Mequon.